Contributor Perspectives

Of Murder, Men and God

Anisa Mehdi
Board of Contributors
Aug 20, 2016 | 13:16 GMT
The geopolitics of religious violence
People attend the funeral of Father Jacques Hamel in northern France on Aug. 2. In the wake of his killing, French Muslims flocked to churches across the country in solidarity with their Christian countrymen and women.
(CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Human history is littered with killings in the name of God. Many cases are called religious wars: the Battle of Jericho, the Battle of Badr and the Crusades, to name a few. Some target specific communities: the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the persecution of Yazidis. And some are political, including the assassinations of Umar, Uthman, and Ali, the second, third and fourth "rightly guided" caliphs of Islam after the death of the Prophet Mohammed. Into which category do we put the recent killings of Catholic clergy by Muslims?...

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