Terrorism by Muslim extremists
The most distressing feature of certain extremist groups in
Islamic fundamentalism is
that that they believe they have the right to take human life. The assumed right
to kill is derived from traditional Islamic rules concerning apostasy. It is
especially the theological framework developed by the Egyptian writer Sayyid
Qutb in the 1950s and 1960s that made the killings committed by these
fundamentalist groups seem reasonable and necessary to them. Sayyid Qutb himself
was hanged in 1966.
One such group claiming the right to kill is Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya
which is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist militant organization, listed as
terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Hamas attacks Israel.
Some are large-scale suicide bombings, such as that of the Netanya hotel in
2002, in which 29 people were killed and 133 were wounded. Hamas has used
female suicide bombers, including a mother of six. In recruiting the
bombers, Hamas leaders maintained that the perpetrators of suicide missions
would receive in heaven seventy virgins and seventy wives (some put the
numbers at seventy-two), and that their families would receive a cash
payment that used to be worth 12 to 15 thousand US dollars. In 2002, funds
from Iraq and Saudi Arabia doubled this amount.
The Shi’a Iranian leader and holy man Ayatollah Khomeini is quoted by Amir
Taheri 1 to have said:
"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not
disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of
countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country of the
world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam
wants to conquer the whole world. Those who know nothing of Islam
pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those (who say this) are
witless. Islam says: Kill the unbelievers just as they would kill you!
Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured?
Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter. … Islam says:
Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! … Islam
says: Whatever good there is exists thank to the sword and in the shadow
of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The
sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy
Warriors! There are hundreds of other psalms and Hadiths urging Muslims
to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion
that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who
made such a claim."
Iran (together with Syria) control the Shi’a terrorist group Hezbollah
(a.k.a. Hezb Allah and many other transliterations).
The religiously motivated bombings and terrorist attacks by radical, violent,
extremist Muslim groups
are too numerous to be listed here. Among those resulting in a major loss of
|2005: Delhi bombing (over 60 killed, over 180 injured); Sharm
el-Sheikh bombing (64 killed); London Underground bombing (53 killed,
nearly 700 injured).|
|2004: Beslan school occupation by Chechens (344 civilians killed,
including 186 children); Madrid trains bombing (191 killed, 1460 injured).|
|2002: Bali nightclub bombing (202 killed, 300 injured).|
|2001: World Trade Center and Pentagon hit (nearly 3,000 dead).|
|1998: U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombings (225 dead, over
400 injured); Lockerbie crash (killed 259 aboard the plane, 11 on the
|1983: U.S. Embassy in Beirut bombing (63 killed); Beirut U.S.
military barracks suicide bombing (241 killed); Beirut French military
barrack suicide bombing (58 killed).|
Not covered here is the fighting within Islam itself, such as
between the Sunni and the Shi'a in Iraq and Pakistan. This conflict is a clear expression of
extreme religious intolerance. Such a theme would require an author who is a specialist in
Islamic matters, with a thorough familiarity of the problems
The following information source was used to prepare and update this
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- Amir Taheri, "Holy Terror. Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism," Adler &
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Copyright © 2006 by Vladimir Tomek
Originally posted: 2007-OCT-02
Latest update: 2007-OCT-02
Author: Vladimir Tomek