(Islam symbol via Wikipedia)
So many in the West want to sanitize Islam and reinterpret ‘Jihad’ to be nothing more than a personal spiritual struggle. It would be wonderful if Islam could go through some sort of reformation and become the religion that many Westerners perceive in their ‘politically correct’ vision of it. However reality is far different.
There are many Muslims in the West who claim that ‘Jihad’ for them is a personal struggle toward fulfilling what Allah has commanded. I don’t discount that but rejoice in it. However for the vast majority across the World and particularly in the Middle East, Jihad still means what it always has –waging war against oppressors, infidels, and a push towards Muslim domination.
Here’s a link to an article written by a Saudi columnist that confirms all of these different aspects of Jihad and the tension between them: ‘There Is No Islam without Jihad’
The following are a few excerpts from the column:
“Islam without jihad is the product of colonialism and is in no way connected to the Islam of Muhammad. Without question, the greatest jihad is personal jihad, and therein lies the proof that the term jihad in Islam is not limited [solely] to waging war… [But] this does not mean that the term jihad does not include many other aspects, among them those which relate to the individual’s responsibilities to society, and the relations of the [Muslim] society and ummah with societies and countries that declare war on a Muslim state.
“[However,] ever since the American [declaration of] war against what is called terrorism, there has emerged a group of Arab and Muslim authors and academics who try to limit jihad to one dimension, namely to personal jihad. This is exactly what happened in India during the period of British colonialism, when the Qadian sect, also known as Ahmadiyya, emerged and rejected the principle of fighting the colonialists. [They] abolished the duty of jihad in the sense of waging war, and were content with preaching merely personal jihad.
“What is striking is that these preachings, which were intended to rescind the duty of jihad from Islam, existed then, and still exist now, alongside the most brutal type of imperialism and occupation ever known to the Islamic world, and specifically to the Arab world. This fact sheds doubt on the intent of the philosophers, authors, and members of the media who took it upon themselves to disseminate a ‘friendly’ Islam that obligates its followers to live with occupation, [population] transfer, the resettlement of land, and the expulsion of its inhabitants by force of arms.
“I completely understand that we Muslims must reexamine the term jihad, after the extremist terrorist gangs have attempted to appropriate this noble term. Likewise, I completely understand that we are bound by the conditions and limitations of [declaring] jihad, namely [that jihad can only be declared when] Muslims are being expelled from their land and [are subjected] to religious coercion.
“But I do not at all understand Muslims’ calls for the reexamination of the term jihad from a viewpoint that rejects declaring war on those who occupy their land, kill the innocent, destroy homes, and expel millions. Islam is a religion of justice, and the most basic principle of justice demands that evil be opposed and not surrendered to. It goes without saying that occupation is the severest form of evil. If we add to occupation the resettlement of land and expulsion [of population], we arrive at the greatest degree of evil that can befall man. There is no Islam without jihad.”
Response: The greatest example in Islam is and always has been the prophet Muhammad. When it comes to jihad he and his successors spent their lifetimes conquering one city and one nation after another in the name of Allah until all of the Middle East, North Africa, part of India, and a good share of Southern Europe and Spain was under Muslim domination.
From the perspective of many in Islam, any land once conquered is and should still be Muslim. Any of those lands dominated by non- Muslims are automatically on the list for potential jihad. Particularly Israel and parts of India. So the opportunity for more virulent forms of jihad is in order even from a mainstream Muslim perspective.
The newest addition to the jihad corollary are those nations that dominate the world economically and militarily, particularly the USA. According to Islamic understanding of justice, Muslims should be dominating and not infidel nations like America.
Then there is so-called ‘Radical Islam’ which is seeking a complete turnabout with Muslim world domination as the eventual goal. Terrorism is one of the current tools in their arsenal. They have declared war against the West whether we want it or not and many in America would just as soon ignore it and we did until 9/11/01.
Now the geniuses that are currently leading our nation have decided to ignore the threat again and pretend that it just doesn’t really exist.
Meanwhile in America a young Muslim kills a couple of military recruiters, another shoots up a mall, a young Muslim engineer tries to blow up Time Square, and a Muslim Army major kills a bunch of folks on a base all in the name of Allah but we are told by the media and the government that these are just isolated crazy examples and should not be blamed upon Islam. Nevertheless everyone of them believed that they were fulfilling a bona fide call for jihad.
Add to that, the Iranian ruling Ayatollah continues to say that they plan to destroy Israel and America and that the ‘12th Imam’ is coming back soon to rule the world. Sure sounds like the old fashion type of jihad that Muhammad use to do to me.