He further points out the exception of those carried by the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers and PKK of turkey. Religion as motivation is further cemented by the involvement of radical Hindu groups which has participated in many attacks in India, Pakistan and Srilanka including those who killed one of the India great son, Mahatma Gandhi. Radu observes that some of these outfits though secular operate like religious sects where their leaders have such great powers within the group. Within the PKK fraternity Abdullah Ocalan, who is the leader of this rebel group was known as Apo, a title which means an omnipresent and mysterious figure.
(Radu, M 2003) Suicide bombing has become a popular tactic being applied by many religious motivated groups. These organizations have successfully used this tactic and still managed to maintain popularity and in some instances their popularity with the masses who prescribe to a particular religion has grown greatly. (Noval, M 1999) This success is attributed to a religion creed. It has been noted that religious rituals which encourage self sacrifice and strong devotion has by the large been the key drivers for the followers of such religion to voluntarily agree to participate in suicide bombing.
Jessica Stern terrorism expert in her book Error in the Name of God, Why Religious Militants Kill notes that it is mostly Islamists terrorists who are causing great danger to the international security but she quickly adds that even other religious groups have at one time in their history produced or engaged armies of religious killers. Certain religious groups view globalization as a threat to their existence. To remain relevant they have to portray those advocating for such policies as the enemy of their religion and the very existence of the followers.
An organization like Al Qaeda as Jessica Stern notes in her book has successfully portrayed America as the manipulator of institution like the international Monetary Fund which to these organizations has brought so much misery to their followers. It is on this light that such organizations use religion to incite their followers on the line that these institutions are against the establishment of their religion. Through such feelings the followers will be willing to go to any length to protect their very existence and by the large that of their religion and what they believe in.
Stern believes that as the sense of marginalization and humiliation creeps in a given group the members will start agitating for recognition of their rights. As they seek recognition they are also prepared to go to any length to take what is rightfully theirs. This is the reason why such communities become easy targets for those groups which have chosen suicide bombing as their fighting tactic (Noval, M 1999) Leaders of most terrorist groups set themselves as spiritual leaders. Their followers are often attracted by their charm and charisma which they manifest.
They follow them religiously up to appoint where they become brainwashed. The group leaders use this weakness as an advantage to themselves where they utilize the loyalty and devotion of the followers to advance their cause. Though Pape does not recognize religion as a motivation for the suicide bombers activities, he agrees with the sentiment that religion comes into play when the groups which use suicide bombing as a tactic points to their enemies demonizing and labeling them as the real threat to the existence of the local religion.
Al Qaeda has successfully painted United States as the enemy of Islam and the entire Arab world. (Noval, M 1999) Through such acts it has been able to draw the wrath of Muslims and the Arabs in general towards this perceived enemy making it a target for terrorist attacks and followers of radical Islam practices ready to defend their religion by any means. America occupation of Iraq is largely seen as the occupation of Muslims, therefore when the group leader calls out for Muslims to engage American, the enemy, into the holy many will be willing to sacrifice their lives for such a noble cause.
They argue that they are fighting a holy war against an evil power where they are fighting for the truth and liberation of their people against an enemy who has occupied their territory. Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi who is one of the top Islamist authority clearly explained that attacking an enemy is not a suicidal act but rather is an act of martyrdom which is highly rewarded in the life after. It is in itself a sacrifice that every devout Muslim should be proud of, one should be ready to die for a noble cause.
Suicide bombers consider their death as a purely a heroic act and clearly believe that a handsome reward awaits them in heaven. This becomes a strong driving force where people are willing to go full scale into action of killing others and eventually die in the process fully convinced that whatever they are doing is in the line with fulfillment of Gods wish. There have been strong arguments that Islam as a religion does not support suicide.
Most of those who support his argument have their basing form the holy book Quran which strongly condemns killing on such grounds. Such an act attracts a heavy punishment which is punishable by being thrown in the everlasting fire. (Barlow, H 2007) An expert in terrorism Harvey Kushner also agrees with this sentiment arguing suicide attacks are not in any way condoned by Muslims. It is the leaders of factions which are mostly cults within the Muslim community who advance the idea twisting the teaching of Islam to suit their situations.