Islam and Just War Theory
by Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen
The Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute, Qom, Iran 7. Feb. 2008
In this paper, it is argued that an Islamic ethics of war and peace may be interpreted to yield a just war pacifism that is analogous to that developed on the basis of Western just war theory.
Just war theory is said to have begun with Augustine. The doctrine was developed further as a religious teaching, but after the Reformation, secular versions of just war theory became prominent. “Just war” is contrasted with “holy war”. Since the crusades were considered by many Christians as holy wars, it is often assumed that jihad is the Islamic equivalent. In what follows, I argue that jihad shares much in common with the just war tradition.
Recent theorists have used the term “just war pacifism” or “contingent pacifism” to describe the view that under the conditions of modern warfare, just war theory leads to the