Does religion justify the systematic torture and murder of hundreds of innocent people? Or does ISIS simply propagate moral nihilists?
The odds are that if you’re human and you’re reading this right now, you’d consider yourself to be a law-abiding citizen; an individual who wouldn’t do anything to harm your fellow man for any reason whatsoever. Society would deem you a good person. However, if you did act upon intrusive urges and killed someone, you would be deemed not just evil but immoral as well. This brings up the question: Are people intrinsically “good?” or naturally “bad?” This concept of morality and the ethical principles of which society follows, down to the very last, is subjective. Religious undertones visualize our perception of what is considered to be morally just; but in regard to these religious extremists, they seem to be a special case entirely.
Similar to the vein of al-Qaida, the world is shocked by the brutal atrocities that are being committed by the Jihadist extremist group ISIS. These individuals have plagued the Middle East, expanding their territory into Syria and Iraq, as it only increases by the day. The group makes their crimes known via social media. Just last week, ISIS executed Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh via immolation. This week: the beheadings of 21 Egyptian-Christians on a beach in Libya. In both instances, the footage depicting the murders was posted online for all to witness. For such terrible fates to befall the innocent is sickening. Are these actions not wrong? Is it not immoral to harm other human beings? Apparently not, going by ISIS’ methods of violence.
From the Crusades to modern day public beheadings, it can be said that humanity has seen its fair share of religiously motivated brutality. It’s almost disappointing to know that in the 21st century, heinous acts in the name of God are still being committed; it’s almost surreal. Have we taken a step back in time? Of course, people in the right state of mind would know what ISIS seems to perpetrate is a folly. It’s almost comical. But do they?
The dogmatic extremism displayed by these Jihadists is no more than an irrational sect of people using faith as an excuse to execute human beings. Yet, although society says their actions are immoral, almost effectively misanthropic, ISIS believes all of their actions are justified under God. All this happening as they publicly execute the innocent. Does religion justify the torture and murder that this group is exhibiting? Throughout history, people have committed similar deeds in the name of God. This includes the witch hunts, the Arab-Israeli conflict and of course, the extremist Islamic jihads that the Quran supposedly mandated. The Quran is what this group of terrorists uses as the basis for their deeds.
But the question here is whether or not religious doctrines make their actions, at least from their perspective, one with good intentions? It’s possible that this group thinks they’re benefitting humanity for the greater good. Do they know any better, or perhaps these individuals are beyond saving?
Of course, this is hard to assess. Without knowing the true agenda, it’s difficult to pinpoint what their supposed final goal will be. Given their actions, morals and modern ethical decisions aren’t being considered by ISIS. We’re now living in the modern era and the actions exhibited by this group are almost medieval. It makes one think; what is their endgame? Is it to see the destruction of humanity? Would it simply be to terrorize people? Do these individuals truly believe they’ll somehow take the Western world? Nevertheless, the violence ISIS exuberates will not cease without resistance. Remember, we are not at war against religion. We’re at war against a twisted ideology.