egitimacy as a source of national identity, will open doors for other mediums such as religion and culture to fill the void for nationalism and further threaten the state.
This struggle is reminiscent of what Samuel Huntington wrote in his book The Clash of Civilization, he notes that in the post-Cold War era, wars and conflicts will be fought not because of economic or ideological reasons, but because of cultural phenomenon brought about by clashes among civilizations. He argues that Western instruments of modernity will create conflicts with the non-Western world due to the isolation and aggression that it will create. With globalization bringing nations and cultures together, non-Western cultures may feel isolated and threatened. In order to protect themselves, and with no apparent formal channel to do so under the nation-state, religion –being inextricably linked and identified with culture, becomes a crucial refuge and a powerful tool to fight back.
However, due to the changes in today’s world – deeper integration between nations and economies, rapid developments in communications and technology (including instruments of war), blurring of national borders, and a growing animosity towards the Western world due to the spread of information among different nations and cultures; conflict, including those propelled by religious beliefs, have taken a new and more complicated face. Religious warfare, unlike the traditional conduct of war, has become more complicated to address because, as Mark Juergensmeyer notes, religious struggle (1) gives the moral authority for extremists to embark on “catastrophic acts with biblical proportions,” (2) takes generations to succeed, and (3) provide both a personal and symbolic redemption for its perpetrators. By elevating their struggles to a cosmic war, religious extremists not only elevate their fight to be one of good against evil, they also impact public consciousness, bringing awareness, and at times sympathy, to ...
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