October 11, 2004

Preferential Suicide Tactics

Islam, supposedly, has a prohibition against suicide. Famously, this prohibition has become somewhat elastic with the suicide bombing campaigns in Israel and Chechnya. Thomas Friedman started me thinking about this in recent article.

There is some kind of suicide-supply chain working in the Muslim world and in Iraq that is able to draw recruits, connect them with bomb makers and deploy them tactically against U.S. and Iraqi targets on an almost daily basis.

What made me sit up and think about this is that it's becoming more and more obvious that any previous connection to Islamic justification has become more and more tenuous to the point of invisibility, that "suicide operations" far from being a last resort tactic of extremis are become tools of preference in the "global jihad".

This provides something of a theological dilemma. If suicide is a preferential option, if killing yourself in war even though you could escape and fight again is permissible, what is left of their suicide prohibition? And if the prohibition on suicide falls, what is left of their claim that Islam is unchanging?

At some point, the bulk of islamic scholars has to turn on this tactic and declare that some or all of the jihadi groups are apostate and the great Islamic civil war will unfold in the open. With each greater exception to the suicide rules we're getting closer to that day.

Posted by TMLutas at October 11, 2004 12:28 PM