Talk:Religious violence

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Important Information[edit]

Just so more people know, I have launched an edit\delete nomination for the Criticism of Religion sidebar on the grounds that it is phrased in a POV way and encorages further POV in articles.

Nomination for deletion of Template:Criticism of Religion

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:Criticism of Religion has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page.

Ion Zone (talk) 17:15, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup request[edit]

I found this article in a bit of a weaker state, but with more specific examples into religious violence. I have removed them for the moment since they're such a small subset and seem to POV the article, but I would think that this article might be a good place to discuss religiously violent actions by individuals rather than between nations or churches (i.e. an abortion clinic bomber rather than the Christian Crusades).

I have some concerns over the POV status of this article. I believe it could be NPOV and that my edits have taken it toward there for the moment, but to enforce NPOV, it would be better to have both those sympathetic and antagonistic toward religion (but still bound together in pursuit of NPOV) work together on this article rather than one side running away with it as it so easily could be.

Suggestions and edits appreciated. -SocratesJedi | Talk 01:26, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

I added some bits in there. I hope this provides some context for the topic and provides readers with a reasonable understanding of the bigger picture, while keeping the the thing well in the realm of NPOV. I know the 9/11 thing may be a kind of a touchy subject still, but it's a damn good example of extreme religious violence. Anyway, what I did is just a suggestion -- if you don't like or think it should be expressed differently, please give it a shot. It's an interesting topic, to be sure. -- Captain Disdain 17:42, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


I'm working on expanding this page... I think it should deal with all the various forms religious violence takes and what it means.

A basic division of religious violence into Individual and Collective makes sense, in my POV, to differentiate the scope of violence that does not necessarily have wider social impacts and violence that does.

This page should have sub-pages added.

Also, I think sectarian violence should be thrown right out, as there is no way of distinguishing between cults, sects and religions without negative connotations for those belief systems in a minority position in a certain culture or society.


Jewish (secular), Jewish (religious), and Zionist terrorism[edit]

I'm concerned that the term "Jewish terrorism" is directed to the page for religious terrorism. This is misleading and inappropriate as it does not recognise the simple fact that the term "Jew" refers both to a race and/or a religion: one can be a secular Jew, can one not? An individual searching for information on Jewish terrorism should see a list of all such groups, regardless of belief in a higher being. But the incorporation under the religious title means that all secular Jewish and Zionist terrorist groups are missing from the list. It should be recorded properly that Jewish terrorism (secular), Jewish terrorism (religious), and Zionist terrorism (for which there already exists a page) are three different - but not entirely unrelated - things. This is a major problem which needs to be resolved quickly in the interests of accuracy and fairness. Can we have a page or section leader that covers all three? 15:23, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Which groups do you think fall into each category? Jayjg (talk) 18:05, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Clearly the Kahane related/derived groups are ultra-religious. Someone searching for "Jewish terrorism" should be presented with a list that also includes Irgun and Lehi/Stern Gang. Both these Jewish groups are considered Zionist, but non-religious (highly subjective of course, I don't agree personally). Haganah belongs in there somewhere too. I don't see why a distinction should be made regarding the centrality of religion to aims without a page that includes them all. How about linking the terms "Jewish terrorism" and "Zionist terrorism" and listing all groups? Religious or not, all will be covered. 22:54, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Regardless of the merging (or not merging) of this article, it's a bit bloody much to have one catagory per responce on this thread. As such I have merged them.
Ion Zone (talk) 19:51, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Do Not Merge:Respectfully disagree with the proposal to merge Religious violence and Religious terrorism. While both articles are bad, the notions are clearly distinguishable. Terrorism is but a special case of violence. Mukadderat 02:48, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Totally agree. All that's needed is to put a suitable reference in the Religious violence article (which I've done). Mark Sedgwick 08:26, 26 March 2006 (UTC) What really matters is that the Religious terrorism article be merged into the Religious terrorists subsection of Terrorist groups. At present there are two nearly identical articles. Assuming that the average user starts with Terrorism and then wants to look for something on varieties of terrorism, the next destination is going to be Terrorist groups, and Religious terrorists is the first subsection there. Mark Sedgwick 09:26, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge: Yeah, if they are talking about the same things, they should be merged.
They must speak about different things. For starters, we cannot apply the terms "terrorism", human rights, etc., for the times of, say, Ottoman Empire or bronze age. It would be anachronism. "Terrorism" is a terminology of new days. It will be silly to say that, e.g., Crusade is terrorism. Mukadderat 17:19, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No Merging: Religious violence is an old concept and does not apply only in the modern context. Terrorism aside religious violence has been prevalent since Luther nailed his 95 thesis in Wittemberg. the Wars of Religion in France between 1550s and 1589, the War of the three Henris, the 30 years war in mid 1600s, they all shaped the political and national identity of nations in Europe. Merging does not sound very applicable. Although religious terrorism is a form of violence, events demonstrate increasingly that it needs separate analysis.
  • No Merging: Religious violence can range from simply slurring inappropiate comments to slapping someone in the face. Terrorism, on the other hand is a much more broader term that usually implies muich more extreme examples of violence. If one begins to merge these two terms, then Anti-Semitics, Nazis, just to name a few will be considered TERRORISTS which will give the wrong impression given the condition and the current state of affairs that the West is now involved in. The idea is not to propagate this concept of "terrorism" when it is not needed to be applied. They are two separate things, plese do not merge.
  • Don't Merge: Okay, i dunno where else to say this, but we shouldn't merge these two parts, religious violence isn't necessarily terrorism! I would go so far as to say that religious violence isn't necessarily religious, either. "Devil and the Deep Black Void", and the sequel "The Gardener" are discussed in the Baha'is in Fiction topic. This article incorrectly says "Devil" is a story about ramming Earth with a starship ... that is a background element in the story, but is not the central focus of it. I did write the ramming story ("For a Little Price") but it was never published ... "too dark" the editor said. "Price", which was written before Sept 11, 2001, does have the attempt made by terrorists who purport to be Islamic, but the details of the story show that they are, in fact, guilty of grossly distorting the beliefs they pretend to follow. I have yet to find anything in the Quran that justifies terrorism (in fact, the leader is a heretic who is clearly damnable according to the Quran). I do find teachings in the Quran that are quite against terrorism, which are pointed out in "Price". But I doubt it will ever be published ... a shame as its intent was to point all this out. More recently, Analog (October 2007) published "El Dorado", also by me, which features an even more extreme assault on humanity, again with a purported religious motivation (this time from an alien race we know almost nothing about). The sequel is in the works now, and will attempt to examine the motive. Let's just say that I personally believe that most terrorism that purports to have a religious basis either distorts, or totally ignores, the religion in question. It is done to satisfy the ulterior motives of people. ertainly there must be other examples in fiction besides mine. Tomligon 15:27, 28 September 2007 (UTC)


Ill set this to redirect, if noone opposes. Anachronisms such as the crusades already have their own articles, so nothing is lost.--Urthogie 15:30, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Sectarian violence[edit]

The old text asserted 'there is no way to empirically distinguish between "sects" and "religions" in a non-arbitrary way'. While this is sometimes the case, the difference can be obvious. Hindu/Muslim violence is not sectarian. Christian/Atheist violence is not sectarian. Etc. --Chinasaur 08:54, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

How about circumcision?[edit]

Circumcision can also be seen as a form of religiously motivated violence. Not by everyone, but it can. 23:00, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

If we include that we could include anything. Ion Zone (talk) 13:13, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


This article has been stubified by excising over 1,000 bytes of original content. Bearian 19:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

The synthesis tag is not appropropriate here[edit]

I am going to remove the synthesis tag once again. Please explain how the wording of that tag represents the content here at all. Here is what the tag says:

  • This article or section may contain an unpublished synthesis of published material that conveys ideas not attributable to the original sources.

What published material is being synthesized? What ideas that are not attributable to the phantom "original sources"? If what you are trying to convey is that this concept is very broad and that the entry lists several diverse forms of violence associated with religion under an umbrella term in a way that you find problematic then you aren't expressing that with this tag at all. You can't change the fact that the tag says what it says. Please don't re-add the tag just to tag the entry. We all know it has real problems, so it isn't constructive to get misdirected towards phantom ones.PelleSmith 23:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I'll note here as I did on your talk page that you are in violation of 3RR on this matter and suggest you do a self-revert. Perhaps you don't understand synthesis. The article takes a bunch of unrelated ideas (obviously some of it is from uncited published sources) and throws them all together without any source which treats them together or says they are related. Unless reliable, unbiased secondary sources say that these ideas are related, it is a synthesis by the editors. Mamalujo 23:42, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

The opening sentence of this entry states: "Religious violence is a term that covers all phenomena where religion, in any of its forms, is either the subject or object of individual or collective violent behavior." Now you may disagree with the existence of an entry of that scope, fine. But if that is really what "religious violence" covers then clearly there are going to be a lot of different phenomena covered here not all of which are "directly related." The point is that the entry discusses very different forms of violence related to religion, but in doing so it does not "contain an unpublished synthesis of published material that conveys ideas not attributable to the original sources." Again, that is what the synthesis tag says. What you are claiming isn't actually what the synthesis tag expresses. Are you disagreeing with that? Do you have some way of decoding what I am taking as the literal meaning of the tag? Also, more generally this entry doesn't claim that these disparate phenomena are directly related, and perhaps that itself is a big problem with this type of presentation, but it makes it even harder to claim that there is any kind of synthesis here ... even the kind you are talking about.PelleSmith 23:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Look, you are being disengenuos here. If you really believe that this article is not a synthesis then cite in the introduction some sources which treat these ideas together. Otherwise this article does "contain an unpublished synthesis of published material that conveys ideas not attributable to the original sources." You should also note that the tag contains says "may contain". I'm not saying all the ideas have to be directly related. What I'm saying and what the Wikipedia policy maintains is that ideas should not be conflated together that are not treated that way in the sources. This article is saying all these ideas are related; if proper sources don't say that then it is synthesis. Your assertion that it is not synthesis of "published" materials is ridiculous and is only asserted because this article doesn't have any citations. The fact that it doesn't have citations does not mean that it didn't draw from and synthesize published material.Mamalujo 00:09, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I think I've been more than clear and I think you again have chosen to disregard what that tag actually says. You're concern is with references and notability and not with synthesis since, again the entry is clear about how broadly it wishes to treat this term. You think that there is no way to source this broad treatment? If that is the problem then the synthesis tag is misguided. You AfD this entry without tagging it or engaging the talk page, then when the AfD fails you come back and add tags again without engaging the talk page. When someone points out to you the tag is misdirected you decide all of a sudden to defend it to the end. Are you trying to improve the encyclopedic quality of this entry or are you just trying to make it look bad until you AfD it again?PelleSmith 02:42, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
You write that the article is not a synthesis because "the entry is clear about how broadly it wishes to treat this term." That is exactly the problem and why it is synthesis. Unless sources treat it this broadly, then it is synthesis. Instead of arguing with me on the talk page about a valid tag, if you really believe there are sources which treat the subject this way, find them and cite to them in the introduction. Then the tag will have to be removed.Mamalujo 18:43, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
You have just summarized exactly why the OR tag is appropriate. Stop being so stubborn. You have yet to explain how your use coincides with the explicit text of the tag. I am not suggesting that you are wrong in identifying the issue with the entry, you are just applying the wrong tag. Its clear as day.PelleSmith 22:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

REFERENCES Please note the following Academic reference: Wellman, James K. Jr. and Tokuno, Kyoko. 2004. "Is Religious Violence Inevitable?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 43(3):291–296. Quoted text is from pg. 293.

  • "We believe it is folly to assert that true religion seeks peace; or that religion is somehow hijacked when it becomes implicated in conflict or even violence. Indeed, religion does produce conflict and, less frequently, violence. We do not believe that this is a new situation or that it will end soon. These patterns are replete in our studies throughout history. Mesopotamian religion was enormously violent, both in its symbolic cosmogonic portrayals and in its social and military actions toward others. Ancient Israel developed a concept of God that was antagonistic to the extreme; it enabled the Jews to trust that God was on their side and that their cosmos reflected their earthly destiny (Niditch 1993; Collins 2003). Ancient Indian and Chinese religious beliefs and behaviors included sanctioned violence in cosmogony, sacrificial ritual, and mortuary practice (Basham 1989; Bodde 1981; Lewis 1990). Buddhists have not shunned the use of force or violence against oneself or others, especially in the sphere of religious nationalism. In medieval Japan, the Buddhist monk Nichiren (1222–1282) inaugurated an exclusivistic religious movement based on the theology of the Lotus S¯utra and an assertion of a nation governed by Buddhist law; the movement provoked conflict and persecution (McMullin 1984; Stone 1994); Buddhists supported Japanese imperialist aggression before and during World War II (Victoria 1997). In the contemporary period, militant political activist monks used violence for political ends in Sri Lanka (Tambiah 1992). Christians, of course, produced the crusades; killing for Christ in the medieval period became a heroic act of piety. To be sure, pious popes inspired and led these social movements (Stark 2001)."

In this paragraph the authors cover the gamut of religious violence. Cheers.PelleSmith 22:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I think your source is dumping together a very large number of very different things, to say the least.
Ion Zone (talk) 22:28, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
That may be true but synthesis is acceptable and even to be expected from reliable sources. After all, if they did not synthesize the knowledge available to them, how could they say anything worthwhile that had not already been said by others. Where synthesis becomes unacceptable is when a Wikipedia editor performs it. This is because Wikipedia editors are not reliable sources and should not engage in original research. The relevant policies and guidelines are WP:OR, WP:SYNTH and WP:RS. It's Ok for you to disagree with Wellman and Tokuno but you must present quotes from opposing sources that are at least as reliable as they are. --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 22:56, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The problem here is that the author is taking a mess of wildly different things, puréeing them all together, and calling it a case for religion being inherently violent. Religion is not a single homogeneous thing and there are considerable problems with the 'X people belong to religious group Y and support\commit a violent act, therefore religion is violent' argument. The quote perpetuates the idea that religion is a single easily-definable thing. It is not.
There is also a world of difference between 'God is on our side' and a thing being justified by scripture.
Ion Zone (talk) 21:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


In case anyone was wondering a search for "religious violence" in ATLA (the major religion database at least in the United States) turns up 76 references, and that does not even include any related searches, but only ones with that specific term in the title. Most of these references are recent, and some refer to books about religious violence but the point is that this term is certainly notable in academia. In other words I think there is much hope to make a good entry here.PelleSmith 03:04, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Implementing Stubbify result of AfD[edit]

Given that the Afd outcome of "stubbify" was arguably only partially implemented, text needs to be sourced in order to be kept. The idea that eating animals and body-piercing (among other examples of behavior generally done and accepted in Western societies) represent forms of violence is not universally accepted. I intend to apply the following rule regarding "universal acceptance": If the article on the consensual BDSM community (and similar articles) cites notable opinion that a particular activity is not regarded as a form of violence in that context, I will delete statements on this article which declare that activity to be a form of violence as unattributed fact. This article can state that certain people regard certain activities as forms of violence, but the "violence" status of solo/consensual activities in particular is subject to dispute. Best, --Shirahadasha 18:23, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I think you make a good point that needs to be more throughly thought through. However, it is not helpful to essentialize animal sacrifice as simply the consumption of animal flesh. Besides that what you seem to be saying is that there is no objective measure of violence, that the very idea of violence is socially constructed, and as such value judgments about activities that are construed as violent by one group are frequently contested by other groups. One possible solution here is to be more precise about what we mean by violence. Would that be an improvement? Violence is not always a contested term that is inherently seen as judgmental ... take for instance the description of a "violent storm system." I would prefer being precise instead of pandering to cultural politics, even if we remain sensitive to these types of issues.PelleSmith 21:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I propose to merge Sikh Extremism here and shrink it greatly.[edit]

Sikh Extremism has proven a magnet for anti-Sikh sentiment. I propose to cut it to its key points, and merge it here, leaving a redirect to the (relatively short) section, tentatively title Sikh separatist violence.- sinneed (talk) 00:10, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I am going to make a broader search for where this should go. This may not be the best spot.- sinneed (talk) 00:15, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Christian Terrorism[edit]

"Terrorism" is defined as killing civilians by non-government groups for the purpose of destabilizing a government or to further a political end. [1]

"Violence" is defined as "an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence" [2]

This article is poorly named, because violence is defined as unlawfully using or threatening deadly force, while terrorism is likewise unlawful killing of civilians by non-government individuals or groups for political purposes. Both terms rest on the assumption that there is a distinction between lawful killing and unlawful killing, and that there is an objective source of law. Both terms are also, therefore, loaded words that contain a negative moral connotation.

It would be more objective to use the term "killing" or "bloodshed" instead of the terms "violence" and "terrorism" here.

Law is always rooted in a concept of right and wrong which is fundamentally religious in nature. Shariah law encourages Muslims to follow the Sunna, or example, of Mohamed, who said:

I have been commanded to wage war against mankind until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and that they establish prostration prayer, and pay the alms-tax [i.e., convert to Islam]. If they do so, their blood and property are protected [Sahih Muslim C9B1N31; also in Sahih Bukhari B2N24].

So, from the Islamic ethical framework, a suicide bomber is a "martyr", not a "terrorist" because his act of bloodshed is positively sanctioned by the Shariah law.

Likewise, Christians who serve in war who do not use force against non-combatants are not considered guilty of violence by their framework of law (with the exception of certain sects), because they are fulfilling their sanctioned duty of the state in defending the nation.

The section entitled "Christian Terrorism" currently gives several examples of war and political oppression by Christian governments, but it gives no examples of terrorism or violence, properly defined. Nor does it demonstrate that the alleged killing and genocide were positively sanctioned by the Christian religion.

What exactly is this article supposed to be about? Is it just a platform for anyone to draw up a laundry list of killing by various governments to be attributed to a particular religion as violence?

It would make more sense to talk about how all religions advocate a moral law, which civil laws are inevitably based on, and what kind of killing those religious laws condemn and what kind they advocate.

Humans have never been a consistent lot. We all know what we should and shouldn't do, but we all do the wrong thing at times. So drawing up a list of violent acts by followers of particular religions does not logically implicate the religions themselves unless the religion specifically endorses that kind of killing.

I would suggest that if the goal is an article about what religions teach about killing, it should be renamed "Religious Killing". If the goal is to give examples of unlawful killing done in the name of religion, then we need to remove all of the examples of killing by governments in the name of religion, and use real examples of terrorism and violence. But you can't do that from a Neutral Point of View, because that requires assuming an objective source of law. Ie., you can criticize Muslim terrorists from a Christian framework. But from a Muslim framework these acts are heroism, not terrorism.

Cadwallader (talk) 02:50, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree completely.

leksu789 (talk) 18:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I disagree with your chosen definition of violence and offer an alternative:

 1.the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc
 2.powerful, untamed, or devastating force ⇒ "the violence of the sea"
 3.great strength of feeling, as in language, etc; fervour unjust, unwarranted, or unlawful display of force, esp such as tends to overawe or intimidate 

[3] (Note that your choice is the fourth definition here.)

I think the first definition here describes violence more accurately. Thus, violence is separated from the subjectivty of law. I do agree though with your questioning of the whole article. I assume I'm not the only one but I actually came across this article searching (without further thought) for a comparision of the crimes of all the Religions. It seems though that most if not all crimes in the name of religion were/are politically motivated. ArticunoWebon (talk) 22:04, 10 October 2012 (UTC)


Is a RS? I think not.Blitzland (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:01, 14 October 2010 (UTC).

Good summary by Charles Selengut[edit]

I'm in a rush to get out the door but I wanted to put this here so that I or someone can work this into the lead: Selengut, Charles. Sacred fury: understanding religious violence. p. 1. 

--Richard S (talk) 20:12, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View?[edit]

This article seems to heavily favour the minority position that religions are inherently violent. It does not seem to treat this as a debate, but rests on the conclusion of popular critics of religion, without providing any dissenting opinions.

This questionable neutrality doesn't seem limited to the "Religion as inherently violent" section, (should that even feature as it's own major section?) The discussion of Christianity is lop-sided, where a Sam Harris quote is about faith inspiring violence is dropped right into the middle of the tiny note about religious pacifism. The section on Abrahamic religions begins with a quote that once again frames religions as violent and introduces an unproven concept of 'struggle' with secularism. What purpose does that serve? Other than to paint Abrahamic religions as antagonistic.

Finally, why is this article part of WikiProject Atheism? It does not provide any information about atheism. Is the intention of the article to make religion look bad, and thus promote atheism? Doesn't that suggest a bias to a certain point of view? Gibbs wiki (talk) 09:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Re: the view of religion as "inherently violent"... this is, IMO, the critical debate to be presented to the reader (NB: WP:NPOV dictates that we cannot take a side in this debate but simply present the different POVs without giving undue weight to any of them). There are many who would like to argue that religion is just an excuse for violence and that religion actually work towards peace. That view should be included when we can find a suitable reliable source to support it. However, there are others who argue that religion, in particular, Abrahamic religions are inherently violent. I am responsible for inserting the text in this article to that effect. Upon reviewing the text, I realize that I haven't presented the argument fully. I am going to bring over more text from the "Christianity as a violent religion" section of Christianity and violence. Please note that I am not trying to argue that Christianity is a violent religion. I am merely trying to present both sides of this debate. --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to add an undue weight tag and swap the wiki-project atheism tag for a wiki-project Religion one. The way the article is currently makes it seem like very large chunks of it were written with the express purpose of pushing the POV that religion is inherently violent. This article (and many like it) need to spend way less time repeating entirely unsubstantiated minority opinions and an awful lot more time being neutral and informative.
Ion Zone (talk) 13:21, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Hey Ion Zone. More power to you! Thanks for the edits. I agree that this page is kind of retarded and very biased. That is why I changed the whole section of "Religion as inherently violent" to a more neutral "Religion, secularity, and violence" and added a grip of references that show that religion is diverse as secularity and violence. There is not point to isolate religious violence as if it is unique or different. In reality secular violence is the norm and religious violence is very rare and usually religious violence is secular-based. I am a researcher of secular violence and the secular aspects of religious violence so I can relate to your views. If you look at other stupid pages on Wikipedia like the "religious wars" you will see how sloppy and unattended these pages are. It looks like some just wanted to push a view of religion and violence and left if half done in a sloppy manner. Maybe I'll edit it later and add more sources, but if you feel like it go and add some sense in to the nonsense here at Wikipedia. Good thing you got rid of the "Atheist project" crap. I didn't even notice it before. They have no right to place their tags especially when no section of the "religious violence" page is even dedicated to manslaughter atheist have caused in history. In a sense, it would be like having the tag from the Ku Klux Klan on an African American article. Not so promising of objectivity or neutrality. Ramos1990 (talk) 17:49, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
hey, thanks. ^^ I agree there is a lot of sloppy POV pushing on pages that discuss these issues. More often than not they seem to think all religion has the same outlook and ethos as Christianity, which is very confusing and more than a little daft (which reminds me, it should really be a Wikiproject Religion tag as it is a general article). All in all, the bulk of this article is nothing more than people expressing opinions on the subject with very little (or nothing) in the way of evidence or research to back up their claims. I think it would be very helpful if some of us went through all these articles and weeded out anything and everything that is unquantified, unbalanced, or just plain bigoted one way or the other. Good luck on you research, by the way!
Ion Zone (talk) 14:42, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Making this article less POV[edit]

I would like to remove certain parts of this article that are simply assertions without any evidence to back them up. These assertions are POV and are radically unbalancing the article. For the moment, the two things I would like to alter are thus:

Removal of the word 'irrational' from the following sentence:
Tanner asserts that many who have no particular religious beliefs would even argue that violence is a highly likely if not inevitable consequence of the irrationality of religious precepts."
As this is not, itself, a direct quote it comes over as a POV attack on religious believers and thus should be removed or indicated to be a word he himself used. It is ridiculous that I have to bring up an edit this tiny, but it got reverted.
The second section is an unquantified, unevidenced, statement in a very large section with no contrary views provided:
Some critics of religion (in general) such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins go farther and argue that religions do tremendous harm to society in three ways:[1][page needed][2][page needed]
* Religions sometimes use war, violence, and terrorism to promote their religious goals
* Religious leaders contribute to secular wars and terrorism by endorsing or supporting the violence
* Religious fervor is exploited by secular leaders to support war and terrorism
I do not really want to start some huge argument but these three points need to at least be countered by an opposing view, such as:
* Secular and atheistic authorities use war, violence, and terrorism to promote their own agendas. They will continue to manipulate people, with or without the availability of religion as a tool. The ability to manipulate people's beliefs so that they follow a cause is not the fault of religion itself, the teachings of which are usually contradicted by the manipulators.
* Secular wars need no specifically religious endorsement and regularly operate with and without the support of non-religious ideologies. Leaders of anti-religious regimes are well known to wage aggressive and murderous campaigns against religious believers for non-religious ideological reasons.
* Non-religious ideological fervor is commonly and regularly exploited to support war and other aggressive acts. People who wish to wage war and terror will find any way to gather support. The use of religion as a tool of fostering support for a war is simply one of convenience, religious leaders regularly and loudly decry people who preform this kind of manipulation [3][4].
* Remarkably few examples exist of wars waged for specifically religious reasons[5]
Any suggestions?
Ion Zone (talk) 22:27, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Hey Ion Zone, I think your additions would be good on the "Religion, Secularity, and violence" section of this article. Just add some citations for points 1 and 2 and also clarify the Encyclopedia of War citation. The Dawkins and Hitchens citations should be removed from the article since they are not reliable sources. They are polemic writings by non-experts on the topic.
For the sake of neutrality, maybe word your points in a bit more neutral way like "Secular authorities, including atheist authorities, have used war to promote their own..." and "Wars that are secular need no specifically...."
Other than this, I think you can edit this page well. In a sense, I already provided sources for some of your points in the same section. I wrote the rest of the section after the 3 points from Dawkins and Hitchens to balance out the section. As you can see not many people are watching this page so you can actually contribute to the page as much as you want.
I would suggest to you to edit the relevant sections by pieces or sections. Don't edit the whole article in one piece since your edits could be easily reverted by an editor that doesn't like one line or word that you add on or subtract from. Other than this go nuts on this.Ramos1990 (talk) 20:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Ramos. :) I'll go and add this in stages and make the adjustments you suggested. I have added a couple of citations, but if you or anyone else could help me find some better ones that quote those statistics a bit more directly, that would be absolutely awesome. :)
Ion Zone (talk) 11:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Ok, me and Ramos have made the "Religion, secularity, and violence" much more even handed. PLEASE don't just blindly revert it!!! Talk to us about the section if you have a problem with the balance, we can fix it if need be.
Ion Zone (talk) 14:48, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Hey Good job on the edits. My hat goes off to you. A few sentences and citations seem redundant, but I will correct them since what you wrote and what I had written are saying similar things. When you use any citation go to the "edit" template, use the "Cite" -> "Named References" and look to see if others have cited the same source. That way you don't cite a book twice on the "References" section. See "Help" on "Additional use of same reference". Also in your wording, I suggest more neutrality and just stating the facts. Words like "remarkably" or "surprisingly" or "correctly" or other words like these can be dangerous since it may show bias see policy in Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
In terms of sources with statistics on secular wars, "Death By Government" and "Statistics of democide: genocide and mass murder since 1900" both by R.J. Rummel provide genocidal data. I have cited "Death By Government" in the article. You can google book it or buy them from amazon. Very valuable resources to have handy. Also you can also check Professor Rummel's website which has a grip of tables and statistics on genocides at . You can be a watchdog for this article since it is neglected and you can monitor changes people make to it to ensure that it represents all sides on violence.Ramos1990 (talk) 09:59, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Ramos, I think you may have done most of the work though. Thanks for the tips, also. The stuff on 'democide' looks very valuable as a resource and I am currently considering getting them. I will keep this page on my watch list also.
Ion Zone (talk) 13:06, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry to disagree but, IMHO, the section titled "Religion, secularity and violence" is very badly written. The first two paragraphs are sort of OK although the second paragraph rambles a bit and hits a bunch of points without any logical flow from one idea to the next.

The remaining paragraphs starting with William Cavanaugh are just a mess. There seems to be no structure to this section. NB: I am not saying that the points are bad although there does seem to be a bit to much verbiage. The real problem is that it is hard to see what the section is trying to say except that there is a lot of verbiage arguing that secularity is just as bad as religion where violence is concerned.

It might be better to look for a single author who provides a framework for discussing religion and secularism relative to the question of violence. Once we have established a framework, we could then present the points according to that framework.

--Pseudo-Richard (talk) 05:25, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

So, I went back through the edit history to the revision before Ion Zone and Ramos1990 made their recent edits and discovered that there is sort of a framework provided by the criticisms made by Hitchens and Dawkins viz.

  • Religions sometimes use war, violence, and terrorism to promote their religious goals
  • Religious leaders contribute to secular wars and terrorism by endorsing or supporting the violence
  • Religious fervor is exploited by secular leaders to support war and terrorism

Now, I know you guys don't like Hitchens and Dawkins and don't consider them experts but my point here is that the above three points provide you with something to organize the defense around. If you present those three points and the sourced rebuttals to them, you have a logical structure to the section.

I'm not saying that those three points are the only way to structure the section but, until someone proposes a better framework, that at least gives us something to work with for the time being.

I'm going to restore the text describing the criticisms made by Hitchens and Dawkins and then try to organize the remaining text around those points.

As I said, I'm open to using a different framework but it's really hard to read the current revision of the section because of the lack of any perceptible structure.

--Pseudo-Richard (talk) 05:34, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Pseudo Richard, the frame work looks ok and agree to keep criticism of religion points as a way to make a frame work, that is why I added the points by Cavanaugh to contrast with the original 3 points attributed to Dawkins and Hitchens. Since Hitchens and Dawkins are non experts, use another source(s) to bring about those points. I will add that Hitchens and Dawkins are non-experts on these issues , but encourage you to find an academic source for these points. Maybe "Holy Horrors" of Avalos' "Fighting Words" would do the trick. Academics are incredibly biased against "religion" so it should be easy for you find some article or academic reference to support these points. I will also re-add examples of secular wars and conflicts since this is for readers to be able to contrast "religious" examples with "secular" examples of violence. Other wise, people will NOT make the connections since religious violence is more emphasize than secular violence in popular culture. Overall, good break up of the whole section Pseudo Richard. It looks good and in terms of the use of too many words (I think it does look wordy), you can unify a few statements to make the points. Ramos1990 (talk) 18:08, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
There does, very much, need to be a proper section on secular violence. Secular violence is the mainstream and failing to include it simply perpetuates the myth that religion is the source of all violence in the world (or close to it - Dawkins calls religion "The root of all evil"). This is absolutely laughable when you think about it and look at the facts (instead of just propping up popular myths with shaky rhetoric and charisma as people like Dawkins and Harris do).
Ion Zone (talk) 18:36, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Agreed Ion Zone. Maybe a whole article on "secular violence" would be needed and you can make a special section on violence committed by atheists too. It makes sense to emphasize everything, perhaps a notable mentions can be given on the violence page.Ramos1990 (talk) 19:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the atheist violence section is a good idea for an article on its own. An article on secular violence would end up being pretty freaking huge though and we need to work out how to tackle it in advance. I don't think it would be possible to list more than one or two key examples on a page like that, what with all the different sections, summaries and redirects to other pages.
Ion Zone (talk) 20:14, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Secular violence[edit]

My removal of the irrelevant section on "Secular violence" has been reverted, with the edit summary "Secular violence is not religious, but since no section exists on this, it must remain as a contrasting section". The reason for that supposed (indeed, spurious) "must" is not given. What next: a section on golf-related violence? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:48, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

What's the problem? Most who speak of "religious violence" use it in an irrational fashion as a blanket term for a phenomena that is inherently diverse. The reality is that "religious violence" is very much secular (See Robert Pape's citation on Muslim Suicide terrorism for example) But many NEVER emphasize that. When you consider "religious" violence what is the direct opposite of it? Please inform us on this.
The fact that people talk of "religious violence" and lump everything into it, but never provide a contrasting type of violence only shows how narrow minded and unrealistic people are in looking at the nature of violence. Your absurd golf-related violence only shows how you lump everything into "religious" as if it has defining features and as if it is uniform in all places and cultures, but when it comes to secular violence you actually break it up into components. (Read Myth of Religious Violence citation for more on how this lopsided thinking is prevalent and fundamentally absurd). Surely, if people are going to lump things into "religious" then it is mandatory to lump things that are clearly "secular" too to contrast with. Otherwise it would be no different than when people talking about "Black criminals" and "the rest of the criminals". What kind of distinction is that? The fact that most of these "religious" pages like terrorism, war, and violence were created by atheists shows how retarded their thinking is. By your way of thinking, a Catholic Mafia member who kills another person for turf, must be an incident of religious violence because he is a catholic. Many people think this way. That is why we need to inject empirical reality to this page and offer a contrast. Ramos1990 (talk) 19:53, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
tl;dr. Please don't presume to know what or how I think. If there are problems with the article, by all means address them; but not by including irrelevancies. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:16, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I have reinstated Pigsonthewing's deletion of the section. I think it is reasonable to include a sourced argument that the term "religious violence" unfairly maligns religion as a source of violence when much violence is secular and even so-called "religious violence" is often driven by secular motivations such as economics or ethnic hatred. That said, just listing a bunch of examples of secular violence without providing the accompanying arguments is inappropriate. --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 22:46, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Andy, I apologize if I caused offense. However, your reasons for removing this section were not convincing. I have no problem with inserting a secular violence section with examples. You do. As such please provide reasons for removal of this section. Seeing as there is no contrasting article to "religious violence", it seems just to include this somewhere in this article. Where else can we put it? I am open to suggestions.
Richard, I reverted your edit and made section separate. No contrasting article to "religious violence" exists. As such, this needs to be noted somewhere. The examples provided were in the same spirit as the "Conflict and Wars" section which just gave a bunch of examples. The original claim was examples, not frequency. But since you mentioned it I added it too. You should give a citation for the first "conflicts and wars" paragraph if you wish to be consistent your reasons for the last reversion. Other than that good catch and keep up the good work. Ramos1990 (talk) 23:27, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

NPOV: Islam and violence.[edit]

Six paragraphs for the most violent religion in the history of mankind, really? (talk) 09:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC) Keep your bigotry away. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

White Supremacy[edit]

No KKK? No skinhead representation? There needs to be at least a link added somewhere on the page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Greetings, I looked at the KKK page and saw that they were not a religious group overall, but simply white supremacists with cultural views that are not of the religious source. Their conflicts were generally against any immigrants or racial minorities that threatened whites which were the majority. They seem to be very diverse to the point that they had no overarching religion or fundamental religious texts as their source for their white supremacist beliefs. They are not a religious organization and their origins lie in nationalist and racial lines instead. They also do not have a fundamental text for their activities or religious laws like the Taliban has for themselves via Sharia Law. For one thing, the Bible is mainly about Jews and other racial minorities including foreigners, so it is extremely difficult to see that this would be a source for white supremacist views. This being the case, I am removing the link from the article. In terms of skinheads, they are also not a religious body or group. Their mentality is more nationalistic and anti-foreigners than it is in any sense religious. --Ramos1990 (talk) 20:53, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

A Completely illegitimate Source[edit]

"Zionist leaders sometimes used religious references as justification for the violent treatment of Arabs in Palestine.[79]" This sentence is backed up by a Palestinian historian who is an active member in the PLO, which is Completely biased and full of pov. it's the same as claiming everything the israeli government says about the conflict is true, so it cannot, at any circumstances be used as a reliable source. the first claim that "zionist leaders sometimes used religious references as justifications..." is completely untrue, and there are no cases in israeli government at all of using a religious references to justify a law, an act, or anything else in that matter. and for a claim as bold as this, a quote of an israeli official which justify and act based on religious references is necessary. if the intention was of not an official government but a religious leader, it needs to be stated + a source to the quote. as for the second part: "...violent treatment of arabs in palestine" - without even getting into how debatable is the claim of violent treatment of arabs beyond 1967 borders, the claim here on arabs in palestine is again reeks of pov, because first, the country in its 67 borders is called israel and not palestine, and the Arabs citizens inside israel are not treated violently. while it's again debatable how fully equally they are treated, they are certainly not treated with violence, and if you insist on that, a proper source for that claim with clear saying that no one was punished for that is needed. and again, if the meaning was treatment beyond 67 borders, it should be stated, again with a source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:07, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

You can rewrite the statement if you wish so that it conforms with what the source actually says. Sometimes wikipedia editors do not represent the sources well and make them say what they didn't. If the source does not explicitly say that, then you can remove it or copyedit so that it conforms. The main criteria here is if the source is reliable (academic, notable, relevant, etc), not if the statement it says is true or false. Since everyone has different opinions, one can also cite a reliable source that disagrees with such a statement right next to it. For neutrality it is reasonable to have diverse views on any issue. --Ramos1990 (talk) 17:16, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Religious cleansing merge[edit]

I suggest that the stub religious cleansing be merged into this article; it is a specific term of art for a particular type of religious violence. It seems to make sense to merge here, as there seems to be little movement at that stub to expand & reference it, but it could be more adiquatly worked on & put in context in this article. -- (talk) 17:22, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Unnecessary deletion of "Violent Verses in Religious Texts" page[edit]

Recently I created a new page on violent verses in religious texts for the list of all the verses which are violent towards disbelievers, women, homosexuals etc. but the user "User:Cindamuse" unnecessarily deleted it citing it duplicate to this page! Could someone please restore that page as that page has nothing to do with for or against views towards different religious texts but is simply a list of verses from various religious texts. Could someone also please issue warning to the concerned user of handling the Wikipedia in a dictatorial manner without abiding any existing framework or guidelines and handling it as if this is his/her personal property to fulfill his/her whims and fancies. So someone please restore it ASAP to restore the neutrality and encyclopedic nature of Wikipedia. Longlastingpeace (talk) 18:52, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Heah There is so suspect Tone that has snuck into this article[edit]

I am reading some strange stuff in here, like someone's person essay or opinion piece. How did that get past editors? I just deleted the Islam section but there is also a Christian section with this kind of personal review. Written like, People say Christianity is ... but people of all faiths do what they want to do. Is this a joke?>--Inayity (talk) 11:09, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (2007). God is not Great. Twelve. ISBN 0446579807. 
  2. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Bantam Books. ISBN 1430312300. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Encyclopaedia of War
Right,[4] it was written like an essay with a few citations that are primary. Bladesmulti (talk) 11:36, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Got to keep an eye on these articles b/c someone was clearly having a blast on here. And when I last left this article it was scholarly. --Inayity (talk) 13:25, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes we don't have many active users, who contribute on these types of pages, anymore. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:02, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

There is a very similar Wikipedia listing, "Religious War", and it makes important expansions on the percentage of religious wars.[edit]

This article appears to quote a Christian website on the topic. I feel like the other article is more thoroughly researched. It reads "In their Encyclopedia of Wars, authors Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod attempt a comprehensive listing of wars in history. They document 1763 wars overall, of which Rich Deem On his Christian website claims that 123 (7%) have been classified to involve a religious conflict although this is not stated by Axelrod & Philipps themselves.[3]

The Encyclopedia of Wars has approximately 1745 wars listed (some wars, such as WWII have up to ten entries, relating to specific campaigns within the war) and identifies well over 420 as being religious in nature (a quarter), and of those religious wars, Christianity and Islam both feature in well over half. Between them, Christianity and Islam have been involved in over 85% of the religious wars. Analysis of the wars documented in the encyclopedia, reveals that since the Christian era, there have only been 440 years without a religious war; and the last year without a religious war was 1080."

I don't, however, feel I am competent/qualified to edit this article.

A Friendly Nerd (talk) 04:08, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi A Friendly Nerd, it seems the wording is a bit weird in that article and does have issues of WP:SYN or WP:OR since the Encyclopedia does not really classify things as "religious" war or "non-religious" war. None of the % or #s are stated by the authors (420, 85%, over half, etc), so for those #s, one would have to find actual page numbers or a source that mentions them. Other wise it is Original research or Synthesis (against wikipedia policy). I will make a more appropriate correction on this article so that it is more neutral. Mayan1990 (talk) 08:14, 12 February 2015 (UTC)


I propose to rename the article Religion and violence, as it is neutral and correspond to the main category of this article. --Rédacteur Tibet (talk) 17:23, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Severe POV issues with "Terrorism and Islam" section[edit]

The paragraph starting with "Terrorism refers to terrorism by Muslim" seems very POV to me. First of all, "Terrorism refers to terrorism by Muslim[citation needed] or individuals and motivated by either politics, religion or both." doesn't make sense as a sentence. Either say something like "Terrorism refers to terrorism by individuals or organizations motivated by either politics or religion." or perhaps something like "Islamic terrorism refers to terrorism by Muslim motivated by religious goals." The sentence "As an ideology in the 20th century, only Communism, with its murder and mass killings, is responsible for more deaths and violence than is Islam" conflates not only conflates Islam and communism with actions taken by extremists (or particular political leaders in the case of Communism) - i.e. the ideologies themselves do not necessarily/objectively endorse the violence that has been practiced by some of their adherents - but also is inappropriate here because it does not only refer to acts of terrorism, but all violence and death related to those ideologies, which is overly general for this section. The claim that Communism and Islam are the ideologies with the highest and second-highest sources of death and violence in the 20th century is also unsubstantiated with any sources/evidence, especially of a NPOV nature. The sentence "In terms of Islamic violence, both ancient and modern history are replete with Islamic intolerance and ensuing violence against every other ideology, such as modern violence against Western institutions, as well as historical violence against Hindus, and perpetual violence against Christians.[82][83][84] are a few examples." again not only inappropriate by speaking more general than terrorism, it also makes generalizations by saying suggesting that "Islamic intolerance" (a term that I see as POV loaded, but I am not sure if others will agree with me; the phrase "replete with" also seems POV loaded as well to me) is performed against "EVERY other ideology". I also want to bring attention to the sources cited for the previous sentence. With the possible exception of Raymond Ibrahim's site, the sites given are POV/biased sites. I am not contesting that violence against "western institutions" (inappropriately linked to the List of Islamic Terrorist Attacks' page which is not limited to Western institutions), Christians, and Hindus have and do occur, but I am of the opinion that difference sources, as well as less loaded phrasing than "violence against Western institutions, as well as historical violence against Hindus, and perpetual violence against Christians", should be used. And once again, even if the sentences phrasings were fine (which they clearly are not, as I explained above), this section is supposted to be about "terrorism", not any kind of Muslim-linked violence.

In the following paragraph, "Despite the few severe sects, Islam is not a fundamentally violent religion." is POV and doesn't belong here regardless of truth value. The following "Certain groups hold that the Quran should be interpreted literally, while others believe that with the changing course of history, interpretation should change too." is a verifiable true statement, but also doesn't belong here. Raigerzero (talk) 06:30, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

I would have to agree. The topic is terrorism, not religious intolerance which more properly describes Islamic POV toward other religions and ideologies. Nobody disputes that Islam motivated several centuries of religious wars but this is not terrorism either. Dimadick (talk) 21:16, 2 January 2016 (UTC)