All Things Considered, January 7, 2005 · "Jihad" is one of the few Arabic words used in English. It means "spiritual struggle," but many Muslims have pointed out that "jihad" is almost always used in English in the context of terrorism, even though the actual meaning is broader. Commentator Anisa Mehdi would like to propose a word that could be used instead of "jihad."
Sure. The actual meaning is broader. Nevertheless, jihad is the word used by those who are taking up arms against non-Muslims all over the world. But by trying to get Westerners to use a different word, Anisa Mehdi is only deflecting attention from the real source of the problem: the Islamic doctrine of jihad warfare, which enables terrorist groups to recruit members among Muslims everywhere.
You tell me, Anisa Mehdi: are these men talking about a spiritual struggle?
"Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge." — Osama bin Laden, November 24, 2002.
"We ask Allah to make us mujahideen (holy warriors). We ask Allah to make us shaheed. Our immediate duty now is to correct our own homeland. So let us open our eyes, let us not go for jihad which is far away from our countries." — Abu Hamza al-Masri.
"In Islam the only meaning of jihad was killing, and those who projected the concepts of Jihad Akbar and Jihad Asghar were against Islam," — Maulana Masood Azhar.
"Jihad is actually considered a Rahma (mercy) in Islam. If there is an oppressor and there is Jihad to stop his oppression, it is a mercy on him (the oppressor)." — Hamza Yousef, November 3, 2004.
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