Following on from a discussion started in 'Most recited prayer ever', I thought I'd start a thread here on this topic.
Frederick rightly points out that the troubles in Ireland were 'sectarian'. However he contends that their aims were nationalist/unionist and not based on religious views/values. The possible exception to this Frederick states is perhaps the PIRA i.e. the Provisional Irish Republican Army, who were derisorily called 'provos' by the British Army and others, and even called 'The Rosary Brigage' by other IRA members - they were strongly associated with Catholicism and defending of the faith.
My contention is that sectarian is another name for religious division - we are talking of two sects within Christianity (viewed by others outside of the conflict) - but those within it view each other as wrong religiously. The Protestants see Catholics as following the devil's work and vice versa.
In my mind, attacking someone else because they follow a different sect is no different from attacking someone who has a different religion - both are attacking someone over their religous beliefs. The only difference is that sectarian violence makes much less sense to objective observers than clashes between religions (don't both Catholics and Protestants believe in Jesus who taught turning the other cheek?? )
Having briefly read up on the Provisional IRA, I can now see that in my previous posts when I talked about the IRA and Real IRA never being branded as Catholic Terrorists, I actually had in mind the terrorist acts carried out by the PIRA - I lived through the bombings in London and was quite close to two of them, one in Docklands and one in the City of London.
The contention is that the media never attaches the label 'Catholic' to the PIRA.
By contrast, Muslim groups that have political aims - US out of Saudi, ending the illegal occupation of Palestine (choosing my words carefully, illegal meaning against international law), ending the oppression of the Palestinians generally (eg collective punishments) - are readily branded Islamic Terrorists.
Those that carry out suicide bombings and target civilians are roundly condemned by Islamic clerics and authorities around the world - but the media reports on those that agree with the anti-Islamic practices.
But, more unjustly, when multiples more Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli forces (which is also, in my mind, a terrorist act) - this is never labelled as 'Jewish Terrorism' in media reports - but rather acts of defence of a defenceless, weak and cowering State.
In many ways, this is probably a pointless debate - for me the evidence is apparent in the reporting, and those that choose to believe Islam is evil will probably do so despite what I say or assure them that the majority of muslims believe. They may see muslims in their day to day lives as ordinary peace loving citizens, but they will continue to believe the reports that Islam is intrinsically violent and evil.
From my perspective, credit is due to the people who see beyond the spin.
My contention is that just as Christianity should not be blamed for the acts of the PIRA etc, Islam should not be blamed for the acts carried out by terrorists.