Between Messengers and Monsters: The Contending Narratives of Islamic Religion and Terrorism in a Precarious World

  • Mike Omilusi
  • Ajibola O. Peter Adu


Terrorism is one of the most complex phenomena of the contemporary world. It has been observed that throughout the world, there is a close relationship between religious fundamentalism and violence. Since 1989, the increasing willingness of religious extremists to strike targets outside immediate country or regional areas underscores the global nature of contemporary terrorism. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, are representative of this trend. Many Islamist terrorists, often called jihadist terrorists, view themselves as following Muhammad’s example. The beliefs of the jihadi activists and their sympathizers follow the teachings of militant Salafi ideologues whose leaders put forth an ideology that prioritizes violent resistance in order to defend the community of believers from outside oppression. This theoretically-driven article interrogates the nexus between religion and terrorism with a particular focus on Islamic suicide terrorism which has occurred in different countries, communities, cultures and under very diverse political circumstances.Key Words: Terrorism, Religion, Islam, Monsters, Messengers