This is old. I’m very sorry for bumping it up, but I found this thread doing some research and noticed that it never had an accurate response. This topic is incredibly important due to the ongoing situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya - all of the countries the U.S. is fighting wars in.
Prior to the U.S. invasion of 2003 suicide terrorism did not occur in Iraq. Just days after U.S. troops began the invasion and occupation, the first attack of suicide terrorism occurred inside the country. By late 2006, early 2007, the number of suicide terrorist attack in Iraq had risen to 256. Because of this alarming statistic, we must analyze the situation in Iraq and what differed between the days pre and post U.S. led invasion; we must come to a rational, factual conclusion based on decades of recorded history and statistics, and boldly reject the propaganda (that Islam drives individuals to blow themselves up killing themselves and others, that Islamic suicide terrorism is some out of control problem or new trend - or that it even exists in the way we’ve been taught to understand it, that they ‘hate us because of our freedoms,’ etc) fed to us by the state.
First of all, suicide terrorism has little to do with religion in any way. This is important to establish this fact with people, as it’s contrary to everything the U.S. corporate media and the state have been pounding into our heads. 95% of acts of suicide terrorism occur as well-organized, effective campaigns that are put together by militaristic groups. Almost always these campaigns have great numbers of public support. These cohesive campaigns espouse very precise goals - goals that are both political and secular in nature - to drive a current democracy to withdraw its military forces from land the suicide terrorists know as their homeland. This is the formula that suicide terrorist groups fit, including Al Qaeda. In fact, one of the motivating factors behind Sept 11 2001 given by Osama Bin Laden himself was the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf, and the removal of U.S. military installations from the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as holy land.
So, in attempting to understand the objective or motive behind suicide terrorism, one needs to check religious explanations at the door. 315 acts of suicide terrorism occurred between 1980 and 2003. Among those, a majority, or 301/95%, explicitly occurred not as some random event, rather as coordinated, methodized campaigns with nationalist goals of gaining control of their national ‘homeland,’ and more specifically at compelling foreign military presence to withdraw.
For thought: Many claim, most likely after hearing it somewhere among the perpetual demagoguery by the U.S. media and politicians on the issue, that because suicide terrorism occurs, the world somehow has a ‘Muslim problem,’ erroneously attributing suicide terrorism to the Islamic faith. They teach, through their words and actions, that everyone should be weary of Muslims because whatever Muslim a person is interacting with just might be a suicide terrorist - because they’re Muslim!
Fact: To easily refute racist claims like this, one need look no further than Sri Lanka, home to the Tamil Tigers - the group that statistically commits the largest number of suicide terrorism campaigns. The militants who make up the Tamil Tigers are secularists. They are a Marxist-Leninist group who come from Hindu families. Boom, you’ve instantly shot down this racist idea that somehow Muslims have a patent on suicide terrorism, therefore you should automatically assume when a suicide terrorist campaign has occurred that those responsible will be ‘Islamic fundamentalists.’ Even if they were Islamic, describing them as ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ suggests that the ‘Islamic’ part is in any way relevant to the heinous act, and it’s not.
Have a nice one guys!