In the Name of God بسم الله
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Showing results for tags 'mass violence'.
^ Based on the above, I decided to start a separate thread that concerns the mass killing of pagans—that is, religious people who are neither atheists nor Ahl al-Kitāb—in time(s) of war. Throughout history, various factions of Ahl al-Kitāb, including (self-declared?) Muslims, have sanctioned mass killings or even so-called “genocidal” actions vs. entire pagan societies. For example, the Catholic Inquisition and some Muslim rulers sought to forcibly convert or exterminate Indian Hindus, including women and children, on religious grounds. Even today Takfiri militants—sponsored by the West via the GCC, Turkey, and Pakistan—specifically target Hindus, to not mention Buddhists, Yazidis, and other “pagan” groups. Typically the aggressors undertake indiscriminate rather than selective actions, e.g., burning of crops, elimination of cattle, rape, use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), destruction of entire populated areas, etc. For example, the Christian Americans dropped napalm (“fire-bombs”) on populated areas of Shinto Japan during World War II (the nuclear weapons were dropped on Christian areas of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). I might also note American colonists’ use of WMD vs. the native “pagan” Indians (smallpox etc.) Even if Islam condones offensive action vs. pagans after a “grace period,” in such a situation does it allow the use of indiscriminate tactics in wartime that it would otherwise not permit vs. Ahl al-Kitāb? Is one allowed to use, say, WMD vs. pagans, even if it is prohibited vs. Ahl al-Kitāb? How does the status of being a pagan affect the conduct of warfare by an Islamic power, once the war is actually declared? (Here I am not talking about preliminaries such as prewar negotiations, conditions, etc., but about the methods of warfare that are to be deployed once the war is initiated.) I am asking because a lot of Ahl al-Kitāb throughout history have argued that tactics that would be impermissible vs. other Ahl al-Kitāb would certainly be allowed vs. pagans, including, presumably, the use of chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare, along with other “uncivilised” means. Groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida, etc. have certainly had no qualms about using WMD in Chechnya, Syria, and elsewhere. They would probably claim that it is “acceptable” to use such weapons vs. “Devil-worshipping” (in their minds) Yazidis and similar groups. European colonisers used similar justifications vs. “pagan” Africans, Chinese, and Amerindians.
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