Department     College of Asia Pacific Studies
   Position   Professor
Language English
Publication Date 2016/05
Type Research paper (Academic/Professional Journal)
Peer Review Peer reviewed
Title Violence and terrorism in the Middle East
Contribution Type Single Work
Journal Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics
Volume, Issue, Page 26(3),pp.101-106
Details Recently, there has been a lot of debate on whether Islam is similar or different from other religions regarding the potential to incite violence/terrorism. Some researchers claim that Islam as a religion may not incite violence and/or terrorism any more than other mainstream religions, and refer to the fact that the majority of Muslims are peaceful. Others suggest that the majority of recent terrorist attacks are committed by certain groups of Islamic fundamentalists known as Salafi Jihadists and violent aggression including terrorist attacks is more common in parts of the world where Salafi Muslims live, such as in the Middle East. A third group explains that many areas in the Middle East have been impacted by sociopolitical conflict, war and failed states thus making them vulnerable for terrorism; therefore the association with Islamic fundamentalism is only secondary to geopolitical issues. This article examines some of the common beliefs among Islamic fundamentalists in order to demonstrate if and how aggression may be incited and aggressive violence including terrorism be justified in this worldview. It is demonstrated how a strict emphasis on pure monotheism (tawheed), sovereignty of God (hakimiyyat), a belief in God’s omniscience (ilm) and predestination (qadar), emphasis on right ‘intentions’ (niyyah) rather than right actions, and unequal treatment of humans based on religious beliefs are ‘risk factors’ that may incline some salafi (fundamentalist) Muslims towards jihadism. The article concludes by suggesting awareness programs to help reform the philosophical worldview of Salafi communities by
focusing on the value of life and Islamic humanism.
Note: Based on the belief that Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers were implementing true Islam, and any later innovations (bid’a) are wrong, salafism is commonly associated with a strict literal interpretation of Islam. generation”. A salafi can be from any of the four main schools of Sunni Islam. They usually condemn certain practices of other Muslims, especially the shi’a, as polytheism (shirk). Still, most salafis would only preach “purist” Islam and stay away from political activity. Some salafis have become politically active, and among this latter group, a small number have chosen to follow Islamic Jihadism. They particularly became apparent in 1990s and are currently fewer than 10 million in number,
ISSN 1173-2571