|This article is part of the|
|Definition of terrorism>Definition & Conventions|
|Counter-terrorism>Counterterrorism & |
"War on Terror" and its criticisms
|Lists: List of terrorist groups>Groups,
State sponsors, |
|Types: Nationalist terrorism>Nationalist, Religious, |
State, Islamic, Ethnic,
|Tactics: Aircraft hijacking>Hijacking, |
|Configurations: Terrorist front organization>Fronts,|
|Other: Terrorism insurance|
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Islamic terrorism is a contentious term; many Muslims, particularly those supporting liberal movements within Islam do not accept that attacks on civilians can ever be justified by religion. From this perspective, this term is seen as a slur on Islam. Nonetheless, the term is commonly used by Western media to describe the activity of a wide variety of groups. In that these groups are both composed of Muslims and attacking civilians (and are thus engaging in terrorism), "Islamic terrorism" becomes a useful description.
The members of such groups are more likely to see themselves as freedom fighters rather than terrorists, as the political origins of such groups in Israel/Palestine, Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, Chechnya and most recently post-Saddam Iraq are often rooted in political demands for statehood and nationalist self-determination.
The most international of these groups, Al-Qaida also has its origins in a particular nationalist struggle; namely, rebellion against the royal family of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi regime is perceived as being too closely associated with American foreign policy, particularly through its support of the US liberation of Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Since the Al-Qaida's ideology is one of pan-Islamic nationalism and solidarity, the Saudi regime was thereafter seen as insufficiently Islamic; although such a view is bewildering to Westerners, who cannot imagine anything more 'Islamic' than the country's Wahhabi brand of Islamic law. To Al-Qaida in particular, the world is viewed as a struggle as their Islamic ideology versus a secular Western ideology. These view of the world has ironically been strengthened by the War on Terror.
In the view of the terrorists involved, they are supporting or spreading Islam. Modern Islamic terrorist groups are often inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. Some Islamic terrorists groups have employed suicide bombers, in spite of the comdemnation of suicide by Muslim religious authorities. These groups refer to suicide bomber attacks as martyrdom operationss and the suicides are characterized as shohada (plural of "shahid"). The nature, extent and support for Islamic terrorism among the general Muslim population is subject to considerable debate and disagreement among Westerners.
A medieval precedent of modern Islamic terrorism may have been the Hashshashin, a Islamic (Nizari) group from the Middle Ages that sent assassins against Crusader and Islamic rulers opposing them. Their lair was the Alamut fortress.
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2 See also
3 External links
Islamic terrorist groups