A Criminal and Cowardly Act – the bombing of Algiers

The prime minister of Algeria, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, declared yesterday’s bombing in central Algiers as ‘a criminal and cowardly act’. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) now called the Organisation of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb an extreme right wing group have taken responsibility for the attack killing over 30 people.

The attack yesterday is said to be a reaction to the army’s activities in the Bejaia region, where government forces have increased their operations against the Organisation of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Algeria seems to be heading for the dark days of the 1990’s where the country descended into violence when more than 200,000 innocent people were killed.

Many extremist groups related to or in sympathy with al-Qaeda throughout the Islamic world, from Iraq, Indonesia through to Afghanistan have abandoned Islamic law and rules of engagement, misusing Islamic concepts, altering Quranic versus to suit their own need for a base for power. 

Many attacks by Al-Qaeda and their splinter groups that don’t make the headlines are carried out in remote areas fall within the realms of the unjust; acts such as poisoning wells, destroying farm land and generally terrorising, including rape.  The injunctions laid out in the Quran on the rules of engagement are being blatantly ignored by Al-Qaeda et al. Afghanistan is a case in point when Osama bin Laden was retreating into the mountains, ordered the wells to be poisoned.

The prophet Muhammad declared many injunctions whilst commanding his forces during battle, amongst them:

No killing of non-combatants
No immoral attacks on wildlife and nature
No felling or destruction of orchards and trees
No destruction of wells

The Quran clearly states that:

“So if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah does not give you permission to take any action against them”.

Abu Bakr, the Prophet Muhammad’s companion, further reinforced these injunctions by stating that:

“Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone”.

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