Martyrdom and Murder

(The Economist-UK) The Koran is unequivocal about suicide: as a mark of despair in Allah, it earns eternal damnation. On the other hand, martyrdom - death in jihad, incurred in Allah's name - earns eternal bliss. Especially since the advent of Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam that evolved in the 18th century, the notion of jihad as external warfare has been revived. Counter-intuitive though it may seem, terrorists regard suicide attacks as low-risk, given the scale of devastation they can inflict. As Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's right-hand man, has put it, "the method of martyrdom operations [is] the most successful way of inflicting damage against the opponent and least costly to the mujahideen in terms of casualties."

2004-01-09 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive