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Religious Terrorism and Extrimism


Religious terrorism is a form of religious violence in which terrorism is employed to attain spiritual desires or in which religious identity is a factor. Terrorism in the contemporary era has more frequently been founded on anarchist and revolutionary politics after the loss of notions such as the divine right of monarchs and the development of nationalism. However, there has been a rise in terrorist activities inspired by religion since 1980. Many conditions and causative elements contribute to the worldwide expansion of terrorism. Criminals’ demands against authorities often take different shapes, reflecting the ultimate ambitions of extreme people. The most common expressions of extremism include types of ideological, nationalist, and religious terrorism.

Example of Extremist Group(s).

Extremists often engage in terrorist acts motivated by their religious beliefs; the Boko Haram group is one example of an organization that fits this profile. According to CNN Library (2019), the goals and techniques of its followers are described. The primary purpose that BH terrorists strive for is to propagate the concepts of Islamic law across Africa, specifically in Nigeria. Mohammed Yusuf established this group in 2002, and ever since then, radicals have carried out a series of terrorist assaults, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians (CNN Library, 2019). Boko Haram has drawn the attention not only of local authorities but also of global organizations, and the remedies taken by the military are a response to the crimes that have been committed there. The group members fight a never-ending battle and continuously try to enlist younger individuals to help them achieve their objectives. Although they have not yet completed their ultimate goal, violations against civilians continue to occur regularly. As Islam’s sphere of influence grew over Africa, Nigeria became the birthplace of a terrorist organization that would later expand across the continent.

According to CNN Library (2019), this gathering is compared to the Taliban and is found to have many similarities with this violent organization. The lack of a single religion made it possible for radicals to form a unity under the banner of Islam and enlist many interested parties, which widened the scope of possibilities and influence that could be exerted. The army of Boko Haram is continually being resupplied with fresh recruits, which makes the war against the local security forces particularly difficult. Consequently, the religious motivations behind terrorist acts are the primary factor. When discussing Boko Haram in Nigeria, it is essential to keep in mind that the beliefs advocated by local religious terrorists are founded on the premise of the need for violence that was presented by Webber and Kruglanski (2018). This is an important point to keep in mind. (Webber, Kruglanski, 2018) The authors use the example of ISIS as proof that this method is counterproductive (Webber & Kruglanski, 2018). They believe that its rebels acknowledge the illegality of their conduct within the framework of Islamic law, which is opposed to the philosophy of this organization. As a direct consequence of this, members of Boko Haram engage in extreme behavior and believe that the use of violence is the only way to achieve their objective. As a result, the notion that was offered could assist in explaining the activities that local terrorists do.


When individual extremist groups’ terrorist activities enjoy the backing of the people, it is difficult to promote democratic principles. The investigation into the terrorist organization Boko Haram demonstrates that leaders should include the most significant number of individuals they can. The extremism of ideology, nationalism, and religion are the pillars upon which this group is founded to achieve its distinct and unique objective. On the other hand, their strategies are comparable in that the commission of terrorist actions is intended to get attention and create a politically unstable atmosphere. Boko Haram’s promotion of religious extremism results from the group’s radical approach to planting religion and people’s desire for political violence as the only conceivable form of resistance.


CNN Library. (2019). Boko Haram fast facts. CNN. Web.

Webber, D., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2018). The social psychological makings of a terrorist. Current Opinion in Psychology, 19, 131-134. Web.


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