Terrorism and Violence in Islamic History and Theological Responses to the Arguments of Terrorists

Recep Dogan
Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Wisdom College, Brisbane, QLD, AU

Series: Terrorism, Hot Spots and Conflict-Related Issues
BISAC: POL037000



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Starting in the mid-7th century CE, there have been various radical terrorist groups appearing in the Muslim majority communities that have interpreted the Qur’an and the Prophetic Traditions in very extreme ways in an attempt to justify their violence and mask their evil acts. As the title of the work, Terrorism and Violence in Islamic History from Beginning to Present and Theological Responses to the Arguments of Terrorist Groups suggests, it presents a brief history of violence and terrorism through the course of Islamic history and then provides a comprehensive theological response to the arguments of the extremist groups.

In Chapter One, the author highlights the sanctity of human life and provides abundant evidence from the primary Islamic sources― the Qur’an and the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad, proving that it is strongly prohibited to kill human beings regardless of their ethnic, cultural or religious background. Condemning all evil acts of terrorists who violate God-given inalienable right to life, he asserts that it is not right to attribute terrorists to a certain religion or faith tradition, thus labeling their evil acts as “Islamic” or “Christian” terror.

In Chapter Two, the author sheds light on the extreme sects appearing in Islamic history that have misinterpreted the primary Islamic sources to legitimize their violent extremism and terrorism. In Chapter Three, he provides the theological responses to refute the claims of these extremist terrorist groups, thus proving their sick, violent mentality on the basis of primary Islamic sources. In Chapter Four, he explains in great detail some of the key Islamic notions, such as struggling in the way of God and martyrdom, which have been exploited by the extremist terrorist groups.

In the last chapter, the author discusses the necessity of mutual understanding and respect for the sacred as an alternative method to prevent radicalism and extremism. He argues that showing disrespect for the sacredness of Muslims causes radicalism in the Muslim world, and in turn this radicalism feeds Islamophobia in the West. He further puts forward that the international community should benefit from the ideas of the moderate Muslim scholars in order to combat terrorism effectively, using their compelling arguments to refute the violent arguments of the extremist groups.


Chapter 1. Religious Extremism and Terror (pp. 1-38)

Chapter 2. Violence and Terrorism in Islamic History (pp. 39-186)

Chapter 3. Theological Responses to the Arguments of the Extremist Groups (pp. 187-232)

Chapter 4. An Analysis of Islam and Its Primary Sources in the Context of Violence and Terrorism (pp. 233-270)

Chapter 5. Respect for the Sacred versus Freedom of Expression: An Analysis in the Context of De-Radicalization (pp. 271-290)

References (pp. 291-314)

About the Author (pp. 315-316)

Index (pp. 317)

“Having an excellent command of Arabic, Turkish and English, Islamic theologian Dr. Recep Dogan has used essential primary texts in these three languages and produced an excellently analytical but also encyclopedically detailed account of not only pre-modern and contemporary violent extremists who justify their inhumane ideologies by reference to Islamic sources but also Islamic scholars’ refutation of these radical ideologies. The book is a must-read for those who want to learn about how Islamist violent extremists abuse Islam and how they have been responded to by Islamic scholars.” - Professor Ihsan Yilmaz, Research Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

“This book proves a comprehensive overview of the history of some of the main Muslim groups who have resorted to violence in the name of Islam. This book also makes a passionate plea and a thoughtful rebuttal of some of the most important theological arguments these groups have used to justify their actions in the religiously couched terms.” - Dr. Adis Duderija, Lecturer in the Study of Islam and Society, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia

Keywords: Terrorism in Islamic history, theological responses to the arguments of terrorist groups, Islamic radicalization, Islamic extremism, ISIS, IS, Al Qaeda, Assassins, Taliban, Al Shabab, Hashashin, Qarmatians, Salafism, Wahhabism, Kharijite.

This book may have various readers from different backgrounds such as Muslims who read and learn their religion in the English language, policy makers and security forces who combat terrorism in the west, students and lecturers in universities, especially religious studies, middle east studies and Islamic studies etc. Moreover, it can be used as a textbook in Islamic studies, political sciences, middle east studies, Arab studies, radicalism and terrorism studies.

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