On air: Is suicide bombing an offence to Islam?

A prominent Muslim scholar Dr Tahir ul-Qadri is issuing a fatwa on suicide bombing and terrorism. In his 600-page religious ruling Dr. ul-Qadri states that Islam forbids the massacre of innocent citizens and suicide bombings.

Ul-Qadri goes further than other Muslim scholars before him and disagrees with scholars who believe that conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is an exceptional situation where “martyrdom” attacks can be justified.

Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Dr. Ul-Qadri’s organization in the UK said the fatwa challenges the promises of an afterlife for suicide bombers and sets out point-by-point theological arguments against the rhetoric used by al-Qaeda inspired recruiters.

Can this fatwa instill doubt in the minds of suicide bombers? If ‘martyrdom’ is considered an offence to Islam, could it stop suicide bombings?

104 Responses to “On air: Is suicide bombing an offence to Islam?”

  1. March 2, 2010 at 12:35

    Salaam gang… ”Is suicide bombing an offence to Islam” ??? YES and a million YES, and yet it is very wrong to to assume that the only way a practicing Muslim fellow can become a martyr is by becoming a suicide bomber… There’re so many ways other than becoming a suicide bomber via which we can resist occupation and occupiers… With my love…. Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad

  2. 2 username
    March 2, 2010 at 13:01

    Dr. ul-Qadri clearly hasn’t read the commands of Mohammed

    • March 2, 2010 at 15:57

      Salaam, and you clearly haven’t read the holy Quranic text ”Don’t you kill youreslves. Allah is merciful to you”-so sorry for the lousy English translation… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  3. 4 Cabe UK
    March 2, 2010 at 13:39

    Why does this need to come from a Muslim Scholar? – The questions should really be coming from all the religious teachers and Mullahs surely? (unless – and I apologise in advance – they are of course one and the same thing ?)

    But why not go all the way?…. Why stop at just ‘suicide’ bombings?

    (and Hi Lubna! – Good to hear from someone in Baghdad!)

  4. 5 Ibrahim in UK
    March 2, 2010 at 13:39

    I think there needs to be clarification on a few terms in terms of Islamic teaching:

    1. Killing non-combatants is an offence, even during a battle. More so when there is no battle and it is premeditated. (even trees aren’t allowed to be damaged)

    2. Suicide is an offence.

    3. Self-defence against oppression/occupation is a right and an obligation.

    What seems to have happened in the last 30 years is that some clerics have decided that self-defence (3) overrides 1 and 2. Tahir ul-Qadri (amongst others) is saying it doesn’t. How effective will his words be? They may help reduce the numbers of suicide bombers, but there will still be those that believe the ends justify the means, and those who are inspired by nationalism not religion.

  5. 6 Subhash C mehta
    March 2, 2010 at 14:25

    All religions had evolved around love, peace and justice. The term ‘martyrdom’ has started to be misinterpreted, in the name of religion, by most of the perpetrators of inhuman and irreligious crimes; Martyrs are those who lay down their lives while fighting for the human causes or the enemies of peace, or while saving lives of the innocents.

  6. 7 Maccus Germanis
    March 2, 2010 at 14:42

    Can’t blame him for trying. Not very hopeful that this project will have widespread impact though, and I would caution a Western audience against believing that which we had rather were true.

  7. 8 me in USA
    March 2, 2010 at 15:28

    This is really sad that a fatwa has to be issued to clarify that suicide bombing and killing people indiscriminantly is an offense. These people who claim to do this in the name of islam are not only doing injustice to to the world but also all muslims around the world. The media doesn’t help either because all I see is islamic militants and islamists in the news when actually this has nothing to do with Islam and these are only brain washed cults of people who have leaders taking advantage of their desperation, promising wonderful things in the hereafter in exchange for terrible crimes which they label as matryrdom. This is one of the signs of the end of times when those who are killing do not know why they are killing and those who are being killed do not why they are being killed.

    • 9 Mavis Cain
      March 2, 2010 at 16:23

      I listened this mornign to the BBC and caught the4 last part of the interview with the Muslim scholar. When pressed he admitted that he agreed that suicide bombing is justified !! Mon Dieu! Is he a parent? Would he have said that about his own child. One cringes at the thought of a young person so brainwashed that he/she believes his family will go to paradise. Here in the U.S the story was that youngsters were fede cool-aid by the Moonies to make them fall in line with ridiculous commnads. Has Cool-aid spread around the world? Mavis Cain

    • March 2, 2010 at 17:21

      I do not agree with war period, however, I understand poor people fighting back with everything they got against oppressors who use F-16’s from 30 thousand feet and cause what you in the US so casually call “COLLATERAL DAMAGE”. You are called patriots and don’t need a Fatwa to kill innocent people. You call these people brainwashed. Have you seen the people who join the US Military? The majority are from the fringes of American society and join the Army out of desperation because they are otherwise unemployed. Most have limited education and have no idea what the world is all about. This is the epitome of brainwashing!

      • 11 Maccus Germanis
        March 2, 2010 at 19:50

        You meet that many of our servicemen, in Canada, do you?

      • March 3, 2010 at 15:27

        To Maccus Germanis
        I have spent many years in the US and know you’re so called land of the free, very well including US servicemen after their stint in the military, who worked for me. Canadians in general are much better educated than their neighbours to the South. You may not like it but the facts are just that, FACTS!

  8. 13 Jayson Rex
    March 2, 2010 at 16:05

    It is all very nice BUT … someone must convince the 1.5 billion Muslims that their idea about this subject is WRONG. Who dares to do it? Most probably, only a Western suicider – if there is one easily avaliable.

    Also to be considered is the fact that no Muslim country ever went after terrorists that killed non-Muslims – to severely punish them and thus protect their citizenry’s honor and dignity. None did this, so far.

    So sorry but Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri arguments – 600 pages of them – don’t really mean much. Not after reading the Koran and the newspapers.

  9. 15 dan
    March 2, 2010 at 16:14

    Sorry Lubna but you are wrong as Muslims worldwide tell you that you are wrong in that they will protest frightened to death over a cartoon but not one whimper of a protest for Mumbai, Spain, England, New York, Mosques destroyed in Islamic countries and of course Muslims killing Muslims and other unspeakable acts.
    People think Islam has been hijacked but I proffer that Islam has been transformed with the acquiesce of its followers into a violent cult with wanton murder as one of its tools to achieve its goals. the irony is that once those goals are achieved will Islam turn on itself and also what improvement to the world and peoples lives and living conditions will result?

    • March 2, 2010 at 16:38

      Well Dan, may I ask you a Q. ? Who helped (financially and logistically) creating Al Mujahideen in Afghanistan (who are the ancestors of Al Qaeda) during the last century inorder to help tackle the communist Soviet influence there ? I will give you a small hint, it’s the government of the country that has got 50 states… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

      • 17 Saut
        March 2, 2010 at 18:36

        Do you mean that the 50 states country also the taught Al Mujahideen and Al Queda to attack that country?

      • 18 Nate, Portland OR
        March 2, 2010 at 19:10

        While the US certainly played a cynical, short-sighted game in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and occupation, it didn’t create the thousands of mostly Saudi youth volunteering to defend Islam. Saudi Arabia did that. The US govt worked with the Saudis, with the US role primarily providing advanced weaponry. Money, warm bodies, motivation and ideology was the Saudi contribution.

        When the Soviets went down the US abruptly left. Would the US have been welcome to stay? How soon before we earned the “occupiers” label? In any case the Saudis stayed and built hundreds of “schools” where poor young people were taught nothing but the Quaran. I’ve heard they’ve been taught a perverted version of Islam, but I really don’t know enough to say. It appears they came out violently hostile not only to infidels but also to Muslims that don’t share their puritanical values.

        So shouldn’t the Saudis be getting at least an equal share of your ire regarding al Mujahideen?

      • 19 Maccus Germanis
        March 2, 2010 at 19:55

        You’d rather that the USSR still be in Afghanistan?

  10. 20 jens
    March 2, 2010 at 16:17


    all religions evolve around love, peace and justice???? like the crusades, viking pilaging, witch hunt, secterian violence….. you can keep that love, peace and justice to yourself. I prefer the atheist way of not having to be at odds with somebody on the basis of their believes.

    • 21 Kenneth Ingle
      March 2, 2010 at 17:03

      Hello Jens,
      During my time at the hospital in Tel el Kabir I had christian, moslem and atheist patients. The last were always the most difficult to deal with, because they had no hope for the future, if they thought they were going to die.
      Your remarks about the crusades etc., are understandable but a bit off the mark. Fighting wars in the name of Christ has nothing whatsoever with his teachings. The Jews too are not allowed to kill or rob according to the ten commandments, but what does Israel do every day? The suicide bombers have also misunderstood their mission on Earth, but as they only listen to their own leaders, it is up to their religious teachers to stop these crimes. The views of outsiders have little value in Islam.

    • 22 Ibrahim in UK
      March 2, 2010 at 17:37

      Atheism is not a barrier to be being evil or a mass murderer. Pol Pot (leader of the Khmer Rouge) was an atheist. (Maybe Stalin was too)
      Religion, race, culture, class, clothing, football team etc are all differences that a criminal can use to judge someone else as different/inferior and used to justify a crime.

  11. 23 Livia Varju
    March 2, 2010 at 16:19

    At last! This is what I have been hoping for and pushing for years. Only Islamic scolars can stop these murderous attacks on innocent civilians. We can only hope that he will gather more and more Imams and clerics to this cause.
    Livia Varju.

    • 24 Amanda Thomas
      March 5, 2010 at 10:52

      Thank you, LV, for expressing my own thoughts.

      Higher Muslim authorities should clarify Islam for all.

      I agree with KI too, and feel that all religions try to encourage us to love one another, to forgive and to be nice!

      Unfortunately our ordinary lives with daily worries and duties give us little time to tackle these meaningful issues meaningfully…so let’s hope the higher-ups get it right for all our sakes.


  12. 25 Buffalo Bro
    March 2, 2010 at 16:26

    It would be a more incisive discussion if the interviewer had pursued his guest’s retort to his own question , to paraphrase, “What”s the difference between a suicide bomber and one who flies a F-16 or Cobra?”

  13. 26 Lee
    March 2, 2010 at 16:29

    The question “Is suicide bombing and offence in Islam” is skewed. The more appropriate question humanity needs to ask is whether or not KILLING is ever justified according to the tenets of any religion and for what purpose. To single out ISLAM is a great “push button” way of engaging this discussion but it doesn’t invoke a very insightful discussion.


    Oakland, CA

  14. 27 patti in cape coral
    March 2, 2010 at 16:41

    As most religions, it is open to interpretation and a deeply personal thing. As most, if not all, religious texts, the Koran seems to contradict itself. I don’t know if suicide bombing is an offense to Islam, but it is an offence to humanity. I appreciate what Dr .Tahir ul-Qadri is trying to do, and really hope his interpretation catches on.

    • 28 Saut
      March 2, 2010 at 18:45

      Islam does not contradict itself. Geo-political conflict parties have different delivery systems, one side prefers drone planes to carry the payload while some others prefer manual labour. Reckon the one using mainly manual labour will do the most praying. While the others just hope that the CPU does not get hang.

      • 29 patti in cape coral
        March 2, 2010 at 19:19

        I’m sorry Saut, but the Koran, as well as the Bible, and most other religions most certainly contradict themselves, saying do not kill on one hand, and justifying it on the other hand. Dead is dead, whether you behead me or kill me with a drone. One isn’t any better or worse than the other.

  15. 30 Tony from Singapura
    March 2, 2010 at 16:42

    The business of suicide bombing is not really religious, rather it is politics making use of religion.

    The suicide bombers are generally young and have been misled by senior religious figures to whom they have looked up to, and otherwise by financial motivations.

    But the flaw is so obvious – a big part of Islam is managing your afterlife so if suicide bombing was a first class ticket to a good afterlife, then why arent the renegade mullahs lining up at the head of the queue to wear the belt.

  16. 31 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    March 2, 2010 at 16:53

    In “The End of Faith,” Sam Harris points out that there is a verse in the Koran that says “You shall not destroy yourself.” He then goes on to quote page after page after page of verses from the Koran that contradict that one statement.

    I applaude Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri’s scholarly attempt to cite chapter and verse against the barbaric practice of suicide bombings. One has to start somewhere. But the Koran is so full of contradictory messages that are open to multiple interpretations that it seems unlikely that his fatwa will have much effect.

    The Judeo-Christian bible is full of similar contradictory messages that can be similarly interpreted in many different ways. Even so, Christians and Jews no longer stone adults to death for adultry or stone children to death for not respecting their parents.

    Until Muslims similarly accept that certain things are not acceptable in the world we live in today, and that they must behave by certain universal standards of human rights and respect for human life no matter what the beliefs of other humans, we’re in for a long haul of Islamic violence.

  17. 32 Nesha @ Ohio State University
    March 2, 2010 at 17:02

    Oh, come on, man. People complain all the time that Muslims don’t do enough to condemn terrorism. I my myself have been wrongfully accused of not standing up for my religion. It’s SO freakin easy to point fingers when you’re comfortable ignoring people who are actually trying to do something. Now when this man defends Islam against terrorism and violence, people are asking why he needs to be the one to do it.
    It’s not about being apologetic. It’s about giving the facts. Nobody’s apologizing for anything. As Muslims, we shouldn’t have to apologize for something that is so against and completely removed from our belief. But, we clearly have an obligation to remove ourselves from tainted stereotypes and associations. Of course, we shouldn’t wait around for Scholars to speak for us, but it’s good that someone with knowledge and facts from the Quran, not assumptions, is doing some of the talking.
    And, you know, if more people spoke to Muslims themselves instead of relying so heavily on the media, they might get the same response Dr. Ul-Qadri’s giving.

  18. 33 T
    March 2, 2010 at 17:11

    You should rephrase the question: is it an offence to human dignity? The answer is yes.

    Not to justify it necessarily. But if you’re poor, trapped in Gaza and feel like there’s no hope, which will you do? Write, call or fax your representative in the local govt? The Israeli govt? Or take direct action?

  19. 34 Guido, Vienna
    March 2, 2010 at 17:15

    Do you rally need a religion to know whether killing humans (and yourself) is justified?

  20. 35 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri India
    March 2, 2010 at 17:21

    No religion justifies killings of innocent people or wars. Only to maintain Self Respect Martyrdom is pleaded.

  21. 36 Methusalem
    March 2, 2010 at 17:24

    @Subhash C mehta

    “All religions had evolved around love”

    Where is your proof? I was not able to find the word “Love” in the Koran. The only religion that talks about love for all of humanity is CHRISTIANITY.

  22. 37 Ibrahim in UK
    March 2, 2010 at 17:28

    Interestlngly, according to wikipedia, the first suicide bombing was done by the crusaders. It’s been used by several groups since then. Suicide bombing by Muslims only started in the Iran-Iraq war around 30 years ago (an Iranian child blowing up an Iraqi tank). It looks more like an existing tactic/weapon that has been adopted by muslims, rather than an evolution from Islam itself.
    As Lee points out, the question is very one-sided.
    Is the killing of any civilian an affront to civilised values, regardless of the tools used to kill (suicide bomb, atom bomb, F16, starvation etc.)

  23. 38 Cabe UK
    March 2, 2010 at 17:32

    The minority of Religious leaders who teach Muslim Fundamentalism are to blame for the way the majority of Muslims are viewed – AND – for the vast majority of terrorism in the world today in the name of their Prophet.
    For me – as an ordinary everyday mid-worlder whose lineage is akin to Heinz 57, and with not that much Global-intelligence (for want of a better word) – I can say that if I did not know better, – then Muslims appear to Only be worshipping the messenger and forgetting all about one who sent him? Not only that – they don’t seem too bothered about the message either, because they still haven’t worked it out yet??
    I think it’s a bad reflection on the whole Religion to have to put up that ‘wanted’ poster! It shows what a huge crack they have in the works and which in a way, normal non-violent Muslims are partly to blame for, because THEY sit on the fence and do nothing about it!
    Japan had Kamakaze pilots so suicide bombings are nothing new, it’s just another form of ego / terrorism – Has nothing to do with God, and is an offence to the whole world.

  24. 39 Adam J Carroll - cleveland US
    March 2, 2010 at 17:34

    i must, to an extent, agree with Jens. while one does not need to be atheist, a secular education can logically lead to a view of non violence. remove religion from morality and one would still be able to arrive at a very similar conclusion, killing is not good. Even Freud, who believed that we are intrinsically bad people, never said that we should kill or be killed. us in developed countries have entered into a social contract that allows us the ability to live free lives in order of our pursuit of happiness. why can these other nations not get the picture. according to Open Doors International Christians are the most persecuted against and yet the Christian world is not strapping C4 to their knickers. while i am not a scholar of the Qur’an i was able to figure out that Mohammad did wish for peace and he did state to love your Christian and Jewish brothers as your own who have not yet learned the way.

  25. 40 Adam J Carroll - cleveland US
    March 2, 2010 at 17:37

    i do believe however that if anyone, or any one type of people, would be able to persuade the extremists it would be a scholar of the Islamic text and faith, so with that i thank you for your efforts Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri and hope you are successful

  26. 41 Brad
    March 2, 2010 at 17:37

    The question of suicide bomming being an offence in Islam only arises when inocent life is the deliberate target. I for one believe that it is possibly a legitemate MILITARY strategy (AKA Suicide mission)when deployed in strictly military targets. Its use on defenceless civilans and in crowded places makes them criminals. This is no different to a F16 or a Cobra deliberatelty firing on a hospital or school – even if they know the enemy is hiding among the innocent.

    remember we have seen this before in the Pacific in WW11 and it did achieve some success in that setting .

    So to conclude suciide bombing like any other form of attack or even self defence is a tactic of war fare that in the western context can be reffered to as the ultimate suicide mission which have been employed in the past – tru we do not brain wash , but it is also done in the knowledge that the sacrifice will benefit the “pepole”

    • March 3, 2010 at 15:42

      You say “tru we do not brain wash”. You have to be kidding! The basic training for US servicemen includes indoctrination (in other words brain washing ). What is happening in your military schools, praying? There are many forms of brain washing, you should educate yourself.

  27. 43 viola
    March 2, 2010 at 17:44

    Yes, suicide bombing is an offense against everyone, including the followers of Islam. However, as is true of all religions, Islam is viewed through the lenses of individual eyes and experiences and influences, and that accounts for the perversion of the use of suicide bombing as a political tool and weapon delivery system in war by misguided or ambitious people.

    In addition, Islam has no ultimate human authority as has, for instance, the Catholic Church’s pope, which means every person in Islam is free to interpret his religion as he sees fit. In that respect it resembles some Christian churches. Both systems have pro’s and con’s in their favor.

    Viola in Canada

  28. 44 Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite
    March 2, 2010 at 17:47

    Hello! and thank you very much for the slot to comment.
    Suicide bombings and Islam are likely to be at odds in scholarly interpretation, but this is not surely in the understanding of the bombers. “Jihad Islamia” is a war cry, is it not, and suicide bombing is only one of the ways in this war, obviously popular with the people. Even if the saying “all is fair in … war” is not oriental, it is more or less confirmed by suicide bombing and by the attitude of the bombers. Therefore I should think that it is futile to hope to influence the operators of these horrid attacks. It seems to me that no philosophy or a philosophical interpretation of the question can influence the fanatic. They might be lured only by another fanatic conviction. Thank you

  29. 45 JanB
    March 2, 2010 at 17:53

    @Ibrahim in the UK

    It’s not so much the suicide bombing that is questioned, the recruiting methods and the targeting are. If they restricted themselves to military targets and would only be using, conscious, adult volunteers it wouldn’t be so despicable. But we both know that’s not how it goes.

    • 46 Ibrahim in UK
      March 2, 2010 at 19:16

      Yes agreed. Although I think the clreic is also emphasising that the method itself is anathema to the religion, let alone the recruitment methods and their targets.

  30. 47 Andrew in Australia
    March 2, 2010 at 17:58

    What is a religion? Is it an ideal? Is it an idea of what followers SHOULD be doing? Or is it the reality of what followers are doing?

    If your followers are doing evilthings and using your religion, then those people represent your religion unless you all take a stand against them from hijacking your ideals and cause.

    If people feel it necessary to kill in the name of your religion.. remember they also observe that religion and practice it as much as you.. then they represent that religion despite your protests to the contrary.

    If some Muslims feel the need to kill infidels and unbelievers and use the name of Islam to do so and feel that they will be rewarded in heaven in whatever way then they represent your religion. They are one part of it. But to justify it the way these followers do they will never see it as wrong. Despite what others in that group think and despite what their holy book purports is proper behaviour as they will quote it too.

  31. 48 Andrew in Australia
    March 2, 2010 at 18:03


    I have to disagree with you this time. You may say and it is true the US funded the mujahadeen, but they existed before the US got their grubby hands on that outfit. Yes the US added their 2 cents worth when it suited them, but they didn’t create these groups only found what was already there.

    The fact remains that these things do not need to continue, suicide bombers do not need to justify themselves with religion. If suicide bombing is necessary to destory an enemy or a perceived enemy, then so be it, but to do so hiding behind the veil of religion, any religion is truly disgusting to any reason minded individual.

    But it comes down to one other point. Religion refers to deities, omnipotent beings, who if existed would surely do the dirty work for them and disperse the enemy to the four winds. To kill (yourself and others) in the name of some make believe all powerful being in itself just seems like utter stupidity.

  32. 49 John in Salem
    March 2, 2010 at 18:05

    I’ve studied the Koran, and while it does say that being KILLED in defense of principle may be necessary, deliberate suicide is not. Having the courage to fight on against overwhelming odds is what makes someone a martyr – killing oneself with the anticipation of reward is cowardice and a perversion of scripture.

  33. 50 Dan
    March 2, 2010 at 18:09

    Again you try to deflect the issue. the issue is about Islam not about how America tried to help people being oppressed.
    The issue Lubna is “Why have there been no Muslim protests to the horrors committed in the name of Islam but there were worldwide protests about cartoons?”

    • 51 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
      March 2, 2010 at 19:16


      Do you forget the candlelight vigils held in the streets of Teheran following the World Trade Center atrocity? Was that not a Muslim protest against a horror committed in the name of Islam?

  34. 52 jens
    March 2, 2010 at 18:12

    kenneth ingle,

    you see i am fully aware that when I die I am dead, period. i do not need a spirtital otherside where i can life for ever, looking ‘down” on my firnds and family. you live and you die, that is the cicle of it all. no sky-fairy will change this. practically all religions are based on violence and control. why do you thing so many people need a God and a promised afterlife to stay civilized, or how many people kill others in the name of their specific imaginary friend in the sky….?

    • 53 patti in cape coral
      March 2, 2010 at 18:57

      @ Jens – “why do you thing so many people need a God and a promised afterlife to stay civilized.” — Because some of us are afraid to die.

      Just to point out, believing in a God is different than believing in religion.

  35. 54 nora
    March 2, 2010 at 18:18

    Lubna is right. Ronald Reagan made a point of sending a box of Korans to go with the weapons used on the Soviets in Afghanistan. A few years later we have jihad against us, complete with a fully wrapped ideology of suicide bombings.

  36. 55 jens
    March 2, 2010 at 18:18


    actually the muslim suicid bombings started in lebanon…..

    • 56 Saut
      March 2, 2010 at 18:55

      No, Jens
      It started with hindu tamil tigers

      • 57 Ibrahim in UK
        March 2, 2010 at 19:20

        I think Jens may be right (first MUSLIM use of suicide bombings may have been in Lebanon on the US barracks I assume, I thought it was the Iran-Iraq war), whereas suicide bombings by others started beforehand.

    • 58 dan
      March 2, 2010 at 18:56

      I think it started earlier than that. It is a weapon of desperation. The japanese used it as a terror weapon during WWII but I believe it goes back much further than that.

    • 60 Maccus Germanis
      March 2, 2010 at 20:01

      Is there any difference,other than technological, between the operation of the Assassins and modern suicide bombers? If the Old Man of the Mountain had semtex, wouldn’t he have have used it.

  37. 61 Linda from Italy
    March 2, 2010 at 18:23

    My first reaction when I saw this topic posted is that I’m not qualified to comment as I’m not a Muslim, but WHYSers are notoriously difficult to shut up!
    I wish the good Dr luck and hope he will be successful, since you can’t combat religious fanaticism of any kind with logical, non-religious argument, any more than you can with arguments from another religion, so any change must come from within.
    Religious belief is always problematic as it relies on faith and personal conviction which is also open to mind-bending when mixed with politics and perceived injustice.
    No end of atrocities have been justified over the centuries by religious belief and the “self-defence” argument can be equally specious because precisely what is being defended is open to question.

  38. 62 Denise in Chicago
    March 2, 2010 at 18:28

    Suicide bombings SHOULD be an offense to islam. I’m afraid, however, that many islamists view bombings as justified. That’s why so many people have such a negative view of this religion.

  39. 63 Tom D Ford
    March 2, 2010 at 19:06

    Suicide bombing is an offense against all of humanity.

  40. 65 Doug in U.S.
    March 2, 2010 at 19:16

    Is it true that the idea of suicide attacks and a heavenly reward didn’t even exist until the end of the first millennium as a way to recruit assassins?

  41. 66 Todd in Atlanta
    March 2, 2010 at 19:17

    Firstly big kudos to the BBC for giving this fatua-announcement strong media attention.

    Bigger kudos to those in the Islamic world that are fighting back against the inhuman-barbarians that have engaged in so much senseless killing, and in effect have poisoned the culture of Islam in the eyes of millions around the world.
    Even if it’s old news, I just hope that there is a lot more media attention given to this and other fatuas for all to see… and of course to make a difference this issue needs much more moral and physical support.

  42. 67 dan
    March 2, 2010 at 19:17

    Haven’t the Palestinians lost the West Bank & Jerusalem as they lost their war just as CA, AZ, NM & TX were lost to Mexico in that war?
    So the Palestinians are not freedom fighters but terrorists.

    • 68 Ibrahim in UK
      March 2, 2010 at 20:06

      Palestinians lost their land to Israel the same way Europe had lost their land Nazi Germany.
      The allies and partizans fighting against the Nazi occupation of Europe were not called terrorists (except by neo nazi groups today).
      Similarly, allies fighting against the Zionist occupation of Palestine should not be called terrorists (except by those who support the Zionist occupation).
      International law and resolutions state the land is occupied. Fighting against an occupier is perfectly legitimate in Islamic laws, Western-nation laws and International laws.

      • 69 tektwo
        March 2, 2010 at 21:53

        Ibrahim, there is a difference… When Israel was founded it was the Arab states and the Palestinians who attacked the Jews in all directions with multiple armies. It was the Palestinians who decided to leave only to think the Arab Armies would “drive the Jews into the sea” Whatever land has been taken has been in the act of self defense. To compare it to the Nazi’s storming through Europe is cliche and lazy.

        Andrew in NY

    • March 3, 2010 at 15:54

      @ dan
      International law established that the Palestinians lands are occupied lands therefore illegally occupied. Even the US of A adheres to that protocol.
      For your info, CA, AZ, NM & TX were stolen by the US.

  43. 71 Lee
    March 2, 2010 at 19:17

    First Question: What is it called when the U.S. or any other so-called Christian nations drops a smart bomb, laser guided precision missile and or deploys a DRONE ATTACK against others and the intended and unintended targets are killed. Why isn’t this included into the question?

    Second Question: Do you think “suicide bombers” would deploy these tactics if the hand a “real” military with the same sophisticated weapons as do the U.S., England, France, Canada, and Israel etc. possesses? Absent money and advanced weapons capabilities, a suicide bomber deploys a very low tech weapon to inflict damage to the extent possible.

    This discussion should center around the decency of human moral behavior world wide. The underling question posed by “World Have Your Say” assumes that suicide bombings are inherently wrong and or evil while propping up the legitimacy of “military strikes” as totally justifiable acts carried out by so-called superpower countries. Don’t buy the hype . . . elevated the level of discourse.


    Oakland, CA

    • 72 tektwo
      March 2, 2010 at 21:56

      Lee, suicide bombers strive to maximize collateral damage… This is not the act of a professional army, but of terrorists. Professional Armies strive to minimize and avoid civilian deaths. To compare the two is not the act of an objective argument but of a political statement.

      Andrew in NY

  44. 73 Elias
    March 2, 2010 at 19:18

    The muslim scholar is absolutely right. The brain washing by some muslim cleric, living under the protection in some countries like America and England preach their sermons as according to their Koran that it is right to kill infidels, when they themselves live in comfort and do not themselves become a suicide bomber, they do not practice what they preach, when they are found out they should immediately be deported and got rid off. In the past several suicide bombers have inclusively killed their fellow muslims, which proves the nonsense of suicide bombings. There is not one person who helps a suicide bomber to carry out a bombing, will himself do a suicide bombing.
    It is too rediculas and downright deplorable. More morderate and intellegent muslims should speak out deploring the act of suicide bombings, it seems only the extremists encourage the use of innocent people to commit these acts. There is no martyrdom, only the height of stupidity.

  45. 74 Ron in Cleveland Ohio USA
    March 2, 2010 at 19:20

    Suicide bombing is a last resort period.
    Lately, we, the world have wrongly attached almost solely to Islam.
    If they are going to continue to be pursecuted around the globe, they will remain socially desperate.

  46. 75 Anthony
    March 2, 2010 at 19:23

    When you read a lot of the Quran and Hadith, I I don’t think you can say that suicide bombing is against Islam. Cutting off limbs of those who don’t pay and shrugging when innocent children are killed… I don’t think suicide bombing matters when this is encouraged.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  47. 76 jens
    March 2, 2010 at 19:24


    i said muslim suicide bombers, The russian zar was ultimatly the victim of a suicide bomber in the 19th century. But try reading it before critizising…..

  48. 77 Ibrahim in UK
    March 2, 2010 at 19:26

    “Where is your proof? I was not able to find the word “Love” in the Koran.”

    Perhaps I can ask you to look again? You can try using one of the many tools online, just search for “Quran Search”

    There are some 84 verses with the word love in it (according to one of the word searcher)

    A few examples:

    Hence, ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance – for, verily, my Sustainer is a dispenser of grace, a fount of love! (1:90)

    And He alone is truly-forgiving, all-embracing in His love (1:90)

    And who could be of better faith than he who surrenders his whole being unto God and is a doer of good withal, and follows the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false – seeing that God exalted Abraham with His love? (4:125)

    AND FIGHT in God’s cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors. (2:190)

    and various others: God loves the doers of good, God loves those who act equitably.

  49. 78 Anthony
    March 2, 2010 at 19:28

    Islam is based in peace? Please look up these words: kitman and taqiyya. The Mecca part of the Quran is peaceful. The Medina and Hadith isn’t.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  50. 79 Nate, Portland OR
    March 2, 2010 at 19:28

    Regarding the fellow listing other suicide bombers of a variety of nationalities and religion: an important distinction he didn’t address is the difference between civilian and military targets. Japanese Kamakazi pilots, for example, hit US military targets. Many Muslim suicide bombers are attacking civilians. Doesn’t that make a difference? Does this fatwa address this distinction?

  51. 80 Sabine
    March 2, 2010 at 19:29

    Why is it that we none-Muslims seem to be interested Muslims how they have to feel? I should say that an Iman knows what works (for example issuing a fatwa against suicide bombings) to get the attention of his fellow Muslims.

  52. 81 A.J.
    March 2, 2010 at 19:35

    It is so disheartening to know that in this day and age that a world full of intelligent human beings still has those among us desperate enough to feel they must resort to killing themselves and, frankly, mostly innocent civilians in suicide bombings. Yes, “suicide” bombings. It is about equity, fairness, right and wrong. These people feel wronged and incapable of finding any answers except to commit “martyrdom” murder. How very, very sad that human beings must perpetrate not only these acts of revenge, but also, and often no less heinous, the acts which provoke them.

  53. 82 LIGA
    March 2, 2010 at 19:35

    No one has asked why someone would resort to suicide bombing. Richard A. Falk called it an act of desperation.

    Would the American posters look upon the actions of their Govts murdering Muslims in Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iraq. Funding apartheid Israel with $3 billion per annum to oppress and occupy Palestine.

    A suicide bombing is an act by the weak, the US don’t need suicide bomber they have F 16’s, “precision” laser guided bombs, which murder far greater number of peoples.

    The US/UK have murdered in excess of 1.5 million Muslims in the past decade, do you expect them not too be angry.

    Oh on suicide bombing, my own opinion is that killing civilians be they American, Israeli, Palestinian, Afghani, Iraqi etc can never be condoned.
    Unlike the US where murdering Afghani, Iraqi civilians is labelled “collateral damage”.

    • 83 jens
      March 2, 2010 at 20:23

      where do come up with the 1.5 million number? this is a number widly touted without any fundation what so ever. the vast majority of muslims killed in the last decade was killed by guess who? yes the muslims. It is the sectarian violence which is killing thousands and thousands.

      i would like to remind you that the USA prevented the genocid of thousands and thousands of muslims during the balkan war, but that one gets ever so easily forgoten, because it does not fit the picture of the muslim world and extrem left media.

    • 84 tektwo
      March 2, 2010 at 22:04

      LIGA, if a US/UK soldier kills a Muslim in the course of a military operation it’s murder? But If a Muslim kills a US/UK Soldier, Contractor, or even fellow civilians it’s because they have no F-16’s?

      Your forgetting the fact that these terrorists are not blowing themselves up at US/UK bases, they are blowing themselves up in Markets, Mosque’s, Sporting events, Religious events, Birthday parties etc etc…

      They are INTENTIONALLY targeting the weakest…

      You are telling me that they are really targeting the US but there aim is off?

      Andrew in NY

  54. 85 Howard
    March 2, 2010 at 19:35

    Great program. Question though. If terrorism is killing “innocent” people who is truely innocent?

    If my society elects or supports a government that then invades another company are any of us in the society truely innocent?

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Iraq? Vietnam? “innocent people killed and not by mistake. Is anyone in Israel innocent? especially if they are living in occupied territory?

    It is always nice to be the in charge of making up the rules of war and writting the history afterward.

  55. 86 Saut
    March 2, 2010 at 19:38

    Why are you insisting that religions contradict themselves? When every non-religious human beings knows the difference between murder and justifiable homicide, and they learn this from religion.

    • 87 jens
      March 2, 2010 at 20:25

      I do not need a religion to teach me the differnce between murder and justifiable homicide. if you need a God to expalin the differnce then i feel rather sad for humanity.

    • 88 patti in cape coral
      March 2, 2010 at 21:28

      Hi Saut – I insist that religions contradict themselves because I read about them and what they say.

      You state that all non-religious people know the difference between murder and justifiable homicide because of religion. What has religion taught me about justifiable homicide? It taught me that people do whatever they want to do, then excuse themselves by saying it is God’s will. In the bible alone there were a lot of atrocities perpetrated against innocent people. It is truly amazing how often God’s will coincides with the perpetrator.

      I may or may not believe in God, but religion is man-made, and therefore infected with our faults. It is no wonder to me that so many atrocities are committed in the name of religion when the language in most holy texts is ambiguous enough to be interpreted in any way you want it to. That is why I applaud Dr Tahir ul-Qadri ‘s efforts to interpret Islam’s teachings in a way that promotes peace.

      • 89 Saut
        March 3, 2010 at 09:09

        You have to enlighten me why any decent and secular criminal justice system in this world can decide whether a killing is a murder, manslaughter or justifiable homicide. If the explanation can be discerned without contradictions, wouldn’t your much older “man-made” religions be capable of the same forethought.

  56. March 2, 2010 at 19:47

    When it comes to Islam, I am at sea. However, there is not justification for taking innocent lives. Besides, from a common sense view, everyone who believes in God will agree that God is All Powerful. He is the one who protects. Everyone will give account of what he/she is doing now one day. So there absolutely no sense in trying to FIGHT for ones GOD or gods. Why kill innocent in the name of proctecting your God or god? I just hope that people who believe in their verious gods or God will meditate on this issue, stop the killing of innocent people and leave everything up to the MOST HIGH to take complete control.

  57. 91 Crystal Ball
    March 2, 2010 at 20:30

    Suicide bombing is terrorism because it does not limit the damage to a specific target. Everyone is killed and injured regardless of age, race or religion.
    It is used by a minority to terrorize a majority into an acceptance of a minority desire. It must be understood that religion actually plays no true role in the minds of such terrorist leaders but is exploited by them to provide a single rallying cry to entice the weak and the gullible of a ready made movement under the banner of that minority. (Hitler used the Jews as his rallying focal point)
    In Northern Ireland the IRA and Protestant groups relied on the people to “hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil”. When the ordinary people withdrew their silent support for these groups their power base dissolved.
    Only the ordinary people of Iraq and Afghanistan can stop the violence by utilizing the same tactics. If they are not prepared to do so, the occupying forces must leave and allow those countries citizens to either fight tooth and claw for their freedom or be subjected to the slavery of the evil minority! We in the West have no right to dictate to those people any more than their own minorities have!

  58. March 2, 2010 at 21:12

    This fatwah from Dr Tahir ul-Qadri is to be welcomed. He has clearly recognised and taken responsibility for the pathological turn that Islam as taken possibly because many of its ‘scholars’ have refused over some centuries to engage in dialogue with each other, a process that would have brought this religion into the 21st century.
    I would like to see him take further steps to stop the gender violent practices endemic now in Islam and make it clear to Muslims who practice FGM in the name of Islam that this is cruel, inhumane, and not part of that religion . This will have a greater effect on this abominable practice than other agencies have had so far. [see google Amnesty International FGM and the UK pressure group Forward: http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/%5D

    Although against British law, FGM on the increase all over the West.
    I look forward to Dr Tahir ul-Qadri having the courage to go further challenge violent practices in the name of Islam and express Islam’s respect for little girls and their future mental and physical well being.

  59. 93 tektwo
    March 2, 2010 at 22:11

    It does not matter what method you are using to kill people, what matters is INTENT. Modern day suicide bomber’s strike at the weakest link in a society. They strive to sow fear and descent in a population for political gain. They purposely target civilians, they purposely target the weakest. They wear no uniform, they adhere to no military code, they follow no rule book and most of all are not accountable for there actions.

    It really is distressing to see people compare a suicide bomber to a “F-16” pilot. It is lazy, cliche and most of all wrong.

    There suicide bomber do not suffer from a “lack of military equipment” they follow a policy of creating fear.

    If you morally equivocate and try to make excuses this problem will never be solved.

    Andrew in NY

  60. 94 tektwo
    March 2, 2010 at 22:21

    A good many of you speak of the fact that Suicide Attack was not the creation of Islam… That is true. But the issue is not who created it, the issue is how you use it.

    The Japanese used Kamikaze attacks against warships and military targets.

    The Tsar was a target, they were trying to kill him, not all the people around him.

    The use of this tactic historically, before it’s modern use by Muslims was as an extension of military tactics, these were used as a supplemental strategy of last resort. Today it is used as a first choice weapon against civilians and weak targets in the hope of spreading fear.

    There is a big difference.

    Andrew in NY

  61. 95 loudobservant
    March 3, 2010 at 00:46

    Of course we do not FATWA from anyone.
    If Muslims follow the basic tenet of Islam which is enshrined in KALEMATUS-SHADAT,the suicide bombings against Muslima, and, against any human being, becomes null and void,i,e,forbidden,PERIOD.

  62. 96 gary indiana
    March 3, 2010 at 02:50

    Suicide bombing is an offense to Islam, as it is to most of the world’s religions; but this isn’t the point. Some people of faith, particularly those who relinquish their free wills to the judgement of another, can easily be convinced to do all manner of decidedly unholy acts. Suicide bombing is the highest precision, lowest tech military bombing system imaginable. Its trainers may teach in Mosques and appear to be clergy; but they are actually military commanders making use of a weakness in some religious believers. Islam is not at fault.

  63. March 3, 2010 at 03:27

    I have great respect for religion as it gives people some hope of direction to a state of spirituality where it dictates that harming another human being is outright wrong.
    We can all live in a better world if we simply follow these very basic teaching.That is wrong to live watching other people suffer..that it is our collective responsibility as human beings to say STOP..we can be all be part of a peaceful society where all of us can coexist..

  64. March 3, 2010 at 09:06

    The Crusaders copied Muslims to match the drive of Muslims who were ready to die for their faith in the promise for the afterlife physical pleasures;virgins and wine. Amazingly what they’re forbidden from now will be given to them in abundance in the after life.
    It is the human nature that contradicts Christianity and not what Christ taught us, Muslims on the other hand are following in the footsteps of their prophet and what their books tell them to do.

  65. March 3, 2010 at 13:42


    Any religion that advocates suicide bombing is not a religion but an affront to people of any faith.

    No religion preaches that one must indulge in suicide bombing to propagate one’s cause.

    In Islam it is the ones who profess some sort of persecution that advocates suicide bombing as a means to achieve their ends.

    This will not happen as at some time in this mad frenzy they will realize that what they are doing is against human dignity, as they are not able to target the ones they claim they want to take revenge against and it is the innocent people who are dying.

    Sanity will prevail and these suicide bombers will have depleated their ranks and will die out from the wrath of their own frenzy.


  66. 100 Cabe UK
    March 3, 2010 at 13:42

    @Catherine! – Spot on!

    Except that with all the insanity around Muslims – people forget that ARE actually Christains!
    I mentioned before that Fundamentalist Muslims have forgotten God – have forgotten Gods true messages given to the Whole World, and now pay more heed to God’s so called ‘messenger’ – a human Prophet – who wasn’t even a *Son of God” ? … and prefer to dilute and misinterpret the current Prophet’s message to suit themselves.
    This May seem like harsh words but the rest of the world in now caught in the midst of this conflict and until the Muslims themselves sort this out we will always be the butt of their interpretations.

  67. 101 patti in cape coral
    March 3, 2010 at 14:25

    Hi Saut – I’m not sure that I understand you exactly, but I will try to answer. The law is man-made, so it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t claim to be. Secular law requires evidence and proof. The explanation that “It is God’s will” does not suffice. Religious explanations often don’t meet the burden of proof or evidence because they rely on faith. I can say I took over another person’s land and killed its inhabitants because God willed it, but I would be hard put to show proof of this. I still maintain that religion is more subject to interpretation than law. That is a problem when people interpret it in such a way to further their own agendas.

    • 102 Saut
      March 4, 2010 at 20:37

      Excuse me if I am not clear to you. I always try my best in English language, my second language capability. But, you are very clear to me: your main contention is your dislike with the killings’ ‘pull and push’ factors coming from a deity.
      While you are emphasising the fallibility of man-made religions, I took a more secular approach. Please read again my earlier post on bomb ‘delivery systems’. I did not bother to go into polemics of Koranic interpretations but left Islam to stand by itself.

      • 103 patti in cape coral
        March 8, 2010 at 16:04

        Hi Saut-
        Your English is excellent, I think I just wasn’t sure what you meant. I suspect we won’t be coming to an agreement anytime soon, but I do understand your point of view.

  68. 104 helen
    March 3, 2010 at 19:20

    It is good that some effort is at last being made to let the voice of moderate Islam be heard, and that at last the media is reporting on this effort. It is doubtful if much will be achieved as all the terrorism , from all sides is not really about religion, but about the pursuit of power. There is a movement in certain quarters if Islam that wants to achieve the overthrow of the current political systems so that some Muslims can become rich and powerful. It is doubtful if these same people will share that pwer, should they achieve it, with their fellow Muslims. The use of religion as a mask for political aims is nothing new, but the spread of this particular offensive is more widespread, and will inevitably draw in lots of vulnerable people, duped into thinking they are carrying out their god’s will. The best defence against such tactics is to ensure that the actions of political leaders are held to account, that they must display the highest standards of integrity, and fairness, and in those countries whose actions are less than exemplary, the U.N. must take a much stronger stand and hold those who flout international agreements to account, preferably economically, rather than militarily. It follows that is the duty of all citizens everywhere to demand such standards from their polititians

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