tjir_v1n4aca01 - An Evaluation of Violence from Islams...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 16 An Evaluation of Violence from Islam’s Perspective Alparslan Açikgenç* This short essay is not going to attempt a detailed analysis of violence, neither from the perspective of human and social sciences nor that of religion per se. It shall rather argue that the psychological basis of the phenomenon of aggression is found within the animal nature that is common to all animals, and that it is not found outside this nature. Therefore, any analysis concerning the nature of this phenomenon cannot be carried out sociologically. However, its reflections within a society can be studied from this perspective. Hence, violence exists only in the animal kingdom and it must be studied from this perspective if we wish to understand its real nature. On the basis of this argument, our essay shall attempt to understand how Islam wants to remedy it. We may, furthermore, argue in this vein that aggression belongs to the animal nature and not to any particular mode of human activity though it is carried to that activity by humans. No religion is inherently violent; if we do not remedy our nature we carry it into the religion and add an interpretation of the religion to justify our violence on the basis of that religion. When someone observes this from the outside he/she interprets the religion as being violent. Let us try to investigate this from the perspective of human psychology and see its relevance in Islam. Violence has, in fact, become a global problem in later decades not because there was no violence in the past but because it has become so widespread and diversified that now it is a global threat to human dignity and peace. If we have been living with violence for centuries and
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 17 it is something that has been with us since our existence on earth, we need to examine the exact nature of violence. We need to do this because most cases of violence seem to be done for a cause which itself vehemently opposes violence. This means that two mutually exclusive phenomena are brought together in many cases to defend an end. Religion is one of those phenomena which I believe opposes violence essentially. If we are examining the nature of violence from the perspective of Islam it may prove useful first to understand Islam’s conception of religion. In general we may say that Islam sees religion as the Divine Guidance for humanity. It is clear from this that religion is God-given. Therefore, by definition human beings do not have an authority to establish religion. In other words, humans cannot make and unmake religion. Although religion is a Divine Guidance for humanity, it is not the kind of guidance that gives us
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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tjir_v1n4aca01 - An Evaluation of Violence from Islams...

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