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Nothing Remotely Like a Concept of 'Just War' in Islam

Reader comment on item: Education by Murder in Boston

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Apr 24, 2013 at 12:42

You can go right to the heart of Islam to explain the conscienceless, mindless murdering of women, children, and civilians in Boston, and of course much more so throughout the heartlands of Islam. It is not hard to explain this cruelty if we consider that, unlike the West, Islam has not, and never in its history has had, any rational concept of Just War or of civilized 'Rules' of warfare.

Back in the 17th century, the first great name in the formulation of International Law, and in the concept of Rules of War which all civilized nations should or must follow, was that of a Dutchman named Hugo Grotius (1583-1645). His ideas were formed out of the 80 years war for Dutch independence against Spain (1568-1648, with truces), incipient sectarian Civil war in Holland, and the devastating 30 year War in Germany (1618-48), primarily fought over religion, Catholicism vs Protestantism.

His seminal ideas, backed up in later centuries by religious and lay thinkers (admittedly with less than perfect results!) are part of the core experience and bedrock of Western thought. It is because of their utter absence in Islamic thought and culture that all Muslim terrorists, including the recent two in Boston, feel that ordinary devout, pious Muslims feel that it's morally acceptable and legitimate to plant bombs among children and civilians, as did the 9/11 suicide bombers on the planes.

It is also why Palestinians and Jordanians feel no shame in publicly honoring suicide bombers and other murderers who blow themselves up among Israeli civilians. It is also of course why, with even more casualties, Muslims "insurgents" blow themselves up at weddings and funerals, and in public gatherings in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, with no convincing or credible condemnation by any public or theological authorities in the lands of Islam.

This is therefore another reason for considering the argument for taking on Islam itself (if not, collectively, all Muslims) as the enemy of the West, not to mention the particular importance in using this crucial void in Islamic thought as a tool to understand the otherwise hard-to-fathom cruelty of suicide bombers, of whom we are very apt to see copy cats after this first successful attack since 2001 within the United States, and after celebritizing the bombers on a global scale.

If we have to be 'educated by murder', so be it. But the more we study the History of Islamic thought and behavior, and bring discussion of that history front and center in political dialogue, the clearer it will become that Islam is comprehensively incompatible with Western or any other civilization. And this is true regardless of the fact that large numbers of individual Muslims may be Bad Muslims, i.e. their thoughts, feelings, and behavior are incompatible with the religion they cling to - although we should also note there is no sign that these Bad muslims, who Dr Pipes insists on calling "moderate" Muslims, are establishing any kind of effective counterforce to violence behavior and violent thought, within Islam.

Ron Thompson

Submitting....

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