When is the killing of non-combatants
|In 1995, Ayman al-Zawahiri argued in his book "The Rule for
Suicide-Martyr Operations" that it was not immoral to kill Muslim
non-combatants as long as the combatants were engaged in a conflict involving
"the enemies of Islam." That is, collateral damage is sometimes unavoidable.
|Several Saudi theologians have agreed. The Qur'an calls for the
expulsion of any non-Muslim invaders. This presumably includes the mainly
U.S., Russian, and European forces in the Middle East. The deaths of non-combatants are an
inevitable byproduct of this action. The
latter might even benefit from being killed. The rationale is that the
non-combatant who has led a sinful life might be headed towards Hell after
death. But if they died during the defense of Islam, their place in Paradise
would be certain.
|Other Saudi theologians expand tattarrus to a situation where no
non-Muslim troops are involved. They feel that it is acceptable that innocent Muslims in
Saudi Arabia be killed, because their deaths could eventually lead to a "truly Islamic
regime" being installed in the country.
That is, the ends justify the means.|
Abu-Musaab al-Zarqawi, an Al Qaeda operative in Iraq who has allegedly coordinated many attacks by insurgents, has written:
|Yussuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian sheik working in Qatar ruled that it is
morally acceptable to kill unarmed Muslims if they are:
He has since ruled that Muslim non-combatants in Iraq can be killed if necessary in order to reach the political and religious goals of the Muslim community. Again, the ends justify the means.
Sheik Muhammad Hussein Fadhlallah, the spiritual leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah believes that combatants should refer each case to an authorized mujtahid (qualified religious guide) before implementing an action that would result in the killing of Muslim non-combatants. However, most of the leading supporters of the principle of tattarrus suggest that insurgents can proceed on their own authority.
|Grand Ayatollah Ali-Muhammad Sistani, a leading Shi'ite theologian
rejects tattarrus, as it is currently being applied, because it is a "bid'aah" (innovation).
He has asked Shi'ítes in Iraq to avoid taking revenge against Sunni
Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi, dean of Cairo's Al-Azhar University, states that Islamic law:
He may have based this belief on the passage in the Qur'an (5:32) which states:
He has said:
Unfortunately, the missing words in the quotation, identified as "..." above contains a loophole that is sometimes not mentioned. It is often translated as:
Depending upon an individual's interpretation of the Qur'an, their experiences, and many other factors, the meaning assigned to "mischief" or "corruption" can vary widely from person to person.
Najih al-Ibrahim, another Egyptian theologian, criticizes what he calls
Hisham Abdul-Zahir, also an Egyptian theologian, has said that the killing of civilians in Iraq is:
Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin al-Ubaikan, a Saudi theologian, has suggested that Muslim clerics hold:
"... a theological summit"
to discuss tattarrus and related issues. He asked:
"Is it enough for an individual to say he is fighting for Islam in order to claim a license to kill anyone, anywhere and anytime?" 1
The great Islamic scholar Yahya bin Sharaf Ul-Deen An-Nawawi compiled a collection of 43 sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Number 13 states:
"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." 3
This closely parallels many other statements by leaders of other religions, and passages from their Holy Books which are collectively referred to as the "Golden Rule. Treating others as one would wish to be treated by others is the fundamental rule of behavior found throughout all major religions. Killing people or allowing people to die, except in very unusual circumstances, is, IMHO, the most egregious violation of this rule. It is to be avoided at all costs.
However, such killing forms the essence of terrorist attacks where the goal is to kill as many innocent, uninvolved civilians as possible in random places in the most dramatic way possible. My belief is that it deserves the highest level of condemnation.
Perhaps in response to major terrorist attacks in London, England and Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt during 2005-JUL, Muslim leaders in the U.S., England and the rest of the world issued numerous condemnations against random acts of terrorists. They have continued to do so in recent times. More info.
Copyright © 2005 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-JUN-12
Latest update: 2016-FEB-09
Author: B.A. Robinson
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