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Murder by Suicide: Episodes from Muslim History



Suicide terrorism and other operations that consume the killer's life employ beliefs and practices intended to reconcile the killer with his or her own death. This article reviews three episodes from Muslim history: the Assassins of Syria and Persia, juramentado in the Philippines, and Husayn's martyrdom at Karbala. Each of these episodes manifests a different symbolic stratagem: the neutralization of transition anxiety, the sacrificial fusion of murder and suicide, and the justifying projection of the past onto the present. [Keywords: suicide terrorism, Islam, Middle East, Iran, Philippines]

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