This paper attempts to demonstrate that the differences between the Western and Islamic traditions on the ethics of warfare run far deeper than what traditional scholarship suggests. The present study focuses on three main areas: the sources of our knowledge of morality, the objectives of warfare, and the principle of non-combatant immunity. We shall see that these three topics are inter-connected, and also that understanding the classical Islamic law of war is essential to understanding the ideology and allure of contemporary Islamism.
Professor in the Philosophy Department at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. He holds BA and MA degrees from Boston University, and MA and Ph.D degrees from the University of Toronto. His work is published in Comparative Islamic Studies, The Journal of Conflict Studies, the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence.