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No to Crusade! No to Jihad! --- Yes to liberty!

Reader comment on item: Jihad: The Fight Over Meaning

Submitted by Yehudit Hirsch (United States), Jun 8, 2002 at 03:10

As an ex-citizen of an ex-Communist state, I have a deep aversion to censorship. Garry Prior’s comments regarding the dangers of censorship and propaganda are certainly appealing to me.

Also I am sympathetic to Prior’s compelling duty to defend his country, England, when it is being attacked. Unleashing a verbal Crusade against the Jihad is definitely going to turn the entire Islamic world into our enemy. We should be very careful with words, so as not to offend millions of good people.

But we should not obscure the meaning of current events by fudging the history.

Dr. Pipes is right: "Jihad has historically meant, almost always one thing-which is expanding the territories ruled by Muslims through armed warfare." To claim otherwise will be a politically correct but meaningless assertion. The result of this sort of fudging in academia is that the American people were astonished by the September 11th attack. While the Middle Eastern study in the US was dominated by academics preoccupied by their personal jihads, the State Department came to believe its own propaganda.

PS

For a glimpse into the Middle Eastern academia, see http://www.bitterlemons.org/issue/pal2.html.

The article, "Al Aqsa of God and the Prophets", is written by Sheikh Jamil Abdul Rahim Hamami, a lecturer at Al Quds University in Jerusalem.

That is the real world, not the world according to Harvard U.


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