Shiite Terrorism
Shiite Terrorism

Shiite Terrorism

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  • Pages: 11 (5681 words)
  • Published: November 28, 2018
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Introduction

Terrorism is considered as one of the new age threats to international security and peace. Although there is no legally binding definition by the criminal law, it has been identified as the ‘act of creating fear, whether through violence or otherwise, as a form of coercion or to gain attention.’ The United Nations General Assembly, an organ of the UN, which is the transnational body that is in charge of international peace and security, has politically defined terrorism as illegal actions aimed at provoking a state of fear in the general community, a group of persons, or particular persons for political reasons regardless of the circumstances involved, or whether opinionated, idealistic, ideological, ethnic, cultural, spiritual or any other deliberations that may be fulfilled. In an act of terrorism, the perpetrator intends to maximize the psychological impact. This means that terrorism is basically a devised performance for a very large audience with the sole purpose of inducing extreme fear in people. The victims of acts of terror are usually symbols of the perpetrators’ ignored grievances or simply selected tools by means of which their message can be delivered. In these cases, the death of innocent civilians is not as important as the perpetrators’ ‘cause.’

Carsten Bocksette from the George C. Marshall Centre for European Security Studies defines terrorism as ‘political violence in an asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce psychic fear and terror (sometimes discriminate) through violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols).’ Terrorism is, th

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us, political in its motives. As it is violent in its nature, there may be various psychological consequences that are usually beyond the victims. Usually, it is conducted by organized but un-uniformed groups with a sane chain of command. Over the years, studies have shown that terrorism is rooted in a number of causes. When a particular territory or resources are controlled by one ethnic group, there tends to be tension between the domination group and the smaller groups that feel oppressed by the latter. Also, when a government imposes itself on the citizens, peace can be quite elusive. Another cause is an economic deprivation in that extreme poverty levels cause strife amongst the population. Opposition to the brutalities of the local government or army further contributed to the growth of Shiite terrorism. However, all these can be solved amicably through dialogue and peace agreements. The worst type of terrorism is the one which is followed by the religious fanatics. This is because it does not allow for negotiations or peace agreements. Religious doctrines are written in the hearts of the believers no matter how wrong and inhumane it is. It is an extreme form of terrorism that has seen the loss of very many innocent lives up to this day of the international integration.

Shiites are one of the minorities of the world’s Muslim population. The word ‘Shiite’ derived from the Arabic word ‘Shia’, which is a collective noun meaning ‘partisans.’ It is a shortening of ‘Shi’at Ali’ (the partisans of Ali) who were Muslims in the original seventh century community. He is believed following his death in 632. Muhammad

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should be succeeded by Ali, who was his cousin and son-in-law. They believed that Muhammad had deliberately designated Ali as his successor in his wisdom, and consequently, all future community leaders should be Muhammad’s direct descendants. They were, however, overruled in the wake of Muhammad’s death, and three other caliphs led the community before Ali took over in 656. This, however, was full of challenges, and it resulted in two civil wars. It is worth stressing Ali was assassinated in 661, and the eventual establishment of Umayyad caliphate took place. Ali’s son Husain was then coaxed to respond by leading a revolt against the Umayyad caliph Yazid, in 680. The ensuing battle at Karbala, which is nowadays Iraq, led to the massacre of Husain and his army. This massacre established what was called the “paradigm of protest and suffering that has inspired and guided Shia Islam” by the Islam scholar John Esposito. Husain is consequently revered as a martyr in Shiite history, and his death is commemorated yearly by the Shiite Muslims across the world. Thus, Shiite terrorism has been used as a way of protesting against governments and policies or the existence of the entire nation like Israel.

Thus, Shiite terrorism has been used as a way of protesting against governments and policies or the existence of the entire nation like Israel.In the wake of terrorist attacks, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1373. It requires all member states shall combat terrorism in their respective jurisdictions. The resolution demands that states prohibit both active and passive supports of terrorism, ban the use of their territories as safe havens for terrorist groups, and prevent the movement of terrorists between states. States are also required to close or control known funding routes used by the terrorists, and criminalize the act of funding terrorists by citizens as well as corporate.

Background Information

Iranian terrorism and subversion have mainly relied on Shiite Muslim communities for its activities in both in the Middle East and beyond. In the Middle East, Central Asia, and other locations, the Shiite populations have been regarded as fertile grounds for exporting the Islamic Revolution. The ideology of the following revolution is spread through intensive economic, social, religious and cultural activities. The establishment of terrorist and militias organizations within the native Shiite populations in these territories is handled by Iran so as to promote its interests in the global front. In Lebanon, the Iranian involvement is evident in Hezbollah, which was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRDC). It has been transformed from a ‘local militia with terrorist capabilities’ to a worldwide organization with ‘state military capabilities’. Also, it is known to have the ability to attack the Israeli home front and notable influence in Lebanese politics. Iran is trying to create Hezbollah-like militias within the Shiite population in Muslim countries like Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, but there has been no remarkable success observed so far. However, America’s withdrawal from Iraq and the recently witnessed regional upheavals are likely to increase Iran’s potential for success in advancing its terrorism and subversion activities and strengthening its

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