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When Religion Kills: How Extremists Justify Violence Through Faith

Phil Gurski
When Religion Kills: How Extremists Justify Violence Through Faith
ISBN: 978-1-62637-848-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-867-4
2020/181 pages
"Gurski ... has taken the complex phenomenon of religion and violence and boiled it down to its essence." —Jason M. Blazakis, International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence

"An excellent addition to the field of religious extremism and terrorism." —James L. Feldkamp, Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Studies


Christian fundamentalists. Hindu nationalists. Islamic jihadists. Buddhist militants. Jewish extremists. Members of these and other religious groups have committed horrific acts of terrorist violence in recent decades. How is this possible? How do individuals use their religious beliefs to justify such actions? How do they manipulate the language and symbols of their faith to motivate others to commit violence in the name of the divine? Phil Gurski addresses these essential questions as he explores violent extremism across a broad range of the world’s major religions.


Phil Gurski, president and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting, served previously as a senior strategic analyst in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


  • Religion as a Springboard for Violence.
  • Buddhist Extremism.
  • Christian Extremism.
  • Hindu Extremism.
  • Islamic Extremism.
  • Jewish Extremism.
  • Sikh Extremism.
  • When Religion Kills.