Jihad, War, Terrorism, and Peace in
Table of Contents
Jihad and Violence in
Muslim and Arab Responses to 9/11 and Islamic Criticism of Terrorism
Afghanistan and Muslim Criticism of the Taliban
Bin Laden and His Muslim Critics
Interreligious, Scholarly, Journalistic, and American Governmental Responses to 9/11
Islam and Peace
Al-Qaida, Muslim Terrorists,
Global Terrorist Websites
Jihad Videos and Tapes
Terrorism and Terrorist Groups
Jihad and Violence in Islam
At no point do the basic texts of Islam enjoin terrorism and
point do they even consider the random slaughter of uninvolved bystanders.
Lewis in "License to Kill" (1998)
An important component of the anti-Islamic polemic in the modern world
is the contention that Islam is a religion of violence. This is refuted
by Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his article Islam
and the Question of Violence.
Jihad (link fixed 11 March
often mistranslated as "holy war," literally means "struggle." While
while one of its meanings is a defensive war conducted within the
limits of justice, in general it refers
to both the struggle to establish justice in the world and the struggle to
surrender to one's primordial consciousness, to surrender one's
consciousness to God. This short article is found on the
website of the University of
Northumbria, UK, and appears to be the work of a Muslim students' group
Explained, (link fixed March 11, 2010) written by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D., and disseminated widely
in pamphlet form by the Institute of Islamic Information and Education
(IIIE) of Chicago, discusses jihad in greater detail than the short
article listed above and is richly supported by verses from the Qur'an
and by hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad).
Offensive Warfare:The Use and Abuse of Jihad in the Muslim World (link fixed March 10, 2010)is a nuanced scholarly
article by Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, professor of Religion at the
University of Virginia. (original url: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~aas/article/article8.htm" )
and the Theology of Power by Khaled Abu El Fadl, professor of
Islamic Law at UCLA School of Law, published in Middle East Report
(volume 221:Winter 2001). Professor Abu El Fadl discusses both the
classical Islamic legal and modern "puritan" Islamic viewpoints on
political violence as well as modern Islamic apologetics.
The Idea of the Jihad in Islam
before the Crusades by Professor Roy Parviz Mottahedeh (Harvard) and Ridwan
al-Sayyid. This is a detailed historical study that discusses early divergent Muslim
opinions concerning jihad, relating them to their various political contexts.
This is a "pdf" file that you can read by means of Adobe Acrobat.
Political Islam: Beyond the Green Menace This article, by one of the top non-Muslim scholars of contemporary Islam, John Esposito, asserts that Islam and Islamic
fundamentalism need not be militantly extremist (link fixed 15 March, 2006).
The "Green Peril": Creating
the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat is a lengthy article written by Leon
T. Hadar, a former bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post. Hadar argues
that the so-called "Islamic Threat" is not in fact a real threat to the
security of the U.S.
Lies: The Construction of "Islamic" Terrorism in Politics and Academia
Linked from the University of Colorado's Religious Studies' cutting edge
web site, this article by Kelvin Choi skillfully uses Web technology to
portray "Islamic" terrorism. (Link fixed March 28, 1999.)
concise article by Prof.
Sohail H. Hashmi of Mount Holyoke College (From Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion,
vols. [Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1998], 425-426).
Islamist Ideology Authorizing Genocidal Murder a report largely
consisting of inflamatory and violent statements (and the arguments
for such statements) on the part of Muslim
militants; authored by MEMRI, a stridently pro-Israeli
organization. (MEMRI Sprecial
Report, January, 2004)
the Islamic Ethics of War and Peace by Prof. Hashmi is six-part article that seems
to be an excerpt from his book Islamic Political Ethics: Civil Society, Pluralism,
Conflict (Princeton University Press, 2001) (link fixed 23 December 2005).
Perspectives on Peace and Violence (link fixed March 11, 2010) a special report prepared by
the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
The primary contributors to this report were Professors Abdul Aziz
Khan, Suleyman Nyang, and Muhammad Abu-Nimer.
Jihad, a Bibliography of
Sources in European Languages by Prof. Jon Brockopp (Penn. State University)
Islam, Peace, and
Non-violence (link fixed 23 August 2005), an extensive bibliography compiled by Karim Douglas Crow.
Events of 9/11 and Islam, the Taliban, and Bin Laden
and Arab Responses to 9/11 and Islamic Criticism of Terrorism
and Muslim Criticism of the Taliban
Laden and His Muslim Critics
Scholarly, Journalistic, and American Governmental Responses to 9/11 and
of 9/11 and Islam Thirty-seven linked
articles (arranged in the following categories)
that contribute to understanding the tragedy:
11: Perspectives from the Social Sciences
Published by the Social Science Research Council, this link contains
categorized essays by numerous scholars.
Muslim Critiques of Terrorism
Authority, Shaykh al-Azhar,
al-Tantawi, Condemns Suicide Bombing (July 11,
2003) (link fixed Oct. 18, 2003)
is at Odds with Islamic Tradition
by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, holder of the chair of Islamic law at UCLA.
(First published in the LA Times.)
Muslim Voices for Peace,
formerly known as "Muslims Against
The new website has as of January 2004 yet to integrate all of the resources from
the old website. But click her to access the old (but still relevant) resources of the
Muslims Against Terrorism
Website, which is a
resource-rich website of a Muslim organization working for alternatives
to violent responses to the suffering in the world. (Link fixed, January 15, 2004.)
Islam and Peace
"Islam is peace." The transcript of his speech at the Islamic Center
in Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2001. (Fixed, January 15, 2004.)
"Islam is Not the Enemy" speech before the US. congress on September
20, 2001. (Link fixed, January 15, 2004.)
In these times, a breath of fresh air is provided
by The Muslim Peace
Fellowship Visit their site! (fixed 30 March 2002)
Rabbi Michael Lerner, prominent American Jewish leader, speaks out
against Israeli militancy in Jews for
Justice published in The Nation, May 20, 2002.
Lerner, however, only speaks for a minority of Jews.
Muslim Peace Fellowship The
world "islam" is cognate with the word "salam," which means peace.
Muslim Peace Fellowship is an organization of Muslims who are
peace. (Link fixed, Nov. 1, 2003.)
of Allah (link fixed 17 August 2005), a discourse given to the late King Hassan
of Morocco in 1999 by Prof. Muhammad Sa'id
Ramadan al-Butty (al-Butti), one of Syria's most well-known
Arabic of the discourse (offline as of 23 December 2005) is here on a PDF file readable with
In spite of the forces in the world that resist controlling hatred,
are Jewish and Palestinian Christian and Muslim women who are working
together for peace. You can become informed of and participate in their
work through their website The Jerusalem Link (link fixed 17 August 2005).
"When you have a Jewish friend who feels that killing someone is justified, remind your
friend to think about the following passage:
One person was brought forth at the time of creation, in order to teach us that one who
destroys a human soul is regarded as though he had destroyed a whole world, while one
who preserves one soul within humanity is regarded as if he had preserved a whole
world." (Mishnah Sanhedrin, IV, 5)
When you have a Muslim friend who feels that killing someone is justified, remind your
to think about the following passage:
" We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person -
unless it be for murder or for spreading corruption throughout the land - it would be
as if he
slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life
of the whole people." (Qur'an, 5:32)
When you have a Christian friend who feels that killing someone is justified, remind
your friend to think about the following passage:
"In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law
and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12)
And of course, it is useful to remember Exodus 20:13 "Thou shalt not kill."
If You Want Peace, Work
for Peace declares The Christian Science Monitor in an article by a
Naval Captain and Pentagon strategist.
Al-Qa'ida, Muslim Terrorists, and
SITE Institute's Publications Libary is an
up-to-date source of translations of documents (and in some cases
the original documents in Arabic) issued by militant
Islamic extremists. SITE stands for "Search for International
Terrorist Entities." Researchers on contemporary terrorism
looking for communiques from terrorists would do well to start
here. (Although to access some of its translations, one needs to be a paid subscriber.)
The MEMRI site, at the bottom of this page, is also often a
Jihad Unspun is an enormous
resource both for the latest communiques (translated into good English) of jihadist
especially those of al-Qa'eda, as well as for articles from the world press that usually
do not make it into the media in the US.
This site will be disturbing or enraging to
Americans, mainly because it presents the jihadist viewpoint from the mind of the
jihadist, yet in a very professionally packaged and media-savvy manner, without the
into the grotesque that often characterizes easily dismissable presentations of jihad
from a Jihadist perspective. The lengthy autobiography of the owner and publisher of
Jihad Unspun, Khadija
Qahaar (Bev Giesbrecht), a Canadian citizen, is astonishing. While
non-Americans will probably not be too
surprised by what Jihad Unspun expresses, I cannot recommend it for Americans unless
wish to get a vastly different view of the war on terror than that which we see on our
TV screens and in our newspapers. A brief critical report on
Unspun can be found among the discussion of various jihadist
websites in the article Militants
wire Web with links to jihad
written by Jack Kelley in USA Today, July 10, 2002.
Press Reports Tranlations published online
by the US Department of Defense (DARPA division) is the source of
important translations of documents issued by jihadists. (Offline
as of 23 December 2005; link is archived).
Declaration of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi at the Execution of Nicholas
Berg, the English translation and Arabic original, together
statement from Muslim scholars condemning the execution. A link to
the video original (from the infamous " militant islamic website "
or " islamic militant website ") can be found at the source of the
translation and through links on the Arabic document.
from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to al-Qa'ida operatives in Iraq in which
al-Zarqawi, a top al-Qa'ida agent, declares al-Qa'ida's intent to attack
Shi'ites in Iraq (in addition to Americans). This is an English
translation of the original
Arabic of al-Zarqawi's letter (Link fixed 23 December 2005).
in the Name of Islam: al-Qaeda's Justification for
September 11 a scholarly article by Quintan Wiktorowicz and John
Kaltner, both professors at Rhodes College in Tennessee. (Journal
of the Middle East
Policy Council, Volume X, Summer 2003, Number 2.)
Statement Justifying Its Actions on Sept. 11 This is an English
translation of the following Arabic document, which was issued on April 24, 2002.
Arabic text in html of "A
statement from qaidat al-jihad regarding the mandates of the heroes and
the legality of the operations in New York and Washington" (Bayan
qa'idat al-jihad...); and also in PDF.
Another more detailed work attempting to justify Al-Qaeda's actions
is The Truth about
the New Crusade (Haqiqat
Al-Qa'ida: Bin Laden's
Terrorist Network This is a history of al-Qa'ida (the "a" is a long "a" and the ' is
the Arabic letter 'ayn),
meaning "the base," compiled by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). It contains
some useful links at the end.
The Making of the
World's Most Wanted Man Part one of a detailed two-part article on Osama Bin Laden by
Jason Burke in the
Guardian/Observer. Here is part
two of the Making of the World's Most Wanted Man.
Laden's statement of Dec. 16, 2004 to the Saudi Rulers (link fixed 23 December 2005) This is identical to
what I have titled below as being his statement to "the Muslims in the Country of the Two
Partial Translation of Bin Laden's communique of Dec. 16, 2004 by the translators of
The Arabic original, in html, of Bin Laden's communique of Dec.
16, 2004. (offline Feb, 2005, but see the
Text of Bin Ladin's Message to the Muslims in the Country of
the Two Harams [i.e. Saudi Arabia], in particular, and to Muslims outside of it, in
general (offline as of 23 December 2005) (al-Nass al-kamil li-risalat al-shaykh al-mujahid Usamah bin
Ladin -- hafizahu allahu-- ila al-muslimin fi bilad al-haramayn khassatan wa-ila
al-muslimin fi ghayriha 'ammatan) A downloadable Zip. file of the written Arabic text of
Laden's communique of
Dec. 16, 2004.
Audio File of
Bin Laden's communique of Dec. 16, 2004. It will download onto your computer and
then play. One hour and fourteen minutes in length (in Arabic).
Laden's Oct. 2004 Communique Translated into English by al-Jazeera (link fixed 23 December 2005).
Original of Bin Laden's Oct. 2004 Communique. Posted on Al-Jazeera.
1998 Interview with
Bin Laden by John Miller of ABC News (link fixed 15 March 2006).
1996 Interview with Osama Bin
Laden published in 1996 in the extremist journal Nida'ul Islam (link fixed 15 March 2006).
1998 Fatwa of Bin Laden This is
an English translation of his declaration urging jihad
against Americans, titled "The Text of the Explanation of the
World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders."
The original Arabic, titled Nass
bayan al-jabhah al-islamiyah al-'alamiyah li-jihad al-yahud
wa-al-salibiyun is a pdf file from p. 3 of the February 23,
1988 edition of the newspaper al-Quds al-'arabi. A
of the article,
although less legible, is in a webpage housed at the
Cornell University library.
License to Kill: 'Usama Bin Ladin's
Declaration of Jihad (link fixed 23 December 2005) by emeritus
Professor Bernard Lewis, the most highly esteemed scholar among those who cast Islam in
a negative light. In spite of Lewis' reputation for portraying Islam as violent, in
this article he states "At no point do the basic texts of Islam enjoin terrorism and
murder. At no point do they even consider the random slaughter of uninvolved
bystanders" (Foreign Affairs, November/December 1998).
Middle East Media Research Institute ( MEMRI ), a
very rich although one-sided portrayal of the current Middle East. If a militant
or hate-filled statement against Israel or the West occurs in the Arab Middle Eastern
or Iranian press, it will
probably show up
here, translated in good English, and easily accessible.
Websites of Global Islamic Terrorist and Jihadist
Organizations (In Arabic unless otherwise noted.)
(as of January 2005)
Top Jihad Sites This
is a linked list of jihad sites favored by readers of that index. (I even voted,
accidentally; and I could not replicate what I did.)
Global Islamic Media Front (al-Jabhah
al-'ilamiyah al-islamiyah al-'alamiyah). Requires Yahoo! login. This is actually on a yahoo.com discussion
group. (Current as of 9 January 2005 but offline as of 22 January
The following are all offline and unarchived as of 15 March, 2006
Mesawir a jihadist
index of largely jihadist websites in English, includings links to Nida' ul-Islam, one
of the original al-Qa'ida websites.
Meshawir (Arabic) a jihadist index of
websites in Arabic.
Islamic Assemblies of
Usamah (Muntadayat Usamah al-Islamiyah) This page is a well-organized index to the
contents of Usamah's Notebook (Mufakkirat Usamah), which contains numerous
links to documents of statements, videos, pictures, and sound files made by al-Qa'ida
leaders, allied organizations, and Arabic
speaking individuals. (Current as of 9 January 2005)
The Greater Encyclopedia of the Dispatches of
the Mujahidin (Al-Mawsu'at al-kubra li-isdarat al-mujahidin) As of January 9, 2005,
this site contained 2891 files. It consists of four primary categories: 1) Videos
(mar'iyat); 2) Sound files (sawtiyat); 3) Books and Compositions (kutub wa-mu'allafat);
4) Dispatches (isdarat). It also has all issues of the periodicals, Sawt al-jihad
(The Voice of Jihad) and al-Battar (Severing). (Current as of 9 January 2005)
in zip files that are accessible through the Sawt al-Jihad and al-Battar icons on the
right side of the page.
Videos and Tapes made by Jihadist Groups
Many of these (specifically the execution videos) are often quite grotesque, being
designed to evoke a sense of power and revenge in Muslim jihadists and a sense of
revulsion in a Western audience. All offline as of 23 Decemeber 2005.
Films and Tapes of the
Assemblies of Wisdom This is a huge and current (January 9, 2005) online collection
of jihadist films
Jihadist Videos A different
collection than the one at above link are the videos at
mawsuat.com. These consist of videos in the following categories:
(1) execution videos,
These are organized by place, with convenient headings for operations of slaughtering in
each of the following locations: Iraq, Chechnya, Bilad al-Haramayn (Saudi Arabia),
Afghanistan. And then the final heading is
the "Assembly of the Ansar presents the blessed (al-mubarakah) (sic) operations of
In the short run, for the Western audience,
the execution videos will succeed only in
evoking rage and disgust toward Muslims. In the long run, however, these videos will
have the effect of evoking disgust toward Islam and will probably be better than any
anti-Islamic propaganda tool that anti-Islamic Islamophobes could have created.
(2) videos of shaykhs and fighters of
(including films of Usamah Bin
(3) footage from the lands
(4 martyrs and champions, and
Understanding Islamic Terrorism
and Terrorist Groups
Qaeda Today: The New Face of the Global Jihad an article
based on the work of Marc
Sageman (see below) by
Marlena Telvick as a part of PBS's Frontline special Al
Qaeda's New Front
(January 25, 2005).
Terror Networks by Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist,
former CIA officer, professor at the University of Pennsylvania,
and author of Understanding
Terror Networks (Note the informative reviews at the
bottom of the previous link.) This paper
was published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute,
November 1, 2004.
the Al-Qaeda Archetype by Brendan O'Neill, a well-written
article based on Marc
Sageman's statement at a July conference in Washington, D.C.
Again: Al Qaeda, written by Jason Burke, chief reporter for
explodes a number of myths about al-Qa'ida. Published by
Foreign Policy (May/June 2004) and requires a login at that site. A copy of the article is avaiable at this site
Global Salafi Jihad Statement of Marc Sageman to the
[U.S.] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
July 9, 2003.
and the Theology of Power an insightful article on
Salafism/Wahhabism and by Prof. Khaled Abou El Fadl (Middle
East Report, Winter 2001).