Muslim Scholars Justify Terrorism

Or, as the AP spins it:

Muslim Scholars Condemn London Attack

LONDON – Muslim leaders and scholars condemned the London bombings Friday but stopped short of criticizing all suicide attacks, with some of them saying those targeting occupying forces are sometimes justified.

The 22 imams and scholars meeting at London’s largest mosque said in a joint statement that the perpetrators of the subway blasts had violated the Quran by killing innocent civilians and that no one should consider them martyrs.

But maybe we should consider other suicide bombers martyrs:

“There should be a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime,” said Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London.

And yet the failure to see a distinction is our fault:

“The media in the West are mixing the difference between these two, and the result is that some of our Muslim youth are becoming more frustrated and they think that both are the same, even though Muslim law forbids killing any innocent lives,” Musawi said.

The definition of “innocent” has been played fast and loose in the Islamic world, which is why the West is so “confused” about the issue.

My career is based on researching the root causes of terrorism, but if this is the best that the leaders of the Islamic community can come up with, then perhaps they deserve the negative treatment they get. Until there is an unequivocal statement condemning terrorism, there is no need to take the “Islam is a religion of peace” mantra seriously.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, , ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. mike says:

    Ask any American, no matter what their age, what is the first thought that comes to their head when you mention the word “muslim” or “islam” and I would bet a majority (if they were being honest) would say it is “terrorist” – The terrorists have set back their religion in so many ways and these Muslim “scholars” and other religious leaders who try to explain their actions or justify them only makes it worse.

  2. Herb says:

    What a bunch of hypocrites. Islam is a peaceful religion, “Right”. Suicide bombers are sometimes right on, “Right”

    I think that Islam only understands a pile of bodies, and would only be peaceful when they and their suicide bombers and those who facilitate them are long gone from the rest of society.

    It is indeed sad when a religion is so afraid of peace that it would advocate the killing of innocent people.

  3. Billy says:

    This is something the left and right can (and/or should) agree on; until there is an unequivocal definition of “innocent” (ALL non-combatants) by Islamic scholars regarding what constitutes a legitimate target for “resistance,” there will never be an understanding between Islam and the West.

  4. Anderson says:

    I am so puzzled by this post. Is it your view that attacks “targeting occupying forces” are NOT “sometimes justified”?

    We can argue over who’s an occupying force (that might play into the “sometimes”), but I would think it’s obvious that blowing myself up to kill enemy soldiers isn’t “terrorism.” If it is, I think we’ve awarded a couple of Medals of Honor to terrorists.

    What a peculiar conclusion this post seems to reach. I really hope it’s not prejudice against Islam that leads to it.

  5. Anderson says:

    For that matter, remind me how many Christian clerics lined up to denounce the incineration of civilians in Hamburg, Tokyo, Hiroshima …?

    Christianity: a religion of peace?

    —You see how this gets. Judging a religion by the failures of its adherents is a sad little game.

  6. Lurking Observer says:

    Except, Anderson, that I don’t think anyone claimed that World War II was a “Christian” war.

    It was not Christians as Christians who started the war (Hitler was not exactly popular w/ Christian leaders).

    It was not fought in order to expand Christianity (at least, not by those who started the war).

    Whereas we have people claiming that this war is being fought on behalf of Muslims—and the larger Muslim community is not disassociating itself from such claims.

    Rather a different situation, don’t you think?

  7. Anderson says:

    “Have people claiming”? I rather suspect we could find “people” claiming most anything about WW2.

    But let’s use real examples. The Inquisition was most certainly “on behalf of” the Christian Church. Is that a criticism of Christianity per se?

    Etc., etc. My point of course wasn’t to deprecate Christianity but to point out the flaw in the post’s logic, and to suggest that we direct our ire towards Osama and actual terrorists, not towards Islam in general.