Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: The Pitiful Ideology of Suicide Bombers | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber identified as a Saudi citizen with the nom de guerre Abu Amer al-Najdi, who carried out an attack on a Shi’ite mosque on May 22, 2015. (Militant photo via AP)

It must be admitted that the idea of suicide bombings is intimidating in itself. It contradicts our human nature and instincts of self-preservation. Suicide bombings do not take place in battlefields; instead their perpetrators sneak around among safe, civilian gatherings. Hence the vile and cowardly nature of these kinds of acts, one of which took place in Qatif in Saudi Arabia last week, killing and injuring dozens.

The attack clearly aims at sparking sectarian tensions in the Kingdom. Several Arab states have been consumed by the flames of terrorism, leading to destructive civil wars and establishing political systems based on sectarian quotas.

Suicide bombings are a way of spreading destruction and chaos. But without doubt there are forces that encourage violence in order to spread chaos and achieve their regional goals. This is evidenced by the nature of the relationship between Iran and Al-Qaeda. A new document, recently declassified by Washington, shows that Iran hosted many of Al-Qaeda’s leaders for years on end despite the sheer ideological contradictions and the mutual distrust between the two.

The phenomenon of the suicide bomber began during the Second World War when young Japanese “Kamikaze” pilots carried out suicidal missions, deliberately crashing their planes into US warships. Their actions of course inspired terror among their enemies. The idea that a human being can turn themselves into a bomb is frightening in itself. Nevertheless, they failed to shift the course of the war given the pitiful and absurd ideology behind their violent practices. That said, the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were defending a cause more honorable than the that of the suicide bombers of today: Japan at the time was in a state of war and all of its goals were military.

Nevertheless, Kamikaze proved to be a passing phenomenon that had to come to an end after failing to produce effective results.

The terrorists and suicide bombers we are facing today will face a similar fate to that of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots. The ideology they represent is pitiful and doomed to failure, its perpetrators are a group of misled youths, and the ideas they promote are inane, functioning merely as recipes for destruction.

However, this should not prevent us from attempting to uproot the phenomenon. Functioning as the roots to the terrorism phenomenon are instigators who brainwash our youths and, in some cases, the pitiful state of our educational systems graduate young people who can become easily influenced by this ideology. When we judge suicide bombings, there is a unitary, universal moral standard we must apply: targeting innocent civilians is unacceptable under any condition.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz was right to emphasize the need for targeting this misleading ideology that caused the heinous crime that took place in Qatif. This ideology that in some way found an opportunity to spread among the youth during recent decades is the reason behind the scenes of destruction and chaos and the unprecedented levels of violence that have recently convulsed the region.

Finally, whilst it is true that suicide bombings are intimidating, their proponents will eventually and inevitably be defeated; simply because, by default, they do not have a future. Such acts run against human nature and logic no matter what cover they use.

Whether they are committed in the name of Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the phenomenon of the suicide bomber is doomed—it will eventually vanish from sight.