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*Understand Islam *

*Why Suicide Bombing Violates Islam?*

The evil of suicide bombings must be defeated by Muslims, as it violates every tenet of Islam. Suicide bombings violate the prohibition against suicide and terrorism violates the prohibition against murder, one of the gravest sins prohibited by the Qur’an.

We believe that Islamic teachings clearly prohibit killing innocent civilians. While there are obviously extremist Muslims who disagree with this stance, the position of the Muslim majority is clear, as demonstrated by repeated condemnations by Muslim scholars and leaders across the world.

Suicide bombings, indeed, all forms of terrorism, are rejected by mainstream Islam, and always have been.

The Holy Qur’an says it in very clear, without any ambiguity: “Do not kill yourselves, for truly God is merciful. And if any do that in rancor and injustice, soon shall We cast them in the Fire. ” (Surah 4:29-30)

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The Qur’an makes it clear that there are rules to human conflict and limits that must be followed: “And fight in the way of God against those who fight you. But do not transgress the limits. Truly God does not love transgressors.” (Surah 2:190)

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Islamic law established very clear rules of war based on the practice of Prophet Muhammad and his early followers: Do not kill civilians. Do not kill women and children. Do not harm monks or priests of other religions. Do not destroy the environment.

Muslims always took great pride in the fact that they acted honorably, even in war. They looked with contempt upon the warriors of Europe, who slaughtered civilians mercilessly during the Crusades. When the Muslim leader Saladin defeated the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem and retook the holy city, he spared its Christian populace and pointedly said: “We will not do to you what you did to us.”

His comment was in reference to the First Crusade, where Christian “holy warriors” massacred tens of thousands of civilians upon taking Jerusalem in 1099. Muslims were slaughtered en masse, the Jews of Jerusalem were locked into its main synagogue and set on fire. And Arab Christians were murdered by their co-religionists for the sin of having dark skin and looking like the enemy.

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The Muslims looked at this kind of atrocity committed in the name of God as unworthy of any great religion and held themselves above such monstrous behavior.

So how is it possible that its modern equivalent, the mass murder of civilians through suicide bombings, should now be done in the name of Islam?

Islam is a religion that has established rules of war for a reason. Human conflict is perhaps inevitable, but unless there is a sense of morality among warriors, even among the warriors of the oppressed, human beings will descend into monstrosity. The nobility of a cause is forever tainted when dipped in the blood of innocents.

As Saladin pointed out, the Muslims would not inflict on the Christians the atrocities that the Crusaders had inflicted on their victims, simple because we as Muslims were better than that.

*Footnote:*

In Dying to Win, Robert Pape, a scholar at the University of Chicago, analyzes the history and motivation of suicide bombers. Many people who read the book will be surprised to learn that suicide bombing was a tactic that was first used regularly by Hindu terrorists known as the Tamil Tigers. One of the most prominent victims of this tactic, Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, was killed on May 21, 1999 by a female suicide bomber from the Tamil Tigers. According to Pape, Gandhi’s murder marks the first use of the “suicide vest” which has become the tool of suicide bombers throughout the world today.

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