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Jihad : a blessing and a curse

Reader comment on item: Jihad and the Professors

Submitted by Katy Belanger (Canada), Nov 14, 2002 at 13:15

Greeting

I am baffled as to why you are diligently trying to focus on Jihad and its radical/martial meaning by downplaying the validity of its higher spiritual form. This approach is counterproductive because it encourages young moderate muslims who may have so far believed that Jihad is first and formost a spiritual struggle into adopting it's more radical form. Your approach may lead many to rethink their definition of Jihad. Some may even end up believing that their moderate parents and teachers have actually erred in defining the true meaning of Jihad.

Given the current political climate, if some insist on suggesting that Jihad is exclusively a martial doctrine, young moderate muslims may be encouraged to forsake the gentler form of Jihad and replace it with it's more radical definition and use it to combat individual as well as collective injustices whenever they feel justified in doing so.. That's definately not what we would like to see happen in moderate muslim countries .

Your approach might serve to fuel america's outrage toward Jihad but at the same time it might tempt young muslims to question their parents' and teachers' moderate approach to Jihad. They may be also tempted to take a new stand in believing and promoting Jihad exclusively as a martial struggle, a much more exiting and appealing outlet to young men than the spiritual form of Jihad which is rewarded only after death.

Words are a powerful tool which should and must be used responsibly. In the holy sciptures it is clearly stated that the Word of God (and it's interperetation)is a two edged sword. I suggest that we pay close attention to God's warning. Dismissing or even downplaying the validity of a gentler more spiritual meaning of Jihad is very dangerous to world peace and to all peace loving people on this planet.

It's vital that we do encourage moderate muslims to pursue and promote the higher and nobler doctrine of Jihad instead of scuffing at them by calling them apologists. Would you rather have them promote the more radical definition and application of Jihad which is just as valid as the spiritual kinder doctrine ?

Thank you for your time

KT
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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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I very much hope that jihad will turn into a non-bellicose form of Islamic piety. But pretending it is not bellicose when it patently is smells of apologetics rather than true progress.

DP

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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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