Moral convictions of terrorists refer to the beliefs that terrorist’s acts are pure and holy. According to terrorists, all actions taken against others are justified. Terrorists always believe that their actions are for the better of the society (Martin, 2009). As such, this paper will discuss the moral convictions that terrorists use in undertaking terrorist acts.
There are two major moral convictions of terrorists. The first moral conviction is based on long history of injustice against certain people (Ravinder, 2005).
Acts of violence, oppression, and betrayal that was done to people in the past can trigger acts of violence (Martin, 2009). When a certain group has been oppressed in way or the other, it is more likely that the offended group will engage in terrorist activities against the other group to ease emotional pain.
Acts of terrorism can occur against another country if there is a history of violence or oppression. Most developing countries associate their state of underdevelopment to have emerged because of colonization. Past cases of slavery, capitalism, and violence can make developing countries to rise against the developed countries in order to gain justice for what was done against them many years ago(Martin, 2009).
In some countries, “revolutionists” may resort to acts of terrorism with an aim of making the government to stop oppressing its population. In such a case, the state is perceived as the enemy of the people. Terrorists use this as a moral conviction to justify that violence and death is legitimate (Martin, 2009).
The second moral conviction is based on religious beliefs and moral standards. This happens when a certain group of people feels that they have high moral standards than others. It may be a clan, ethnic group, or a religious group. In this case, the moral conviction is about purity and moral values (Martin, 2009).
Violence against other groups based on religious or moral difference is termed as holy war aimed at gaining favor from God (Martin, 2010). The war is aimed at fighting the evil. Terrorists who use religion as moral conviction to engage in violence believe that by fighting evil, they will be awarded in paradise (Martin, 2010).
Religious terrorism is perceived as righteous and pure. There has been a number of terrorism attacks by Muslim groups. Mostly, the Muslim groups fight people of different religious belief. They believe that any act of violence against an individual of a different religion earns them favor from God. This has resulted in emergence of different terrorist groups causing fear and deaths (Ravinder, 2005).
A good example is Somalia, which is now a terrorist destination. Somalia terrorists have used religion as a moral conviction in justifying their acts. Terrorists have managed to expand their network by passing their ideologies to other people of Islamic origin. In addition to this, there has been long history of inter-clan wars in Somalia. This has made it difficult to have a stable government in Somalia because of the constant terrorist’s attacks.
In conclusion, terrorists engage in acts they perceive as solution to the existing problems. They base their acts on two moral convictions (Ravinder, 2005). The first conviction is about fighting long history of violence, oppression, and betrayal. The second conviction is based on religious beliefs, ethnic and clan linkages. The affected groups believe they are justified to take action against perceived enemy. The war is termed as holy and righteous aimed at protecting what is holy by fighting the evil (Martin, 2010).
Martin, G. (2010). Essentials of Terrorism: Concepts and Controversies. New castle: Sage.
Martin, G. (2009). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues. Newcastle: Sage.
Ravinder, K. (2005). Religion, violence, and political mobilization in South Asia. New Castle: Sage.