Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a harsh verdict against the jihadis who bombed Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, accusing the terrorists of not being true Muslims and insisting that taking a person’s life means “going straight to hell.”
Flags are flying at half-mast across Turkey, and the country observed a day of mourning on Wednesday, as Erdogan vowed that Tuesday’s Islamist attack “will not divide or split our country” and that the government will “not let down our people.”
Addressing the Islamic terrorists, Erdogan said that no one who kills dozens of civilians, including women and children, is a true Muslim.
“This is not Islamic. Taking one person’s life means going straight to hell,” he said in Ankara Wednesday, adding, “No terrorist organization will come between what we are.”
The president suggested that the terrorists’ willingness to bomb during Ramadan reveals their lack of faith, though analysts have claimed that the opposite is true: that Ramadan is the most suitable time to carry out jihad.
“The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values,” the Turkish President said in a statement.
In point of fact, the Islamic State called on Muslims to carry out terror attacks during the month-long Islamic holy season of Ramadan, promising it would be “the month of conquest and jihad.”
The Overseas Security Advisory Council issued a report warning that the threat of Ramadan jihad could be credible precisely because of the religious motivation to sacrifice oneself during this sacred time.
“According to Islamic practice, sacrifice during Ramadan can be considered more valuable than that made at other times, so a call to martyrdom during the month may hold a special allure to some,” the report stated.
A growing list of scholars and analysts have pointed to the theological motivation behind the Islamic State’s terrorist activities, arguing that specifically Muslim principles—rather than economic or political motivations—are drawn upon to justify violent jihad.
In the past, scholars like Thomas Aquinas and Hilaire Belloc were convinced that the problem for the West did not come from Muslim “extremists,” but rather from Islam itself. Belloc famously called Islam “the most formidable and persistent enemy” of Western civilization.
As Georgetown University scholar James V. Schall has written, the West must come to grips with the fact that “Islam, in principle, is actually and potentially violent throughout its entire history.” Moreover, he wrote, the basic reason for this method “is obedience to the Law of Allah.”
“What we see now is little different from what has been seen throughout the centuries wherever Islam is found,” he added.
“The designated and determined goal of the conquest of the world for Allah has been reinvigorated again and again in world history from the time of Mohammed in the seventh century,” Schall wrote.
“These revivals and expansions, which have only been temporarily halted by superior counterforce, have roots in the Qur’an itself and in its commentaries.”
In light of the history of Islam, Ramadan is the perfect time to carry out jihad.
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