Taliban to Debate Definition of ‘Martyr’?
What? A free and open debate between Pakistani Muslims about the definition of a “martyr”? If the parties to this debate are foolish enough to meet in one place expect much bloodshed before any debate begins.
The death of the Pakistani Taliban chief in a U.S. drone strike has spawned a debate in the country about whether the militant leader, or the country’s soldiers who die in the fight against terrorists, should be considered true Islamic “martyrs.”
The question challenges the religious underpinning of the Pakistani Taliban and the legitimacy of their jihad, or holy war, against the Pakistani state and armed forces.
The discussion, as political as it is theological, follows years of the militants claiming religious sanction for their movement to replace the Pakistani state with a theocracy. The assertion went largely unchallenged, in part because the Taliban often assassinate religious figures who disagree with their precepts. [emphasis added- OBS] The concept of martyr is crucial in Islam, with those fallen in God’s name promised rewards in the hereafter.
The dispute may now be played out live on television, after the Sunni Ittehad Council, a group of moderate Islamic scholars, said it wants to debate the issue in front of a panel of judges and the Pakistani public. Block quote credit Saeed Shah “Killing of Militant by U.S. Drone Sparks Debate: Who Is a True ‘Martyr’?” Wall Street Journal 11/18/13
To evaluate whether the Taliban will debate in good faith one need only a basic knowledge of how the Taliban interpret Islamic Jihadist law. Islamic Jihadist theology permits, indeed requires, the use of deception to protect the ultimate goal of the Islamic body purporting to serve Allah. (Hint- in this case that would be the Pakistani Taliban) The Taliban, cowardly dogs that they are, will surely continue to slay those who oppose their interpretation of Islamic Law. The Sunni Ittehad Council are well advised to have their side of the debate televised from an undisclosed location outside Pakistan. – Grizzly Joe