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Jihad and Just War in the War on Terror$
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Alia Brahimi

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562961.001.0001

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Jihad and Al‐Qaeda's Just Cause

Jihad and Al‐Qaeda's Just Cause

(p.99) Chapter 4 Jihad and Al‐Qaeda's Just Cause
Jihad and Just War in the War on Terror

Alia Brahimi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an overview of the development of the Islamic just war tradition (jihad). It then narrows the focus to the critical issue of just cause. Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al‐Zawahiri, consistently maintain that aggression is both wrong and illegal, and that in using violence al‐Qaeda is merely repelling America's attacks. However, since the United States had launched no invasion of bin Laden's country before 11 September, be it Saudi Arabia, Sudan or Afghanistan, it was incumbent upon him to redefine the concept of ‘aggression’. This attempt was contested a series of Muslim leaders who described al‐Qaeda as the belligerent party on 9/11.

Keywords:   Osama bin Laden, Ayman al‐Zawahiri, al‐Qaeda, jihad, just war, Islam, Islamic law, just cause, self‐defence, aggression, reciprocity

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