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Meaning of Jihad is armed struggle

Reader comment on item: [Khobar Rampage:] "Don't Be Afraid, We Won't Kill Muslims"

Submitted by Nonie Darwish (United States), Jun 8, 2004 at 13:39

In the Arab world we were only taught one meaning for Jihad, and that is: A religious holy war against infidels and armed struggle against anyone who is not a Moslem. It is a fight for Allah's cause. The highest rewards and honor will be bestowed upon those who die in Jihad, who are then called Shahid, meaning martyr.

After 9/11 I heard of a new mystical interpretation to the meaning of Jihad that was designed to be more acceptable to Western culture. To the non-Arab world it was now defined as an inner struggle. Defining Jihad to make it more acceptable for Western consumption is misleading. That is not the definition that people in Middle East believe.

The inner struggle definition was made by people who are finding excuses for terrorism and are not standing up against the forces of extremism and violence in the Middle East. When Usama Bin Laden speaks I do not see any inner struggle for self analysis or self improvement. The man says it like it is in all his tapes; he has a clear mission to destroy Western civilization, Israel and win the world to Islam.

However, I hope and wish that the Moslem world use the second meaning for Jihad in the future.
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