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Date Posted: 07:13
Author: Eponymous4Jun02
Subject: Re: India/Pakistan
In reply to: ketch-4Jun02 's message, "Re: India/Pakistan" on 07:12

Well, wait a minute - let's have a whack at these critieria.

As to the first: Why would a "religious" conflict need to be confined or even based upon religious matters? If two parties A and B have a dispute about a parcel of land that otherwise would be trivial, and their religious differences eventually drive them to lob grenades at each other, the dispute is effectively religious, even though the dispute has its origins in a trivial piece of real estate. Thus, e.g., the dispute between Israel and Palestine is over small areas of land, but religous ideology invests that land with a meaning both parties find worth killing and dying for. By my lights, it is therefore a religious dispute.

As to the second: For the same reason, the fact that there might be a residue of nonreligious dispute after abstracting out the religious elements does not alter the fact that it is the religious elements that have exacerbated the controversy to a degree that entirely changes its basic character.

As to the third: Religious leaders encouraging conflict would certainly be sufficient to characterize the dispute as religious, but it's not necessary, for the reasons I've stated above.

But then of course, if the third criterion is sufficient, then the India-Pakistan conflict is easily shown to be religious: Both Pakistan and India have extremist religious leaders (Muslim and Hindu, respectively) who foment conflict.
(Note that whether these groups have an official institutional character would be beside the point.)

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