Violent murder of Atheists in Bangladesh

The BBC are reporting the stories of Bangladeshi bloggers who’ve been violently targeted by a mysterious terrorist group for atheist viewpoints. There are some who think the Islamic militant groups are connected to Al Qaeda.

The AFP news agency reported about a protest march by Bangladeshi Islamists who shouted for Atheist bloggers to be killed for defaming (hurting the reputation) of Islam.

Does this type of action by the Islamist militants meet the criteria of Just War for the lesser Jihad that we’ve been learning about in Year 11 classes?

What can justify Jihad?

There are a number of reasons, but the Qur’an is clear that self-defence is always the underlying cause.

Permissable reasons for military Jihad:

  • Self-defence
  • Strengthening Islam
  • Protecting the freedom of Muslims to practise their faith
  • Protecting Muslims against oppression, which could include overthrowing a tyrannical ruler
  • Punishing an enemy who breaks an oath
  • Putting right a wrong

What a Jihad is not, a war is not a Jihad if the intention is to:

  • Force people to convert to Islam
  • Conquer other nations to colonise them
  • Take territory for economic gain
  • Settle disputes
  • Demonstrate a leader’s power
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