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Abu Yahya al-Libi’s “Human Shields in Modern Jihad”
In defending al-Qa`ida against charges of unjustly killing innocent Muslims during his April 2, 2008 “open interview,” Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri reintroduced Hukm al-Tatarrus into the debate. A relatively unfamiliar term to non-Muslims and Muslims alike, al-Tatarrus refers to God’s sanctioning of Muslim armies that are forced to kill other Muslims who are being used as human shields by an enemy during a time of war. The method in which al-Qa`ida is promoting al-Tatarrus, however, seeks to facilitate the sacrifice of Muslim lives in contravention of 14 centuries of religious teachings.