NYT wonders: Does Islamic law authorize nuclear jihad?

posted at 12:02 pm on October 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

If it didn’t before, it does now. In theory, writes Noah Feldman, the Koran forbids attacks on Muslims, women, and children. Those strictures have been relaxed, however, as warfare — and popular opinion — have evolved. Shari’a, no less than man-made law, tends to follow the facts on the ground, God’s will be damned:

The equivocation by Muslim scholars with respect to the technique of suicide bombing reflected the reality that throughout the Muslim world, Palestinian suicide bombers were by 2001 identified as martyrs dying in a just cause. This, in turn, was the natural outgrowth of the decades before suicide bombing, when Palestinian terrorists were applauded for killing Israeli civilians, including women and children. Given that embracing Palestinian suicide bombing had become a widespread social norm, it would have been essentially unthinkable for an important Muslim scholar to condemn the practice without losing his standing among Muslims worldwide. In the Islamic world, as in the U.S. Supreme Court, the legal authorities cannot get too far away from their public constituency without paying a price.

What happened, in other words, is that without the scholars paying too much attention to the question, the killing of Israeli women and children had become a kind of exception to the ordinary laws of jihad…

If the Islamic laws of war are under revision, or at least the subject of intense debate, what does that mean for the question of the Islamic bomb? The answer is that the expanding religious sanction for violence once thought unacceptable opens the way for new kinds of violence to be introduced and seen as legitimate in turn. First Israeli women and children became acceptable targets; then Americans; then Shiites; and now Sunnis of unstinting orthodoxy. It would seem that no one is out of bounds.

If you can bend shari’a one way then, hypothetically, you can bend it the other way too. (In fact, it’s been done before.) That’s the good news. The bad news is, it’s bent so far in the wrong direction it’ll take decades to turn around — particularly given that anti-Americanism is itself now a component of fundamentalist Islam.

Iranian-rooted Islamist anti-Americanism has worked far better than its designers might have imagined, spreading to Sunni Islamists who have little love to lose for Iran. The marriage of Islamism and anti-Americanism will probably be considered by history as the most significant consequence of the Iranian revolution. Anti-Americanism has become a staple of Islamist sermons and Web postings, an effective tool for drawing to the movement angry young people who might not naturally be drawn to religion. Bin Ladenism, in this sense, owes much to the Iranian revolution even though Al Qaeda was never Iran’s direct ally. United States support for Israel has always been an important part of the argument for Islamist anti-Americanism, but today it is by no means a necessary component. If U.S. support of Israel were to weaken, the American presence in Iraq and elsewhere in the gulf would easily substitute as a basis for hatred.

The United States therefore has strong reason to block its enemy Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons — not simply because Iran will seek to become a greater regional power, as any nation might do, but because the Islamic Republic of Iran as currently constituted is definitionally anti-American. There need not be a direct threat of Iranian first use against either the United States or Israel for this reason to weigh heavily. A nuclear Iran will be a stronger and more effective enemy in pursuing anti-American policies under the banner of Islam.

Speaking of which, the nutroots has been buzzing for weeks about the American naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and how Bush is allegedly planning to attack Iran as an October surprise.

Debka thinks they’re right.

Update: For the moment, according to Khamenei, shari’a forbids the use of nuclear weapons.

For the moment.

Update: Feldman also talks at length in the article about how Sunnis are apt to respond to Iran’s proliferation with nukes of their own. And sure enough.


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That’s absurd. They’re even talking about delaying the Hussein verdict until after the elections. There is no way Bush is going to launch military strikes against Iran right before the election.

DaveS on October 30, 2006 at 12:15 PM

Didn’t Iran’s President seek a religious ruling awhile back on the use of nuclear weapons? And didn’t that ruling give him religious standing to use nukes?

I’ve searched the web for this ruling but I wasn’t able to locate it. In short, this issue has already been resolved and the bottom line is that islamic jurisprudence permits the use of nuclear weapons.

Mahdi Al-Dajjal on October 30, 2006 at 12:16 PM

So Islamic law is a kind of “living constitution”? Another point of alliance with the Left…

Alex K on October 30, 2006 at 12:19 PM

…does it have instructions in the Koran on how to duck?

They want to be a nuclear nation, I’m all for it. The moment that their reactors go live, I say that we allow them to borrow a cup of nuclear fuel.

If they give us an 8-digit grid, we can deliver.

Puritan1648 on October 30, 2006 at 12:19 PM

It is not just America that is in danger of being struck. America will be the first target because we have the strongest military in the world. Islamofascists will quickly use their weapons to try and gain control of the world.

It is an ideaology that must be defeated. NYT is giddy that America is the main enemy without truly understanding the Islamic beliefs. When will MSM people awake to this ideaology? I know us on Hot Air understand this but others certainly do not.

Dittohead on October 30, 2006 at 12:21 PM

If you people don’t like this, you should all become Muslims so you can be a part of the debate.

frankj on October 30, 2006 at 12:25 PM

…here’s a little slice of Islam that the moral relativists (one religion is as good as another…and none of ‘em are worth much) at the NYT should check out:

[9.28] O you who believe! the idolaters are nothing but unclean, so they shall not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year; and if you fear poverty then Allah will enrich you out of His grace if He please; surely Allah is Knowing Wise.
[9.29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

From Sura 9 (“The Immunity”), verses 28 and 29…I apologize for the circuitous prose…nature of the beast….

The premise is simple:

* This Allah guy made us, but made us all muslim.

* Those of us who don’t toe the line are unclean.

* This Allah guy promises to despoil us and allow muslims to tax and subjugate us.

The Koran is full of subjugation…slaying, stabbing, and the rest. The Sharia is more of the same, with loads of nitty-gritty to make the stabbing and slaying and taxing and subjugating possible.

If Islamism was just another socio-economic system, it’d be one thing. As someone’s pointed out earlier, they’ve been at this jihad thing for 1300 years…they’re like the Borg in bedsheets…they’re not going away.

Don’t believe me? Try out another slice…same Sura:

[9.5] So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

…”slay”…”take”…”besiege”…”ambush”…but “Allah is Forgiving”.

Which way will they go *IF* they can strike back with nukes? What will Islamic lawyers say is moral?

“WOW! Look at the pretty colors, man!”

Puritan1648 on October 30, 2006 at 12:38 PM

Speaking of which, the nutroots has been buzzing for weeks about the American naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and how Bush is allegedly planning to attack Iran as an October surprise.

So late in the game, it would rightly come across as a desperate wag the dog campaign ploy. We should wait until Nov. 8 so the new Dhimmicrat Congress-elect has something to cry about.

Valiant on October 30, 2006 at 12:40 PM

So Islamic law is a kind of “living constitution”? Another point of alliance with the Left…

Yeah, you really gotta love those “living documents”. That way you can change established standards and rules to justify anything you want… like nuclear war.

Yakko77 on October 30, 2006 at 1:22 PM

Hmm…Mullah Omar’s really grown in office

see-dubya on October 30, 2006 at 4:04 PM

Speaking of which, the nutroots has been buzzing for weeks about the American naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and how Bush is allegedly planning to attack Iran as an October surprise.

Debka thinks they’re right.

I won’t be entirely satisfied unless the attack helps address the demographic problem.

Kralizec on October 30, 2006 at 6:36 PM

I believe Shari’a law allows whatever the madmullah’s want it to allow. What would become of ‘perpetual outrage’ if they couldn’t lash out in any way they see fit over any slight whatsoever?

thedecider on October 30, 2006 at 8:26 PM

Sheik Nasir bin Hamid al Fahd, one of the “Three Takfir Sheikhs” in Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi death cult, published a fatwa on May 21, 2003 called “A Treatise on the Legal Status of Using Weapons of Mass Destruction against Infidels” (Risalah fi hukm istikhdam aslihat al-damar al-shamel didh al-kuffar), that gives Al Qaeda or any other Islamic terrorists permission to use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons against the United States and its allies.

It specifically allows “the permissibility of attacking the polytheists by night, even if their children are injured” and allows “that these weapons will kill some Muslims”. As the Islamists say, Allah will know his own. If you’re wondering who the polytheists are, look in the mirror.

Sheikh al Fahd says there is no need to worry about international law banning the use of such WMDs because Allah’s law trumps any man-made infidel laws. Fahd claims that American weapons have killed ten million Muslims so therefore its OK to use WMDs to kill ten million Americans, though any more than that would require additional fatwas.

Sheikh al Fahd, like all Saudi clerics, is an employee of the Saudi government, the same Saudi Arabia which claims in its TV ads in the Washington, DC area to be our “ally in the war against terror.”

It’s also worth noting that Islam values expediency above all. Mohammed makes it clear in the Koran that anything that advances Islam is good, anything that doesn’t is bad. Should an atom bomb detonate in DC or ricin poison thousands in New York or anthrax break out in LA, the entire Muslim world will cheer this victory for Islam, just like they did on Sep 11.

Tantor on October 30, 2006 at 9:23 PM

WOOOOO – Is the NYT for real? The idea that we can make rational sense out of the jihadists is freakin insane. Is the intention to make us feel that we can be spared if we let Pelosi run congress? There are many instances when homicide bombings kill Muslims bystanders. The terrorists reply? – The Muslims that were killed have become martyrs!! Instant martyrdom! Or – they consider muslims that live among non muslims infidels – they deserve to be killed. Happened this summer in Israel. The Islamofacists will spin the Koran any way they want and then drop the big one right on the offices of the NYT.

iam7545 on October 30, 2006 at 9:46 PM

Hmmm, that’s odd, I just can’t seem to find anything in the koran about nuclear weapons. Oh that’s right, nukes didn’t exist when this “holy book” was written. Is anybody out there dumb enough to think the terrorists won’t use nukes if they ever get their grimey little hands on ‘em? We have a bigger problem with nukes in Pakistan … ’cause they already HAVE nukes! If Mushy were overthrown by the Taliqaedaban, suddenly the rules of the game would change drastically. We’d hafta go in and take out those nukes before they can be distributed to all the branches of the global jihad. Get THAT thru your lefty hippie pot smokin’ right-brain dominate freakin’ heads … this is all the same war. Chechnya, “Palistine”, Southern Thailand, Kashmir, etc etc etc and they’ll be coming HERE (again) next if we don’t kill the bastards over there. If we take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, the libs will go bonkers, but if the terrorists ever set one off (most likely in some blue city in some blue state) in the U.S. those very same libs (if they survive) will blame it all on Bush and why didn’t he stop it and blah blah blah! Ya can’t have it both ways, either we fight, or we die. Playing PREvent Defense can only work for so long before they score one.

Tony737 on October 31, 2006 at 6:33 AM