The Islamic Positions Taken Regarding Suicide Attacks

On another blog where I had written a few comments about proving the existence of God, a Christian wrote in reply to me this sentence among others: “The Qur’an demands Allah’s followers blow themselves up, take as many as they can with them.”

Then I wrote an answer to it, which I want to share on my own brand-new blog in English –i.e. this very one. So, returning to the direly problematic above statement, let me continue with my answer to it…

To be direct, this statement is ridiculous. Neither the Qur’an says such a thing, nor anything like that can be inferred from the Qur’an or from the literature of the sayings of the Prophet (blessings and peace be on him). All who believe such statements concerning Islam, you all must certainly check your sources about Islam which are misleading and (excuse me for having to say this) even deluding you.

Well, then let me elaborate on where suicide attacks and indiscriminate violence are situated in the religion of Islam…

Most Muslim scholars point out that killing a non-combatant or a child or a woman, etc. even in a state of war is forbidden. Moreover, suicide is also strictly forbidden. Actually many scholars think, based on the Qur’an and the authentic sayings of the Prophet, that not only is suicide one of the most cardinal sins but it is also a statement of unbelief. For these reasons, most Muslim scholars condemn the suicide bombings altogether.

Only some Muslim scholars justify the suicide bombings by the Palestinian operatives in Israel and not anywhere else in the world. And most importantly, their justification is not based on the Qur’an and the sunnah (sunnah: the field of study examining the exemplary lifestyle and extra-Quranic teaching of the Prophet), but on the general human principles of necessity and self-defence.

The reasoning of these few scholars goes like this: “The Palestinians don’t have even one thousandth of the armed power of the Israelis. Because other pseudo-Muslim regimes in the world are sell-outs to the Western European- and North American-dominated oppressive world system, Palestinians cannot hope outside Muslim help either. Under these severe conditions, it is impossible for them to confront the Israeli army and defend Palestine and get back the occupied territories by conventional Islamic methods of military resistance. Therefore, out of the general principle of extreme necessity, it is permissible for them to use unconventional, asymmetrical methods of warfare and carry out suicide attacks.”

This is those scholars’ justification for their opinion of the permissibility of the suicide attacks against Israel. But to rehearse what I have already stated above, most Muslim scholars do not agree with them and do not find this justification legitimate in Islamic terms.

For your information, the American political science professor Robert Pape made a research about the suicide attacks a few years ago and found out that in contrast to what the western media coverage strongly suggests, most suicide attacks in the world are carried out by secular and especially socialist-atheist groups like the Tamil guerrillas in South Asia. 95 per cent of the attacks were made by secular groups and only a few per cent by Muslims or nominal Muslims. Since then, the occupation of Iraq by the American army caused an increase in the percentage of the suicide attacks by Muslim groups. However, secular terrorist groups are still the major ones in using this method. Unfortunately, the North-America- and West-Europe-dominated world media are bent on hiding the true situation and demonizing the Muslim world and the religion of Islam for ideological and political vested interests.

Professor Pape’s conclusion from this research of his is that suicide bombing has nothing to do with religion or a particular religion at all. All it has to do is with excessive frustration and lack of any alternative methods of warfare.

P.S. Following is a hyper-link to a newspaper column about a conference in which Professor Robert Pape took part. The article makes references to his study, elaborating the subject further with more information from Pape’s study and argumentation. Click here please for that article.

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