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The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics) Paperback – March 17, 2011
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"We have all heard numerous anecdotes about religious persecution around the world. Now, Brian Grim and Roger Finke provide the most comprehensive empirical overview of persecution available to date, detailing both when and where it is occurring. As an added bonus, their research explains why such persecution occurs. This book sets a new standard for research on religious freedom and should be in easy reach of any scholar, missionary or human rights activist interested in the just treatment of people of faith."
-Anthony Gill, University of Washington, host of Research on Religion
"A true global landmark, this work is one of the most important contributions to the struggle for religious freedom and international peace since the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With rigor and flair, Grim and Finke probe the timeless question of why religious liberty matters. Their answer is theoretically elegant and empirically powerful: restrictions on religious freedom produce persecution and conflict, undermine democracy, and contribute to terrorism and international instability. For policy makers and religious leaders across the globe, this book offers a way to navigate the crucible of the 21st century-living with our differences in a volatile world."
-Allen Hertzke, University of Oklahoma
"This is the most necessary book I have encountered in many years."
-Rodney Stark, Baylor University, author of The Rise of Christianity
"achieves something truly rare in the social world: nomological insight and elegance." -Allen D. Hertzke, Books and Culture
The purpose of this book is to provide an understanding of the extent and causes of contemporary religious persecution and conflict. Its central argument is that when governments and groups in society restrict religious freedom, violent religious persecution and conflict increase. Drawing on a new source of data and multiple case studies, this book documents and describes the connection between the denial of religious freedom and religion-related violence and conflict.
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Top customer reviews
Although the authors' data doesn't allow them to examine the United States directly, I was impressed by their efforts to bring other data sets into their discussion to provide a picture of religious liberty in this country. They found that we're not as spotless as some might like to believe.
My one disappointment with the book is that it didn't seem to me that the authors didn't give much attention to the question of where to go from here, either in terms of future research or potential applications of this work.
Their statistics are too narrow. Grim and Finke omit crucial variables necessary for better prediction and clear understanding. Only eleven "determinants" are tested none of which include the totalitarianism, sharia compliance, anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, and views regarding Jihad which comprise Islamism. Grim and Finke refuse to recognize Islamism or radical Islam or Jihadism as a particular ideology necessary for study. Rather, percent non-religious, population growth, religious law, percent Muslim, civilization divide, armed conflict, religion ethnicity tie, religious homogeneity, population size, percent Christian, and Democracy longevity are tested.(Page 220) Their conclusion that Muslim majority countries are more repressive and violent because their government and social forces repress and persecute more is not insightful but obvious to readers on Amazon. In common parlance the Amazon reader asks, "So why?" Grim and Finke provide no answer.
Furthermore, this work is not value free. The authors hide their progressive and leftist perspectives behind their statistics and apparent fairness. Finally, the authors never answer the big and most important question. Indeed the authors avoid the big question, because the answer will not square with their belief that only by the structure and mechanism of social and government restrictions upon religions does persecution and violence arise. Wise readers know that government structures do not significantly change transnational social movements with a fanatical ideology which celebrates death. Since all governments and societies exercise some restrictions on complete religious license, the authors cannot judge any to be of greater value than others including the United States and tolerant democracies and republics. So why should the authors answer the big question: Why do Muslim majority nations of greater than 2 million have governments and social forces, which severely deny religious freedom, and also cause by the authors own findings, greater persecution and violence both within those Muslim nations and outside those Muslim nations at much higher quantity and ferocity than all other nations with different religious majorities? (See pages 21 and 169). Grim and Finke delude themselves as "value free" researchers that morality is not part of their work. As Natan Sharansky (Russian Jewish Refusnik jailed and tortured by the Communists for nine years and former Israeli Minister for the Diaspora) stated: "Evil thrives in moral confusion, and uncertainty where right and wrong become a matter of opinion instead of clear, objective truth."
The authors ignore seminal works on violence, conflict, totalitarianism, Islamism, intolerance, anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and globalization all of which are relevant, material and probative to the selection of the "determinants" (variables) and testing. Furthermore, Grim and Finke fail to test for the most significant aspects of democracy: tolerance, equality under the law, government rule of law with protection of minority rights, consent of the governed, and an independent judiciary. This reviewer will make reference to these other seminal works. Significantly too, the authors also ignore the role of ideology, history, psychology, and current events. The quantitative analysis comprising multiple regression analyses, is deficient because of the narrow selection of the dependent and independent variables. Grim and Finke provide no reason(s) for leaving out far more significant variables for testing like those set forth above. Grim and Finke well know that the strength of regression analyses rise and fall on the strength and comprehensiveness of the variables selected for study. It is not simply a question of cautioning the careful reader that correlation does not mean causation. The authors conflate hate-crimes with terrorism, mass murder of civilians, threats and use of weapons of mass destruction like nuclear and chemical. Atrocious torture, intentions to destroy America, intentions to commit annihilation and genocide of Israel and Jews and the desire to destroy all opposition to radical Islam and to destroy all supporters of "Western culture" by war under the terms "religion-related violence," rather than jihad, are confused with the issues concerning the repression of religious liberty and absence of same in nearly all Muslim-majority countries. Jihad is not a personal yoga. The ideological components of Islamism are especially potent and predictive of violent persecution and repression. Unfortunately, these components are no where identified let alone tested by Grim and Finke.
As James Madison summarized in Federalist 51 democratic governments need morality of their citizens and self-restraint or limits upon personal behavior in accord with the free conscience of every person. A free nation can only arise through the pluralism of as many devout religious beliefs as exist among all Americans. Religious liberty and in turn democracy can only flourish with allowance, participation and encouragement of all devout religious beliefs in the public square and the private sphere. Thus pluralism is encouraged, but not multi-culturalism. Indeed these thoughts undergirded the writing of the preeminent First Amendment's free exercise and no establishment clauses. These clauses and these thoughts are non-existent in Islam.
Liberty and freedom in Orthodox Islam still remain as "submission" to Allah and his prophet Muhammad. The Western notion that a free God wants a free people to choose Him in freedom, although freedom is not free and it is a long road to freedom, is totally alien to Islam. No Reformation as occurred in Judaism and Christianity exists in Islam. Islam is not opposed to modernity so long as its religious canopy controls all spheres of life as some have argued elsewhere. See for example, Michael J. Mazarr, "Unmodern Men in the Modern World: Radical Islam, Terrorism, and the War on Modernity," Cambridge University Press, 2007. It is simply that Orthodox Islam defines modernity for Islam as never touching secularism. It is not merely an orthopraxis religion but one which is total and absorbs the entire political realm. Orthodox Islam does not adopt the science and materials of modern science and of commerce of the West within the firm borders of religious belief. See Hiram Caton, "The Politics of Progress: The Origins and Development of the Commercial Republic 1600-1835", (University of Florida Press, 1988) for an excellent synthesis of the development of the successful l U.S. mercantilist model (according to Caton this was a model from Colbert based on Hobbes' presuppositions concerning human nature, which underlay the United States of America's economic success under Hamilton's federalism with a strong central government while preserving dual sovereignty for the States.)
A further striking difference in the religious concerns of Judaism and Christianity from Islam is that "higher criticism" contested both Judaism and Christianity in the late 17th-19th centuries. This "higher criticism" was a no-holds-barred scholarly inquiry into the assumptions of truth, creation, revelation, and redemption in Judaism and Christianity. The origins, history, sacred texts, commentary and canons of these two religions were explored. Both Judaism and Christianity survived this searching and secular inquiry. However, these two faiths were changed profoundly in the process. Tolerance with civil rights for other faiths slowly became acceptable in Christianity. The concept of the "other" and division of the elect versus the non-elect was questioned in Christianity as it had long before been eliminated in Judaism one thousand years (1,000) before during the Babylonian exile after the destruction of the Second Temple. See Joel S. Kaminsky, “Yet I Loved Jacob,” (Abingdon, 2007); Gertrude Himmelfarb, "The Roads to Modernity: The British, French and American Enlightenments", (Vintage Books, 2004); H.R. Trevor-Roper," The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Religion, the Reformation and Social Change,” ( Harper & Row, 1968); and Darren Staloff, "Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding,"(Hill and Wang, 2005) .
In contrast Islam has not undergone such searching inquiry. Indeed, the Muslim strategy to date has been one of neglect and opposition to revisionism or reformation for fear of breaking total control of public and private spheres along with private conscience. See e.g. Walid Phares, The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy,” ( Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007); and Natan Sharansky, “Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy,” (Public Affairs, 2008); and all of the work of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). Certainly, Islam sought to always enforce the vast distinctions of human rights and human dignity for Muslims versus Non-Muslims. Islam intentionally perpetuated the degraded and discriminatory status of and lack of human rights for the infidels or "dhimmis" comprising all non-Muslims. Particular hatred, animus and degradation is reserved for Jews and less so but still prominent was hatred reserved for Christians. See Bat Yeor, “Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, “ (Farleigh Dickinson, 2002); Neil J. Kressel, "The Sons of Pigs and Apes: Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence," (Potomoc Books, 2012)(Kessel highlights the indifference of the West and ignoring the "growing epidemic of hate" towards all Jews and provides evidence of dangerous anti-Semitism enveloping the Muslim world. Kessel effectively develops a social-psychological theory of the Muslim hatred of Jews); Tarek Fatah, "The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism", (McClelland & Stewart, 2010); and Paul Marshall & Nina Shea, "Silenced: How Apostasy & Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide," (Oxford University Press, 2011; for an excellent summary of mass killing and persecution of Christians and the few remaining minorities in the Muslim world).
Grim and Finke's qualitative analysis is even more misleading and misguided than the quantitative analysis. In their case study of Iran Grim and Finke refuse to examine the totalitarian rule of Iran and its plan for export of that rule by use of violence and conquest. Grim and Finke refuse to acknowledge that the political form of Islamism is imperialism and empire. Grim and Finke are silent when discussing Iran's growing satellite empire of violence around the world. No where is there even mention that Iran's ideology is calling for Israel's destruction, developing nuclear weapons, building underground bunkers to enrich uranium, building heavy water plants to extract plutonium, and constructing ICBMs to carry nuclear payloads to destroy Big Satan and Little Satan. Huntington and Lewis are correct to conclude that Iran is underwriting murder against civilians in the borders of Islamic "no-go" zones in Europe. Iran has moved the fault lines of Islamic violence to Gaza, the West Bank, Crimea, Ukraine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Iraq just as Huntington and Lewis predicted. Iran now has bases in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. The use of case studies is further skewed by a progressive, leftist bias of the authors. This left bias leaves them spending inordinate space quibbling about the minor restrictions caused by the Smith decision in the United States as compared with the far greater and gross crimes against humanity by international atrocities and bestial terror caused and openly celebrated by Iran, its proxies and other Islamic nations such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Even more grisly have been the decapitations and burnings celebrated by ISIS.
Grim and Finke's work responds with studied and willful silence regarding the reality of Iranian terrorism and the lack of liberty, justice and reform in Islamism. Logic and common sense compel the conclusion that Islam as a religion plays the most significant role today in the guise of Islamists, jihadists and the cross-national campaigns of mass killings and civilian atrocities. Islamism is a global social movement seeking apocalyptic redemption through messianic teachings of Muhammad. Grim and Finke ignore the history and current evidence of Islamic imperialism. In fact the authors call this imperialism merely "the missionary view" of Islam as a "vital religion" like all others (p.183). Islam's long history of imperialism and the Ottoman imperialist dream outlasted WWI and motivates the present terrorism as the latest expression of that dream. See Ephraim Karsh, "Islamic Imperialism," (Yale, 2006). Without any evidence and without any authoritative citation, Grim and Finke conclude that the government and social forces in Muslim countries which predominantly deny religious freedoms and cause persecution, terror, mass murder and conflict around the world are caused by centuries of Western domination.
"We find that this is primarily a struggle within Islam rather than with the West. Although this battle between Muslims over the understanding and enactment of Sharia may be in part a reaction against the centuries of Western domination." (p.189). Grim and Finke argue that in almost all cases, the social and government restrictions leading to persecution predate the more recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism. This is false since Muslim fundamentalism and support for political and social violence has been present from the start of Islam. In fact the Koran, Sira and Hadith adopt and support the very political violence studied by Grim and Finke in ways very different from and far more frequently than the Hebrew Bible or Torah, with 9.6 times more the wordage devoted to political violence according to the Center for the Study of Political Islam.
Grim and Finke also believe that Islam became central to the dominant social and national identities only after the wake of independently created Arab and Muslim countries after WW I. This is the familiar "colonialism-made-me-do-it" gambit. There was neither American involvement nor foreign occupation in the Arab or Muslim world. Nigeria won its independence 55 years ago, Morocco 60 years ago, Egypt 64 years ago, Pakistan 69 years ago. In fact, Turkey and Saudi Arabia never experienced imperial control from Europe. This biased conclusion is contrary to fact, reason and history.
Grim and Finke appear to adopt the assertion that Muslim-majority countries have more reasons to impose sanctions and persecution than Christian-majority countries because of these newer tensions within Islam between Sunni and Shia and as the result of the Islamic countries' "post-colonial" context. President el-Sissi of Egypt himself recently and boldly announced that this "post-colonial" argument of Grim and Finke is a lie, and that a revolution in needed in such Islamic thought and action. President el-Sissi acknowledged on January 6, 2015, that Islam and particularly Sunni Islam must modernize and revolutionize to make room for other religions in Egypt with equal rights protected by law overthrowing original fundamentalist Islam embraced by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood against Copt Christians in Egypt. President el-Sissi recognizes the ridiculous nature of the "colonialism-made-me-do-it" gambit of Grim and Finke.
This anti-Western bias and apologetics for radical Islam's (both Sunni and Shia) savagery by Grim and Finke is further underscored by their citation and adoption of the popular and politically correct phrase: 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' (p.194) This canard is emblematic of the moral equivalency and relativism underlying this book. This canard is not just inane; it is insidious. The actor, John Malkovich, cogently responded to this canard (after directing his first film involving terrorism, Dancer Upstairs in 2002): "...only a journalist could come up with something so utterly facile and idiotic, and actually obscene." He continued, "Every day somewhere in the world terrorists will murder people who have nothing to do with their cause, to promote their cause, and that's something the world is starting to grapple with now." Grim and Finke's book does not move in a deep and significant way to grapple with these issues. Grim and Finke's attempts to reduce Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis and Bernard Lewis' "Cultural Differences" thesis to one-dimensional caricatures likewise fail. Huntington's thesis is not just about increased violence by Islamic countries along "fault lines" and frontiers arising from cultural heterogeneity. Lewis' thesis is not just about Islam's failure to imitate and hatred for the West's culture of materialism and republican democracy. In fact Grim and Finke do not even cite three crucial studies by Lewis; Grim and Finke wrongly assume that Lewis' article in the Atlantic Monthly contains the same thesis as his three books left uncited and unmentioned in their bibliography. Those three works are: "What Went Wrong?" (HarperCollins, 2002), "The Crisis of Islam," (Random House 2004) and “Semite and Anti-Semite” (Norton, 1986). Unlike Grim and Finke, Huntington and Lewis are concerned about and truthfully pressed the West and particularly the U.S to be clear with ourselves. Orthodox Islam--notwithstanding radical Sunnis like ISIS, Wahabi, Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas versions supported at different times by Saudi Arabia, the Sunni Gulf states, and surprisingly by Shia Iran recently, and notwithstanding the radical Shias like Iran, Hezbollah and now Yemen-- demands savagery, cruelty and total annihilation of any resistance to its governance. That is the hard truth which Grim and Finke studiously avoid and which renders their book unenlightening and nearly irrelevant. See e.g. Kanan Makiya, "Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World," (Norton, 1993); Ed Husain, "The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left", (Penguin, 2007); Ayaan Hirsi, Ali, "Infidel" (Free Press, 2007); and Nonie Darwish, "Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror" (Sentinel, 2006) Grimm and Finke's further inaccuracies and apologetics will be discussed below.
Slavery still exists in a host of Muslim-majority countries especially Sudan (approx. 90,000) and Mauritania, but also in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Grim and Finke don't account for this slavery as unique Muslim violence. Not just Boko Haran in Nigeria captures and enslaves young girls for life-long sex slavery. Human trafficking is a taboo subject in Arab and Muslim lands. Jews and Christians believe that women should hold equal rights in all spheres of public and private roles and endeavors. Muslims still do not believe in equal rights for women in most public or private spheres. Jews and Christians have also endorsed and comply with the full panoply of human rights and human dignity. No Jewish or Christian body, person, or institution refuses or believes that the full rights of minorities or Non-Jews and Non-Christians should not be the same rights as citizens in the majority. Muslims, on the other hand, continue to believe that Jews and Christians are infidels without rights of citizenship. The Jews are infidels of a particularly perverse type, because Muslims have grafted earlier and rejected anti-Semitism from Euro-Christianity and made it worse by propagandizing that Jews killed Jesus (the false deicide charge), in league with the devil, blood libels, control of the world through money monopoly, untrustworthy, and always seeking control. Likewise, Muslims believe that Christians have forfeited their covenant by licentiousness, materialism and greed. Muslims also believe that Jesus never died on the cross.
Presently, Christians continue to be slaughtered throughout the Middle East after the Muslims tortured, expelled, murdered or forced to convert nearly all Jews left in the Arab/Muslim Middle East. See Paul Marshall, supra, (2011). In 1948, there were over 850,000 Jews in Arab lands in the Middle East. In fact many of those Jewish communities dated back 2000 years before Islam and Muhammad. Now there are perhaps only 2,000 Jews left-mainly elderly and poor in Iran- who cannot leave . The Jewish population in Turkey in now in the process of persecution and expulsion. For this sordid history see Malka Hillel Shulewitz ed., "The Forgotten Millions," (Cassell, 1999).
In traditional and contemporary Islamism, to be distinguished from the religion of Islam, one finds two prominent features united: a totalitarian movement combined with a political religion. In the 1960s the Muslims who engaged in anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorism did so mainly for secular political reasons. However, beginning in the 1970's Muslim terrorism against both the United States, Israel and other Western nations like Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain, Greece and Jews around the world, became an amalgamation of violence as a preplanned international strategy, not just a tactic. Violence is an ideological imperative. It is here that Islamism is a totalitarian ideology.
This ideology is ignored by Grim and Finke because they are too narrowly focused on how the state acts and reacts. Instead one should focus on the identities, grievances, and objectives of the terrorists and Islamists who initiate the mass murdering of people as political action. Grim and Finke never ask, critically or test at all, how the Islamists' actions of violence and atrocities contribute to the attainment of their goals. Is the use of fear and terror the only true way to enforce Islam in a universal caliphate for all people as believed by its proponents? In other words, Grim and Finke fail to test the proposition in Islam, where the religion prohibits social freedom by prohibiting free expression and belief requiring social and government restrictions, not vice versa.
Four classics are totally ignored by Grim and Finke : "The Origins of Totalitarianism", Hannah Arendt , (Meridian, 1951); "Why Men Rebel", Ted Robert Gurr (Princeton, 1970)(Gurr does not present a general theory of political violence; rather he points to and argues sixty-five (65) hypotheses and corollaries which should be tested by social scientists like Grim and Finke which they ignore. Well-written for the general reader is Gurr's piece in his edited "Violence in America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives" U.S. Superintendent of Documents)(three factors are key to Gurr: relative deprivation or popular discontent, justifiability and utility of political action, and balance between the discontented people's capacity to act with the government's capacity to repress or channel their anger); Gordon A. Allport ,"The Nature of Prejudice," (Anchor, 1958); and Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer," (Harper & Row, 1950). These classics are recommended for the understanding of the inherently violent nature and obsession with total control of society and government endorsed by Islamism. These studies are sober reminders of how enemies act with a fanatical and anti-democratic ideology which embraces not only domination and extermination of any opposition, but also dream of fighting for self-transcendence to defeat democracy and the West. The West is perceived as decadent, immoral, and materialist. Commitment to the Islamist or Jihadist ideology is a commitment to a lifetime of violence.
Particular and even deeper hatred is reserved for the Jews, because Islamism or Jihadism grafts the worst European anti-Semitism onto a Manichean world where there is no good in present day Jews anywhere; the influence of the Arab/Nazi alliance during WW II is currently manifested in the Islamist belief that all Jews should be annihilated everywhere, because they personify evil and act evilly to continually victimize all Islamists. The culture of victimization sustains the political ideology of radical Islam by the Islamists and their fellow travelers, who seek the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of all Jews because of their opposition. Like Nazism which destroyed any distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, Islamism seeks to annihilate Israel and all Jews because of their opposition to Islamist subjugation and misery. See David Matas, "Aftershock: Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism," (Dundurn, 2005); Matthias Kuntzel, “Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11,” (Telos, 2007); and Bettina Stangneth, “Eichmann Before Jerusalem,” (Knopf, 2014) (First and foremost, Eichmann hoped his “Arab friends” would continue to battle against the Jews who were always the “principal war criminals” and “principal aggressors.” Eichmann had not succeeded in complete “total annihilation,” but the Muslims could still complete it for him.)
Grim and Finke ignore the role of this ideology to explain the majority of all violence in the word with the most intense violence coming from the Islamic world. Grim and Finke should have tested the elements of Islamist totalitarianism as better predictors with greater robust co-relation. The Islamist ideology is akin to fascism, but has the totalitarian impulse of an international social movement comprising purity, obedience, death and redemption. See Arendt, (1951) and Hoffer (1950).
In a brilliant book, "Death Orders" (2010), Professor Anna Geifman examines mass political terrorism in pre-revolutionary Russia as a precedent for today's Islamist terrorism. Geifman's study of the Russian communist terror that prepared the 1917 revolution has tremendous value for students of contemporary Islamist organizations. Russia's urban population swelled from 9 million to 25 million in 1913, with a breakdown of social values. The Russians were more vulnerable to terrorism because external circumstances stimulated the expression of distress. Geifman echoes Gurr's idea of "relative deprivation" in noting that perceived inequalities, whether real or not, are the prime cause of terrorism. Rapid socioeconomic change also increases the risks of terrorism where Geifman also echoes Gurr. This change should have been tested by Grim and Finke with the variable of relative deprivation but was not. The Muslim Middle East has been likened with its Islamist terrorists, "to a lunatic who has won the lottery" with all of the trillions of petro-dollars flowing into nations without industry or commerce to sustain their populations. See David P. Goldman, "How Civilizations Die" (Regnery, 2012). The presence of young Muslim males between 18 and 25 years who are misfits and alienated in the "no-go" zones of Europe are the breeding ground for this new totalitarianism embracing mass slaughter of infidels with "glorious" suicide.
Geifman presents the answer to the big question asked above, which question Grim and Finke studiously avoid: why do Arab/Muslim majority nations have far greater (number) and far more intense (how killed or maimed) violence? Greifman calls this Islamist terrorism an ideology of "totalism". The Islamists want to impose a new order based on an "all-or-nothing claim to truth." The Islamist terrorists operate within distinctive parameters of a "theology of Armageddon--a final battle between good and evil" in which the stakes are nothing less than universal salvation and redemption. Thus Geifman reconfirms this original insight from Arendt. This chiliastic factor is also ignored by Grim and Finke as a determinant of violence in the Arab/Muslim world. Likewise, Geifman confirms Eric Hoffer's classic outline in "The True Believer", supra, that the Islamic social movement has mastered the art of "religiofication" or "sacralization"; this is the means of converting political grievances into messianic aspirations and "practical purposes into holy causes." This political religion, Islamism not Islam, is the key factor as totalitarian ideology purposely avoided by Grim and Finke.
The Islamist ideology controls all aspects of life, commerce, and governance within a country or units captured like by ISIS. The realization of this totalitarian ideology as Geifman has shown consistent with Arendt and Hoffer, goes beyond particular social or economic problems because grievance becomes irrelevant in the continued adherence to the militant doctrine. Totalist ideology and its use of terror is a global phenomenon. Mass murder of civilians has become the terrorists' top priority. The three central factors for this new totalitarianism are: a fanatical commitment to achieving power, the technological resources to promote/enforce the islamist ideology, both combined with a political religion seeking world domination by way of the universal umma or caliphate. These three factors are suggested to be more strongly correlated with violence than the limits or repression of religious freedom by government and social forces.
In short, Grim and Finke limit their discussion to the structural cause of violence from government or social forces without considering the culture and ideology of the most prevalent and most intense religious motivated violence within and without Islamic majority nations today.