Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri
(Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)
TERRORISM IN THE NAME OF RELIGION
In the Eastern Mediterranean Islam of Cyprus, the Muslim Turks have been at the receiving end of Greek Orthodox Christianity’s Hellenic ambition of Enosis, the island’s unification with Greece. In Eurasia, the two conflict situations – the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the Chechen independence movement in the Russian federation – involves much of the same ethno-religious tendency, except that the issue of Chechnya is believed to be closely associated with al-Qaeda. In Central Asia, deviant religious groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have committed a number of terrorist attacks against foreigners and government authorities in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Religious terrorism also exists in the Western or developed world, though on a smaller scale than in the developing or Muslim parts of the world. In Northern Ireland, for instance, religion has fuelled the passions of the rival Protestant and Catholic extremists. Catholic extremists use the Catholic label to describe nationalistic revolutionaries who want no part of Britain. Protestant extremists use the Protestant label to define who will use terrorism to keep Northern Ireland associated with the United Kingdom. That explains why the Catholic Sinn Fein and Protestant Ulster Unionists disagree over the power sharing formula in Northern Ireland and demilitarization of the Irish Republican Army.
 Ahmad, op. cit.