June 24, 2003

Is Suicide Bombing a protest?

Hooman has a thoughtful post "Pointless thoughts over pointless acts" discussing about the people who set themselves on fire in the name of protest. He commented: "Palestinians can argue suicide bombings are over territorial claims." But why there are suicide bombings in Kenia, Pakistan, Bangladesh or in Saudi Arabia and the threat is increasing. Why are we letting people to argue this kind of inhumane atrocities as a mean of protest?

I have been looking for reading materials to understand about the mindset of the suicide bombers and what are they trying to achieve.

Most experts agree suicide bombers are not lunatics. They are usually rational idealists who are prepared to die for what they believe is the greater good of their society. So-called suicide bombings, however, are seen by Islamists and Tamils alike as instances of martyrdom, and should be understood as such. Arabic term used is istishad, a religious term meaning to give one's life in the name of Allah. A suicide terrorist is almost always the last link in a long organizational chain that involves numerous actors. Once the decision to launch a suicide attack has been made, its implementation requires at least six separate operations: target selection, intelligence gathering, recruitment, physical and "spiritual" training, preparation of explosives, and transportation of the suicide bombers to the target area. Fundamentalist terrorist groups offer persuasive inducements to would-be bombers. The lures of joining these groups include ideas of what the afterlife involves like "Allah will forgive the sins of both the suicide bomber and his family". They are seen as martyrs/heroes in the struggle. The families are praised... and the families of the bombers usually receive some financial reward. But the reality is there is no such thing in Islam as suicide bombing. No justification of terrorists fantasy of martyrdom and it is forbidden and a sin that is not going to be forgiven by God. Read Suicide Bombing in Islam.

In the early 70's terrorists were motivated by some kind of ideology. Today's terrorists seem to be motivated by other people's ideology.

So how to put an end to the suicide bombings? Anybody has any idea?


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