Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that religious groups, especially the orthodox/fundamentalist ones, seem to have no qualms about meting out harsh treatment to even their co-religionists for what, to the outsider, seems like absurdly trivial reasons. In that case, it was due to the inherent misogyny of orthodox/fundamentalist religions that seek to keep women in an inferior role, with strict rules about what they can wear, go, say, and do.
Even more puzzling, though, is the case of Islamic militants who bomb mosques that result in the deaths of dozens of people, like the attack that occurred just yesterday in Afghanistan. As far as I can tell, this was not the case of one sect of Islam attacking the mosque of a different sect. That kind of vicious sectarian conflict between closely related groups is unfortunately all too common.
The attack on this mosque seems to have been to target senior government and police officials worshipping there. If the attack was carried out by the Taliban, as is alleged, then what could the thinking behind a Muslim group attacking a mosque, and during services celebrating a major religious holiday to boot? Apart from surely alienating people from their cause, what kind of theological justification could they invoke to kill their co-religionists while they were engaged in an act of worship? What makes them think their god, who gets ticked off for the slightest reason, won’t be angry with them?
I am genuinely curious as to what possible rationalization there could be for an act that, apart from being horrific in its own right, is also self-defeating. What possible benefit could the Taliban hope to accrue from bombing a mosque of their own religion?
Any Islamic theologians out there who can explain?