A zealot is a person who displays fervour or zeal. The focus of the zeal is often religion and politics, but it can also apply whenever membership and commitment to specific dogma are required.
The resulting pride and activism can sometimes become excessive to the point of being harmful to others and sometimes to themselves.
People who are labelled zealots generally share their zeal for a particular cause or dogma with others. This word becomes very hot when force, violence and terror are used as a weapon to propagate their beliefs. These actions may be carried out against people who oppose their viewpoint and also against innocent civilians in the name of their cause.
26 November 2004