What is the importance of Islam for understanding Muslim suicide attacks?
At one extreme is the view that suicide attacks are the expression of a
fanatic strain of Islam; at the other extreme is the argument that such
attacks are the expression of desperate politics — the warfare of the
weak. In the first view, Muslim suicide terrorism cannot be understood
without understanding Islam in all the complexity of its competing sects
and schools. In the second, Muslim suicide terrorism can be understood
with the same concepts and mechanisms that make sense of Tamil Tiger
terrorism in Sri Lanka or PKK terrorism in Turkey. The three books
reviewed here offer a mix of political and religious analyses, with Hafez
heavier on the politics than Cook and Allison.
McCauley, Clark. 2008. "Review of Mohammed Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs: The Making of Palestinian Suicide Bombers, of Mohammed Hafez, Suicide Bombers in Iraq: The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom, and of David Cook & Olivia Allison, Understanding and Addressing Suicide Attacks: the Faith and Politics of Martyrdom Operations." Middle East Journal (February): 179-182. http://sacrificialdevotionnetwork.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/review-by-cla...