Legality of al-Qaeda's Jihad   [open pdf - 240KB]

"Usama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, declared war on the United States in a statement issued in August 1996. With the words, 'It is a duty now on every tribe in the Arab Peninsula to fight in the cause of Allah and to cleanse the land from those occupiers (Americans in Saudi Arabia),' bin Laden reminded Muslims of an ancient legal obligation to defend that region and the Muslim way of life from invaders and set in motion forces that continue to affect the United States, indeed the world, today. The United States' National Security Strategy 2010 stated that, '. . . we reject the notion that al-Qa'ida represents any religious authority. They are not religious leaders, they are killers; and neither Islam nor any other religion condones the slaughter of innocents.' This monograph explores the relationship between al-Qaeda's ideology, and Islamic law and doctrine. This analysis of Islamic legal and doctrinal sources examines seven aspects of al-Qaeda's ideology and exposes a stunning consistency between the two. The seven aspects considered include the obligation to conduct jihad, combatants and non-combatants in jihad, jihad against non-Muslims, the treatment of captives, mutilation, martyrdom, and the handling of the spoils of war. This monograph takes a position counter to that of the National Security Strategy and proposes that al-Qaeda's ideology is based on the Koran and does, in fact, comply with Islamic law. The analysis clearly shows that al-Qaeda's ideology and actions are consistent with Islamic law, even regarding the killing of innocent men, women, and children. This finding casts doubt on the notion that Islam is a 'religion of peace' and brings into question the basis of current U.S. policy toward al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) Digital Library http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/
Media Type:
Help with citations