Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 12: Islam, terrorism and international law
Debates around Islam’s relationship with extremism, violence and terrorism have been vociferous since the tragedy of 11 September 2001. Although vigorous, these debates remain inconclusive and there is a continuing lack of clarity in the understanding of the relationship between Islamic doctrine of Jihad and international terrorism. This chapter analyses the nature of this relationship and in so doing makes an attempt to examine the basis and context of radicalization, extremism and terrorism within contemporary Muslim societies. International, transnational terrorism is a scourge and Islamic States have expressed substantial concerns about this menace by influencing the drafting and adoption of numerous international treaties countering terrorism both within the United Nations and in regional mechanisms, most notably in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Yet, at the global level, perceptions and understanding of terrorism differs; the developing world aligned with Islamic States point to State sponsored acts of terrorism vis-à-vis individual acts of terror. Islamic States are fixated to the selective cases of the right to self-determination, in particular self-determination for the Palestinians, the Kashmiris and the Rohingya Muslims. The political masters in much of the Muslim world nevertheless remain oblivious to the civil and political rights of the masses within their own states and in a large measure continue to deploy repressive means to perpetuate their own governance and political authority.
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