Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, October 20th, 2018

The Philosophy behind Suicide Attacks


The Philosophy behind  Suicide Attacks

The Wednesday’s suicide bombing shook Kabul city and affected the minds of people. Although Kabul residents, alike other Afghans, are used to acts of horror and terror and suicide bombings are somewhat common, the recent bombing was strongly horrible with following nature.
First, the recent explosion was extremely strong. It is believed that following the Shah Shaheed suicide bombing in Kabul, it was the second strongest explosion that has ever happened. Human catastrophe, mammoth destructions and piercing sound as a result of the bombing reveal its strength.
Secondly, the location of the bombing was critical. To one’s unmitigated surprise, it occurred where there is considered tightly secure. It happened in the heart of the city close to most significant governmental institutions such as Presidential Palace, the offices of First and Second Vices President, NDS, the Palace of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Local Organs and the embassies of Germany, England, Turkey and Iran.
The third critical issue is the time of the explosion. The incident happened in the Holy Month of Ramadan in which war and violence are forbidden. In short, the explosion happened in a sacred month by those who claim to fight for religious issues.
The fourth important aspect is the complexity of the action. Carrying explosives by a tanker and exploding it in downtown is a meticulous action which has been hidden from the security officials. It bespeaks of the fact that the acts of terror become more complicated with each passing day. On the other hand, it indicates that there are strong intelligence behind the scene who orchestrate such attacks. Therefore, Afghan government and security system should not underestimate such issues. The quick action of security forces, managing the crisis and taking the wounded to hospital show the high capacity of the forces, though.
Many reasons have been said and written regarding terrorist acts and suicide bombings. It is said that those who resort to suicide bombings are made for this act through addictive drug and freed from willpower and sound mind. The fact is that nothing other than an internal justification can lead to such acts. In other words, what drives a terrorist to kill himself and others is their addictive ideology rather than addictive drug.
Now the questions are that what is the reason behind legitimizing these actions for the perpetrators? Based on which reasons do they spill the blood of innocent civilians in the Holy Month of Ramadan? It is believed that an action will not be done unless it makes sense of the doer, especially when the action is carrying out a suicide bombing which will lead to the death of the perpetrators and others. This question can be answered from various perspectives, but this commentary tends to answer it from sociological view. According to sociology, although committing suicide is totally a private phenomenon as people decide in their own will to end their lives, it roots in social issue and the manner of a person’s interaction with society.
Psychologically, there are three types of suicide. First, egoistic suicide which happens when one feels lonely and solitary or whose social ties are on the wane or broken. Second type is altruistic suicide, which happens when one’s social tie reaches to excess and giving more value to society rather than themselves. The third type is fatalistic suicide.
Altruistic suicide happens in a society where there is a strong social solidarity and the social conscience hold strong sway in a way that one is ready to sacrifice his/her life for a group’s objective. Suicide bombing falls in this category as a person kills himself for others like a soldier’s sacrifice for the country. A suicide bomber resorts to suicide for the sustenance of a group. In the current social situation, the false interpretations of religion as martyrdom, sacrifice and selfness, not in their true meanings, justify their actions. Secondly, there are some vulnerable groups who succumb to false ideology such as members of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These factions recruit individuals from vulnerable groups and socialize them in military centers or seminaries through false interpretation of religion, plant their own dreams in their minds and exploit them for their political interests. No wonder, members of these groups resort to suicide attacks under the terms of selflessness, sacrifice and safeguarding religion and society.
Moreover, their strong ties with their groups weaken their interaction with society. The weaker their relation becomes with society, the more dangerous enemy people look to them. Hence, harming or killing others seems not only legitimate but also necessary to them. The terrorists’ acts and words in our country reveal this fact. According to them, they are saviors, the political structure is the product of western modernity, and politicians are the US and western puppet. Thus, they legitimize killing people and carrying out suicide attacks, which become rife with the passage of time.

Dr. Aman Fasihi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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