Nelson has got to be kidding. Jihad didn't have the same connotations before 9/11 as it does today? That's a measure of American ignorance, not of any shift in the actual meaning of jihad. And what's this about the government misinterpreting this appendix? It says to use missiles, planes and ships against the enemies of Allah, but that's supposed to refer to a spiritual struggle? Maybe Muslims are supposed to use missiles, planes, and ships against the devil, the way they throw rocks at the Great Satan in Mecca? Tell me another, Nelson. From the Mail Tribune of Southern Oregon, with thanks to Cindy:
ASHLAND — Pete Seda and his former Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation passed out copies of what the federal government considers to be a radical version of the Quran that includes a call to jihad, or holy war, against those who do not believe in Islam.
The book, called "The Noble Quran," includes a chapter, called "Appendix 3," that tells readers to "race to jihad" and to include weapons such as missiles, planes and ships against the enemies of Allah.
Tom Nelson, the Portland attorney licensed as the Al-Haramain agent here, acknowledged the appendix’s presence Saturday, saying that he believes government misinterprets it and uses it to paint the group as terrorists.
"That’s the one that’s driving people nuts," Nelson said....
This version of the Quran was printed before the Sept. 11 attacks, when jihad did not have the same holy war connotations as today, Nelson said.
"I can see how Americans can be upset about it after 9/11," Nelson said. "I don’t think they would have pre-9/11."
Despite the appendix’s many references to violence and war, Nelson prefers to consider jihad as a "struggle" and that Islam teaches that "death is better than oppression."
That's a quote from the Qur'an (2:191), which brings to mind the fact that while everyone seems to be in a lather about this appendix, there are plenty of things to cause concern in the book itself. But of course, pointing that out will just get you called a lot of names.
"A call to jihad means (something) completely different to a Westerner than an Easterner," said Nelson, who is a practicing Muslim.
"There are all kinds of jihads," he said. "It can be a violent struggle. It can be a non-violent struggle."
Yes, I can see how the struggle to avoid sin would readily call for use of missiles, planes and ships.
Nelson said parts of the appendix are "somebody’s opinion of what the Quran said," though it has become a focal point for making Muslims "appear as disparaging individuals," Nelson said.
"Frankly, I think everybody wishes ‘Appendix 3’ was never written," Nelson said.
All right, Nelson. But do any Muslims in Oregon or elsewhere believe what is written in Appendix 3? Would you yourself have had any problem with it if it hadn't started receiving bad publicity?