Given the strategic importance of the Middle East, the geographical location of our major wars throughout the last two decades as well as the cultural origin of some of the terrorist groups that have hassled the West during that time, it is surprising that very few non-Muslim strategists and military personnel have included the Qur’an in their reading. This article analyses the Qur’an and articulates its mandatory codes of conduct in order to determine what that text actually requires or permits Muslims to do vis-à-vis the use of military force. It concludes that the Qur’an is unambiguous: Muslims are prohibited from aggressive violence and are compelled, if warfare should become unavoidable, always to act within a code of ethical behaviour that is closely akin to, and compatible with, the western warrior code embedded within Just War. This article dispels any misperceptions that the Qur’an advocates the punishment, subjugation or killing of “infidels” and reveals that, on the contrary, its key concepts governing warfare are based on justice and a belief in the sanctity of human life.
Dr Hayward invites any readers who believe they have identified weaknesses in his argument to email him at email@example.com with any advice they might want respectfully to share with him.