Maulana Masood Azhar (BBC News)
“Chief of banned militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed Maulana Masood Azhar has said that in Islam the only meaning of Jihad was killing, even as another militant group supporter asked Pakistan to declare that suicide bombing against West was Jihad.” This from Press Trust of India.
“In Islam the only meaning of jihad was killing, and those who projected the concepts of Jihad Akbar and Jihad Asghar were against Islam,” Azhar was quoted by an Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt as saying.
Jihad Akbar is the “Greater Jihad,” which Muslims identify as a spiritual struggle. “Jihad Asghar” is “Lesser Jihad,” which includes violence. In Onward Muslim Soldiers I detail how radical Muslims including Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s mentor, and Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the concept of the “Greater Jihad” as being founded upon inauthentic traditions of Muhammad. Azhar evidently shares this view.
Not only that: Azhar “said it was a conspiracy against Islam to say that Jihad was not killing.” What would that make Ibrahim Hooper, who has asked Paul Harvey for an apology for saying that Islam was “a religion which encourages killing”? Would Azhar regard Hooper as a conspirator against Islam — or merely as a practitioner of war as deceit, in the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad’s equation of the two (cf. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 52, no. 268)? Or, conversely, will Hooper demand an apology from Azhar?
Another supporter of militant groups in Pakistan, Justice (Retd.) Javid Iqbal said at a seminar in Lahore that Pakistan and the Islamic world should declare that suicide bombing against the West was actually Jihad. It was the United States that was doing terrorism and not the suicide bombers of various organisations, he was quoted by the daily Jung as saying.