Academic journal article Military Review

MY LIFE IS A WEAPON: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing

Academic journal article Military Review

MY LIFE IS A WEAPON: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing

Article excerpt

MY LIFE IS A WEAPON: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing, Christoph Reuter, trans. by Helena Ragg-Kirkby, Princeton University Press, NJ, 2004, 179 pages, $16.98.

Christoph Reuter, an international correspondent for the German magazine Stern, spent 8 years moving among the society that in the 1980s produced suicide brigades for the Iran-Iraq War. Reuter interviewed entire communities, from Lebanon's Hizballah, to Palestinian militants, to Sri Lankan Tamils, while investigating the culture of martyrdom. Originally published in German as Mein Leben ist eine Waffe, My Life is a Weapon offers insight into the nuances of the justification and conditioning of suicide missions. Reuter challenges the assumption that suicide bombers fit into a neat, typical profile, drawing examples from rich and poor, secular and religious, Marxist or jihadist, and female and male bombers.

Reuter quotes respected Sunnis and Shiites who cite AIi (Muhammad's grandson and the fourth rightly guided caliph): "The Quran [Islamic Book of Divine Revelation] is but ink and paper, it does not speak for itself. Instead, it is human beings who give effect to it according to their limited personal judgments and opinions." Reuter maintains that the Quran (if followed literally) contains no theological or judicial system, only 200 clear rules of conduct. The Quran represents an interpretive form of moral and social life that particular sects of Islam use to justify war against the West. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.