Hoover Institution: Warrant for Terror: Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty of Jihad by Shmuel Bar

Monday, May 1, 2006
STANFORD

The controversy over the correlation between the doctrine of jihad and acts of terrorism has sparked a debate in the West and within the Muslim world. In Warrant for Terror: Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty of Jihad (Hoover Studies and Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), Shmuel Bar explores the role that fatwas play in Islam-motivated terrorism. These rulings, he points out, provide legal and moral dispensation for acts of terrorism that are deemed to fulfill the duty of jihad.

"To understand fatwas properly," Bar said, "one must recognize the centrality in Islam of law as a regulator of all aspects of life, and the link between the legalistic and casuistic methodology of Islamic jurisprudence and the moral issues they strive to regulate." Bar believes that the true import of the fatwa as a genuine religious instrument for motivating terrorism has not been adequately appreciated. Warrant for Terror presents and analyzes the role of radical fatwas in providing the legal and moral justification for Islamist terrorism and examining the scope of their influence, particularly in contrast to that of moderate Islamic interpretations.

Bar is the director of studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzliya and a founder of IntuView. He is also a member of the organizing team of the annual "Herzliya Conference" and participates in deliberations of the Israeli National Security Council on areas relating to his expertise and experience. Bar retired in 2003 after 30 years' service in the Israeli security and intelligence community as an intelligence officer in the Israeli Defense Forces and in the Office of the Prime Minister. During this period, he filled various senior staff and operational positions, including diplomatic posting in Europe. Bar holds a Ph.D. in the history of the Middle East from Tel-Aviv University. He has published numerous books and papers on Middle Eastern affairs, terrorism, and radical Islam.

Warrant for Terror is part of the Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society series edited by Hoover senior fellow Peter Berkowitz and Hoover research fellow Tod Lindberg and published in cooperation with the Hoover Institution.

Warrant for Terror: Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty of Jihad
by Shmuel Bar
ISBN: 0-7425-5120-62 $21.95 cloth
152 pages April 2006