Why Do Terrorist Groups Insist on Targeting Houses of Worship?

Terrorist Bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter kill 300

  • | Tuesday, 23 April, 2019
Why Do Terrorist Groups Insist on Targeting Houses of Worship?

     Only one month after the terrorist attacks that targeted mosques in Christchurch and killed more than 50 and injured about 50 others, a new series of terrorist attacks targeted churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter killing about 300 and injuring about 500. Targeting innocent people and worshippers can be seen as a common feature of most of the terrorist attacks. Therefore, commenting on the terror attacks that hit Sri Lanka, Al-Azhar Grand Imam, Prof. Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb stated, "I could not imagine a human being would target the innocent on their Feast; these are truly terrorists whose natural instincts contradict the teachings of all religions.”
 Investigating this phenomenon of targeting innocent people and worshippers and houses of worship, we may come up with some conclusions. First; the terrorists and extremists target these places as they deem them easy targets due to lack of security measures. As all human beings agree that there are some sanctities that shall not be violated even at times of war and conflicts, houses of worship come on top of them. But, these terrorist and extremist groups went to the extreme and violated all sanctities.
Second; targeting houses of worship is, at some times, a means for causing split and division among the followers of different religions.
Third; terrorists' and extremists' insistence on targeting places of worship may be due to their keenness on killing the largest number of people, and have the widest media coverage.
ALL religions, divinely revealed and man-made, as well as international conventions and agreements prohibit attacking houses of worship and targeting innocent and peaceful people. That is why we need to exert our utmost to secure places of worship and not to let them easy targets to extremists and terrorists.



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