Just as with the Timothy McVeigh question. These pilots said they were Muslims as such we must agree they were Muslims. I am interested to see what the split between these two opinions is as there are more Christians than Muslims on this site so it should be interesting. Go rational thought.....I hope.
Much of religion is interpretation. Even a true religion of peace, Like Jainism, Could have its teachings be warped and its followers start killing. They would still be jain, Despite the mental gymnastics they undertook to come to their conclusion.
As for this particular question, One doesn't even need to go that far. The pilots had a very reasonable, Honest interpretation of the Quran and hadiths. Muslims can say things like the Quran teaches that killing is wrong, But there are many verses in it that promotes killing non-Muslims and even where it says killing is wrong it says afterwards that it's not wrong if there is corruption involved. And, Of course, The Quran teaches that corruption includes apostasy, Being a non-believer, Homosexual, Against Islam, Etc. Etc.
If they say they are muslims and draw their vision of how to live in the world from the quran they are muslims. To say they are not would be like saying a christian isnt a christian if he kills someone. And then if your going to say that then you might as well say nobody is a christian because everybody sins and how do you draw a line between too sinful to be categorized as a christian and sinless enough to be categorized as a christian? Not to mention the quran encourages behavior like this so i dont think thats a sin for them.
The masterminds of the 9/11 plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin As-Shibh, Walid bin ‘Attash, Mustafa Ahmed AI-Hawsawi, and ‘Ali ‘abd Al-’Aziz ‘Ali – styling themselves as the “9/11 Shura Council” –wrote a lengthy communiqué titled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations.” In it, they wrote: “Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause and to defend Islam and Muslims. Therefore, killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion….We ask to be near to God, we fight you and destroy you and terrorize you. The Jihad in god’s [sic] cause is a great duty in our religion.” They quoted numerous Qur’an verses, including one stating that “to those against whom war is waged, permission is given (to fight,) because they are wronged and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid” (22:39), and another commanding Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but be not the transgressor, Allah likes not the transgressors” (2:190). They even quoted the notorious “Verse of the Sword”: “Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush” (9:5).
To cinch their case, they used two verses enjoining Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of their foes: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companies with Allah, for which he has sent no authority; There [sic] place will be the fire; and evil is the home of the wrongdoers” (3:151); and “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the heart of the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (8:60).
Hijacker Mohammed Atta wrote this just before the attack: “When the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers. God said: ‘Strike above the neck, and strike at all of their extremities.’ Know that the gardens of paradise are waiting for you in all their beauty, and the women of paradise are waiting, calling out, ‘Come hither, friend of God.’ They have dressed in their most beautiful clothing.” The “Strike above the neck, and strike at all of their extremities” quote is also from the Qur’an (47:4). The gardens and women of Paradise are also spoken of in the Qur’an (52:17-20; 55:62-76; etc.), underscoring the fact that Atta and his companions saw their mission and goal in exclusively Islamic terms.
Islam does not allow the killing of innocents. They are part to an extremist branch if Islam that is more like a cult. They don't really believe true Islam. If they did they wouldn't kill innocents. They use Islam as a scapegoat to carry out their horrible acts and push their agenda.
Who cares what they call themselves? They were only one thing. Only one descriptor is an accurate portrayal of what those men were: MURDERERS. I don't give one rat turd what they called themselves or what twisted ideology they used to justify their actions. They were murderers. Plain and simple. If the moniker really matters that much, let me take you through some really clear and simple logic tests.
Did these men call themselves Muslims? -Yes
Did they murder people? -Yes
Do all Muslims murder people? -No
Did all Muslims support these murders? -No
Do these 19 guys represent all Muslims? -See above, clearly they do not.
So are they Muslims? -No
By any stretch of logic, we can assume that the large majority of a population is a decent portrayal of that population. Think about Oranges. Forget what you know about high school biology and different species and genotypes for a second. Pretend you've NEVER seen an orange before. The vast majority of oranges are orange in color, round, edible, citrusy, and have a peelable skin. If I hand you a grapefruit, it takes less than 10 seconds for you to recognize it's not an orange. Grapefruits are orange in color, round, have a peelable skin, but they have a different flavor, they are tinged red, they have red meat, and they taste awful. Is a grapefruit an orange? Absolutely not. It doesn't fit the description. Defining "Muslim" by looking at the grand majority of Muslims, I would say these guys are so far from that list of "what is a Muslim" as to not qualify as a Muslim. They are grapefruits. They might look a little similar on the outside, but they are not the same thing, and as such, they don't get to carry the same moniker. Anymore than a grapefruit gets to carry the name orange.
Ok, so you claims that I'd you say you are a Muslim when you commit such a horrible act, does it really mean your a Muslim? The West Boro Baptist Church claims to be true Christians, but everyone condemns them. You tell us that Allah tells us to kill, but yet he also tells us to stop Opression and Terrorism in the name of Allah.
“And fight them on until there is no more terrorism or oppression and there prevails a way for justice and faith in Allah.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 193].
Conclusion: Even if they claim that they are to Muslims, they won't never be true ones. Look at the Shia, the ones being abused by them. Many are kind, good natured, and would never hurt a fly.