Are Western Civilians Legitimate Targets in War?

Osama Bin Ladin’s February 23, 1998 fatwa says, “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.” Some American Muslims have responded to Osama Bin Ladin’s … [Read more...]

Should American Muslims Be Loyal To America?

The American Muslim community feels conflicted about its relationship with America. On one hand, America has given us religious freedom, political freedom, and economic opportunity.  America has also helped free Muslims in places like Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosova. (Some would say that America also helped free Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.) On the other hand, America (a secular, non-Muslim state) has invaded various Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq) resulting in instability and … [Read more...]

Why Did Prophet Muhammad Go To War?

Since 9/11, there has been a lot of discussion about whether Islam requires Muslims to use military force to spread Islamic rule, and whether Islam therefore poses a threat to America and the West. Many people point to the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a military leader who was involved in several wars, and that Islamic rule spread throughout the Arabian peninsula during the Prophet’s lifetime.  They also note that later Muslim rulers, claiming to follow the example of … [Read more...]

According To The Qur’an, When Are Muslims Required to Fight, And Against Whom?

There are verses in the Qur’an instructing Muslims to use force in some circumstances.  Along with being a religious and political leader, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a military leader.  So when does Islam require Muslims to use force? Are Muslims required to use force if they are attacked, or if other Muslims are attacked? Are Muslims required to use force to spread Islamic rule? Did the Prophet initiate violence, or did he only respond to it? Muslims have answered these … [Read more...]


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