Political Scientist Bruce D. Porter once said, ‘State makes War but War also makes State’.
The phenomenon of war is not something new but it has always remained a part of this world. Almost all the countries present on this planet earth today are the result of some kind of wars. Some wars were fought specifically for a religion like the Islamic Wars. From the period of Muhammad and the early days of Islam, numbers of wars were fought for the sake of Islam. Similarly, Crusades also serves as a good example of a holy war. For centuries, Muslims and Christians fought a series of wars to gain control of the Holy sites. A Holy War is one either fought in the name of GOD or religion. In the past, there were many wars behind which the driving force was the religion but with time, when and how no one knows, the religious wars started turning into personal conflicts.
Let’s take the modern issue of West Bank for example. West Bank is the home to about 2.6 million Palestinians but as soon as Israel took control of it, many Jews settlers started moving in. Today, more than religion the conflict has become a subject of land.
Although there are many countries today who still claim to be in a Holy War with others, in reality almost all are using religion as a tool to gain personal victories.
For instance Iran and Saudi Arabia- two countries are having long strife on the basis of religious differences, former being largely Shia Muslim and later known as leading Sunni Muslim Power. The two are also neighbors but today they seem to be locked more into regional dominance more than the religious dominance. Hence, more than the religious influence, both are worried about the other’s influence in the region. In no way, this proxy war between the two could be mentioned as a Holy War.
Every country is in a race with the other. Each wants to make sure of its supremacy over the other. Another reason why modern wars are no closer to the Holy wars is that they are being fought for the socio-economic and political benefits of the country instead of the religion. There is no religious affiliation committed to any war today; if there was some then all the Muslim Countries would have united under one umbrella. If religion was an issue, Iran a Muslim Country would never have sided with Russia for the sake of Syrian dictator, similarly, Saudi Arab would never have used Yemen for its dominance and above all, no Muslim Country would have ever gone against Taliban- the so-called peaceful Muslims.
Taliban’s example in this scenario is a very ironic one, although they define themselves as advocates of Islam and peace but, everything they do is against the principles of Islam. If they are fighting for religion then why most of the time they make Muslim countries their target. Islam, like all religions, gives utmost significance to coexistence but the Taliban- so-called Islamic organizations- believes in something different. They are against not only non-Muslims but even those Muslims who have different views from them on Islam. For example, they have destroyed Afghanistan in every way and exploiting the citizens by using Islam as a weapon of war. They are not the defenders of Islam but only desire to tighten their grip and rule on the land by imposing their misguided beliefs on the citizens and by throwing the secular governments away.
In short, all the countries are fighting for their survival, not religious attainments. Each country is maintaining good relationships with the other for benefits, the USA and Saudi Arab have no religious links but they uphold good relations on the basis of trade and arms deals. Similarly, the USA and China are involved in great hostility for the sake of money-making hegemony over Asia and Africa- religion coming nowhere.
These above examples clearly depict how modern wars are different from the old Holy Wars. Countries are fighting for commercial and political interests. Countries only get into a war to secure their land’s and citizen’s interests.