Martyrdom in Islam

David Cook

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199759996
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Martyrdom in Islam

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This chapter addresses the use of the mangonel, a rock or explosive lobbing device used in medieval times to bombard the walls of a city or to terrorize the inhabitants, first exploring the religious justifications that support martyrdom operations and then the strategy behind them. The use of the mangonel permits large-scale terror attacks that can possibly kill civilians. Martyrdom operations can be accomplished by anyone but there are certain categories of Muslims that are more likely to carry them out. The Palestinian martyrdom attacks had depended upon quick penetration of Israel. While the terror produced by the suicide attacks has temporarily drove foreigners away, there has been no groundswell of support among the Indonesian Muslim population for the goals of the radical Muslims. Muslim martyrology is an expression of popular sentiments, and together combines a wide range of Islamic, nationalistic, Sufi mystic, and sometimes even magical traditions.

Keywords: martyrdom operations; mangonel; terror attacks; Muslims; Palestinian martyrdom attacks; Israel; suicide attacks; Muslim martyrology

Article.  7525 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Islam

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