Dr Fanaei speaks on ‘Religious Violence’ at Leiden University, Holland

On Friday the 19th September, the KNAW-LIAS Conference Programme held a conference in Leiden University, Holland to discuss ”Political Violence: beyond the Secular / Religious Divide.” Around seven different specialists from around Europe were invited to disseminate and discuss their findings related to the underlying topic of Political violence.

Representing the Al-Mahdi Institute, Dr Ali Fanaei spoke on the topic of ”Religious violence: fact or fiction?” to shed light on the following questions;


1) What is religious violence?

2) The moral status of violence

3) The legal status of violence

4) The argument from the history of religiosity

5) The argument from religious texts

An extract of his paper reads, “there is a logical gap between the believers’ actions and beliefs, since it is quite possible that their actions are not compatible with their actual religious beliefs. To bridge this gap one needs to show that religious people who acted violently did so in order to discharge what they sincerely believed to be their religious duties. There is yet another logical gap between what believers believe and the real teachings of religion. They may be mistaken in their understanding and interpretation of religious texts. Again, to bridge this gap, one needs to show that their behavior was based on a reliable understanding and valid interpretation of religious teachings and texts.”

To read the full abstract, please click here.