Terrorism Sadistic Islam Arab culture Hero Revenge

Terrorism Sadistic Islam Arab culture Hero Revenge
Contents lists available at ScienceDirectAggression and Violent Behaviorjournal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/aggviobeh

Roots of sadistic terrorism crimes: Is it Islam or Arab culture?

Jilani ben Touhami Meftah Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, Simpang 347, Jalan Pasar Baharu, Gadong, Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara BE1310, Brunei Darussalam

A R T I C L E I N F O

Keywords: Terrorism Sadistic Islam Arab culture Hero Revenge

A B S T R A C T

This research deals with the phenomenon of terrorism and attempts to ascertain the true roots of its sadistic crimes. The research considers two possible hypotheses to explain this phenomenon: The first hypothesis says that since most of the perpetrators of these crimes are Muslim, the roots of these sadistic crimes are religious and based on the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The second hypothesis is that since most of the perpetrators of these crimes are mostly Arabs or some of their neighboring nations, the roots of these sadistic crimes are to be found in Bedouin culture. The methodology used in this research is a combination of a historical approach and a psy- choanalytic approach. The most important finding of the research is that there is no link between sadistic terrorist acts and Islam. The true roots of these sadistic crimes are cultural, namely mythology of heroes and revenge. In fact, these crimes also contradict the principles and teachings of Islam. The changes made by Islam in the societies of this region are superficial and skin-deep changes while the deep structures of these societies have remained dominated by their local culture. Arab societies have often exploited religion to justify their cultures.

1. Introduction

Terrorists and their violence have increased and provide abundant material for the local and international media. Regardless of the real causes of their emergence, such as “accelerating globalization and the world-wide threat due to the political, economic and cultural dom- inance of the West…” (Doosje et al., 2016, p. 81), and regardless of the local and international forces that use them to impose their policies, the proliferation of these groups and their rapid change from a merely symptomatic disease that appears and disappears to a chronic disease (that devours the protected parts before other parts). The places occu- pied by the United States of America, with the help of its international and local allies, on the pretext of combating terrorism and cutting off its roots, have now become the mainland of these terrorist groups and its preferred base and starting point for expansion.

The United States of America and its allies have changed from an offensive position, hunting down the virus of terrorism in the Afghani Tora Bora Mountains, to a defensive position suffering daily losses of bases and fortifications in the region to terrorist groups. Mannik (2011) stated that: “excessive reliance on military force has been counter- productive in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latter has, perhaps, even pu- shed al-Qaeda’s evolution further toward becoming a full-grown in- surgency” (p. 169). In short, terrorism has become a real threat that affects the major policies of countries, and it is not an exaggeration to say that the successes of terrorist groups are great and hazardous. First: they have been able to seize vast areas that are larger in size and wealth

than many countries. Second: their ideology has become an alternative doctrine that attracts young people around the world and even many radical leftists in the Arab world, some of whom have begun to adopt and support the proclamations of terrorists and announce the beginning of their mass departure to this new fascist doctrine. This is best de- scribed by Barrett (2014): “It was fortunate for The Islamic State that many in its top echelons were ex-Ba’athists who had held senior posi- tions under Saddam Hussein” (p. 5). Besides Ba’athists, communists have joined the chorus of terrorists and become the best defenders and media advocators for ISIS. The chairman of the Iraqi communist party fiercely defended ISIS in the Al-Jazeera Arabic popular program al-it- tijah al-Mu’akis (the opposite direction) (Al Jazeera Arabic, 2015). Third: the mere threat of terrorism is able, to some extent, to force the people of free world to accept the loss of basic freedoms in exchange for increased security. Viscusi and Zeckhauser (2003) found in their survey that respondents indicated a willingness to trade off civil liberties concerns, especially when there were significant efficiency gains in terms of reduced waiting time. However, a policy that would com- pletely eliminate the risk of terrorism is much more attractive and commands a much higher willingness-to-pay value.

It is not a secret that most of these terrorist groups use Islam to justify all their actions, and even believe that they are the only re- presentatives of Islam. Indeed, this claim is not limited only on the terrorists’ belief, but it has become a worldwide opinion as it is stated by Esposito (2015): “Critics cite Quranic passages, doctrines like jihad and events in Muslim history as strong indicators and proof that Islam is

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2018.06.003 Received 10 March 2018; Received in revised form 22 May 2018; Accepted 27 June 2018

E-mail addresses: jil.meftah@gmail.com, babout22@gmail.com.

the primary driver of Muslim extremism and terrorism” (p. 1067). In fact, the terrorist acts such as murder, bombing and displace-

ment, which have become commonplace crimes and threaten many innocent people lives in the Arab world, is not confined to terrorist groups alone, but are crimes behavior committed by all kinds of war- ring forces.

It is perplexing that something new and strange has emerged in the behavior of these rival forces, namely the celebration of burning and beheading innocent people in the name of Islam. As Esposito (2015) said: “ISIS has used total war without limits: extreme public violence, beheading and gruesome images to warn, subdue and punish captured populations” (p. 1076). Unfortunately, this sadistic behavior has not been sufficiently studied and analyzed. Instead, discourse around the issue is generally either confined to a mere condemnation and de- nunciation, or else the discourse about terrorism is used by nations and other entities for their own means. It was also used by the same rival forces to defame each other.

There is no doubt that this sadistic behavior, despite its ugliness, drives us, like other human actions, to search for the cultural and re- ligious background that has made it a permissible behavior for its perpetrators to boast about, and a source of their merriment and pleasure. This leads us to the basic question that we want to answer in this research: What are the roots of this sadistic behavior? Is it from the Qur’an as the terrorists claim or is it from primitive Bedouin Arab culture? We confine ourselves to these two possible hypotheses only because other things such as politics and economics in the Arab world are themselves fashioned and affected largely by culture and religion. “This self-destructive dimension has nothing to do with the politics of the Middle East. It is even counterproductive as a strategy” (Roy, 2017). They can be a mere stimulus for evoking the sadistic potential behavior and not the root of it. Our approach is a combination of historical and the psychoanalytic approaches. The study is divided into three parts and a conclusion. The first part will present some terrorists’ sadistic conducts and their justification. The second part will critically analyze these sadistic behaviors and their justification in light of Qur’anic and the Sunnah texts and in the light of the historical facts of primitive Bedouin Arab culture. As for Qur’anic and the Sunnah texts, we will limit our discussion only to the texts that terrorists use to justify their sadistic crimes. We will not discuss other texts, which terrorists used to justify their creeds— such as Imamah (leadership), wala’ wa al-bara’ (loyalty and disavowal) hijrah (migration)— simply because they fall out of the limits of our main topic which is the sadistic crimes them- selves. In addition, terrorists do not use such texts to justify sadistic crimes, they mostly use such texts and creeds to recruit new members and for self-identification and administration. As observed by Roy, the writings that “fill the pages of Dabiq and Dar al-Islam, the two recent Isis magazines written in English and French, are not the cause of ra- dicalisation (Roy, 2017). The third part will be a general assessment of the phenomenon and its anticipated results.

2. Part one: Examples of sadistic terrorists’ behavior and their justifications

The killing of man by fellow men is in itself a horrible thing that is rejected and denied by every normal human being, but worse than that is actual enjoyment of killing. This is unfortunately, what the terrorists are doing in the Arab world. The fact is that the large number of terrible incidents indicates that this phenomenon is not transient; it indicates that it is an intrinsic disease that resides in the hearts of a large segment of the Arab society. In fact, the examples of sadistic terrorists’ behavior are merely video clips collected mostly from YouTube though even more of them are broadcast by other well-known sites like Al-Jazeera Arabic. I spent more than two years trying by all possible means to verify them on my own through colleagues and students whose families and relatives are living in the areas of conflict like Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan. Indeed, these people confirmed that what is happening on

the ground is more terrible than what is broadcast on social media. Although during this period of more than two years unfortunately some videos have since been deleted by YouTube. In the case of the video of the Jordanian pilot al-Kasasibah, I have left the original link of the deleted video and added another supporting video.

2.1. Examples of terrorists’ sadistic behavior

The first examples of this sadistic behavior is putting the victim in a cage and pouring gasoline over him and then setting him on fire until death and then rejoicing and thanking God for it. This is what exactly happened to the Jordanian pilot Mu’adh al-Kasasibah1 as carried out by the so-called ISIS (Aljadeedonline, 2015; Hisham, 2015). Regardless of the justification given by these people for their heinous act, it is not possible for a normal person to accept it as well as to rejoice in its accomplishment.

The second example is what was carried out by the same terrorist organization in Libya; they beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians, then they put the heads on their corpses and finally they broadcast the scene on social media as a celebration of their cruel sadistic achievement (Zizu, 2015). Their argument is that it was an act of revenge against American imperialist policies and actions in the Muslim world, including the fa- mous assassination of bin Laden.

The third example is a video of the same organization, which con- tains three terrifying scenes. In the first scene, four people are placed in a car, gasoline is poured on them and then a rocket is thrown at them that burns them to death. In the second scene, a group of men are locked in a cage and then dumped in a pond to drown. This is all filmed with an underwater camera. In the third scene, a group of victims is fettered from their necks with a rope full of explosives that is then detonated and their heads separated from their bodies at once (Ashour, 2015; TomoNews Arabic, 2015). All of this would be difficult for a normal person to even imagine.

Indeed, this sadism is not only committed by known terrorist groups such as ISIS and its affiliates, but it seems a common potential behavior of so many people of the region that appears at provocation. Such sa- distic crimes are countless; some of them have been committed by sectarian groups and some others have been committed by governments against their own citizens who oppose their policies for example tens of thousands of civilians had been killed “by individuals/groups (Iraqi soldiers, police, and government workers)” (Esposito, 2015, p. 1076).

Some of these sadistic crimes were committed by sectarian groups. The first scene of these crimes is a Shiite group from the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces was joyfully hanging a Sunni youth and burning him to death (Aljazeera.net, 2015). This sadistic behavior is not only directed against other sects, but it also happens within the same sect. The following video clip shows a Shiite pro-Iraqi government group humiliating another Shiite group, which opposes the Iraqi government by killing them, burning them, demolishing their homes and pulling them by their legs in the streets (al-Iraqi, 2014).

Another sadistic crime was carried out by Syrian Kurdish militias in the town of Afrin, where they roamed the streets with bodies of dead from the Syrian opposition factions and the strange thing is the cele- bration of the public (Shabab Post, 2016). Indeed, this incidence shows that this sadism is not an individual disease, but is a distortion in the collective consciousness of the region.

On the other hand, the sadistic crimes are also committed by the official armies which are supposed to follow international law of war in respecting people and their rights. The following scenes document some of these sadistic crimes of some Arab official armies against the oppo- sition. The first scene shows how the Kurdish Peshmerga members placed bodies of some extremists on armored vehicles and exhibited

1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eazV3-Jvhiw (30-06-2015). This video was deleted.

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them in the streets in an ugly, sadistic scene. The strangest thing is the commentaries about this sadistic demonstration. All the commentaries or most of them applaud and glorify this heinous act and bless it instead of condemning it (Dawlah Kurdistan, 2015). Indeed, this incident shows the misery and delinquency of many people of this region.

The second scene shows how members of the Syrian army were playing with the bodies of murdered dissidents in a way that is difficult to watch or even to describe. One of the soldiers kicked the corpses, humiliating and insulting them and asked his colleague to film him while committing these sadistic crimes (Al Jazeera Arabic, 2016). The other scene is a worse one; a group of Syrian soldiers tortured one of the opponents to death and in the end, they feel delightful for their achievement2 for this horrible performance (Syrian Scenes, 2012). The most spectacular scene is when a group of the Syrian army and Leba- nese Hezbollah hung some opponents, stabbed them with daggers and then threw them to the ground and smashed their heads with stones with great pleasure, celebrating it as a victory from Allah (Talibah al- Jinan, 2013).

The most recent of these sadistic crimes that shook the conscience of the world is what was done by the Libyan army forces in eastern Libya, led by General Hafter. They ransacked the graves of the dead oppo- nents, exhumed their bodies from the graves and tampered with them amid the cheers of the masses who actually celebrate these sadistic crimes as a historic achievement (Al Jazeera Arabic, 2017).

2.2. The terrorists’ justifications for their sadistic behavior

There is no doubt that the perpetrators of these sadistic acts of terrorism have their own moral reasoning that they derive from their own understanding of certain Islamic legal texts.3 One verse that they use for support is the following: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you” (Saheeh International, 2:194). Terrorists, especially those terrorists who belong to the Sunni community, believe that whatever sadistic act they commit is a form of reciprocity. This is how ISIS justified their burning of al- Kasasibah; they “stressed that this verdict came as a revenge for the hungry, afraid and innocent Muslims who were burned by the raids of the coalition… this revenge is based on the Qur’anic verse: If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him” (Anjarini, 2015).

They also rely on this verse of the Qur’an: “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed” (Saheeh International, 16:126). An ancient scholar commented on this verse saying: “if the common retribution is for calling them (enemies) to the religion or preventing them from ag- gression, it is then an enforcement of rules and a legitimate jihad”(Ibn Mufraj, 2003, Vol. 10, p. 265). The most explicit evidence that they can rely on is this narration mentioning that: “Ikrima, said: that Ali was brought heretics and burned them” (al-Bukhari 1422H, Vol. 9: p. 15).

This same story is used by the Shiite groups to justify their sadistic actions against their opponents. This version has more details; it reads “A man came to Ali and witnessed that he saw them (two men) praying for an idol, then Ali said, “Wo! Maybe it just seems to you, then he (Ali) another man to verify but he found them praying for an idol, then he brought them (to Ali), then he (Ali) instructed them to repent but they refused. He then dug a hole in the ground and made it full of fire then he threw them inside it” (Al-Saduq 1404H, Vol. 3, pp. 151–152).

In the narration of Musa ibn Bakr, a Muslim convert to Christianity then was brought to Ali who called on him to repent but he refused, then Ali held him by his hair and asked people to step on him until he died“ (Al-Saduq 1404H, Vol. 3, p. 152). Indeed, the Shiite sites such as Centre of Belief Research (CBR) defend these stories and believe in them (CBR, n.d.). In addition, they depend on the opinions (fatwa) of some of their clerics which incite the killing of innocents on the pretext that they are infidels such as the fatwa of the Khamenei which con- sidered the crimes of their guerillas and the Syrian army against the Syrian people to be a jihad against the infidels “Khamenei issued taklif shari’i (obligation of law) to Hizballah, demanding they come to Ba- shar’s aid. To disobey is tantamount to disobeying God” (Orton, 2015). It is really hard to imagine the scene and the events surrounding it— a person who is thrown alive in the fire or kicked to death. What type of sadists are these?!

3. Part II: analysis and criticism of terrorists’ sadistic deeds and their justifications in light of the Islamic texts (Qur’anic and Sunnah) and the historical evidences of Arab culture

3.1. Analysis of terrorists’ sadistic deeds in the light of Islamic texts

The above evidence of terrorists has nothing to do with the true and moderate teaching of Islam. This can be refuted in four ways:

1.1.3. The two previous verses on which terrorists rely to justify their sadistic atrocities were taken out of context:

1.1.1.3. This verse: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you” (Saheeh International, 2:194) comes after other verses within a context that emphasizes sev- eral things:

• The legitimacy of self-defense. • The prohibition of aggression against others. These two meanings are mentioned in the first verse in this context: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors” (Saheeh International, 2:190). This verse clearly shows the right of self-defense but at the same time forbids brutality against others.

• The verse “And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill (fight) them” (Saheeh International, 2:191) also stresses that the fighting is intended as a means of self-defense. However, the next verse “And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” shows that the core principle among people in Islam is pardon, toleration and forgive- ness (Saheeh International, 2:192).

• This verse: “Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors” (Saheeh International, 2:193) states that fighting is meant to prevent sedition and to ensure freedom of expression and religion.

• The verse that terrorists rely on to justify their crimes bears witness to this discrepancy in the logic of the terrorists; in addition to mis- understanding the verse by taking it out of context they also dis- regard the second half of the verse which clearly contradicts their understanding. The verse ends with this statement “…And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him” reminds Muslims that although they have the right to defend themselves they must fear Allah and not transgress limits (Saheeh International 2:194).

2.1.1.3. This verse “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed” goes on to say: “But if you are patient – it is better for those who are patient” (Saheeh International, 16:126). It is clear that the first part that the terrorists use is limited to the equivalence of punishment, and then the second part stresses that patience and forgiveness is better than re- venge. Al-Qurtubi says in the interpretation of this verse: “patience

2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu5ECePqCKA&has_verified (21-07- 2015). This is deleted. 3 These justifications are often found with groups claiming to derive their

intellectual legitimacy from religion. Nevertheless secular groups share their collective consciousness with religious groups, they do not use religion to justify their crimes, but rather try to use sectarian and ethnic dimensions, as in the case of the Kurdish leftist and Arab Baathist groups.

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(forgiveness) is better than revenge (punishment) for those who look for the sake and reward from Allah” (Al-Tabari, 2000, Vol. 17, p. 322).

2.1.3. Supposing the narrations they cite about the companions are authentic, the incidents cited are shaped by the time and place they occurred and as a result can’t be extended and generalized to the cur- rent situation.

3.1.3. These narrations – in addition to being mere insights about some companions – are feeble and contradictory. An authentic Prophet’s saying narrated “Abu Hurairah Allah’s Messenger sent us in an ex- pedition (i.e., an army-unit) and said: If you find so-and-so and so-and- so, burn both of them with fire. When we intended to depart, Allah’s Messenger said: I have ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so, and it is none but Allah who punishes with fire, so, if you find them, kill them” (Al-Bukhari, 1997, Vol. 4, p. 159). This is a clear text that forbids burning with fire. Also the context, as is clear, indicates that the in- struction to burn was not intended to be a literal burning but it is an educational method and a method of persuasion to get rid of dangerous beliefs entrenched in the subconscious of Bedouins. This is supported by another narration which clearly prohibited even the burning of ants. Ibin Hanbal (2012) said: “It was narrated that “Abdullah said: We were with the Prophet and we passed by an ant colony that had been burnt. The Prophet said: No human should punish with the punishment of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted” (Vol. 3 p. 462).

The Shi’ites narrations are mere sectarian views based on false dogmas. Their belief is based on the imams’ infallibility. They believe all that is uttered by their imams has the same degree of truth as a revelation. So their belief and opinions are based on perceptions that bear the seeds of their negation. To nullify the narrations that they relate to their imams is enough to nullify the myth of the infallibility of their imams, which is considered the most important pillar of their belief and forms the basis of their sectarian identity. Thus supposing that the narrations they cite about their Imams are authentic these re- main mere opinions of their Imams and can’t by any means be a re- ference that can contradict the explicit true and moderate teachings of the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah.

4.1.3. It is easy for anyone who contemplates on the Qu’ran and the Sunnah to easily observe their prohibition of such inhuman criminal acts, and how, on the contrary, they urge people to respect human dignity. Indeed, the true and moderate teachings of Islam emphasize brotherhood, mercy, forgiveness and restraining oneself from hostility and retaliation. These principles can be summarized as follows:

1.4.1.3. Unity of Creation: Islam believes in the unity of the source of man:

People of different races and colors are brothers and all of them return to their origin in one father and one mother. There are three verses in the Qur’an that declare this noble creed clearly. The first verse says: “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer” (Saheeh International, 4:1) and the second verse says: “It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in se- curity with her” (Saheeh International, 7:189) and the third verse says: “He created you from one soul. Then He made from it its mate” (Saheeh International, 39:6). Since the source of all human beings is one, Islam has encouraged all that would support this principle and bring in- dividuals and groups closer together. It calls for:

• Acquaintance among People: Since all people are of one origin, Islam encourages acquaintance among all human beings. The de- sired acquaintance is the one based on righteousness and piety, not on schism and hatred, as is stated in the Qur’an: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” (Saheeh International, 49:13). Al-

Qushairi (n.d.) commented on this verse saying: “The most pious of you is the one who is far from his own self, piety is the liberation from the self, its greediness and fortunes. The best of Allah’s slaves to Allah is the one who is far from his self and closer to Allah Al- mighty” (Vol. 3, p. 444). Piety is liberation from selfishness and its consequent distortions in perception and disdain of others.

• Human equality: Since our origin is one, Islam emphasizes the equality of all people, and does not differentiate among people on the basis of color, lineage or social position. Ibin Hanbal (2012) narrated: “O people, but your Lord is one, and your father is one, but Arabian is not favored on non-Arabian, nor non-Arabian is favored on Arabian, and no red man is favored on black man, nor black man is favored on red man, but favorite is only by piety” (Vol. 38, p. 474). This equality requires respecting the human soul and honoring it, not assaulting it and craving to distort it. The Qur’an considers the killing of one man like the killing of an entire people and the saving of one man’s life is like giving life to all people, regardless of their gender, color, and belief. A verse had articulates this meanings clearly states “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” (Saheeh International 5:32). The human soul is inviolable as it states in the following two verses: “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason” (Saheeh International 6:151) and “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right” (Saheeh International 17:33).

• Respect for diversity among human beings: The difference be- tween human beings is universal law and as such, acceptance of others as they are is necessary for the continuity of life and the stability of the world. Indeed, despite the unity of their creation, people are different in their colors, tongues and races. In Islam the diversity in all creations including mankind is a sign of God’s ex- istence and His Greatness. A verse has articulated these meanings clearly reads: “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge” (Saheeh International 30:22). In addition, differences among people in all aspects including belief is a universal law set by Allah, a verse says: “And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ, except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them” (Saheeh International 11:118–119). Thus, the diversity and difference between people means to the true believer a principle of faith that must be valued and adhered to.

• Cooperation in doing good and fighting evil and aggression: To ensure peaceful coexistence among different groups, Islam calls for cooperation to do virtuous deeds and fight evil. The Qur’an states these values; It says: “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty” (Saheeh International 5:2).

2.4.1.3. Intellectual freedom One of the foundations that shows the respect of Islam to man is the

intellectual freedom that it (Islam) calls for and sets forth its mechan- isms. Islam is a religion based mainly on persuasion through the focus on the change within the human consciousness and the liberation of thought from of all wrong perceptions that undermine his existential status. From an Islamic perspective, man is the vicegerent of Allah and thus he is responsible for the entire existence of life, because he is the only rational and responsible species in the universe. A verse says: “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority” (Saheeh International 2:30). The coercion which terrorist groups espouse is a rejected and contrary principle to the Qur’an “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad],

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would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” (Saheeh International 10:99) Islam prohibits coercion in religion “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion” (Saheeh International 2:256). Man has free will and his beliefs emanate from his innermost being due to certain conditions that differ from one person to another depending on the surrounding circumstances as differences among people is a universal fact. Thus, the Qur’an insists that people adopt dialogue as shown in this verse: “invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best” (Saheeh International 16:125) “And tell My servants to say that which is best” (Saheeh International 17:53).

3.4.1.3. Call to mercy The teachings of Islam are against revenge and all these barbaric

and sadistic deeds committed by these deviant groups. Islam is the re- ligion of mercy; indeed the word “mercy” is mentioned in the Qur’a one hundred and sixteen times in different formats and contexts indicating its importance and centrality in the Islamic worldview. Mercifulness is one of Allah’s attributes. It appears in the first verse of the Qur’an “In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” (Saheeh International 1:1) and appears again in the third verse of the Qur’an “The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” (Saheeh International 1:3) and tells that He is the most Merciful “[Moses] said, “My Lord, forgive me and my brother and admit us into Your mercy, for You are the most merciful of the merciful“ (Saheeh International 7:151). Also “Rahman and Rahim: two names derived from mercy (rahmah)“ (Al-Jawhari, 1987, Vol. 5 p. 1929). Since mercy is central and important in the Islamic worldview, Allah has decreed it upon Himself: “Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and cor- rects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful“ (Saheeh International 6:54) and He described himself as the source of mercy “And your Lord is the Free of need, the possessor of mercy“ (Saheeh International 6:133). Mercy is a quality of the Qur’an itself, the source of Islamic worldview “And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims“ (Saheeh International 16:89). Mercy is also a quality of the Prophet “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the world“ (Saheeh International 21:107). The Qur’an men- tioned that the Prophet was a merciful and lenient person and not harsh and rude as the terrorists are, otherwise people would have disbanded under his leadership: “So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you“ (Saheeh International 3:159). Mercy (rahmah in Arabic) is derived from (ra- hima) which means “gentleness, kindness and compassion“ (Ibn Fares, 1979, Vol. 2, p. 498). Also a blood-based relationship is called al-rahm (the womb) since people from the point of view of Islam are brothers and of one origin, Allah ordered them to be merciful and compassionate among themselves: “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer“ (Saheeh International 4:1). Islam has warned against the misuse of fighting to sow mischief on earth and cutting off the womb -blood- based relationship-, as is the case with terrorist groups and fascist re- gimes “So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship?” (Saheeh International 47:22). Is there any mischief in the earth worse than what these sadists do in our Arab world?

3.2. Analysis of sadistic deeds in the light of the historical facts of Arab culture

Since the first hypothesis has been found to be null and void, we will try to examine the hypothesis of the historical facts of the Arab culture. We mean by the Arab culture the primitive Bedouin culture that

characterizes the Arab man and the similar peoples of the Middle Eastern region. These cultures still retain the characteristics of herding societies which are based on hero and revenge myths. This influence of this mythology is perhaps the most prominent features of the Arab character.

3.2.1. The hero Arab man is reared in an environment dominated by the Arabian

primitive character that is governed by the instinct of a single leader. The reference and decision in the family is for the father, in the tribe it is the tribal sheikh and in the state it is the ruler. The leader, especially at the state level, enjoys many privileges at the psychological, social, economic and political levels. Psychologically, the leader is often seen as a distinctly different kind of person from other community members. Socially he is a reference and model that cannot be coerced or criti- cized. Economically he has the most wealth and he will marry the most beautiful women. Politically, he is the definitive reference and his word and decisions are irrevocable. All these things generate abnormal be- haviors for the leader and his community alike.

The leader, in order to prove this belief and preserve his privileges, tries to shape his followers in his own vision and temperament through cruelty, oppression and repression. He is egoistic and narcissistic and motivated by delusions of grandeur and arrogance. The type of per- sonality was aptly described by Chabrol, Leeuwen, Rodgers, and Séjourné (2009, p. 734): “Narcissistic personality disorder is dominated by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a sense of superiority and lack of empathy”. Thus, every means necessary to achieve the continuity and protection of this status is legitimized and these means are a source of enjoyment and happiness in themselves. Certainly, abusing, humi- liating and killing opponents are in fact a means of protecting status and a form of expressing the greatness of the self and its exaggerated im- portance. The ego-syntonic sadism of Malignant Narcissism is “ex- pressed in a conscious ‘ideology’ of aggressive self-affirmation. In- dividuals with MN have a tendency to destroy, symbolically castrate, and dehumanize others” (Goldner-Vukov & Moore, 2010, p. 393). It is also a form of persuasion to the self and others that opponents are weak and servile. All of this brings the leader and his cliques pleasure and happiness.

As a result of this oppression and tyranny, society becomes a quagmire of hypocrisy, deceit, betrayal and treachery. And it turns into layers that influence each other. Whoever is at the top will practice the same behavior. This dynamic can be found within many families. The father exhibits social oppression and suppression towards his family, the mother towards her children, and the older brother towards the younger. Mostly, if anyone from these societies has a chance to lead he will practice the same culture of domination and oppression.

Through time, these behaviors were linked to false religious justi- fications and turned into a collective consciousness that forms the current Arab culture of the Bedouins and other Arabs and races of the region.

3.2.2. Revenge Revenge is one of the worst habits prevalent in many parts of the

Arab world and other similar societies. It is an old culture in Arab so- ciety; “When one of the tribe members was ‘disturbed’, the other would set to take revenge regardless of the truth or fact of the matter” (Ismail, 2012, p. 364). One local popular proverbs of revenge express this fact: “if you meet the opponent or his cousin” (“Dhahirah al-Tha’r”, 2018), meaning that if you can’t kill the guilty party himself, you can kill his cousin instead. The inability to take revenge is considered a sign of weakness. They will mock a person who is not able to take revenge by saying: “he does not take revenge nor protects from shame” (“Dhahirah al-Tha’r”, 2018) and they curse anyone unable to take revenge: “dis- grace and shame for those who fail to avenge.” (“Dhahirah al-Tha’r”, 2018) Hunger for revenge remains vivid in people’s hearts, and they will not be satisfied until revenge is exacted even if it takes decades to

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accomplish. This is stressed in this quote: “taking his father’s revenge after 40 years is in a hurry” (“Dhahirah al-Tha’r”, 2018) meaning that forty years to get revenge is not a long period. One spooky poem about this pathological phenomenon tells the story of a woman dressed a necklace made from the fingers of her murdered relatives as an in- stigation for her nephew to get revenge for them. She said, praying to her Lord, “O best supported and safest side, and the most revered avenger and best responder. To you (she) had come, furious delegate of murdered family, wearing her black mantle, lonely over the desolate space. (Saying) these are my family’s fingers, orderly necklaced around my neck, like a beautiful girl’s necklace” (Al-Qali, 1926).

The vengeance phenomenon “dominated the mind of the Bedouin who does not rest and does not close his eyelids before taking revenge” (Abu Al Rab, 2006, p. 30). This is because “obsession with revenge was regarded as an obligation to avoid cowardice or impugning dignity” (Ismail, 2012, p. 364). Since revenge is a tool to restore self-esteem, it may be accompanied by torturing the murdered adversary for pleasure, thus confirming the degradation and inferiority of the opponent. Some historical events that prove this are presented below.

3.2.3. Historical events of mutilating the dead History books provide ample narrations about murdering opponents

and the artistic techniques in mutilating them. Given the abundance of such stories, we will choose only a few famous examples.

1.3.2.3. In the battle of Uhud between Muslims and Arab pagans, Hind the wife of Abu Sufyan committed sadistic crimes. She made necklaces and anklets from the noses and ears of the murdered Muslims and she ate from the liver of Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, all to avenge the killing of her father, her brother and uncle who were killed before in the Battle of Badr. Ibn Al-Jawzi (1992) and al-Tabari (1387 AH) transmitted that: “Hind with other women had mutilated the dead; cutting their noses and ears until she (Hind) was able to make from them anklets and necklaces. She also took out the liver of Hamza and chewed it then when she was not able swallow it she spewed it” (Vol. 3 p. 169 & Vol. 2 pp. 524–525).

2.3.2.3. The liar Musailimah burned Habib ibn Zaid ibn Aasem because he refused to recognize his prophecy. It is narrated that: “He (Musailimah) ordered his cliques to cut off Habib’s hands from the shoulders and his feet from the hips, and then burned him” (Ibn Abd Allah, 2013, Vol. 7, p. 32).

3.3.2.3. This sadistic behavior continued even during the reign of the so-called Islamic Caliphate of the Abbasid or Umayyad dynasties or others dynasties throughout Islamic history. Al-Mansour, one of the rulers of the Abbasid dynasty, ordered one of his deputies to kill the famous thinker Ibn al-Muqaffa’. The novel says: “It was happened that al-Mansur was angry at Ibn al-Muqaffa’ then he wrote to his deputy Sufyan ibin Mu’awiyah to kill him (Ibn al-Muqaffa’), then Sufyan took him to a fired oven (tannour) and started cutting him alive into pieces and throw them in the oven till he was wholly burned” (Ibn Kathir, 1988, Vol. 10, p. 103). You can imagine this sadistic scene; a living man, his body being cut off and burned slowly, limb after limb in front of the eyes of the victim himself. Truly, it is a sadistic crime that doesn’t differ from the sadistic crimes of the terrorists of our time.

4.3.2.3. The death of Zaid ibn Ali ibn al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib came to the knowledge of one of the Umayyad princes. He went to his grave, removed him from it and mutilated the corpse then left him there for years until another ruler took over power years later and ended the tragedy sadistically by burning the remnants of the worn bones of the corpse. “When Yusuf bin Omar al-Thaqafi learned of his death (Zaid ibn Ali), he searched for him until he found his grave and removed his corpse and crucified it and cut off the head and sent it to Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik who ordered the head to be hanged on Damascus wall. However, the corpse remained hanged till the death of Hisham and al- Walid took over power and ordered the corpse burned” (Ibn Mahmoud, Vol. 1, p. 204). One can imagine this sadistic scene and its negative effect on the masses. This sadism is a well-established culture and

behavior in Arab societies. Even Yusuf bin Omar al-Thaqafi himself was killed by Yazid ibn Khaled. His corpse was maimed and handed over to the boys for play and entertainment. The narration said: “They threw his corpse then the boys laced a rope around his leg and dragged him in the streets of Damascus” (Al-Thahabi, 1993, Vol. 8, p. 318).

5.3.2.3. Another victim, Abu Zayd, was an anti-Fatimid ruler. He was killed by Isma’il al-Mansur al-Ubaidi and his body was treated in an unimaginable way “He (Isma’il) ordered to remove his (Abu Zayd) skin and fill it with cotton and thread and tied it until it looked like a real complete sleeping corpse. In addition, he cut his flesh into pieces and salted it, then ordered his soldiers to carry all of that” (Ibn Hammad, p. 76). Really it is very weird to imagine; a man had been murdered and then his skin was removed, filled with cotton and sewed up, then sent to his family in order to insult and humiliate them.

6.3.2.3. In another incident, some of the commoners of the Turks had attacked a policeman of the governor Bakhtiar and killed him and then they grabbed his limbs and burned the rest of his body as described by this narration: “They attacked him, took him out, and killed him as they killed a dog. They hammered him with swords and canes. Then they handed his body to the public who cut him in pieces until some fool took his liver, heart and other limbs then they burned the rest of his corpse” (Miskawi, 2000, Vol. 6, p. 348).

7.3.2.3. Abdul Rahman bin Habib was also an expert in humiliating and killing. The incident of killing his judge is a vivid example that is well described in the following narration: “The judge, who was accused of the killing of Abdul Malik bin Qutn was handed to Abdul Rahman bin Habib who took out his eyes, cut his hands and legs then murdered him and crucified his corpse on a tree, and put the head of a pig on it” (Ibn Abd al-Hakam, 1415 AH, p. 249). In fact, in Arab culture, putting a pig’s head on a corpse is a symbol of extreme insult and humiliation to the opponent.

8.3.2.3. No one was excluded from this oppression and sadism, even mystics like al-Hallaj who was “hit a thousand whips, and he didn’t groan or seek mitigation, his hands, legs and head were cut off and the rest of his corpse was burned. His head was hanged two days on the bridge then sent to Khorasan where it was exhibited (for public)” (al- Tabari, 1387 AH, Vol. 11, p. 221). Undeniably, this is what the sadistic terrorists of these days are doing with those who disagree with them or do not accept their policies.

9.3.2.3. The culture of the hero and the vengeance continue to be the basis of the sadism that have been passed down from the past to the present. The best contemporary example of this sick sadistic mentality is this following video, which shows the brutality and cruelty of the Gaddafi herds against one of the opposing officers. Although this victim belonged to the Gaddafi family, he was not tolerated. He was kicked to death. Then his corpse was hung on a tree and skinned. All these sa- distic crimes were accompanied with chants praising their hero leader (Gaddafi) (Zrg Libya, 2012).

These are some historical examples that show the true roots of the terrorists’ sadism, the culture of the hero and vengeance. The motive of terrorists to commit such sadistic crimes is to prove their heroism or the heroism of their leaders. Terrorists who claim allegiance to Isis revolve “around a vision of heroism and modern-day violence” (Roy, 2017). Take, for example, Baghdadi. His followers consider him the Calipha and hero of Muslims and they devote themselves to protecting him and his state by all means necessary. “On 29 June 2014, ISIS proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphate” (Esposito, 2015, p. 1075). Indeed the claim of establishing the faked caliphate motivates many youngsters from over the world who experience a state of heroism fantasy; “the reality is that Isis’s pretension to establish a global caliphate is a delu- sion – that is why it draws in violent youngsters who have delusions of grandeur” (Roy, 2017). Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi are considered heroes. As a result, some of their followers still insist that they didn’t die and claim that those who were killed are their clones (Al-Aswad, 2014; Dunya alwatan, 2012). In addition, the awaited Mahdi for the Shiites and all his representatives as Khomeini, Khamenei, Sistani and others

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are in the eyes of their followers complete and infallible and can make no mistakes. Thus, they are prepared to blindly carry out whatever their Imams order them to do.

On one hand, vengeance is about restoring honor and enhancing heroism. On the other hand, humiliation of the opponent and the de- gradation of his status are about self-pleasure and healing. “The slaughter and savagery of ISIS fighters are normalized by images of heroic jihadist warriors, their cause and exploits, in victoriously routing of the enemy” (Esposito, 2015, p 1078).

4. Part three: assessment

It turns out that the terrorists’ sadistic crimes have nothing to do with Islam, but rather contradict its tolerant teachings. Terrorists, especially Western converted youngsters “do not descend into violence after poring over sacred texts. They do not have the necessary religious culture” (Roy, 2017). Most of the converted adolescents are victims of social media that is the terrorists’ most effective tool (Klausen, 2014, p. 1, Badawy & Ferrara, 2018, p. 1) to drain their naïve imagination. “People may refer to a movie situation or a book character, or think back on a song, to make sense of a daily situation. These culturally guided imaginary experiences become, in short, real reference points in the lives of people” (Zittoun & Gillespie, 2015, p. 7). These sadistic crimes are neither new nor specific to one group or another, but they are rather the result of a disease stemming from the Bedouin-Arab culture that is deeply ingrained in the subconscious of the people of the region, especially the Arabs. Indeed, terrorists, as Esposito (2015) ex- plains, have hijacked Islam: “Terrorists have hijacked Islam and the doctrine of jihad much as Christian and Jewish extremists have com- mitted their acts of terrorism in their own unholy wars in the name of Christianity or Judaism” (p. 1069). Evidently this sadistic behavior has the potential to resurface whenever conditions permit.

As the fundamental source of these sadistic crimes is the nomadic Bedouin culture, the terrorist groups’ attempts to confer a religious dimension on them is merely a misinterpretation of the Islamic texts and a misuse of the Qur’an to propagandize their malignant thoughts and to attract more supporters and gain support within these oppressed and deprived societies.

It also turns out that the hero and revenge myths that characterize nomadic Bedouin culture actually negate the principles of Islam. Indeed, Islam purposely fought them. The myth of the hero as men- tioned above stems from class differentiation where the leader is often seen as a person who is fundamentally superior to the rest of the community, and his class is the best class that deserves every privilege. In Islam, all people are equal and there is no way to distinguish between them except by piety. “Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you” (Saheeh International, 49:13). The Prophet Mohammad said: “Your Lord is one, your father is one, and there is no preference for an Arab on non-Arab, for non-Arab on an Arab, no black on red, no red on black except by piety” (Al-Tabarani, Vol. 5, p. 86). The Qur’an states that the Prophet Muhammad was just an ordinary person to whom revelations were made. “Say, O [Mu- hammad], I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed”(Saheeh International, 18:110 & 41:6). Prophet Muhammad himself expressed that he is but a normal man and the son of a poor woman “On the authority of Abu Mas’ud, he said: The Prophet came to a man and he spoke to him, and he (the man) became terrified. He said to him, calm down, I am not a king, But I am the son of a woman who eats dry meat” (Ibn Majah, 2009, Vol. 4 p. 430).

Islam also fought the signs of this culture, such as pride in titles and contempt for others. “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nick- names. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers”

(Saheeh International, 49:11). One of the Arabs’ objections to Mu- hammad’s prophecy was his lack of what they believed to be the at- tributes of the hero: “And they said, why was this Qur’an not sent down upon a great man from [one of] the two cities?” (Saheeh International, 43:31). “Narrated Anas bin Malik, while we were sitting with the Pro- phet in the mosque, a man came riding on a camel. He made his camel kneel down in the mosque, tied its foreleg and then said: ‘Who amongst you is Muhammad?’ At that time the Prophet was sitting amongst us (his Companions) leaning on his arm” (Al-Bukhari, 1997, Vol. 1 p. 92). In addition, Islam has established the principle of Shura (consultation), which is contrary to the rule of the hero “and whose affair is [de- termined by] consultation among themselves” (Saheeh International, 42:38). Prophet Muhammad was ordered to consult with his compa- nions and not to depend solely on his own opinion: “And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter” (Saheeh International, 3:159). Indeed, the Qur’an has admonished Prophet Muhammad for complying with this culture, which divides society into dignitaries and ordinary people: “As for he who thinks himself without need, To him you give attention, And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified, But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge], While he fears [Allah], From him you are distracted, No! Indeed, these verses are a reminder” (Saheeh International, 80:5–11).

Revenge and the resulting sadism are very contrary to the true and moderate teachings of Islam. Vengeance is a call for bigotry and re- tribution, but Islam calls for tolerance and forgiveness: “And the re- tribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers” (Saheeh International, 42:40). Islam also deems tolerance and forgiveness types of braveness. “And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination” (Saheeh International, 42:43).

As for mutilating the dead and the enjoyment of it, the Prophet prohibited it as it stated in many accounts. It is narrated that: “If he (the Prophet) sent an army, he will say: do not mutilate” (Ibn Abi Shaibah 1409AH, Vol. 5 p. 456). Indeed, he was instructing his companions to abide by these ethical codes of war saying: “Fight but do not steal from the war booty, do not break your promises, do not mutilate (the dead enemy) and do not kill children” (Ibn al-Hajjaj, 2007, Vol. 5 p. 16),).

The spread of these sadistic crimes shows that the changes made by Islam in the societies of this region are superficial changes. The deep structures of these societies remain dominated by their local culture, and they have often exploited religion to justify their cultures. The awaited Mahdi in Shiite belief, the Qutb (pole) and Ghawth (relief)4 in mystical thought, hierarchy and super leaders in modern thought — Bourguiba of Tunisia “a cult of personality also developed around him” (Wikipedia), Nasser of Egypt, Atatürk of Turkey, Gaddafi of Lybia (Naji, 2016)5 and many others — are good examples of the continuity of this culture.

The rise of sadistic deeds in this region of the world does not mean its absence in other places. The genocide that has taken place in West and Central Africa in recent decades (Shmsane, 2014) by the planning of global money mafia (Qanah Tallah, 2014) and also the recent ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar (Muslim Global Relief) are good examples of the occurrence of these sadistic crimes in other parts of the world. These genocides are evidence that these sadistic crimes have nothing to do with religion, but that they are fundamentally based on the hero, egoism and vengefulness. Each group considers itself to be the best and sees other groups as despicable and inviting revenge, exclusion and humiliation.

4 Qutb and Ghawth are tow ranks in mystical thought hierarchy. 5 This song show how some singer reflect the nostalgia of some people for

Saddam and Ghaddafi as the heroes.

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The fight against this cultural and behavioral deviation needs to reinstate truthful awareness of religion and refuse to give credence to terrorists and the claims that relate their crimes to Islam. Accepting the claims of terrorists allows them to exploit public opinion in two ways: the first is to repel non-Muslims from Islam and to spread hatred be- tween them and Muslims. As stated by Roy (2017), the strength of Isis is to play on our fears. And the principal fear is the fear of Islam. The only strategic impact of the attacks is their psychological effect…the fear is that our own societies will implode and there will be a civil war be- tween Muslims and the “others”. The second is to play on the emotions of ordinary Muslims, especially young people, causing them carry out the subversive projects of the terrorists.

There are so many Islamic teachings that espouse common human principles such as the spirit of brotherhood, the culture of dialogue and the peaceful coexistence between peoples and nations. Indeed, in Islam “all persons regardless of social status, class, race, sex, tribe, or family background are duty-bound to strive for righteous intention and con- duct in daily life…Islam is quintessentially a religion commanding lawful and forbidding lawless behavior” (Kamolnick, 2012, p. 5).

Therefore, the fight against terrorism and its sadistic crimes requires that all human rights advocates around the world unify to support this humanist facet of Islam rather than to believe dogmatically in the ugly and false terrorists’ version of Islam.

The fight against terrorism and its sadistic crimes also requires uncovering the manifestations and roots and of terrorism and addres- sing its causes and motives such as corruption, tyranny and looting of wealth by the local and international money mafia. Terrorism is the result of the rampant corruption and oppression of the region’s dictators and their protectors’ imperialist global mafia forces. Esposito (2015) said: “Violence and terrorism in the name of Islam by a host of militant Muslim movements in recent decades is a product of historical and political factors, not simply religion or a militant Islamic theology/ ideology” (p. 1079). The believers in freedom and humanism should be united to promote truthful awareness and knowledge about terrorism and its causes and investors. All who believe in humanism should stand firmly together against this scourge on humanity before a major dis- aster befalls the rest of our rights and dignity.

5. Conclusion

The research on sadistic terrorist crimes makes at least three major contributions. First, it draws attention to the phenomenon of sadistic crimes of terrorism, diagnoses them and seeks their real roots. This approach will give researchers and decision makers a better under- standing of this phenomenon and help find the right solution for it. This approach can be applied in the study and interpretation of some similar phenomena.

Second: The real roots of these sadistic crimes are cultural roots, mainly the mythology of the hero and revenge. Historical evidence has shown that this nomadic Bedouin culture is rooted in the Arab region and the surrounding areas. It was also found that the changes made by Islam in the peoples of the region are superficial changes, and the collective cultural mentality of these peoples is the result of pure no- madic Bedouin culture.

Third: It has been shown clearly that there is no connection between these sadistic crimes and Islam. Instead, these crimes contradict the teachings of Islam. These crimes are immoral and a sign of psycholo- gical and cultural disorder. They are the result of hatred, revenge, selfishness and contempt for others. Islam is a religion that calls for human acquaintance, human brotherhood, compassion, forgiveness, and respect for others.

In short, this research is sufficient to warn of the seriousness of this phenomenon and its threat. It is able to negate the terrorists’ exploita- tion of religion, one of the most important tools used to justify and propagandize their crimes. This research also succeeds in explaining and highlighting the humanistic facet of Islam, which promotes

understanding and rapprochement between peoples and unifies their efforts to fight extremism, exploit and protect freedom and rights, and promote tolerance and fraternity among human beings.

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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