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The Psychology of the Suicide Bomber

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By Irum Sarfaraz

It would be an understatement to say that the escalating wave of suicide bombings in Pakistan is an acute threat to peace and a critical concern to the authorities. This aberrant social attitude towards death, destruction and opposition to authority can be very contagious among the mass and mimetic illiterate of a country who will start to believe that the only way of out unrest, anarchy and dissatisfaction with the administration is to create more chaos. The latest weapon in hand is suicide bombings and they are growing at an alarming rate.

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So where did the cabal of suicide bombers start and why do these human bombs think like they do? The first answer that would come to mind, and one with a lot of weight, is that suicide bombings have their roots in Palestine. William Safire in his column in the New York Times wrote back in 2001, ‘the pride and joy of Arafat’s arsenal is a weapon of mass terror that has no known defense: the human missile’. But one might wonder why the bombers in Pakistan are destroying their own country? The standard answer to this is often ‘it is outside elements that are doing this’ and ‘it is the helplessness of the masses that propels them to throw away their life like this’ or ‘extremist religious views are behind this’. But when the psychology of the bomber is studied it brings to light a far dangerous mentality. A mentality that can be programmed to go on killing even when there is no helplessness and even if there is peace and even if this destruction is to be unleashed against one’s own country. These bombers are less ‘outside elements’ and more of an army raised at home.

It is easy to put a religious label on these individuals but religion has little to do with it or their motives for taking their own lives. If religion has any role in the entire chemistry, it is only to have been used as the perfect blackmailing element to distort the image of right from wrong in the psyche of the bomber. Fact of the matter is, had the notion of religion been clear in the minds of these individuals, they would never be suicide bombers at all. So religion can easily be set aside as the primary reason. Robert Pape, author of ‘Dying to Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism’ has collected the first complete database of every suicide attack around the world from 1980 to early 2004 and writes that Islamic fundamentalism is not as closely associated with suicide terrorism as many people think.

Though the Tamil Tigers did hold the record for the most number of suicide bombings, they are now left behind by the Iraqi suicide bombers. The National Counterterrorism Center in Washington reports 949 suicide bombers killing 10,119 and wounding 22,995 from the beginning of 2004 to March 2008. Author Abdul Hafez has tracked the data in his own separate study, ‘Suicide Bombings in Iraq‘, reporting 1,800 suicide attacks globally since the start fo the phenomenon in the early 1980s. And out of these more than half have taken place in Iraq.

Then there is the idea that suicide bombers are but an irascible, uneducated brood who realize little the implications of their actions. That is a possible idea of the Pakistani bomber but since the profile of the Palestinian bomber has been studied meticulously, it would make sense to apply that same theory, at least to some extent, on our domestic bombers as well. The profiles of the Palestinian bombers might surprise the ones who believe that illiteracy has a lot if not everything to do with it. 47% of the suicide bombers had an academic education and an additional 29% had at least a high school education. 83% of these bombers were single. 64% of them were between the ages of 18-23 while most of the rest were under 30. 68% of the suicide bombers came from the Gaza strip. So yes, frustration and helplessness has more to do with the motives than anything else but again there is more to their psychology than this otherwise the thousands of frustrated would start resorting to become human bombs.

There are two main purposes of the suicide bomber; to spread terror and to disrupt peace. But then an onlooker would wonder, aren’t there other ways of doing this besides the extreme act of killing yourself? In this respect the social psychologist Albert Bandura (Tangled Roots: Social and Psychological Factors in the Genesis of Terrorism by Jeffrey Ivan Victoroff) presents the very interesting and most relevant notion of moral disengagement. He states that terrorists such as suicide bombers are not abnormal individuals or psychopaths who lack morality not are they hungry to spill the blood of innocent people indiscriminately. Rather on the contrary they are very normal people who under certain circumstances and inducements are capable of selectively extricating their moral code to engage in extreme inhumane conduct. In the case of the Pakistani suicide bomber this inducement would be that the only way to stop the democratic process would be to rip the country apart with anarchism and a ‘revolution’. The carrot to the rabbit in the case of the Pakistani bomber is also the notion that democracy is synonymous with subservience to the United States.

Bandura writes, ‘Just as soldiers can go to battle to fight and kill for their country, terrorists can engage in violence to promote a cause. To be sure, soldiers must be trained to overcome their inhibitions to kill others, but this behavior modification is not seen as immoral by most societies’ indeed, it is rewarded with medals, venerated in public ceremonies and idealized as heroic sacrifices when soldiers are killed in actions. Similarly, terrorists can frame their violent deeds as moral acts in the service of their people, country or God’. But at a notch much higher than religious justification, it is when suicide bombers start placing this act on par with duty to their country, it tends to spread like wildfire in the society just like it is doing in the Middle east and just like it has started in Pakistan.

Bandura also interestingly presents eight mechanisms of moral disengagement through which moral agents tend to justify cruel acts. These agents are moral justification, exonerating comparisons, blame attribution, euphemistic labeling, displacement of responsibility, diffusion of responsibility, disregard or distortion of consequences and dehumanization. Even the presence of a couple of these agents are enough to spur the individual toward killing himself for his cause but when the majority of these agents start working overtime to create the scenario of moral disengagement the phenomena can only result in a snowball effect where extempore, contagious and violent terrorism and suicide bombings start being considered a norm in a society that is hurtling towards higher levels of this ‘moral disengagement’. Bandura also proposes that the intensity of these mechanisms is shaped by the social, political and cultural contexts that can facilitate or hinder their effectiveness in rationalizing violence. Had Bandura exclusively scrutinized the growing wave of suicide bombings in Pakistan within these parameters, he might even have reasserted this premise.

In exploring the moral mental stand of suicide bombers one would find it to be very similar to that of soldiers. Just like the act of killing by soldiers is morally acceptable, similarly the killing by suicide bombers, themselves and others, is also acceptable. Similarly just as dead soldiers are revered by their counterparts, dead suicide bombers are revered by the other people of his tribe as well. As if unraveling the actual psychology of these bombers was not an uphill task enough, the other factors that work against striving to find solutions to the crisis is that these suicide bombers have mushroomed on an already muddled and chaotic political scene. Consequently, in Pakistan the society would have to work towards dismantling not just one or two of these elements of moral disengagement as a recourse to a solution but rather nearly the entire eight of them as outlined by Bandura.

Even if one was to disregards Bandura theory of moral disengagement, which personally makes a too much sense for me to ignore given the social and cultural background of the Pakistani suicide bomber, we could try taking another route to explain it all but even that would fail to shed any remnant of light on this bleak scenario. Political Psychologist Jerrold M. Post (Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior) maintains that there are two distinct personality types among the extreme terrorists; the anarchic-ideologue and the nationalist secessionist. The anarchic-ideologue is the result of a dysfunctional family and rebels against their parents taking on political conditions such as poverty and injustice as being equivalent to parental authority and hence they rebel against these situational conditions by engaging in suicide bombings and other terroristic activities. On the contrary the nationalist-secessionist is a loyal child obedient to authority but rebels against social and political conditions he associates with the suffering of his family. Still other theories regarding suicide bombers and similar terrorist make a marked deviation from the personality based theories and insist that social factors play a bigger role in creating terrorists, ‘terrorism does not result from dysfunctional or defective personality traits; rather it is largely a result of societal influences and unique learning experiences that form the foundation of functional character traits or behavior tendencies’.

Not to sound like the eternal pessimist, in our case no matter which route we take, we end up at the same point because whether we try to analyze the crisis with psychological theories or social ones, both are fertile enough at the moment to account for the growing rise of terrorism and particularly suicide bombers in Pakistan. What this should mean for the government is that suicide bombings in Pakistan should not be taken as a terroristic fad but rather something that might only be a an extremely troubling tip of a more massive iceberg.

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Dawud Israel

    April 19, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    I can’t remember who said it but…”We are living in times where living for Islam is much more difficult than dying for Islam.”

    So tacking that onto the last sentence you said–it really shows how life is getting in some of these places… :(

    Qadara Allahu wa ma sha fa’al.

  2. Usman Akhtar

    April 19, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    This is absolutely true, I think that these suicide bombers are so terrible because they sincerely believe they are doing the right thing,

  3. Usman Akhtar

    April 19, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    The reason this mentality is even possible is because of pure jahilya (ignorance). These people who believe they are muslim heroes can not be countered with war. They’re like bacteria, everytime you try to eliminate them, they come back even stronger, because they believe in what they are doing. What muslims need to do is start educating their own people on what’s right and what’s wrong. If these people could be shown logically, without attack, that their efforts are counter-productive for even their cause, and have no basis in Islamic law, then we could go somewhere.

    War, and military attacks on both sides will never go anywhere, the only solution is education. We need to educate all of those who are around us, and in effect, we need to give dawa’h.

  4. iMuslim

    April 19, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    I am in absolutely no way saying it is okay for Palestinians to blow themselves up in ‘soft’ Israeli targets – it is morally reprehensible to take innocent life, whether it be with a bomb, or a gun, or your own bare hands. But you can at least see the warped reasoning behind such terrorist acts. For them, the enemy is simply the Israelis – the occupier, the ‘other’ – and so it becomes justified in their minds to attack any Israeli target, military or civilian (stressing again: in their minds, not mine).

    But how can Pakistanis kill their own? A nation of Muslims, turning upon their neighbours – their fellow Muslims! If they don’t respect the blood of their brothers in faith, and country, then the problems really do run deep – may Allah grant us all His Mercy and protect us from the evils of ourselves and His creation. Ameen.

  5. Mr GQ

    April 19, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    May Allah bless and protect the people trying to carry the banner of Islam and defend the Muslims. Ameen

  6. Manas Shaikh

    April 20, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    Irum, I am still reading this article, but a quick factual correction- the largest number of suicide bombings have been done by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. They carried out almost 80 suicide bombings from 1991 to 2001. Total number of suicide bombings during that period is little over 200.

  7. Manas Shaikh

    April 20, 2008 at 12:35 AM

    “There are two main purposes of the suicide bomber; to spread terror and to disrupt peace.”

    Doesn’t sound like two purposes to me. :)

    Anyway- according to Pape, suicide bombings are overwhelmingly done in response to foreign occupation of the land that the bombers prize as homeland. This theory fits very well for LTTE, for Palestinian bombings and the Lebanese cases (mostly in the past.)

    Therefore, disrupting peace is not the main motivator of the average suicide bomber. His/her aim is to send a message to the occupier. In trying to do so, he/she resorts to deplorable means.

    I am at a loss when I try to apply this theory for Pakistan. Pakistan is not occupied by any country. Agreed that there are groups vying for power- but that rarely leads to suicide terrorism. Because aspiring for power stems from a positive attitude (not always moral) unlike the desperate person who feels his motherland has been occupied.

    I don’t know what is going on in Pakistan, and I have no theory about it either.

  8. Gohar

    April 20, 2008 at 12:44 AM

    There are times certainly when suicide bombing just makes no sense (i.e. “A mentality that can be programmed to go on killing even when there is no helplessness and even if there is peace”), but also other times where it might be used in a sober and considered way, bearing in mind the reality that muslims do not having the sophisticated weaponary such as cruise missiles that their enemies do.

    Most neo-cons, who themselves ‘extricate their moral code’ when it comes to torture, group punishment, and resource grabbing would in reality not have any problem with suicide bombing were they to be similarly constrained.

  9. Gohar

    April 20, 2008 at 12:49 AM

    With regards to what we see most of the time though, with the mad loss of innocent life around the world, then that’s another matter entirely of course and should be condemned unreservedly in the same way that we would condemn our enemies for their evils.

  10. Irum Sarfaraz

    April 20, 2008 at 12:53 AM

    Br. Shiekh
    I believe the line ‘To date there have been more suicide bombings initiated from Palestinian terrorist organizations than anywhere else in the world’ is printed in error…..Though the Tamil Tigers did hold the record for the most number of suicide bombings, they are now left behind by the Iraqi suicide bombers. The National Counterterrorism Center in Washington reports 949 suicide bombers killing 10,119 and wounding 22,995 from the beginning of 2004 to March 2008 in Iraq. Author Abdul Hafez has tracked the data in his own separate study, ‘Suicide Bombings in Iraq’, reporting 1,800 suicide attacks globally since the start of the phenomenon in the early 1980s. And out of these more than half have taken place in Iraq. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12122831

  11. AbuAbdAllah

    April 20, 2008 at 2:13 AM

    bismillah. perhaps, sister, the theories you mention by bandura and post hold merit. but if so, i would have preferred that more time was spent explaining them.

    still, one thing i got from reading your article reminded me of something i learned from taking Shaykh Waleed Basyouni’s course, Torchbearers, and Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef’s course, History of the Khulufaa. for me both of those courses contained eye-opening history lessons including the trouble that well-meaning people could get themselves into when they struggle for change but abandon the sunnah of the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam and his sahabah (companions) radi Allaho anhum.

    the worst cases involved the worst kinds of violence.

    take for example the cabal that murdered the third Caliph, Uthman radi Allaho anho. the leaders of the cabal were evil men, no doubt. but they talked well-intentioned Muslims into joining them, including the son of the second Caliph, Abu Bakr radi Allaho anho. i will never forget when Shaykh Basyouni told us how Uthman said to him the his father would never have approved of what he was doing. and it made the man stop what he was doing, cry, and repent.

    or the example of the khawaarij. and the sahabah who went to their army of 10,000 to debate their leader. and who pointed out to them that among them was not one sahabah. but that they were massed against a force replete with sahabah backing the Khalifa of Ali radi Allaho anhum. and 5,000 men, half the khawaarij force, repented and came to their senses.

    what kind of lessons can we take from these profiles of “terrorists” — for the murderers of Uthman and the army of the khawaarij were just that? there are men who do what they do using the evil means they choose because it suits them to do so. and there are men who join them who could benefit from being shown the way of the sunnah.

    among the reasons cited by the attackers of Uthman were corruption charges — false charges to be sure, but the kind of thing that stirs people to act. and the khawaarij did nothing less than accuse both Ali and Muawiyyah radi Allaho anhuma, and their armies, of commtting kufr! no wonder ibn Abu Bakr repented when reminded of the example of his father. no wonder the 5,000 left the army of the khawaarij when they realized that they were fighting against an army that was 100% on the sunnah.

    will it be easy to convince the suicide bombers that what they are doing is against the sunnah? subhanAllah, the question is hardly finished before the answer is clear. but if those people could be reached with that message would it redeem some of them? i believe it would, if it pleases Allah, stop some of them. la quwwata illa billah.

  12. Manas Shaikh

    April 20, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    That’s an overwhelming number! I wonder why people argue that Iraqis want the occupation to stabilize the region!

    (I need to correct myself on earlier post. It’s 1981 to 2001.)

  13. Gohar

    April 20, 2008 at 2:48 AM

    It is important to stay balanced here though, and as much as we should know that attacks against ordinary israeli civilians are wrong, I doubt i will ever shed a tear for such people so long as they continue to believe in the right of their country to exist at the expense of the Palestinians.

  14. Mr GQ

    April 20, 2008 at 3:12 AM

    How sad.

    My comment which spoke against your article was deleted.

    Your comment was not deleted because it was “against the article” . Your comment exalting “martyrdom bombings” was deleted. When innocent civilians are killed, even when there is some other target… when a person commits suicide REGARDLESS of end-goal, that is not martyrdom. That is forbidden, and is against our religion. We will continue to delete such comments unceremoniously. -MM

  15. Gohar

    April 20, 2008 at 5:48 AM

    “Rather on the contrary they are very normal people who under certain circumstances and inducements are capable of selectively extricating their moral code to engage in extreme inhumane conduct.”

    – CLEARLY this does not solely apply to suicide bombers. In fact, it probably applies to virtually EVERY single leader in any country of the world today. And not just the leaders, but the mainstream opinion makers, and large segments of western public too. Trying to talk about the ‘psychology’ of suicide bombers gives an impression that such a psychology is unique or largely unique to them, whereas it (the ability to extricate morality) is in fact something that perhaps the majority of people in the world possess deep down.

  16. mm

    April 20, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    An older version of the article was mistakenly posted. The right version is posted now.
    Some comments will be moot now.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

  17. Mr GQ

    April 20, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    Why does this sound like an apologetic article?

    Oh and Musharaff asked for the martyrdom bombings. The Muslims vowed revenge for the savage murders and rapes of Lal Masjid committed by the (taghout) government of Paksitan led by Musharraf.

  18. Amad

    April 20, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    You know one of my friend’s sister and mother died as “collateral” of the “martyrdom bombings” in Karachi. He was the most religious amongst us. You can tell him and grieving family how justified these attacks are. What is the fault of the innocent bystander, his sister and mother in this instance? Why are they dying for Musharraf’s sins?

    And by the way, who made you the judge for who “deserves” death or not? Which “Muslims” vowed to murder Musharraf? What right do you have to speak for all Muslims? So, let me tell you, Mr. “GQ”, you do not speak for me or the VAST majority of Muslims. Injustice can never be corrected by more injustice.

  19. Muslim

    April 21, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    It’s interesting that some of you compare modern day suicide bombers with that of the renegade group of Khawarij from times past.
    There are many present day scholars today who are in favour of martyrdom operations such as Sheikh al-Albani who initially
    forbade it but then said it was ok, especially in palestine. Also Dr. Bilal Philips has the same stance in regards to these operations and it can be viewed here at this link at 16:39.
    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=BzTcJMz0xN0

    No doubt many people take these operations out of hand and target innocents but there are some groups who put it to good use.
    Stop making blanket prohibitions on things of which you have no knowledge of just to curry favour with the West.

  20. Al-Hasan

    April 21, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Salam,

    Historically the scholars have alluded to such operations in their writings and some have said that in certain instances it is permitted. There are some leading contemporary scholars such as al-‘Allamah al-Qaradawi and ‘Allamah Zuhayli who hold the view that in certain situations and conditions these operations are valid in Islamic Law.

    Shaykhul Islam al-Qaradawi says:

    ‘Weapon to which the weak resort in order to upset the balance because the powerful have all the weapons that the weak are denied. If the Palestinians had weapons similar to those of the Israelis – tanks, F16 helicopters, they would not have resorted to turning themselves into human bombs. This has been turned into a no-option situation – they had to do this because they have no other means of resisting their enemy and liberating their land… When I gave my opinion that it was permissible for Palestinians to resort to that situation, [I] was careful to say only in that circumstance inside Palestine is such a method permitted because the Palestinians have been left with no options. I don’t condone it anywhere else and I was the first to condemn the attacks of 9/11.

    They are not ‘suicide attacks’, those people who carry out these operations to defend their land and family are not committing suicide; these are martyrdom operations and the weapon of the weak.

    Wassalam

  21. Mr GQ

    April 21, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    The amount of hatred for the people defending Islam and the Muslims is disgusting. Pathetic.

    Amad –

    Go ask the parents and families of the young, innocent girls that were murdered.

    Go ask the parents and families of the young, innocent girls that were raped.

    Go ask the parents and families of the young and innocent girls that are still missing (and you know what they may be used for).

    Go ask the parents and families of the young and innocent girls whose body parts were found flowing in streams.

    Musharaff and his cronies deserve death. It will be a joyous day when I hear about his demise.

    This is justice.

    If you want, I can give you clips of the young girls from Jamia Hafsa/Lal Masjid giving their own accounts of what happened. You will cry…

    …Unless you think their blood is cheap.

  22. ibnabeeomar

    April 21, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    gq – it’s this type of emotional rhetoric that gets people riled up to do things they shouldn’t be doing. no one disagrees with the atrocities and injustices suffered (may Allah (swt) give them patience and rescue them from this calamity) but it doesn’t justify overreacting either (by overreacting i mean something haram).

  23. Siraaj Muhammad

    April 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    ibnabeeomar, that’s actually an interesting fiqh question to consider – we tend to excuse people when they become emotionally unstable or irrational – is it not possible that if, due to such things that damage people’s psyche they do these things, right or wrong, they may not be accountable for it?

    It’s an interesting thought to explore from a fiqh perspective, I personally don’t know.

    Siraaj

  24. ibnabeeomar

    April 21, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    that’s definitely a good question. my main issue though, is when this topic comes up, people start throwing in an excess of emotional rhetoric .. unless you are saying mr gq is emotionally unstable or irrational ;)

    to me jumping to approving suicide bombings in general because of the situation there.. its kind of like denying istiwaa in the quran because atheists dont agree with it :P

    as an aside – to those who posted here who say that it may have some degree of islamic legitimacy, my question is this: for argument’s sake let’s assume thats true – do you still think its a good course of action if the end result of each suicide bombing is that even more palestianians are killed/harassed as a result of it? (i’m trying to get strictly to a pragmatic view of this and take religion out of it for a sec)

  25. Mr GQ

    April 21, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    Ibnabeeomar –

    To be fair, then you must also say Amad is throwing is emotional rhetoric by bringing up the sister and mother of his friend.

    Is defending yourself wrong? What proof do you have to say martyrdom bombings are not allowed in Pakistan and Palestine?

  26. Hani

    April 22, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    Asalam alaikum,

    Injustice can never be corrected by more injustice, but neither can it be corrected by cowardice.

  27. Irum Sarfaraz

    April 23, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Allah has deemed suicide haram. It cannot be used as a means to retaliate against injustice, nor can it be placed any equation that decides between cowardice or valor. Will riba and alcohol start being placed in similar equations in the future, I wonder….

  28. Adam

    April 23, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Please spare us your lies, sister Irum. Any attempt at using dalaa’il (evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah) seem to be swiftly removed. The problem with people like yourself is that they use hawaa’ (desires) first, then try and manipulate a few ayaat out of the Qur’an and Sunnah to benefit what your misguided thinking has already concluded.

    Have you (O Muhammad SAW) seen him who has taken as his ilâh (god) his own desire? Would you then be a Wakîl (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?’ (Surah Al-Furqan 25:43)

  29. Gohar

    April 23, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    I am wondering whether those not agreeing with the article are not so much arguing FOR bombings, but merely suggesting that the oppressed people who resort this should not automatically be condemned (shoes and a thousand steps etc) nor the israeli civilian complely let off the hook morally for what Israel does.

    I think Hani has hit the nail on the head with his statement personally.

  30. Amad

    April 23, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    So I don’t disagree with Hani’s statement either, but justice and bravery are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes inaction is INDEED better than action if the action is unjust because you have not improved the situation and have only committed another error. That is where patience and calculation come in. There are no actions more cowardly than the attacks that target civilians.

  31. Gohar

    April 23, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    I have complete respect for the view that ALL suicide bombings are haraam. But Amad, surely, you must concede that you can make a single moral judgement about every person who ‘commits’ one. Some are satanic minded (khawarij type people) and others just desperate.

  32. Gohar

    April 24, 2008 at 5:32 AM

    But Amad, surely, you must concede that you cannot make a single moral judgement about every person who resorts to such an extreme measure.

  33. Amad

    April 24, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Could there be another moral judgment if the attack is solely targeted at civilians, like 9/11 and the trade center or the london subway bombings?

    Allah has given us some criterion to judge actions that are so explicitly wrong and unjust.

    While I don’t agree with suicide bombings under any conditions because I believe they are haraam in essence, but I will leave the rulings on their use against combatants to the scholars.

  34. Pingback: Who Speaks for Islam? Part 3a- What Makes a Radical? | MuslimMatters.org

  35. salafi

    July 28, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    Suicide boming, even when employed just for “the sake of Allah,” is tantamount to raping someone, when one cannot marry due to financial reasons, for the sake of raising the potential progeny as Muslims, and thus carrying out the ‘will of Allah” by increasing the numbers of Muslims. If people can justify such hideous acts of kufr even for the sake of Allah, I wonder why did Allah reveal the law. We could potentially do anything “just for the sake of Allah.” Kill someone, rape someone, murder someone, behead someone, in fact, we could do anything as long as it was done “just for the sake of Allah’ deen.”

    Although I disagree with the mumbo-jumbo in this article that advocates the adoption of democratic ideals of “the West,” I, to some extent, do agree with the points raised in relation to the deviant nature of “martyrdom operations.”

  36. salafi

    July 28, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    To be technically correct, rape is not considered an act of kufr. Just wanted to clarify that from the last point.

  37. Ahmad AlFarsi

    July 28, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    akhi, is suicide considered major kufr? It is a grave sin, but I don’t think the scholars have classified it as major kufr.

  38. Ahmad AlFarsi

    July 28, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Islamqa.com with the answer:

    http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/45617/

    Killing oneself is a major sin, and there are stern warnings addressed to the one who does that, but it does not put one beyond the pale of Islam.

  39. Bint

    November 13, 2008 at 2:57 AM

    beware of the khwarijis-who do not value life at all and you do these suicide stuff.
    They are too arrogant and have deviated from islaam.
    It is only a political agenda for themselves- it is not about defending yourself at all.

    beware of the khwarajis

  40. Bruce

    October 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Suicide bomber is an oxymoran. The justifications used to commit to such an act may releive the perpatrator from internal guilt but it is still just a game of internal justification for murder.
    Someone who commits murder and then suicide in reaction to an event that has just occured to them is acting out uncontrolable rage or passion and have no control over their psychotic response.
    A suicide bomber on the other hand spends months or years planning the event in every detail with an end result of murder of innocent men, women and children. Murder is the intent, a political or idiological goal is set and suicide is the best means of delivery of the destructive media campaign.
    After the first failed attempt on the World Trade Center in 1993 it was obvious to the perpatrators a more commited approach was needed. The first Suspects in the First World Trade Center Bombing didn’t kill themselves in the attempt but a more radical approach was required to kill more, destroy the buildings and send the idiological message with a specific political goal.
    This is even different than the Japenese Suicide pilots of World War II as thier intended victims were enemy combatants on the opposite side. It too was a failure as the effort of suicide only highlights the desperation of a failing society as well as their inability to embrace civil means of resolution.
    There is injustice in the world and there are those of us who fight it every day but murder does not justify the desired end result nor will it bring the desired end for those that pursue it. The reason is that the masses reject this method as an ends to a mean. You have to have popular support world wide to effect a global change.
    Best example of a vision that resulted in change was Marting Luther King who knew that to be portrayed as the victim only works to effect change if you don’t victimize the oppresors yourself. Eventually the oppresors loose popular support and backing from the masses once the truth is revealed. Truth of oppression is manipulated and distorted if the oppressed resort to extrodinary barbaric means to achieve their intended goal.

  41. Pingback: Irum Sarfaraz

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