The History and Evolution of Religious Suicide Terrorism, Its Use in Transnational Terrorism, and Steps towards Mitigation in the International System

  • 2015

The History and Evolution of Religious Suicide Terrorism, Its Use in Transnational Terrorism, and Steps towards Mitigation in the International System

Author:
Jonathan Lewis
Abstract:

In this paper I explain what I consider to be the definition of terrorism in the absence of consensus of such a formal definition in the international community. Further, I delineate what separates suicide terrorism from general terrorist acts, as well as detail what separates the secular use of terrorism from the religious use of violent extremism. In doing so, I examine the history and evolution of religious terrorism to the eventual capitalization and monopolization of suicide terrorism by religious extremists. Finally, I detail how the states in the international system can combat religious extremist terrorism through the strengthening of international law and treaties; promoting legal cooperation and a reliance on current international laws, court systems, and tribunals to adjudicate offenders; and by detailing how Western Democracies must move towards the use of soft power rather than military superiority, if they hope to successfully combat violent extremism. The reader of this paper should effectively be able to conclude that transnational religious suicide terrorism, while a prevalent, terrifying, and deadly phenomenon, can be combated and deterred through a strategic change in Western power projection and international relations.