Islamic law indeed does not have a concept of “civilians.” The distinction is rather between those who are waging war against Islam and those who aren’t. Thus it allows for the killing of what have traditionally been those quintessential civilians, women and children, if they are perceived as aiding the war effort against the Muslims (‘Umdat al-Salik o9.10, cf. al-Mawardi, al-Akham as-Sultaniyyah, 4.2).
“American people responsible for ‘blood of Muslims’: Al-Qaida’s No. 3 man says Islam sees U.S. residents, government the same,” from WorldNetDaily, August 2:
A top commander for al-Qaida says American people are as responsible for the U.S. military’s ability to “wage war and spill the blood of Muslims” as is the American government.
“Islam does not distinguish between the American people and the American government, since both are in a state of war with Islam,” Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid said in a recent interview.
The comments came in a report from Pakistan’s independent television network Geo News, which was monitored and translated the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The MEMRI report said al-Yazid is considered al-Qaida’s No. 3 man and “top commander in Afghanistan.” The interview was in Arabic and broadcast with a voiceover in Urdu, and later was posted on Islamic websites.