II Does Islam Forbid or Encourage Suicide Bombing?

 

The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death
Maulana Inyadullah of al-Qaeda in the aftermath of September 11.

“I have come here only to make Allah happy, to earn heaven... 
Why should we follow those Christian commandments,
when Allah, may he be glorified, urges us to fight those kafirs [infidels]? 
Why shouldn’t we leave their children orphans?”
Pavel Pechyonkin suicide bomber of the train station at Volgograd

 

 

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Cover of Summer 2001 Issue of Response Magazine of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
The text "I will take my soul in my hand and toss it into the abyss of death"
is from a poem printed in Palestinian school books for 5th grade.

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The above picture was on the cover of the New York Post 12/11/01.   The boy in the picture is being taught to become a suicide bomber at the 14th anniversary celebrations of Hamas.  He is wearing fake explosives.

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CAMP Jihad:
Young boys, toy guns at the ready, crawl through the mud as hooded adults - many of them the kids' fathers - oversee the twisted exercise in terror at a Lebanese refugee camp.
(Bombs 'R' Us, New York Post 12/11/01)


Haim Harari, former president of the Weizmann Institute of Science made a speech in April in 2004 in which he argued that Suicide Bombings are not the result of fanatic religious beliefs.  He said:

What is behind the suicide murders? Money, power and cold-blooded murderous incitement, nothing else. It has nothing to do with true fanatic religious beliefs. No Moslem preacher has ever blown himself up.  No son of an Arab politician or religious leader has ever blown himself.  No relative of anyone influential has done it. Wouldn't you expect some of the religious leaders to do it themselves, or to talk their sons into doing it, if this is truly a supreme act of religious fervor? Aren't they interested in the benefits of going to Heaven? Instead, they send outcast women, naïve children, retarded people and young incited hotheads. They promise them the delights, mostly sexual, of the next world, and pay their families handsomely after the supreme act is performed and enough innocent people are dead.

What Haim Harari overlooked in his speech is that the suicide bombers themselves do believe in the sexual delights promised them and that is a religious belief.  They hold weddings for their dead martyrs and the virgins of paradise.  One such wedding occurred after a  terrorist act that was carried out on February 28, 2005, by a suicide bomber who detonated a car bomb in the predominantly Shi'ite City of Hilla, sixty miles south of Baghdad (The Wedding of the Martyr, frontpagemag.com 3/30/05). The bomb exploded in front of a health office in a busy bazaar where new recruits to the police and armed forces were waiting to apply for health certificates, which are a prerequisite to applying for government jobs in Iraq.   The bomb killed 132 people and injured 120.  On March 11, 2005, newspapers reported that the terrorist was Raid Mansour al-Banna from the City of al-Salt in Jordan.   al-Banna's family honored his act by holding a festive ceremony known as "the wedding of the martyr" ['irs al-shahid] to symbolize his wedding in paradise with 72 virgins. In justifying the celebration, the family argued that the victims were Americans. In fact, there was no American casualty in this operation. 

   If suicide bombers commit their acts out of desire for sexual paradise one would imagine that they would be happy before blowing themselves and others up.  Pierre Rehov told Jamie Glazov in an interview that the terrorist victims he interviewed in Israel who survived the suicide bombings

Could just not forget the smile they had seen on the face of the suicide bomber, one second before he blew himself up.

Much of the hatred that motivates the religious leaders to incite the suicide bombers stems from Islamic teachings of hatred against the infidel.   Islamic leaders may believe that they will get to paradise by inciting others to commit suicide bombings as much as if they themselves did it.  In that case why not stay alive and go to heaven?

  Dr. Harari correctly argued that poverty and despair are not the root of suicide bombings.  He said:

Suicide murders also have nothing to do with poverty and despair. The poorest region in the world, by far, is Africa. It never happens there.

There are numerous desperate people in the world, in different cultures, countries and continents. Desperation does not provide anyone with explosives, reconnaissance and transportation. There was certainly more despair in Saddam's Iraq then in Paul Bremmer's Iraq, and no one exploded himself.

Is Islamic terrorists are motivated by anger at poverty than why are they sabotaging oil pipelines in Iraq that could bring wealth to Iraq?  It is because their real motive is to prevent Iraq from becoming a democratic ally of the United States and a threat to radical Moslem regimes in the area. 

    There are quotes in the Koran that can be interpreted as being against suicide bombing and there are quotes that can be interpreted as being for suicide bombing.   In order to understand what the Koran says I have listed them in the table below.

Allah Forbids Suicide Bombing of the Infidel Allah Rewards Suicide Bombing of the Infidel
O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful.  If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Koran 4:29-30) [3.169] And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord;
[3.170] Rejoicing in what Allah has given them out of His grace and they rejoice for the sake of those who, (being left) behind them, have not yet joined them, that they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.
[3.171] They rejoice on account of favor from Allah and (His) grace, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.
  [44.51] Surely those who guard (against evil) are in a secure place,
[44.52] In gardens and springs;
[44.53] They shall wear of fine and thick silk, (sitting) face to face;
[44.54] Thus (shall it be), and We will wed them with Houris pure, beautiful ones.
[44.55] They shall call therein for every fruit in security;
[44.56] They shall not taste therein death except the first death, and He will save them from the punishment of the hell, (Koran 44, 51-45)
  [47.4] and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.
[47.5] He will guide them and improve their condition.
[47.6] And cause them to enter the garden which He has made known to them.
[47.7] O you who believe ! if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.
[47.8] And (as for) those who disbelieve, for them is destruction and He has made their deeds ineffective.
[47.9] That is because they hated what Allah revealed, so He rendered their deeds null.
[47.10] Have they not then journeyed in the land and seen how was the end of those before them: Allah brought down destruction upon them, and the unbelievers shall have the like of it.
[47.11] That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, and because the unbelievers shall have no protector for them.
[47.12] Surely Allah will make those who believe and do good enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; and those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as the beasts eat, and the fire is their abode.
[47.13] And how many a town which was far more powerful than the town of yours which has driven you out: We destroyed them so there was no helper for them.
[47.14] What! is he who has a clear argument from his Lord like him to whom the evil of his work is made fairseeming: and they follow their low desires.
[47.15] A parable of the garden which those guarding (against evil) are promised: Therein are rivers of water that does not alter, and rivers of milk the taste whereof does not change, and rivers of drink delicious to those who drink, and rivers of honey clarified and for them therein are all fruits and protection from their Lord. (Are these) like those who abide in the fire and who are made to drink boiling water so it rends their bowels asunder. (Koran 47, 4-15)

   Although Islam prohibits suicide, the Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes explains that there are Muslims who argue that going into war knowing with certainty that one will die, is not suicide (intihar) but martyrdom (istishhad). Istishhad is a much-praised form of self-sacrifice in the path of God, and a way to win the eternal affection of the virgins in paradise. In addition as the quote given above (3.169) demonstrates the Koran says that martyrs do not die.  Therefore they are not really suicides.   Nasra Hassan wrote an article called "An Arsenal of Believers" for the New Yorker 11/19/01 for which he interviewed would be suicide bombers.  He wrote:

One condition of the interviews was that, in our discussions, I not refer to their deeds as "suicide," which is forbidden in Islam. (Their preferred term is "sacred explosions.") One member of al-Qassam said, "We do not have tanks or rockets, but we have something superior—our exploding Islamic human bombs. In place of a nuclear arsenal, we are proud of our arsenal of believers.

   Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwah legitimizing suicide attacks in which he argued that suicide bombings are not suicide.  His fatwah stated:

The actions committed by the young Muslims who defend the land of Islam are the greatest form of Jihad for the sake of God and they are part of the permitted terror which the Quran talked about...It's a mistake to call these actions suicide because they are brave actions for the sake of God and the ones who commit them are considered 'shuhadaa' for the sake of God."

Andrew  Bostom in an article titled Meet Candidate "Martyr Mom" quoted her as follows:

I protect my sons from defying Allah, or from choosing a path that would not please Allah. This is what I fear, when it comes to my sons. But as for sacrifice, Jihad for the sake of Allah, or performing the duty they were charged with - this makes me happy… "I prepared all my sons for Jihad for the sake of Allah, whether by carrying out an attack, or by any other form of Jihad. I prepared myself for this. He who chooses a difficult road must be ready to bear the consequences.

Bostom wrote:  Umm Nidals’ religious views are supported by both the contemporary pronouncements of acclaimed Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and the research of Professor Franz Rosenthal. At the July 2003 meeting (in Stockholm) of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, which he heads, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi stated,

Those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake. The goals of the one who carries out a martyrdom operation and of the one who commits suicide are completely different. Anyone who analyzes the soul of [these two] will discover the huge difference between them. The [person who commits] suicide kills himself for himself, because he failed in business, love, an examination, or the like. He was too weak to cope with the situation and chose to flee life for death…In contrast, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation does not think of himself. He sacrifices himself for the sake of a higher goal, for which all sacrifices become meaningless. He sells himself to Allah in order to buy Paradise in exchange. Allah said: 'Allah has bought from the believers their souls and their properties for they shall inherit Paradise…While the [person who commits] suicide dies in escape and retreat, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation dies in advance and attack. Unlike the [person who commits] suicide, who has no goal except escape from confrontation, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation has a clear goal, and that is to please Allah

In his seminal 1946 essay, “On Suicide in Islam.” (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 66, pp. 243, 256), Rosenthal observed, consistent with Qaradawi’s statements:

While the Qur’anic attitude toward suicide remains uncertain, the great authorities of the hadith leave no doubt as to the official attitude of Islam. In their opinion suicide is an unlawful act....On the other hand, death as the result of “suicidal” missions and of the desire of martyrdom occurs not infrequently, since death is considered highly commendable according to Muslim religious concepts. However, such cases are no[t] suicides in the proper sense of the term. (Emphasis added.)

Moreover, in this exchange with her interviewer on December 21, 2005, Umm Nidal recapitulates another normative Islamic doctrine, the concept of Dar al Harb, where the lives (and possessions) of all the non-Muslim “harbis” (in this case, all Israelis) are muba’a, or licit for the Muslims:

Interviewer: Can't you distinguish between operations against civilians and against soldiers, even from a psychological point of view?"

Umm Nidal: There is no difference. This is Islamic religious law. I don't invent anything. I follow Islamic religious law in this. A Muslim is very careful not to kill an innocent person, because he knows he would be destined to eternal Hell. So the issue is not at all simple. We rely on Islamic religious law when we say there is no prohibition on killing these people.

Once again, Umm Nidal’s understandings are substantiated by both Sheikh Qaradawi’s contemporary statements, and the writings of the mid-20th century Belgian scholar Armand Abel, a noted expert on the concept of Dar al Harb. Qaradawi stated the following in July 2003:

It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al-Harb [the Domain of Disbelief where the battle for the domination of Islam should be waged] is not protected. Because they fight against and are hostile towards the Muslims, they annulled the protection of his blood and his property… in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies. Every citizen in society must take upon himself a role in the effort to provide for the battle. The entire domestic front, including professionals, laborers, and industrialists, stands behind the fighting army, even if it does not bear arms. Therefore the experts say that the Zionist entity, in truth, is one army

One of the masterminds of the terrorist attack in Bali, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim was interviewed by Australia's channel 9 television (worldnetdaily 5/18/03).  When asked if he was a terrorist Amrozi replied:

Terrorism is ordered by Allah in the Quran.

Richard Roberts in a great article called "Why There Can be No Peace in the Middle East" wrote:

Moderate Muslims, who fear Wahabbism or Islamism as much as Westerners, claim that it is an aberration and contrary to the Koran; yet on closer examination of the Koran, we find that the faithful are enjoined “to fight in the cause of Allah.” Indeed, the only guarantee of attaining Heaven with Allah is through the “sacrifice of life in the service of Allah.” Those Muslims who refuse to fight in the cause of Allah will find themselves in Hell drinking boiling water. Thus, the only “peaceful” or moderate Muslims one will encounter are those who have rejected these parts of the Koran’s behest to murder non-Believers.

There are Moslems who say suicide bombing is against their religion.   Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America in an OpEd in the New York Post of 5/24/02, wrote that Muslim-Americans and their leaders need to reject violence in all its forms --

particularly the terrible suicide bombings that stand in such stark opposition to everything that Islam represents.

Even the mufti of the most fundamentalist school of law in Islam, the "Wahhabi" sect, declared that suicide bombings have never been an accepted method of fighting in Islam.

The mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Al-'Aziz Al-Sheikh, declared, "To my knowledge, so called 'suicide missions' do not have any legal basis in Islam and do not constitute a form of Jihad.  I fear that they are nothing but a form of suicide and suicide is also prohibited in Islam."  This echoes an earlier fatwa by his predecessor, the late Saudi mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz....

The Islamic rules of military conduct never permit using civilians as targets or as hostages....

The popular, yet controversial, Islamic scholar Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa condemning the tragic suicide attacks of 9/11 stating: "Even in times of war, Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody save the one who is indulged in face to face confrontation with them."  He added that they are not allowed to kill women, old persons or children, and that haphazard killing is totally forbidden in Islam.

Another widely followed religious scholar, As-Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Shaykh of Islam's highest institution of learning, the University of Al-Azhar, has said that attacks against women and children are "not accepted by Islamic law."   Al-Azhar's Research Academy, shortly after Sept. 11, declared that a "Muslim should only fight those who fight him; children, women and the elderly must be spared."...

God says in the Qur'an, "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits; for God loves not transgressors."

Jamie Glazov in his article "Suicide For Allah" (FrontPageMagazine.com 2/7/02) wrote:

Many of Islam’s apologists insist that suicide bombing is not Islamic because the Koran forbids suicide. Mmm-hmm. So where are all the Muslims gathering in mass demonstrations to vehemently condemn this practice that slanders their religion? Why does contemporary Islam promote “martyrdom” as the highest duty of Muslims? Why are photographs of suicide bombers plastered everywhere in Beirut?

Because Islam is what Islam does.

   Two British suicide bombers were so convinced that Islam condoned suicide bombing that one of them detonated explosives tucked inside his holy Koran amid a crowd of jazz lovers at the pub Mike's Place in Israel. (New York Post 5/5/03)

   On 7/7/05 four suicide bombers blew themselves up in British subways. According to the (Sunday Times 8/7/05)

AN undercover investigation has caught leaders of a radical Islamic group inciting young British Muslims to become terrorists and praising the Tube bombers as “the fantastic four”.

A Sunday Times reporter spent two months as a recruit inside the Saviour Sect to reveal for the first time how the extremist group promotes hatred of “non-believers” and encourages its followers to commit acts of violence including suicide bombings.
The reporter witnessed one of the sect’s leading figures, Sheikh Omar Brooks, telling a young audience, including children, that it was the duty of Muslims to be terrorists and boasting, just days before the July 7 attacks, that he wanted to die as a suicide bomber.

After the attacks that claimed 52 lives, another key figure, Zachariah, justified them by saying that the victims were not “innocent” people because they did not abide by strict Islamic laws. In the immediate aftermath the sect’s leader, Omar Bakri Mohammed, said: “For the past 48 hours I’m very happy.” Two weeks later he referred to the bombers as the “fantastic four”.

 

    According to a poll conducted by Bir Zeit University in Ramallah 73% of Palestinians support suicide bombing.  According to a poll taken by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research 75% of Palestinians support suicide bombing.  The latter poll was taken after the Oct 2003 suicide bombing in Ramallah which killed 21 people including 4 children. (Jew-Hatred, the New In Thing, Frontpagemag.com 10/29/03)

    Moslems have said that the Israeli occupation is responsible for terrorism yet Moslems terrorize their own people and other Moslem countries.  Iraq terrorized Kuwait and fought Iran, for example.  Palestinians terrorized Lebanese during their sojourn there.  Suicide bombings are carried out against other Muslims.  Benazir Bhutto used to gain popular support by kissing babies so a Jihadi who decided that she should be killed put a suicide bomb around his 1 year old baby.  A guard noticed something was wrong and didn't allow that to happen but the baby blue up and 170 people died.

The Palestinians accuse the Israelis of terrorism because the best way to deflect guilt is to accuse your enemy of what you yourself are guilty of.  That is what the Taliban did when they accused the United States of terrorism against them.  The roots of the Middle East conflict are the hatred against Jews written in the Koran. Here are summaries of phrases and quotes in the Koran about the Jews.

   Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' " (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176)    Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet came out and said, "Let us go to the Jews" We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle." (Volume 4, Book 53, Number 392). 

   The above quote shows us that although the Arabs keep complaining how the Jews expelled the Palestinians from Israel they expelled Jews long before there were any Palestinian refugees. It's important to point out that the Palestinian refugee problem did not results from expulsion (see http://www.afsi.org/arablies.htm).  The Qur''an says that Jewish land belongs to Islam (Qur'an 33:27) which is one reason why territorial concessions will not satisfy the Islamic hunger, Muslims believe they are entitled to all of Israel.

   Arab propagandists do not want the West to realize that Islam is the root of the endless wars in the Middle East.  They want the West to believe that it is colonialism and occupation, even though the Muslims colonized and occupied the Middle East, Spain and a large part of Africa and would have occupied more if they had been able.   

   Sarah Horowitz wrote in Frontpagemag.com 4/19/04 that

Palestinian-American activist, Jess Ghannam, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, said at a teach in there that

 

“What is going on in Palestine is no different than what is going on in Haiti, Venezuela, South Africa, Cuba, Central America.  It’s really not accurate to say it’s an occupation (in Palestine).   What we’re seeing right now is the effects of 56 years of a colonial-settler process.   It’s not about religion.” 

 

Sarah points out that:

 

If it’s not about religion (or a perversion of religion), you wouldn’t know it from reading Hamas’ website.  The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement:  Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Quran its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”

 

   The following was written in (Arab News, 6/28/02) by Dr. Kaukab Siddique in an article titled 'Tide Turning Against Zionist Jews'. 

The Qur'an says about the Jews:  "And they took riba (interest on loans) though they were forbidden to do so, and they devoured the wealth of mankind wrongfully - We have prepared for those among them who are rejectors of truth, a grievous chastisement." (4:161) 

Dr. Siddique was addressing Moslem immigrants in Greensboro North Carolina.  In the address he also said

Remember that you cannot appease the Jews who run this country by being quiet and humble. They will pursue and persecute you whether you are hiding in a corner of the mosque or staying away from all activity and hiding in your home....Our Palestinian sisters have put males to shame with their tremendous sacrifices against the Jews.

Yusuf Qaradawi a militant cleric living in Qatar and ideologue of Hamas, told a huge audience meeting in Kansas City in 1989,

On the hour of judgement, Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them.

   Just as Christianity accuses Jews of being responsible for the death of Jesus, Islam accuses Jews of trying to kill Muhammad.  The following Islamic account is an example of this:

The chiefs of the An-Nadheer tribe left them pretending that they were about to raise some money When they were alone, some of the Jews said: 'You will never find the man as easy a prey as he is now. Let a strong person go onto the roof of the house next to which Mohammad is sitting and drop a large stone or rock over his head and rid us of him.' One of them, Amir ibn Jihash ibn Ka'ab, volunteered to commit the treacherous crime. The Prophet was informed by Allah of the design of the An-Nadheer tribe, so he left his companions in their place, giving the impression that he was coming back soon, and went straight to Madinah.
(Adil Salahi, Muhammad: Man and Prophet, 350)

   As a result of these teachings Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority incite hatred against the Jews and the Jews are subject to constants attacks and terrorism. When Jews defend themselves, Moslems see the Jews as aggressors the same way the Moslems fighting with the Taliban see the United States as the aggressor. 

   It is more than likely that Moslem influence played a role in Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews.  Haj Amin al Husseini the Mufti of Jerusalem, and former president of the Supreme Muslim Council of Palestine did not want Hitler to allow Jews to flee to Palestine, he wanted the Jews exterminated.  (Serge Trifkovic, The Sword and the Prophet)

   According to German officials who knew the Mufti:

The Mufti had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he was maintaining contact, above all to Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry.  He considered this as a comfortable solution of the Palestinian problem. . 

   When Haj Amin al Husseini,spoke together with Hitler on Berlin Radio in 1942, he cried out:

Kill the Jews - kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth - this is well pleasing to Allah.

   Both Germany and England were competing for Arab cooperation during World War II.   In order to curry Arab favor, England blocked the entry of fleeing Jews into Palestine.  Eichmann said in regards to the Mufti, "We have promised him that no European Jew would enter Palestine any more."

   The Arabs have not moderated their view since then.   In April 18, 2001 the mainstream Egyptian daily Al Akhbar published the following complaint that Hitler did not succeed in wiping out all of world Jewry:

Our thanks go to the late Hitler, who wrought, in advance, the vengeance of the Palestinians upon the most despicable villains on the face of the earth.   However, we rebuke Hitler for the fact that the vengeance was insufficient.

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