(Editors Note Terrorism has taken a new form. The internet enables information to be flashed around the world providing virtually instant communication and publicity. One result is that a small group can gain very wide publicity. A second factor is the suicide attackers who target innocent civilians while at the same time blowing themselves up so going to paradise in heaven. Ideas behind these extremists started in the seventh century and have recurred ever since.)
At various times, Jews in Muslim lands were able to live in relative peace and thrive culturally and economically. The position of the Jews was never secure, however, and changes in the political or social climate would often lead to persecution, violence and death. Jews were generally viewed with contempt by their Muslim neighbors; peaceful coexistence between the two groups involved the subordination and degradation of the Jews.
When Jews were perceived as having achieved too comfortable a position in Islamic society, anti-Semitism would surface, often with devastating results: On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.
Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in "an offensive manner" The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.
Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by Muslim ruler Idris I; North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities; Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830 and Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 300 Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880.
Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran's prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).
As distinguished Orientalist G.E. von Grunebaum has written:
It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number of Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.
The situation of Jews in Arab lands reached a low point in the 19th century. Jews in most of North Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco) were forced to live in ghettos. In Morocco, which contained the largest Jewish community in the Islamic Diaspora, Jews were made to walk barefoot or wear shoes of straw when outside the ghetto. Even Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, by throwing stones at them or harassing them in other ways. The frequency of anti-Jewish violence increased, and many Jews were executed on charges of apostasy. Ritual murder accusations against the Jews became commonplace in the Ottoman Empire.
By the twentieth century, the status of the dhimmi in Muslim lands had not significantly improved. H.E.W. Young, British Vice Consul in Mosul, wrote in 1909:
The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.
The danger for Jews became even greater as a showdown approached in the UN over partition in 1947. The Syrian delegate, Faris el-Khouri, warned:
"Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world."
More than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting during the 1940's in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. This helped trigger the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries
ISRAEL WAR OF INDEPENDENCE/ARAB NAKBA (CATASTROPHE) Wikipedia
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War or the First Arab–Israeli War was fought between the State of Israel and a military coalition of Arab states. In Hebrew it is known as The War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות, Milkhemet Ha'Atzma'ut) or the War of Liberation (Hebrew: מלחמת השחרור, Milkhemet HaShikhrur). This war formed the second stage of the 1948 Palestine war, known in Arabic as The Nakba or Catastrophe (Arabic: النكبة, al-Nakba).
There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces, ever since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. The Arabs' opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine (1944–1947). In 1947 these ongoing tensions erupted into civil war, following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine which planned to divide Palestine into three areas: an Arab state, a Jewish state and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem.
On 15 May 1948 the ongoing civil war transformed into an inter-state conflict between Israel and the Arab states, following the Israeli Declaration of Independence the previous day. A combined invasion by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, together with expeditionary forces from Iraq, entered Palestine - Jordan having declared privately to Yishuv emissaries on 2 May it would abide by a decision not to attack the Jewish state. The invading forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements. The 10 months of fighting, interrupted by several truce periods, took place mostly on the former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon.
As a result of the war the State of Israel retained the area that the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state as well as almost 60% of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1948 Partition Plan. including the Jaffa, Lydda and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem road, West Jerusalem, and some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the remainder of the former British mandate, which it annexed, and the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip. At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine & Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity." No state was created for the Palestinian Arabs.
The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel and they became Palestinian refugees. In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel with many of them having been expelled from their previous countries of residence in the Middle East.
MIND OF THE SUICIDE BOMBER The two examples below show how, in the name of religion, someone can volunteer to kill innocent civilians and then blow themselves up and then be considered a martyr by their family and community.
MIND OF THE SUICIDE BOMBER Bob Simon Speaks To Two Would-Be Martyrs. CBS News Rebecca Leung 2003 May 23
Murad Tawalbi was arrested near Haifa. He had planned to blow himself up in a crowded marketplace. He is 19 years old and comes from a refugee camp near the West Bank town of Jenin.
Who recruited him and gave him the bomb? His older brother.
"I went down to him, he showed it to me," says Murad. "I took his hand and kissed it because he wanted to give me something precious."
"He wasn't trying to make me wear an explosive belt. He was giving me a ticket to heaven. Because he loves me, he wants me to become a martyr. Because martyrdom is the most exalted thing in our religion. Not just anyone gets the chance to become a martyr."
Murad failed. But others succeeded. Fifty-four Israelis were killed, and 636 were wounded in suicide bombings this past year. Many of the bombers came from Gaza, a desolate strip along the Mediterranean which has spawned so many revolts against Israeli occupation. Correspondent Bob Simon reports.
Dr. Eyad Sarraj, a Muslim, heads up Gaza's only psychiatric clinic. The families of suicide bombers often come to him for help after the deed is done. That's how he has built up his profile. But are the people who want to become suicide bombers especially violent?
"No. On the contrary. If you look at their personal histories, they usually were very timid people, introvert, their problem was always communication in public or communicating their feelings, so they were not violent at all," says Sarraj.
"There is a pool of suicide bombers everywhere in the world among the community of Islam and Arabs everywhere. They are ready to act when the time comes. Anybody who is living in this area, including yourself, would have seen the rise of temperature, the rise of hatred, the rise of anger every year after year because of the continuous suffering of these people."
And in Gaza, if you want to tap into this pool of hatred and suicide bombers, you don't need to go further than the neighbourhood mosque.
"If they know I am the one who is going to recruit, they will come for me. I just give the message in the mosque that this is what we should do," says Sarraj. "And then people who are ready will contact me."
Hamd Abu Mailek, 23, a student of business administration, found that somebody. On June 17, he wound up driving a donkey cart down a Gaza road towards an Israeli checkpoint. Next to him was 20 kilos of explosives and lots of nails.
"The explosives were connected to a button, and the minute I would press it, the bomb would explode," says Hamd. "The explosives didn't go off. It just didn't work."
There was something wrong with the detonator. There was nothing wrong with the explosives. The Israelis blew them up a few minutes later, along with the cart and the donkey. As for Hamd, they'd shot him three times in the legs, and then captured him.
Was Hamd disappointed that he didn't kill any Israelis? "Naturally one feels sad because the operation was not come off, and Jews were not killed," he says.
But Hamd should still be in good shape with his God. Just listen to the sermon in Gaza's main mosque, broadcast live on Palestinian TV last month. The message: "Whoever joins a holy war is considered a martyr and is worthy of entering Paradise even if he didn't accomplish his goal."
But it's not just the vision of Paradise that attracts these young men. In fact, many of them, Murad and Hamd included, say they were not particularly religious before they decided to become martyrs.
In Gaza, there is a cult of the suicide bomber. There is no higher calling, no higher fashion statement, than the bomb around the belt. The martyr is worshipped. He is on walls and in windows.
"He is like an idol for many young people now. It is something to aspire to be, a martyr," says Sarraj. "In all my teenage time, my symbols were body-builders and movie stars and singers and people like that. Then it changed ... the guerrilla, the fighter, then it was the stone thrower, and today it is the martyr."
But many people in the United States would see these suicide bombers as simply crazy, psychotic.
Does Sarraj agree? "No. They are not psychotic."
Dr. Ariel Merari, head of the Center for Political Violence at Tel Aviv University, has studied every suicide bombing in the Middle East since the U.S. Marine barracks were blown up in Beirut 18 years ago. He says the only abnormal thing about the suicide bomber is, at a certain point, a total absence of fear.
"I don't know of a single case of a person who is really psychotic," says Merari. "And still, this absolute absence of fear, I doubt that it is a general personality characteristic. I doubt that this person under any circumstances would be fearless. On this mission, to which he was prepared for so long, like a coiled spring that just wants to be released."
It's the job of the organization, the cell, to get the terrorist to that point, the point of no return. The aspiring martyr is told to write last letters to his family and friends. He is photographed in a heroic pose. He makes a video explaining why he is becoming a martyr.
Imagine coming home after all that.
After that point, Merari says, the suicide candidate is called the living martyr. It's kind of like being part of the walking dead.
"Being at that stage, a person sees himself as already dead," says Merari. "There is no return for him without really losing any self-respect, the respect of others, but also because his mental state is already focused on killing himself, on being dead. He is already there, on the other side, actually."
Murad explained, "I was very happy. I was waiting for the time to come. I was counting the seconds before I went down. I felt very calm, as if nothing were happening. When I put on the belt of explosives, it felt like it was nothing at all. My brother put it on me, and I was watching him, looking for tears in his eyes, but there weren't any. He was smiling, and that encouraged me more."
It took Murad 30 minutes to drive to the border. What was going on in his mind before he attempted to blow himself up?
"I was just thinking about saving the Palestinian people. That's all," remembers Murad. "I never felt so calm in my life. It was the will of God."
As a man who studied this phenomenon more than anyone else, how well does Merari think he understands the state of mind of one of these men in the minutes before he dies?
"Some of them were elated, apparently. Ecstatic, in the last moments," says Merari. "You probably remember the description of the suicide guy who drove a truck into the Marine Barracks in Lebanon in October 1983. He was described by the guard at the entrance to the compound, and the guy said amazingly, 'He was smiling.'"
"They just saw the new door, the new life. Strongly people believe here and in Islam that you don't die," adds Merari. "When you join an army, there is a possibility to die, but in this case you are not going to die … As a martyr for Islam and for Palestine, it is absolutely sure that you are going to come out alive."
A 100 percent guarantee? "Guaranteed by God," says Merari.
TEL AVIV – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement declared a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli-American girl to death while she was sleeping in her bed to be a “martyr.”
In two separate posts on Thursday, the official Fatah Facebook page referred to Muhammad Taraireh, 17, as a “shahid” (martyr). In one, a photo of Taraireh was posted with the caption: “Image of the martyr Mohamed Taraireh, who carried out the operation today that resulted in the death of a settler and the injury of another settler.”
Fatah also posted a photo of the blood-soaked bedroom of the victim, Hallel Ariel.
The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WAFA, also referred to Taraireh as a “shahid” in its report of the incident. The report’s headline read: “Israeli Soldiers Kill Teenager Involved in Alleged Stabbing Near Hebron.”
“Israeli soldiers Thursday killed a 17-year-old from Bani Naim, east of Hebron, under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack in an illegal Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron south of the West Bank,” WAFA reported.
“Security sources told WAFA that armed Israeli soldiers opened fire at Mohammad Mahmoud Taraireh for allegedly stabbing an Israeli settler.”
WAFA continued: “Israeli and international human rights groups repeatedly denounced Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy by Israeli forces, which resulted in the death of many Palestinians who did not constitute a threat or who could have been apprehended without the use of lethal force.”
In accordance with PA law, Taraireh’s family will begin receiving a monthly stipend paid to the families of all “martyrs.” (Go to Times of Israel for details of this fund)
The mother of the terrorist told a local Hebron news network how proud she was of her “heroic” son.
“My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised,” she said.
State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed Hallel’s U.S. citizenship and condemned the murder.
“This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable,” he said. “We offer our heartfelt condolences, of course, to her family and to her friends.”
“As we’ve said many times, there’s just absolutely no justification for terrorism,” Kirby added.
In a video message, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to “not let barbarism defeat humanity.”
“You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like. You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human,” he said.
“There’s no middle ground between beautiful Hallel and her unspeakably evil murderer,” the prime minister added.
Netanyahu also called on PA leaders to “clearly and unequivocally condemn this vicious murder and take immediate action to stop the incitement.”
“Enlightened nations must join in this demand,” Netanyahu added. “They must pressure the one who heads the network of incitement that leads to the murder of children in their beds and not the State of Israel, which is working to protect its children and its citizens.”
In a separate attack on the same day, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli man in his 40s and a 62-year-old woman outside a market in the coastal city of Netanya.
The wave of Palestinian violence that began in the fall and includes stabbings, car rammings, and shootings has claimed 39 Israeli lives so far.
When the upsurge first broke out, Abbas declared in an interview on PA TV, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every shahid [martyr] will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
Abbas later described the wave of knife and gun attacks as a “justified popular uprising.”
Islamic extremism is any form of Islam that opposes "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs". Related terms include "Islamist extremism" and Islamism. Some people oppose the use of the term, fearing it could "de-legitimize" the Islamic faith in general. Some have criticized political rhetoric that associates non-violent Islamism (political Islam) with terrorism under the rubric of "extremism"
There are two UK High Court cases that explicitly address the issue of Islamic extremism.
May 2016: An Appeal from the Crown Court and Central Criminal Court: several individuals' cases considered together.
October 2016: In which the Judge concluded that Imam Shakeel Begg is an Islamic Extremist, and does not uphold Begg's claim that the BBC had libelled him by saying so.
October 2016 Shakeel Begg case
Begg, a prominent Muslim public figure and Imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre since 1998 lost his 2016 court case of Libel against the BBC. This case is noteworthy because the judge lists a 10-point definition of Islamic extremism that he used to determine the case:
In Charles Haddon-Cave's findings he wrote
Extremist Islamic positions
118. In my view, the following constitute "extremist" Islamic positions (or indicia thereof).
First, a 'Manichean' view of the world. A total, eternal 'Manichean' worldview is a central tenet of violent Islamic extremism. It divides the world strictly into 'Us' versus 'Them': those who are blessed or saved (i.e. the "right kind" of Muslim) on the one hand and those who are to be damned for eternity (i.e. the "wrong kind" of Muslim and everyone else) on the other. For violent Islamic extremists, the "wrong kind" of Muslim includes moderate Sunni Muslims, all Shia Muslims, and many others who are "mete for the sword" and can be killed, and anyone who associates or collaborates" with them...
Second, the reduction of jihad (striving in God's cause) to qital (armed combat) ('the Lesser Jihad')...
Third, the ignoring or flouting of the conditions for the declaration of armed jihad (qital), i.e. the established Islamic doctrinal conditions for the declaration of armed combat (qital) set out above...
Fourth, the ignoring or flouting of the strict regulations governing the conduct of armed jihad, i.e. the stipulations in the Qur'an and the Sunna for the ethics of conducting qital set out above. Thus, the use of excessive violence, attacks on civilians, indiscriminate 'suicide' violence and the torture or the murder of prisoners would constitute violation of these regulations of jihad...
Fifth, advocating armed fighting in defence of Islam (qital) as a universal individual religious obligation (fard al 'ayn)...
Sixth, any interpretation of Shari'a (i.e. religious law laid down by the Qur'an and the Sunna) that required breaking the 'law of the land'...
Seventh, the classification of all non-Muslims as unbelievers (kuffar)...
Eighth, the extreme Salafist Islamism doctrine that the precepts of the Muslim faith negate and supersede all other natural ties, such as those of family, kinship and nation...
Ninth, the citing with approval the fatwa (legal opinions) of Islamic scholars who espouse extremist view...
Tenth, any teaching which, expressly or implicitly, encourages Muslims to engage in, or support, terrorism or violence in the name of Allah.
According to some contemporary Muslim commentators, extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites. From their essentially political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims. The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death.
Active Islamic extremist groups
Some of the proponents of Islam emphasise peaceful political processes, whereas Sayyid Qutb in particular called for violence, and those followers are generally considered Islamic extremists and their stated goal is Islamic revolution with the intent to force implementation of Sharia law and/or an Islamic State Caliphate.
There are over 120 such groups active today go to Wikipedia for its listing of major groups