Radical Political Ideology

371 words | 2 page(s)

The Western perception of religious fundamentalism has dramatically changed aftermath 9/11. Rather than a positive force to an extent, it has attributed immensely negative associations since then. Consequently, the westernized paradigm strategically focuses on the means of prevention of terrorist engagement artificially disguised beyond the mask of religious fundamentalism. The latter presents a major belief system in which faith is used for violent purposes and deadly extremes. A sacred religious text presents the absolute authority of certain deity for the fanatical followers. There is no room for doubt or criticism of such beliefs, while fundamentalists enforce their worldviews on others beyond any logical rationale, scientific evidence or counter-arguments. In due context, Rhoda Unger (2002) claims that “worldviews share certain features including abdication of moral responsibility to a source outside oneself…” (p. 44). He further coins up “ideology-maintaining mechanisms” wherein individuals discard the views of others without sharing similar “truths” (p. 44). These messages apply to the wider comprehension of religious fundamentalism and its role in a historical perspective.

Religious fundamentalists apply religion as a means of living their daily lives and persuading others to share their belief system. Unfortunately, they often use force and violence to achieve their goals. The dissemination of global terrorism over the past two decades by major Islamic terrorist organizations (incl. al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram) serves as the most vivid proof of this. The fundamentalist attitudes are primarily oriented against Western civilization, which fundamentalists associate with secular modernization and take as a threat to genuine Islamic values (Peterson, Doty, & Winter 1993).

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Overall, religious fundamentalists (especially the inspired terrorist organizations and their fanatical members) bear direct responsibility for thousands of innocent deaths of civilians around the world. Religious fundamentalism only boosts wider terrorist engagement, and therefore, cannot be a positive force. The ongoing implications showcase religious fundamentalism as a narrow-minded, one-sided and limited worldview that fails to accept alternative stances and modern ideas. Fundamental beliefs literally breed paranoia among its members and provoke aggressive behavior toward non-believers.

  • Peterson, B. E., Doty, R. M., & Winter, D. G. (1993). Authoritarianism and attitudes toward contemporary social issues. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 19, 174–184.
  • Unger R. K. (2002). Them and Us: Hidden Ideologies – Differences in Degree or Kind? Brandeis University, Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, pp. 43–52.

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