The Landscape of Muslim Terrorism Muhammad Al-Ashari
First of all Islamic criminal law has prescribed punishment for those who seek chaos and destruction on earth in Quran 5:33 when God says:
“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment”
Now let’s not be sentimental about these punishments even though harsh but first for those who create terrorism on land specially under Islamic jurisdiction such punishments are given based on juridical preferences and gravity of crimes. I won’t discuss the legal aspects but don’t be naïve to mix Quranic laws with terrorist traits. Quran 5:33 and other verses have described the attributes of terrorism which can be summed up as crimes against innocent people or their wealth. Islamophobes may say terrorists can act with terrorism in Dar Al-Kufr but this is also false, as long as treaty of peace and contractual agreement exists between Muslims and non-Muslim to maintain peace and order in non-Muslim countries, then Muslim must, according to rules of Islamic law fulfill the contract. On the other hand, just being a non-Muslim does not allow a Muslim to take his or her life or wealth because no one can aggress on a living soul unless by self-defense and in the proportion assigned by Islamic law. Quran strictly prescribes proportionality in retaliation either by text or by deduction through legal principles and rules of Islam. First of all the difference between Muslim terrorism and Hindu/Buddhist/Jewish/Christian (fascism) terrorism is that Muslim terrorism was fought by Muslims and criminalized while the latter is recognized by law and the system. Another difference is that Muslim terrorism took place in the context of western occupation while the latter takes place just because they are fascists, just because they hate all that is different from them. Muslim terrorism was about freedom from American imperialism while the latter is about freedom from minorities. You see Al-Qaeda, ISIS all formed in the context of American invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. while you see Hindutva, Buddhist Majoritarianism, white supremacy or Jewish land grab are all recognized by world and system and based on they hating the people different from them whether such difference be in faith or color of skin. If by Muslim terrorism you are thinking that, Muslims by following their religion is destroying the utopian secular existence of harmony and justice then you are someone who is existing in the dream world, a victim of the vanities of media and social indifference. However, you need to come to the real world which is a world of savage political establishments, predatory corporations and filthy greedy rich people who are vying for control and power, exploitation and manipulation of the opportunities that present in front of them. The masses are cattle to them and a laboratory to experiment in.
First let it be clear that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism as Islam and terrorism are antithetical. However, you can see Muslim terrorism in a multilayered perspective. The least dangerous and least widespread of these perspectives is the one where your fear of a real Muslim terrorist doing harm for his or her religion is real. The most widespread perspective is where Muslims are the fall guy of the powerful people’s games who only care for wealth and control without the pursuit of justice and equity among people. Here in comes the modern players from the world of spies and shadowy hands driving things by the modern hype of Muslim terrorism. This form of victimizing a group and exploitation of their negative image is not new but old way of the evil politicians. Not so long ago it was the Jews and today it is Muslims.
There can be no doubt some Muslims have committed terrorism purely for Islam by their false understanding of Quranic texts just like any other religious or atheistic fanatics who abuse their religions/ideologies. These incidents of Muslims actually abusing their religion for sake of religious adherence are rare and few. Within that few incidents most of them have a triggering factor such as American planes bomb a civilian target, or the Zionist occupation evict a Palestinian family or a Hindutva soldier rapes a Kashmiri woman etc., and the brother or son of the victims get a purpose to avenge their family, the lost ones.
The most wide-spread form of Muslim terrorism is imperialistic geopolitical construct where some evil shadowy funders use the Muslims or disguise as Muslims to further political ambitions (fig 1).
We have seen this in the architectural evolution of ISIS where religiously ill-educated Muslims are lured by powerful shadowy hands to fight Satan's war (a conglomerate of Gulf, Zionist and Western imperialists). For ISIS it was a host of players from secular Baathists, western spies, Zionists and the Arab intelligence. Many genuinely religiously motivated Muslims left ISIS once they knew they were being played by the evil plot of anti-Islamic players. Those who perpetrated the ghastly deeds of mutilation, burning and slaughter, were they really Islamic motivated fighters or the infiltrators from the un-Islamic hosts (have you not seen how Saudi spies dismember its targets?)? A brutal and cruel image of Islam and Muslims will garner global sympathy of an invasion/sanction/control against Muslims and/or anti-imperial entities/protocols, which did happen in cases of Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yemen or for group level against Hezbollah, Hamas, IRGC or Houthis. The real question is who benefits when Islam and Muslim image is tarnished? Who benefits if Muslim countries are in turmoil? For Isis it was Zionists, Gulf and imperialists. For the South East Asian countries, it is definitely India. For Africa it is France. Hostile powers exploiting terrorism to enhance domination and control.
In the early days of Bin Laden and his followers the fight was against western imperialism and its interests, the purpose was noble, but the methods were evil. This is one of the few instances where Muslims used evil measures to further a noble Islamic cause. Over the years the infiltrators into the bin laden Ideology groups have only exploited them for un-Islamic ends. How is it that from well-planned orchestrated attacks against western embassies and tourists to pressure western imperialists, now every non-Muslim became a target? This shift not only derails the initial agenda of al-Qaeda, of fight against western imperialism but also creates a new agenda contradicting the original. In short Muslim terrorism has been hijacked from being a cause against western imperialism to a cause for western imperialism (Fig 2).
We are facing 5th Generation crusades. I use the term crusades loosely not necessarily Christian against Muslims but crusades of fascists, globalists, corporations, and power-hungry politicians and rulers. Every religion has terrorists who have been moved by their holy texts but for Muslims I can say without a doubt that a) it has been due to misunderstanding and ignorance of Quran and not as a result of adhering to it and b) as a result of oppression by western invasions, sanctions and discrimination against Muslims, Muslim countries for decades, Kashmir occupation and Zionist occupation of Palestine since 1947 and other atrocities Muslims faced and facing. No other religious group or people are as persecuted as Muslims today. Muslims are the new Jews today.