Why do terrorists kill people 1

Can you kill terrorists? - Discussion of this question based on the image of man and the understanding of law in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant


Introduction: overview

I. Islamist Terrorism
1. Features
2. Threat situation
3. Causes and perpetrator profile
4. Goals

II. The image of man and the understanding of law in Immanuel Kant
1. Image of man
2. Legal understanding
a) Criminal Law
b) international law

III. Examination of the compatibility of the killing of terrorists with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant

Conclusion: personal statement, alternatives for combating terrorism

Introduction: overview

“Can you kill terrorists?” This question has been on everyone's lips again since September 11, 2001. Due to the current threat from Islamist terrorism, I have decided to focus my work on this. I do not use the word “Islamist” here in the sense of “strictly Muslim”, but in the more common meaning “fundamentalist Muslim”. Since our current understanding of law in Germany is still determined by the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, I will discuss the above question using the philosopher's image of man and legal understanding. Finally, I will personally comment on how to deal with the terrorist threat and point out alternatives to violent combat.

I. Islamist Terrorism

1. Features

The concept of terror (lat. terror: Fear, Schreck) was first used in the French Revolution during the reign of terror of the Jacobins under the leadership of the radical republican Robbespierres (1793-1794) for the use of sometimes arbitrary violence against political opponents. But we are already familiar with politically motivated acts of violence by organized groups from early history. In his works, Josephus Flavius ​​reports on the Sikars, an extreme splinter group of the Zealots who became active in Jerusalem after the Roman occupation of Palestine. Covered by the celebrating crowds, they mainly killed moneylenders with a dagger (sica) hidden under their cloaks in order to prevent the collection of debts. In addition to this social element, political motives also played a role in their actions when they killed a high priest and burned the palace of the Herodic dynasty.

Since then, terrorism has appeared in various forms throughout history. There have been many attempts to define it, but with certainty it can only be described as "Refers to the use of violence by a group who, for political or religious purposes, usually acts against a government, and sometimes against other ethnic groups, classes, religions or political movements“(Walter Laqueur).

With regard to the spatial extent, three types of terrorism can be distinguished: national terrorism - limited in terms of objectives and scope of action to the territory of a state, international terrorism with internal state goals but an area of ​​activity that transcends the borders of the country, and transnational terrorism with worldwide attack targets and the intention to change the international order. The latter designation applies, for example, to the Al-Qaeda terror network.

Islamist terrorism is also religiously motivated. Life is understood as a constant battle between the good forces of God and the diabolical forces of evil. All Muslim people who live according to Sharia, the traditional Islamic law, are “good”. The western world, with its individual world view, is the enemy of all believers. The Islamologist Ahmad Taheri described the religious goal of the Islamists in the Frankfurter Rundschau of September 26, 1990 as follows: "The Muslims have a duty to defend their territory against attacks by the infidels and at the same time to subdue the world of the infidels until Islam rules the entire globe. "So the Islamic radicals strive in their revolutionary struggle (Jihad) no reform and no negotiated peace, but the overthrow of the entire western system.

Elliot Cohen, a member of the Defense Policy Boards and employee of the US Department of Defense, speaks of a “modern war” in connection with Islamist terrorism: the enemy simply has a new form; it is invisible, unpredictable and does not exist in itself. Therefore conventional armies cannot be used in this form of war.

Recently, the term "homegrown terrorism" has also appeared, especially in the Anglophone-speaking area, for Islamist terrorism, in the event that it comes from people who grew up and live inconspicuously in the target country of terror.

2. Threat situation

Why should fear, death, destruction, displacement, orphanage and widowhood continue to be our fate while security, stability and happiness are your fate? That's unfair. It's time to settle the accounts. You will be killed just as you kill, and you will be bombed just as you bombed. Be prepared for the shock. "(Osama bin Laden, chief ideologist of Al-Qaeda in a tape recording, broadcast by Al-Jazeera on November 12, 2002)

The numerous bombings and suicide attacks on US facilities and civilians carried out by Islamists confirm the seriousness of these words. On September 11, 2001, more than 3,000 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington - around three times as many as in all terrorist attacks over the past 30 years combined. The above-described division of the world into “good” and “bad” apparently legitimizes the unconditional violence of the “believers” against the “unbelievers” and leads to striving for ever higher numbers of victims. The bomb attacks by Islamist terrorists on local public transport on March 11, 2004 in Madrid with 191 dead and 1,500 injured and on July 7, 2005 in London with 56 dead and 700 injured, as well as the most recent attack on April 24, 2006 in Egypt The seaside resort of Dahab, with over 20 dead and 62 injured, is evidence of the topicality of the terrorist threat.

It is probably only a matter of time before the assassins also use nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction against civilians. However, given the complexity of sourcing, manufacturing and deploying such substances, it is currently still easier for many terrorist groups to use explosives.

3. Causes

Poverty is often cited as a major cause of Islamist terrorism. Formerly exploited as colonies by Western countries, the standard of living in many Islamic countries is low to very poor. Because of their high levels of debt, most developing countries are dependent on exporting food and raw materials to the West, while the majority of their own people live in poverty. In addition, the high population growth in these countries is leading to a further shortage of vital resources, above all water, so that diseases can spread. The resulting hopelessness and dissatisfaction of the people living there can lead to hatred of the West, which sometimes lives in luxury.

The collapse of the Eastern Bloc and with it the planned economy system arose for the first time a world market in which the capitalist market economy could expand across the globe without competition. Industrialization processes that took place in Europe over a period of around 200 years now demanded economic and social upheaval from the developing countries within a short period of time. Overtaxed by this, many people sought stability in belonging to an ethnic group or a traditional and fundamentalist Islam.

The inequality of opportunity in a globalized market compared to the economically strong western countries is frustrating and angry. Through the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), our capitalist economic system dictates the conditions under which poor countries have to go into debt in order to advance a modernization that benefits a few but takes away the livelihood of many. The gross domestic product of all Arab countries combined was less than that of Spain in 1998.

The West is demonstrating its power not only economically but also militarily. During the Cold War period, the USA supported dictatorial Arab states, including through military interventions, in order to win them over to their side against the Soviet Union. For Osama bin Laden, the stationing of military bases of western states on the soil of Muslim countries represents an occupation by infidels and justifies the need for jihad.

In the military area in particular, it becomes clear that power in the world is predominantly concentrated in the hands of a single nation - namely the USA. The recognition of this injustice and the need to change something about it do not only arise in poor countries.

The question arises as to why the Islamic population of the Middle East should recognize and adopt the positive political achievements of the West such as human rights, pluralism and freedom of expression, if they get to know them primarily through a policy that promotes these values ​​in favor of political and political economic advantages are often disregarded. While democratic institutions are slow to globalize, the vices associated with free markets such as weapons, prostitution and drugs are rapidly spreading across the world. These negative examples of our western way of life make it difficult to introduce liberalism and democracy in the Arab states and, unfortunately, even result in the fight against our culture.


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