According to an item in World Net Daily, at least one Pentagon report endoreses the notion that suicide bombing has Quranic support.
The terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and murder," the White House maintains in its recently released "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism" report. But internal Pentagon briefings show intelligence analysts have reached a wholly different conclusion after studying Islamic scripture and the backgrounds of suicide terrorists. They've found that most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands — making them, as strange as it sounds to the West, "rational actors" on the Islamic stage.
The late, (d. 2002) great Yale scholar of Islam, Franz Rosenthal, wrote in his 1946 essay "Suicide in Islam",
While the Qur'anic attitude toward suicide remains uncertain, the great authorities of the hadith leave no doubt as to the official attitude of Islam. In their opinion suicide is an unlawful act....On the other hand, death as the result of 'suicidal' missions and of the desire of martyrdom occurs not infrequently, since death is considered highly commendable according to Muslim religious concepts. However, such cases are no[t] suicides in the proper sense of the term.
The famous Muslim Brotherhood cleric Qaradawi agrees.
Umm Nidals' religious views are supported by both the contemporary pronouncements of acclaimed Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al—Qaradawi, and the research of Professor Franz Rosenthal. At the July 2003 meeting (in Stockholm) of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, which he heads, Sheikh Al—Qaradawi stated,
Those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake. The goals of the one who carries out a martyrdom operation and of the one who commits suicide are completely different. Anyone who analyzes the soul of [these two] will discover the huge difference between them. The [person who commits] suicide kills himself for himself, because he failed in business, love, an examination, or the like. He was too weak to cope with the situation and chose to flee life for death...In contrast, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation does not think of himself. He sacrifices himself for the sake of a higher goal, for which all sacrifices become meaningless. He sells himself to Allah in order to buy Paradise in exchange. Allah said: 'Allah has bought from the believers their souls and their properties for they shall inherit Paradise...While the [person who commits] suicide dies in escape and retreat, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation dies in advance and attack. Unlike the [person who commits] suicide, who has no goal except escape from confrontation, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation has a clear goal, and that is to please Allah
Andrew Bostom 9 28 06