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In some dialects and languages, the unrelated architectural term 'facade' is spelled 'fasad'.

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Fasad is an Arabic language term meaning corruption, unlawful warfare, or crimes against law and order in the Muslim community.[1] Fasad is a general concept of social disorder that, within Islamic jurisprudence, is the source of and basis for 'Hirabah'-related laws. 'Hirabah' refers to illegal acts done under the principle of fasad. [2]

In recent years, Islamic thinkers have defined acts of terrorism by Muslims as "fasad".[3] However critics of Islam have said that the verse in the Quran relating to fasad, is incorrectly used to denounce terrorism.[4]

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Appearances in the Koran

The term Fasad appears in chapter 5 (Al-Ma'ida) of Qur'an, verse 32:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief/corruption in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.[Qur'an 5:32]

This verse follows verses 26-31 which refer to the incident in which Qabil (Cain), son of Adam, killed his brother Habil (Abel).[5][6][7]

Interpretations relating to Terrorism

International Islamic University scholar M. Moniruzzaman defines the term as inculding both domestic and international terrorism as well as broader anti-social activities such as extortion, organized crime, drug trafficking, and human trafficking.[8]

M.J. Akbar, editor of the Indian magazine Covert, has stated that, “Terrorism has no place in Islamic doctrine. The Koranic term for the killing of innocents is ‘fasad.’ Terrorists are fasadis, not jihadis. In a beautiful verse, the Koran says that the killing of an innocent is akin to slaying the whole community."[1]

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