1 – Violence and Terrorism
From a secular, general perspective.
Taliban & Al Qaeda – extreme violence and terrorism
While it is certainly true that many Muslims are peace-loving, it is also true that there are many arguments against considering Islam a religion of peace. The meaning of jihad is one of them (see more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad), the Qur’an verses on violence (examples here) and the Taliban and Al Qaeda groups being some other strong examples.
Taliban- According to Wikipedia, “Taliban is an Islamist militia group that ruled large parts of Afghanistan from September 1996 until October 2001. Although in control of Afghanistan’s capital (Kabul) and most of the country for five years, the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
After the attacks of September 11 2001 the Taliban regime was overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom.
Most Taliban leaders are influenced by Deobandi fundamentalism.
While in power, the Taliban enforced one of the strictest interpretations of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world, however most of their criticism came from leading Muslim scholars. They became notorious internationally for their treatment of women. Women were forced to wear the burqa in public. They were allowed neither to work nor to be educated after the age of eight, and until then were permitted only to study the Qur’an. They were not allowed to be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperon, which led to illnesses remaining untreated. They faced public flogging in the street, and public execution for violations of the Taliban’s laws…. Several Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders also ran a network of human trafficking, abducting women and selling them into sex slavery in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Taliban engage in terrorism against the civilian population of Afghanistan. According to a report by the United Nations, the Taliban were responsible for 75 % of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2010. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIGRC) called the Taliban’s terrorism against the Afghan civilian population a war crime.”
(Source: Wikipedia Taliban)
Al Qaeda- “is a global militant Islamist group founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad.
Al-Qaeda has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, such as the September 11 attacks, Beslan school hostage crisis, US embassy bombings and Bali bombings. Al-Qaeda has continued to exist and grow through the decade from 2001 to 2011.
Characteristic techniques include suicide attacks and simultaneous bombings of different targets. Activities ascribed to it may involve members of the movement, who have taken a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, or the much more numerous “al-Qaeda-linked” individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan, but not taken any pledge.
Al-Qaeda ideologues envision a complete break from the foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new Islamic caliphate. Killing of bystanders and civilians is religiously justified in jihad.
Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims.”
Read more here.
(Source: Wikipedia Al-Qaeda)