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Its Meaning Has Been Reinterpreted To Meet Personal Taste

Reader comment on item: What is Jihad?

Submitted by Tim Upham (United States), Apr 21, 2012 at 20:30

"Jihad" in Arabic means struggle. It originally begin to be used along with "hudna," or Arabic for truce. Mohammed, the Prophet, professionally was on the caravan from Damascus to Mecca. Caravan raiding was an important part of the economies of the Arabian tribes. Mohammed devised hudna, where the tribes agreed not to raid each others caravans. This took them up into both Byzantine and Persian territory, where they raided their caravans. With this caravan raiding, came along with the spreading of the religion of Islam.

The widespread religion of the Persian Empire was Zoroastrianism. The priests of Zoroastrianism were the "magi." The magi lived in opulent wealth away from their followers. This can be seen with the Three Wise Men, who followed the Star of Bethlehem. The Three Wise Men was known as magis. The magis were astrologers and interpreters of dreams, and the Zoroastrians believed that Ahura Mazda, the good god of light, was going to send a messiah born during the darkest days of winter. With the magis living so wealthy and away from their followers, that is when Islam came into the Persian Empire, and steamrolled over Zoroastrianism. The mullahs were everyday normal people like they were, and the Persians considered the Arabs as barbarians too.

In the Byzantine Empire, the Council of Nicea broke off the Church of Byzantium from the Church of Rome. The Church of Byzantium was not around as long as the Church of Rome, and also did not have its wealth either. Also the Church of Byzantium spread north to the pagan people of eastern Europe. But in the south, it was susceptible to Islamic expansion. So like when Islam expanded on trade routes like the Silk Road, and took over the spice trade in southeastern Asia. The people of southeastern Asia were following a hybrid of Hinduism and Buddhism, and once again it was primarily followed by the royalty there. So hudna along with jihad basically has economic origins to it. But it can continue with the Palestinians doing U.S. $3 billion dollars worth of business with Israel, and with Israel being the Palestinians largest trading partner. So jihad has to be returned to its original meaning. With Judaism being so well entrenched, I do not think that Israel will lose its position as the Jewish state either.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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