In “Meaning of ‘Jihad’ unknown to many” in the Evansville Courier Journal, Mohammad Hussain, “a pediatrician and a member of the Islamic Society of Evansville,” explains it all for us. It seems that “the word ‘Jihad’ arouses the images of sword- or gun-waving individuals or suicide bombers, bent on killing or getting killed,” and that “since Sept. 11, 2001, it has also become synonymous with terrorism.”
But actually, “neither is true.” In fact, “Jihad is misunderstood as fighting, which is just one type of Jihad.”
Whew! That’s a relief!
This is, of course, the kind of thing we have seen many, many times. Articles like this appear in papers around the country on a regular basis. The universal problem that all these clarifications of jihad have is that they’re all aimed at Western audiences, and suggest that it is non-Muslims who have misunderstood jihad and need to be corrected.
In real life, of course, the Muslims who have, at least by Mohammad Hussain’s lights, “misunderstood” jihad by equating it with violence are legion — and what is he writing to them?