The Ethos of the Suicide Bomber
Suicide bombers are religiously Motivated
The world is dominated by the suicide bomber. A suicide bomber may be a man or a woman who for whatsoever reason decides to give up life for an elusive cause and an elusive reward. One has only to have a look at the world news on any international channel , BBC, CNN, Russian TV or India times to get an idea of the prevalence the suicide bomber. A suicide bomber will blow himself up in a crowded place with the sole aim of creating the maximum collateral damage and maximum number of deaths. The aim is to create fear and win the war which otherwise cannot be won.
Suicide bombers and Muslims
A study of the suicide bombings around the world shows a fixed pattern that can be disconcerting. It is a known fact that 99% of the suicide bombers are Muslims. The only non-Muslim suicide bombers were the Tamil Liberation Tigers in Ceylon and this group is now wiped out, leaving only the Muslims in the fray. The Tigers tried to win the war and carve out a separate Tamil state, but they failed. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for the Islamic followers who are motivating young Muslim boys and girls to become human bombs.
Aim of the Suicide Bomber
It must be understood that a suicide bomber is a human bomb. He is a man, boy or woman who is so motivated that he dons a an attire laced with incendiary explosives and detonates them either on a military target or a crowded market place or shopping mall. The aim is simple, to kill as many as people as possible. A suicide bomber is a human Trojan horse in the reverse.
Many suicide bombers have been killed, yet an endless supply of these men and women is available to fill in the ranks. Research scholars have opined that this is because of the motivation, mostly religious imparted to these bombers. The motivators can selectively select passages from the Koran and other holy books to motivate such bombers. A reading of chapter 52-56 of the Koran mentions that men who are true to Islam and have spent a life time of devotion to Allah will go to paradise and will be rewarded with 72 virgins as wives. The concept of paradise in Islam is sensual in nature. This belief is sacrosanct in Islam.
Virgins and Islamic Texts
This belief in the concept of paradise with virgins who remain perpetual virgins is reinforced by the Hadiths, a set of religious books attributed to Muhammad himself. They are also binding on Islam. Though written 200 years after the death of the prophet they are supposed to contain the words of the prophet as overheard by his followers. There are in all 6 Hadiths.
Virgins in Paradise
This concept of virgins and eternal bliss in paradise for a true soldier is a terrific motivator in Islam. This concept of a true soldier is again a subject of interpretation and many noted Islamic scholars have justified suicide bombings, though the Koran forbids suicide.
Martyrdom and its Rewards
The problem is that martyrdom (Istishhadi) over rides this. I will bring the attention of the reader to two noted scholars Dr Zakir Naik and Shaykh Yusaf-al- Qaradawi who have justified suicide bombings. Both these worthies are well known Islamic jurists and scholars. It must also be remembered that the Koran mentions that those men who die fighting a holy war (jihad) will get the ultimate reward. It further states that these men who die fighting Jihad will be rewarded and go to paradise. The concept of Paradise is sensual in nature and chapter 21 (Hadiths no 2687) of the Hadiths in Sunan al Tirmidhi by Imam Tirmidhi is clearly mentioned. The number of 72 is derived from this Hadiths.
The Hadiths and Virgins as a Concept
The Hadiths further state that a martyr who dies for the cause will be bestowed 7 blessings. One of these is going to Paradise and having 72 wives who will remain perpetual virgins. This is the motivating factor and many young men are enticed with a sensual after life to kill, though the Koran prohibits suicide.
The religious scholars are able to cover up the suicides as the act of a martyr and the brainwashing is complete. But the fact is that the Hadiths and the Koran do mention these beliefs that are sacrosanct in Islam. This concept is mentioned in the Hadiths ( al- Miqdaam Ma’di Karb).
The effect of this can be telling as can be seen from some young boys who were caught in England and on interrogation it was revealed that they were motivated with an afterlife of love and women. In Palestine a young man going for Martyrdom as a suicide bomber is thought of as being married off by his mother.
The seeds of the suicide bomber lie in selective interpretation of the religious texts. But as I have pointed out that suicide bombers alone cannot win a war. The Palestine’s have not succeeded in 40 years and I doubt whether suicide bombers will any war. The LTTE were decimated and that should be a lesson.