Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the view that the growth of religious fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation. (18) Religious fundamentalists oppose the secularisation of society, and want the return to the literalist interpretation of religious texts with a ‘strict obedience to religious teachings’ (Item A). Globalisation, the idea of the world becoming more united and less split by nations may lead to this way of thinking.
Because there is more involvement between nations, this may cause tension between cultures causing Fundamentalism, and the access to the internet has had a profound effect on collaborating Fundamentalism. However, it can be argued that secularisation and other factors have led to it instead. With Globalisation comes the access to the internet and social media, there is more understanding of the various types of religions available. This can lead people to want to find out about alternative faiths, maybe more extreme and traditional ones- consequently converting to a different belief system which may be fundamentalist.
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This has been a recent issue as extremist groups such as ISIS have targeted young girls on the internet to become involved in ‘Jihad’ (the concept of Muslim holy war), by marrying Jihadi fighters. Worldwide knowledge gives more access to terrorist information such as bomb making or training, which vulnerable young people such as moderate teenage Muslims can use without their family knowing. Globalisation has also practically allowed for extremism to happen, after two girls were able to get transport and communicate with this group in Syria. However, the rise of Globalisation did not necessarily bring about the fundamentalist movement.
Indeed, religion nowadays is actually more liberal than in the past, with many less strict forms of beliefs; killing in the name of god and ‘holy war’ was once accepted by almost everyone in medieval times. As countries become more involved in other nations worldwide, tension can be caused because as people migrate between countries, there is now a rise in different religions/cultures living alongside one another as opposed to one culture dominating an area. This may lead to minority groups feeling isolated in their beliefs, and having nobody to turn to these people cling together more in extreme beliefs.
This in turn may lead to tension between different belief groups, they may believe that their religion is the ‘true’ one, and see other religions as a threat this could cause fundamentalism. In recent years, the Iraqi war which Britain and the USA became involved with shows the effect of Globalisation. As the west became involved in the war, this infuriated some Muslims as innocent civilians were killed by the west forces. Jihadi fighters believe that they are fighting a war against the killing of Muslims by killing innocent British and American civilians.
Alternatively, secularisation can cause extremism, as Steve Bruce believes the decline in religion and modernisation of society undermines traditional religious faith. Because science and rationality are accepted ways of thinking instead of more religious ways, groups oppose this change and become more extreme in their ways to combat this. Education increases the likelihood of someone becoming a fundamentalist, because they have accepted the teachings of an extremist without having the skills to properly analyse the belief.
In conclusion, the rise of globalisation has definitely increased the access to extremist beliefs, and has led to the targeting of young vulnerable people to these ideas. More importantly the interaction of countries between each other has led to conflict and minority groups feeling isolated. However globalisation can only offer part of the explanation because fundamentalist groups existed before globalisation, and factors like education have a more profound effects on peoples outlook.