DTEG Assignment - Religion As A Motivator For Hate 03 APRIL...

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Religion As A Motivator For Hate 03 APRIL 2011
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The power of prejudice and its use of religious principles to fuel terrorist action is a dangerous confluence. Religion in itself does not incite or instill terrorist actions, but when paired with prejudicial and passionate beliefs a dangerous breeding ground develops. Prejudice tends to form or develop when a group or person perceives an inequality between them and another group or person. The former group perceives the latter group as more powerful, more influential, possessing something that elevates them above their own group and is an injustice. In the 18 th Century a movement calling themselves the Anti-Masonic movement formed and “… was responding to, then, was what they regarded as an abusive, unfair, secret society bent upon their own enrichment.” (George and Wilcox 1996, p.17). The Anti-Masonic movement was responding to their prejudices against the Free Masons whose typical members involved the “social elite” and “…were regarded as a secret society with powers far beyond their numbers…”(George and Wilcox 1996, p.17). Prejudice has much more to do with perception than reality. In essence perception becomes reality, and prejudices develop as a result. This prejudice that develops from a perception sometimes takes the form of a stereotype. In terms of Barkun’s (1997) interpretation of the Christian Identity movement, the stereo-typical Jew was demonized as the biological offspring of Satan. These prejudices and stereotypes do not have a positive impact. Prejudices tend to represent a certain closed mindedness and a refusal to accept any evidence that may be contrary to the beliefs already being held. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 you could say there was definitely a strong prejudice that Muslims, of Middle Eastern descent, residing in the United States were dangerous. Regardless of the fact that the majority of Muslims are peaceful citizens and that a just a few contributed to these terrorist attacks. Nonetheless, an innocent Muslim man was brutalized in his taxi cab by a prejudiced
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group. This reaction, just one of several, shows how dangerous and violent prejudices can be
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2011 for the course PUBLIC HEA 423222 taught by Professor Prof.wrage during the Winter '10 term at American Public University.

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DTEG Assignment - Religion As A Motivator For Hate 03 APRIL...

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