Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 1, Number 4, Winter 2002


An Evaluation of Violence from Islam's Perspective
By Alparslan Acikgenc



This short essay is not going to attempt a detailed analysis of violence, neither from the perspective of human and social sciences nor that of religion per se. It shall rather argue that the psychological basis of the phenomenon of aggression is found within the animal nature that is common to all animals, and that it is not found outside this nature. Therefore, any analysis concerning the nature of this phenomenon cannot be carried out sociologically. However, its reflections within a society can be studied from this perspective. Hence, violence exists only in the animal kingdom and it must be studied from this perspective if we wish to understand its real nature. On the basis of this argument, our essay shall attempt to understand how Islam wants to remedy it. We may, furthermore, argue in this vein that aggression belongs to the animal nature and not to any particular mode of human activity though it is carried to that activity by humans. No religion is inherently violent; if we do not remedy our nature we carry it into the religion and add an interpretation of the religion to justify our violence on the basis of that religion. When someone observes this from the outside he/she interprets the religion as being violent. Let us try to investigate this from the perspective of human psychology and see its relevance in Islam.

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