What's Wrong with Suicide Bombing?


This was an interesting read from an old post that appeared in The Wisdom Fund

What's wrong with "suicide" bombing? Like tanks, gunships, bunker-busting bombs, F-16s, and cruise missiles, it kills people. That's what's wrong.

The reported fatalities between December 1987–the first Palestinian intifada–and January 2002 were 2,166 Palestinians, and 454 Israelis. During this same period, the number of Palestinians seriously injured by live ammunition, rubber bullets, shrapnel, etc. were 18,761; the number of Israelis seriously injured 427. This from statistics reportedly endorsed by the Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem.

According to University of California professor Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions:

"The Koran's definition of a Holy War is virtually identical with that of a Just War in the Canon Law of Catholicism. It must either be defensive or to right an horrendous wrong."

Islam forbids killing except in certain circumstances such as in self defense, or in response to another killing. Even then Islam counsels forgiveness, or compensation for the victim's family. What else is wrong with "suicide" bombing? Legally, less than what one might believe. While it may or may not be good strategy, it appears to be permissable under international law. Most Israelis over the age of 18, aren't exactly civilians. All eligible men and women are drafted into the Israel Defense Force at age 18. Men serve for three years, women for 21 months. Upon completion of compulsory service each soldier is assigned to a reserve unit. We Hold These Truths, a Christian organization, reports:

– All Israeli busses are owned and operated by the state, and each one serves as a military transport vehicle. Civilian passengers often find themselves riding next to an on-duty, rifle-carrying soldier being ferried to a duty station.

– Israeli pizzerias and McDonalds fast-food restaurants are teeming with off-duty and on-duty Israeli military men and women, many of both sexes carrying rifles.

Palestine is occupied land, and under international law, the Palestinians have the legal right to resist this occupation by any and all means. This may make busses, restaurants, discos–where Israeli military congregate, lawful targets. But there's no excuse for killing children. And there's no excuse for either Israelis or Palestinians knowingly putting children in harm's way. And what fuels the intifada, and the Palestinian "suicide" bombings, is Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes and orchards, Israeli settlements–a violation of international law, and President Sharon's desire to scuttle the peace process, and drive Arabs out of Palestine, permanently.

Suicide–the deliberate termination of one's life–for a greater cause is not an Arab monopoly. The Japanese used kamikaze or "suicide" attacks in World War II; a woman belonging to the Tamil Tigers blew up herself, several others, and India's prime minister Rajiv Gandhi; and those who protect the U.S. president are taught to sacrifice their lives if necessary. And what Western media call "suicide" bombings are generally viewed as martyrdom by Arabs. Islamic scholars say Islam forbids suicide, but accepts martyrdom–suicide being a selfish act contrary to God's will, martyrdom being an act of courage, sacrifice, and faith.

In the end, whether it's "suicide" bombers, or tanks, gunships, bunker-busting bombs, F-16s, and cruise missiles, the end result is the same: people die. And Palestinians are the overwhelming victims. So why does the media focus on "suicide" bombing?

Because it sets up Palestinian Arabs, Christian and Muslim, as the "other," therefore, a more legitimate target in the eyes of the American public, and it helps legitimize Israel's criminal conduct against the Palestinians, which, according to Francis A. Boyle, professor of international law, "has been financed, armed, equipped, supplied, and politically supported by the United States."

What's Common Between Taliban and US Forces?



Guess what is common between US forces and Taliban?

Yes, its God. If Muslims’ God shows face of apocalyptic violence, the Christians’’ God surely says: “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them” (7:2)

Isn’t it a pity that the tools introduced by the religion for the collective good of humankind, have been used for the collective annihilation. If Taliban are trying to establish the rule of God through human bombs, the US forces are also trying nip the Taliban evil through God!

Interestingly, a news item that appeared in MSNBC’s US Military News Section described the US Defense Firms as seeing through God. According to the news story, the combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops.

The story cites the military officials as saying that the citations did not violate the ban and that they would not stop using the telescoping sights, which allow troops to pinpoint the enemy day or night. The contractor that makes the equipment, Trijicon of Wixom, Mich., said the U.S. military has been a customer since 1995 and the company has never received any complaints about the Scripture citations. Tom Munson, Trijicon’s director of sales and marketing said in an interview that the company was not interested to publicize it as it was not something they made a big deal out of. But when asked, he said, then “we say yes, it’s there.”

In a statement Tuesday, the company defended the practice as part of their faith and belief in service to their country. “Our effort is simple and straightforward: to help our servicemen and women win the war on terror and come home safe to their families,” the statement said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation.” Well that raises question in my mind, how then are Taliban so different? They are also presumably fighting for their religion, their faith and their people! No?

O yes, I should recognize a fundamental difference here, the US forces don’t kill their own people, while Taliban and all the forces supporting them in Pakistan, are so comfortable in doing and/or justifying suicide attacks on Pakistanis! Back in America, the inscriptions on the arms are subtle and appear in raised lettering at the end of the stock number. Trijicon’s rifle sights use tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, to create light and help shooters hit what they’re aiming for. Markings on the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, one of the company’s most advanced models, include “JN8:12,” a reference to John 8:12 which says:

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”

The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Is it being used as a propaganda tool? Photos posted on a Defense Department Web site show Iraqi forces training with rifles equipped with the inscribed sights. The Defense Department is a major customer of Trijicon’s. In 2009 alone, the Marine Corps signed deals worth $66 million for the company’s products. Trijicon’s scopes and optical devices for guns range in cost from a few hundred dollars to $13,000, according to the company’s Web site.

Mikey Weinstein, President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says the Biblically inscribed sights could give the Taliban and other enemy forces a propaganda tool: that American troops are Christian crusaders invading Muslim countries. “I don’t have to wonder for a nanosecond how the American public would react if citations from the Koran were being inscribed onto these U.S. armed forces gun sights instead of New Testament citations,” Weinstein said. The foundation is a nonprofit watchdog group opposed to religious favoritism within the military. Weinstein said he has received complaints about the Scripture citations from active-duty and retired members of the military. He said he couldn’t identify them because they fear retaliation.

Here comes a longstanding issues of the inscription, ‘In God We Trust’ on US Military’s arms and other items of routine usage. The issue has been one of the grave concern to the progressive and secular intelligentsia of USA as well as for the US Atheist Association, for quite some time now. While the “godless” see it as propagation of religion-induced violence, the progressives maintain that the inscription gives US Military actions the cover of religion. A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which manages military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the inscribed sights don’t violate the ban on proselytizing because there’s no effort to distribute the equipment beyond the U.S. troops who use them.

“This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency,” said the spokesman, Air Force Maj. John Redfield. “Are we going to stop using money because the bills have ‘In God We Trust’ on them? As long as the sights meet the combat needs of troops, they’ll continue to be used.” The Marine Corps and the Army did not respond to e-mails from The Associated Press requesting comment on the Trijicon sights. Munson, Trijicon’s sales director, said the practice of putting Bible references on the sites began nearly 30 years ago by Trijicon’s founder, Glyn Bindon, who was killed in a plane crash in 2003. His son Stephen, Trijicon’s president, has continued the practice.

Whatever the logic behind these inscriptions might be, but it sounds so like, killing god through god! Monotheists are strange creature!