In a series of tweets, Amarnath Amarsingham, fellow at The George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said that like Western jets are killing the children in Islamic State controlled areas, children in West are now also legitimate target.”
On Monday evening as the concert of pop singer Ariana Grande was coming to an end and pink balloons rained in the Manchester arena filled with excited teenage, adolescent girls a nail-laden explosive was detonated killing 22 and injuring over 70 spectators. The victims, largely young women and underage children were a deliberate target by the Islamic State which owned responsibility for the attack, invoking the Islamic law of qisas or retaliation against the United Kingdom’s participation in the US’led coalition’s bombing in Iraq and Syria that has killed many children.
Soon after IS released its official statement saying, “a soldier of the Khilafah detonated explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of crusaders…in revenge for Allah’s religion,’’ the group’s supporters celebrated the killings citing the Islamic law of qisas.
While Islam forbids killing of women and children in war, pro-IS supporters stressed on the legitimacy of the target, invoking the law of retaliationmentioned in the Quran that roughly translates as `life for life’ against someone found guilty of intentional murder in an Islamic court. The law also asks heir of victims to forgive the perpetrators or provide monetary compensation (blood money).
The retaliation is against the sustained campaign of the British forces air strikes as a part of the IS led international coalition to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against the IS, which has recently reported high civilian death toll including children. The US led military coalition has admitted to start investigations in the recent airstrikes where as many as 200 civilians were allegedly killed.
The British RAF’s Tornados and Typhoons are striking at IS snipers and bombing positions held by the group’s fighters.
In a series of tweets, Amarnath Amarsingham, fellow at The George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said that like Western jets are killing the children in IS controlled areas, children in West are now also legitimate target.” The attacker also saw the concert as a possible soft target with a potential for high casualties.
The IS in its statement on Manchester claim did not mention Britain’s role in the coalition or the airstrikes, but it said the attack is ‘in response to their (crusaders) transgressions against the land of the Muslims’. Supporters of the group circulated messages in online chat groups morphed with images of dead children in Mosul and Raqqa with #Manchester: you kill our cubs, we kill yours,’ and `do you feel our pain? Muslims were bombed by aerial bombardment which killed scores of people including women and children at wedding parties by Western forces,’ they said.
The terror group is known to twist Islamic theology and pick out Quranic verses to suit its narrative and justify its horrendous crimes. In all the overseas attacks directed or inspired by the IS leaders, it has attempted to shape the targets as apostates and therefore legitimate enemies of Islam:nightclub in Orlando, concertgoers in Batacalan, cafes in Paris, revellers in Nice and Berlin, policemen, foreigners and minorities in Bangladesh, Sufis and army men in Pakistan.Its enemy base is far and wide, beginning with anyone who is a non-Muslim and specifically Shias, Christians, Yezidis, LGBT and everyone who doesn’t follow its salafi-jihadi version of Islam.
With many outraged over deliberate killing of women and children in Manchester, IS is once again seeking refuge in selective Quranic readings to justify its acts to its supporters and sympathizers. “There are clear Islamic rulings for not killing the old, women, children and infants.To get around the clearly enunciated Islamic prohibitions, it has resorted to the provision of Qisas (tit-for-tat punishment which is not allowed against non-Muslims) and cannot be administered extra-judicially,” said Dr Adil Rasheed, senior fellow IDSA, working on ideological counter-narratives to combat jihadist radicalization.