• Boriša Lečić Академија за националну безбедност Београд


religious identity, national identity, terrorism, radicalization, Islamic state


In the context of complex globalization processes, today perhaps more than ever, a modern man needs religion with its declarative value system which can neutralize, at least temporarily, the negative effects of political, economic, cultural and militaristic imperialism which destroy religious, national and cultural identities.

Modern social processes show that the relation between religion and identity is a very complex one because they are multi-dimensional phenomena which are daily transformed within social and historical time and space and adapted to modern social challenges, processes and trends. Religious identity, as M.Weber said, is not "just a system of beliefs and ideas," but at the same time "the gathering pillar, means of identification and mobilization."

The role of religion in today’s society is very controversial and potentially questionable depending on how much it is functionally and intensively connected to the partial interests of ruling and other political elites. In certain circumstances, it can be a forceful cohesive and integrative factor, a powerful, stabilizing and corrective mechanism for both the individual and the collective. However, when it is implanted in the daily political life of power and influence, that is, when it is instrumentalized, religion in contemporary social practice can potentially be the generator of a conflict.

In the conditions of ethnocentrism, multiconfessionalism and multiculturalism, religious identities are the embryo of national identity. Their relationship has different manifestations. For example, religious affiliation with Muslims is much stronger cohesion and homogenizing factor than national affiliation.

Consideration of the link between religious and national identity today is very important for understanding contemporary political and security processes in the world in general, especially in the Middle East region where attempts to reverse one and propagate another religious identity strongly contribute to the processes of religious radicalization embodied in the terrorist activities of the so-called Islamic country.

The manipulation of religious identities resulted in Islam as a stumbling block, to “march” today completely freely, trying to form, at any cost, its own country which will receive only Islamic worshipers, and to do so through a process of open “dechristianization”.


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