Case Studies for Peace and Conflict

In Unit 8 Section 3 of the GCSE RS exam we need to have some case studies up our sleeves which we can use to explain Just War theory, Lesser Jihad and Holy War.

You might want to know about ISIS and what’s happening in Iraq, so you’ve also got examples of what the United Nations does to try and avoid conflict.

Or perhaps you want to learn about President Bush’s War on Terror with Iraq and Afghanistan, linking to 9/11.

Finally this is an amazing BBC website page with numerous articles and video clips to help you understand how the Afghanistan War began with 9/11’s terrorist attack in New York. Why not get 5-10 flash cards and record the main points, get someone to test you about the information, and then reduce the facts down to just one flash card. Next time you attempt a Unit 8 Section 3 question, probably a c question, you’ll have lots of knowledge to help you.


Where’s our sympathy towards Turkey?

First there was this cartoon by a French artist to show solidarity with Belgium after this week’s terrorist attack.


Then came another version of this cartoon which questioned why nobody was showing such solidarity with Turkey…

turkey too

It does seem unfair that when there is a terrorist attack right on our doorstep, Paris and now Brussels, our Prime Minister speaks out and famous landmarks get lit up in a nation’s colours to show our sympathy. But when a country that little bit further away is attacked repeatedly it goes largely unnoticed.

Prosecution case against man accused of Omagh bombing has collapsed

On 15th August 1998 a bomb exploded in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The real IRA claimed responsibility for an act of terrorism which killed 29 people.

We learn about terrorism in Year 9 in a Unit called War and Conflict, and also as part of the GCSE in a Section called Peace and Conflict. A panorama video from 1999 explored who committed the crime, and today in 2016 Seamus Daly, a 45-year-old bricklayer from Jonesborough, County Armagh, who’d been accused of causing the explosion had the case against him dropped.

He had denied the charges against him and with the case against him dropped he was released from Maghaberry prison on Tuesday afternoon. The Public Prosecution Service had decided there was no reasonable prospect of conviction so had to withdraw the case.
One of their key witnesses had given inconsistent evidence and contradicted his previous testimony.

Relatives of those killed in the Omagh bombing are obviously devastated that all these years later nobody has been found guilty of their loved ones’ murders and justice has still not prevailed.

Schoolboy questioned for saying he lived in a ‘terrorist house’

What the ten year-old was trying to write was that ‘he lived in a terraced house’.

The school reported it to the police and his parents were questioned by Lancashire police and the family laptop examined. News reports scoff at how an innocent spelling mistake could cause such an over-reaction.

Housing stock

The day after the spelling error officers arrived at the boy’s home to interview him and examine the family laptop

Was this a school just doing its job by reporting any suspicious actions showing sympathy to terrorism or non British activity, or a society gone crazy?


“You ain’t no Muslim, bruv”

The man who said “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv”after the Leytonstone train station stabbing last week, has said he was just upset at the generalisations people make linking Muslims to extremism.

The bystander said he just said it naturally and he was pleased his son had been proud of the way he’d reacted.


Maybe ‘John’ has broken the definition of bystander though, as he actions have meant he is actively participating in our discussion and thinking about extremism in the world today.

“La plume est plus forte que l’epee”

There is so much in the news right now about the Charlie Hebdo journalists being attacked and killed, and how Muslims feel about their faith and especially the prophet Mohammad being satirised.

There has been horrendous loss of life and today more danger unfolds with hostages being taken in a kosher supermarket in France.

pens versus terrorist

Questions of freedom of speech, religious beliefs, multiculturalism, terrorism and how people respond to safety threats – all issues which we study in GCSE Religious Studies. Watching the scenes in Paris not only makes me fear for the safety of loved ones, creates anguish when I consider the families who’ve lost their soul mate, parent or child, but also immediately makes me want to learn more about the world and where we live.

An interesting article on the BBC debates the origins of the famous phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Another BBC article ponders how well Islam has integrated in Europe.


Meanwhile comments by British politicians about the risk of similar terrorist attacks in Britain also allude to the need for our secret services and police to have more power. It is always worth keeping eye on when there seems to be a promotion of stronger police powers and less liberty for the people.

Charlie-Hebdo- not afraid

Then with all the fear and shocking news coverage, perhaps we should take time to give names and identities to the dead, learn something about them, what made them tick, what drove them to make risky decisions in the name of freedom of speech. The Guardian reports about Georges Wolinski and interviews his daughter.