Browsing by Subject "Religion, Conflict and Dialogue"

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Now showing items 21-25 of 25
  • Zyaparova, Polina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The thesis seeks to analyse The Moro conflict in the Philippines that is characterised by a propagated and multi-layered nature. The Philippines has been torn by internal conflicts since 1969, by two main religious communities: Muslims represented by the Moro people, and Christians who represent the majority of population. In my research, I focus on the conflict prerequisites that stem from the results of colonialism. I view colonialism as the period that significantly contributed to the formation of ethnic stereotyping, socio-economic neglect, and the split in Filipino society. Hence, it can be stated that reinforced stereotypes against the others that is Moro people serve as the indicator of the societal split and tendencies to demonization. For my work it was crucial to tackle the following theoretical topics: the history of colonialism as prerequisites for ethnic tensions; the formation of stereotypes and processes of reinforcement; the notion of indigenous rights and territorial claims. Filipino nation is closely connected with the post-colonial history and the indigenous roots. plan In regards to the peace studies, I was looking at the terrorist dynamics in the Philippines to see the interdependence between failed peace agreements and the radicalization, as well as, the differences between positive and negative notions of peace, and external influence. The method of the research is the comparative contextual analysis with the elements of the linguistic ambiguity analysis. The analysis looks, firstly, at the correlation between the final draft of the Bangasamoro Basic Law (the law, if passed, will enact the peace agreement and establish the structure of government for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region) and UN Declaration of on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Secondly, the analysis observes the process of law making by comparing the BBL drafts from the years 2014, 2015, and 2017. In conclusion, the link between reinforced stereotyping and colonialism has been established. Comparative analysis has served as the basis for observing some major changes in the way the BBL committee was tackling the document drafting. It has shown that the new approach has striven to secure the long-lasting peace by addressing different levels of marginalization, following the rules of equality, inclusion, and the international law standards. It can be stated that the Philippines is taking a path for establishing positive peace and resorts to one of the methods to solve the conflict based on territorial claims by granting autonomy to Moros.
  • Salih, Dima (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Since its establishment, ISIS has been applying the old principles of Islamic law, by killing anyone who disagrees with its ideology, by oppressing ethnic and religious minorities, by violating human rights, by treating women as objects and by using different types of abuse. ISIS legitimizes its actions by employing the Sharia Law to justify their acts. Members of ISIS believe that they are the only real Muslims while others are infidels. This thesis discusses the rules set by ISIS concerning the female enemy and the justification for these rules as described in their online magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah. By analysing specific articles concerning the female enemy, the thesis investigates ISIS policy towards the female enemy, which involves employing different justifications from Quran and the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, the thesis examines how ISIS propaganda legitimizes the use of sexual violence against women as a war tactic. Qualitative content analysis and the deductive category assignment as used as techniques in analysing the primary material. The analysis clarifies how ISIS shapes the image of the enemy by gathering evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. ISIS propaganda categorizes the enemy depending on its own made criteria and division of the faith level. Therefore, enemies are labelled as Murtaddīn (apostates), Kuffar (unbelievers), Mushrikin (polytheists) and heretics. Through the examination of the primary material, it becomes obvious, that gender plays a significant role in ISIS’ construction of enemy traits. The study of the selected articles confirms that slavery is the prominent rule on the female enemy and it is reinforced by selective examples from Islam. The thesis uses five elements to measure the level of employing sexual violence against the female enemy. The elements are derived from a number of feminist authors who focus on sexual violence as a war tactic, including Joshua Goldstein (2001), Laura Sjoberg (2013), Elisabeth Wood (2014) and Sara Meger (2016). The elements are: (1) feminizing the enemy, (2) financing war expenses, (3) attracting and rewarding fighters, (4) employing military institutionalized rape and (4) defending women as an excuse for war. Examining the feminist approach for sexual violence as a war tactic exposes that ISIS’ re-establishment of slavery gives a license to rape by feminizing the concept of slavery and confines its meaning to females only. ISIS organizes and propagates slavery to rationalize rape. The analysis on the feminization of the enemy proves that enslaving women and children serves ISIS’ goal to damage the enemy; in particular, that the failure of the male fighters in protecting the land and the nation, brings discredit upon their government or administrations. Further investigation on the use of sexual violence to finance the war expenses confirms the association between slavery and financing terrorist organizations. The element of using sexual violence to attract and reward fighters suggests that ISIS nourishes the notion of rewarding its men by legitimizing the ancient idea of looting practice (Ghanimah) of the enemy’s property. According to ISIS, looting practice includes enslaving women and children. Utilizing the “defending our women” artefact as an excuse for war suggests that ISIS employs its propaganda taking advantage of the stereotypical notion of men as defenders and women and children as symbols of the land and the nation. ISIS calls Muslim men to Jihad in to take revenge for their victimized women whose honour has been abused by the enemy. Finally, the thesis proposes more studies that study ISIS fighters, especially members who have either witnessed or have committed rape against the female enemy in order to illuminate the topic and further analyse how the use of sexual violence is employed as a war tactic.
  • Kärki, Eero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This Master’s Thesis aims to introduce and analyze Father Anthony deMello’s S.J. thinking and theology and to see if we could apply his method to Emotion Regulation theory as a Conflict Resolution Strategy as described by Eran Halperin. Anthony deMello thinks that most human beings are asleep which is the cause of human suffering in the world. Human beings do not see the beauty and wonder of life because they cannot conceive of being unconditionally happy. Human happiness is always tied to attachments which means something on which fulfillment one’s happiness relies on. By following a four-step-program laid by Anthony deMello anyone can begin to awaken to reality and hopefully, either gradually or in a flash, wake up. The four steps resemble the Four Noble Truths laid out by Buddha Siddharta Gautama: Realize that your life is in a mess and that you do not want to wake up (meaning change your current condition). The second step is to realize that the suffering is caused by attachments (the conditional happiness). The third step is to realize that any negative emotion that rises in you is because of your programming, not because of the exterior events. The fourth and final step is not to identify with any labels or emotions, just watch them without judgment and they will pass. While Anthony deMello has received Jesuit training his thinking is heavily influenced by Buddhism and is very close to the Stoic philosophy of ancient Rome. His underlying worldview is in agreement with the Perennialist philosophy which means that he believes that all religions, mystics, and humans share the same experience of God, Love, Truth, Happiness, or whatever you want to call it (deMello considers these all to be the same) when you finally wake up. Eran Halperin has studied discreet emotions in conflicts and has recognized that emotions have a big impact on how people react to new events in prolonged conflicts. He shows that individual emotions have different end-goals and affect how willing people are to make compromises or to use violence for example. Halperin suggests using different Emotion Regulation theories such a cognitive reappraisal to reach peaceful resolutions. I argue that using Anthony deMello’s method or Awareness as an emotion regulation theory could prove very fruitful in resolving conflicts. The problem, as Halperin mentions, is how to get people motivated enough to learn a technique and use it in a conflict situation.
  • Steffansson, Mikaela Madelene (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Peacebuilding today is increasingly guided by the inclusivity norm, which has resulted in a call for participation of a diversity of actors. While religious actors’ and women’s efforts are sought in peacebuilding, the bridging group of actors – women active in peacebuilding on religious basis – has largely remained invisible. The aim of this thesis is to explore if and how women and religion are recognized and described in recent research on the role of religion in peacebuilding and the role of women in peacebuilding respectively. A second aim is to try to understand why women active in peacebuilding on religious basis remain invisible, especially with the recognized need for diversity in the peacebuilding field. In this thesis, quantitative and qualitative analyses are carried out on two sets of literature sources regarding the role of religion in peacebuilding and the role of women in peacebuilding respectively. The literature sets included primary sources such as official United Nations documents and secondary sources with a broad, global research focus. The quantitative analysis indicates that the literature on religious peacebuilding more frequently delved into topics related to women and gender than the literature on women’s peacebuilding does on matters of faith and religion. The qualitative analysis reveals several, at times contradictory perspectives on women and religion. In literature on women’s peacebuilding, religion is portrayed as a hindrance to women’s rights, as a resource for peacebuilding, as extremism and as a reason for conflict. The literature on religious peacebuilding portrays women as suppressed by religion, as empowered by religion, as victims of violence, as religious peacebuilders and as equal to men. The qualitative analysis reveals that identity and agency are important questions when looking at intersections of women, religion and peacebuilding. Both literature sets tend to juxtapose religious identity and gender identity in attempting to determine which one is or should be of greater importance. Both fields could benefit from carrying out an intersectional analysis, creating new possibilities for action in different contexts. Regarding agency, especially the field of women’s peacebuilding could benefit from a broadened view of agency, where it would not only be equated with women resisting religious traditions and leadership. The field of religious peacebuilding, on the other hand, could benefit from broadening the view of women to include the role of agents and not just passive victims. Future research should address the different forms of agency exhibited by religious women engaged in peacebuilding and how religious and/or gender identity can enhance or hinder peacebuilding.
  • Aaltonen, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Youth are increasingly seen as valuable actors and partners in preventing violent extremism, and the notion of youth as a problematic and dangerous at-risk group has been challenged. This research explores the ways in which youth are engaged in the prevention of violent extremism and work to advance and sustain peace in the context of Finland. Nine young, active actors were interviewed who have taken part in the prevention of violent extremism in various ways. The interviewees represent a diverse group of Finnish youth who have a positive impact on their communities and society. In addition, two expert interviews were conducted with representatives from the Ministry of Interior and the National Police Board of Finland. The thematic interviews have been analyzed by using the method of qualitative content analysis. The interviewees have engaged in youth to youth civil society activity as well as they have taken part in the policy-making processes and cooperated with officials and practitioners in the local, national and EU level. This research found that the activity of youth-led organization is dynamic, and their work is guided by the wants and needs of the youth themselves. The work that the interviewed youth do is nuanced and has multiple goals. Only a part of the work aims to prevent violent extremism while the majority of activity has a wider set of goals, such as improving the well-being of the youth and strengthening identity & a sense of belonging. This research also raises the point whether the term ‘preventing violent extremism’ is problematic since it might be perceived to be stigmatizing and it frames the work in negative terms. This research also sheds light on both internal and external factors that encourage and enable the youth to act. Youth were motivated to act because of their willingness to change something in their community or society. The support, opportunities and encouragement from other actors played a significant role in youth recognizing and strengthening their capacity. In order to build an environment of peace where violent extremism does not thrive, there is a need to encourage dialogue within and between groups of people, empower youth to active citizenship, strengthen inclusivity and to increase the awareness of youth on ways to influence society. The value of human rights-based civil society work for peace and well-being should be recognized and it should be supported.