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Al-Qaeda 2.0A Critical Reader$
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Donald Holbrook

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190856441

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190856441.001.0001

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Scent of Paradise A Study on the Most Honourable Sacrifices of Worshippers; Death and Martyrdom Campaigns

Scent of Paradise A Study on the Most Honourable Sacrifices of Worshippers; Death and Martyrdom Campaigns

November 2013

By Ayman al-Zawahiri Second Edition

Chapter:
(p.59) Scent of Paradise A Study on the Most Honourable Sacrifices of Worshippers; Death and Martyrdom Campaigns
Source:
Al-Qaeda 2.0
Author(s):
Donald Holbrook

Cerwyn Moore

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190856441.003.0006

Here we have an introduction to a book which Zawahiri published initially in 2004 on the topic of martyrdom and martyrdom operations (i.e. suicide attacks) in particular. Written initially in the aftermath of the 9/11 suicide-hijackings, Zawahiri began his first edition with references to the asymmetric qualities of martyrdom operations, that rendered the material prowess of the West—acquired through treachery—meaningless. He condemned those who spoke against that tactic, warning against the consequences such criticism would have for the Muslim nation. Nine years later, Zawahiri’s second edition of his book comes at a time when martyrdom operations and the excessive casualties they inflict had become something of a liability. In this edition, therefore, Zawahiri warns against ‘deviation’ and ‘exaggeration’ in the application of the tactic, arguing that some have not respected the parameters defined by proper reading of scripture. The two introductions, therefore, shed interesting light on ongoing debates about the boundaries of legitimate and sustainable militancy from the perspective of public opinion, which is a recurring theme in this discourse.

Keywords:   Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Suicide bombings, Martyrdom, book

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