Professor Francesco Zannini, who teaches at the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in Rome, ignores the Qur’an’s injunction to “strike the necks” of unbelievers (Sura 47:4) and finds “no justification” in Islam for the recent spate of beheadings. From AsiaNews, with thanks to JRH:
Rome (AsiaNews) – If killing enemies is a precept of Islam, then “live-broadcast decapitations” are the result of a “radical leap” in fundamentalism. According to Professor Francesco Zannini, an expert on Islam, this type of killing finds justification nowhere in the Koran nor in any traditional maxim. The choice to decapitate and use telecommunications is a way “to bring the West to its knees…By cutting off a person’s head, [fundamentalists] inflict, thanks to mass media, mass destruction by striking the psychology and the fear of the Western world”.
Professor Zannini, who teaches at the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in Rome (PISAI, according to its Italian acronym), says that fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq “have taken an ideological leap: they have redefined the figure of the “enemy”. For traditional Islam, women, children, farmers, young people could not be killed. But, by now, for these groups “the enemy has become the West as such. Every Western, even if a child, is someone who “attacks Islam”, a militant that wants to destroy Islam and, as such, must be annihilated. It is an ideological framework that justifies total Jihad”.
I’m amazed that this man can teach Arab and Islamic Studies and not know that many traditional and contemporary Islamic legal sources justify actions against women and children if they are seen as aiding the war effort. It prohibits the killing of women and children “unless they are fighting against the Muslims” (‘Umdat al-Salik o9.10, cf. al-Mawardi, al-Akham as-Sultaniyyah, 4.2).
According to Zannini, faced with this latest evolution in extremist Islam, the world of Islam is appalled, even the fundamentalist Islam of the Muslim Brothers of Egypt. And many Muslims see the urgent need to give new ideals to young Muslims “to avoid a future of darkness”.
Great. Let’s see some evidence of this.
Decapitations exist in the history of Islam. But decapitations, cutting off heads are not a punishment foreseen by Islamic rules. It may have existed in the past but it was not a specific punishment. And above all it is not specified as for use against enemies. There are texts that order the killing of enemies of Islam, but they do not order decapitations. The Koran does not mention it. Nor do the hadith (the Prophet’s maxims). But the choice to decapitate and the use of media to broadcast such killings are made precisely to attract attention and to intimidate. Kidnappers are using decapitations to bring the West to its knees. They are seeking to attack people psychologically. Cutting the head of one person, they are inflicting, thanks to mass media, mass destruction by striking the psychology and the fear of the Western world. Strangely enough, the kidnappings themselves, the hostages, etc., are more part of the Western world, which fundamentalists use to have greater media impact.
“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks…” (Sura 47:4). The Qur’an nowhere mentions it, eh?
These terrorists are going against every traditional rule. The killing of women is explicitly condemned by Islamic tests. The most accredited hadith (the collection of the Prophet’s maxims) say that women, children, clergy, even farmers cannot be killed, nor can young men of military age who are not in the military.
“It is not permissible to kill women or children UNLESS THEY ARE FIGHTING AGAINST THE MUSLIMS” (Umdat al-Salik, 09.10). Emphasis, as you may have guessed, added.
Even some members of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt have admitted their astonishment. The Muslim Brothers see that the Iraqi terrorists go partly by their ideology, but they themselves feel that, to some extent, “they are giving Islam bad publicity”. Iraqi groups have by now surpassed the horror of Al Qaeda. In the Islamic world, the attack against the Twin Towers was seen as a start to Jihad. But, in Iraq, it is a question of total and idealess slaughter.
Now wait a minute, Professor. The Twin Towers attack was the start of jihad? But there were lots of innocent non-combatants in the Towers. Why, then, didn’t the Muslim world react with revulsion then, if what you say about non-combatants in Iraq is true?