Religious Intolerance Can Lead to War Many of the world's wars are fought by people of different faiths. In the following viewpoint, Roger Brooks asserts that religious intolerance has led religious leaders and their followers to misunderstand and stereotype people of other faiths. Such divisions can lead to hatred and violence or warfare between different religious groups, he maintains. Roger Brooks is the Elie Wiesel Professor of Judaic Studies at Connecticut College in New London. Religious hatred and violence run rampant throughout the entire civilized world. Ireland remains torn by fighting between Protestants and Catholics. In Bosnia, Muslims were undergoing "ethnic cleansing"an antiseptic euphemism for mass murder! India's Sikhs and Hindus routinely clash, burning houses of worship and killing one another. Israelis and Palestinians die in strife between religious visions of the Holy Land. The list of religiously inspired conflicts goes on and on. Religion as a Positive Force How strangely ironic it is for violence to be sanctioned in the name of religion! Throughout history, religions more often have been a positive force in promoting human culture. Think of the great advances of ethical monotheism, of the Ten Commandments and Jewish ethics and law. Consider also the stunning intellectual achievements of 12th- and 13th-century Islamic philosophers, who singlehandedly preserved and transmitted the classics of Greek thought, systematized mathematics (al-gebra is an Arabic word), and took poetic analysis to new heights. Christian theology, both on its own and in response to these Muslim intellectual initiatives, produced the very staples of Western culture. Yet again, recall the uplifting and deeply spiritual literature of Hindu epics, Confucian philosophy, and the Hebrew Bible.