Saturday, 30 April 2011

'Jihad' means war, no doubt about that

Amazing, they ran my letter on "Jihad" in full, uncut, on 24 April, under the headline above.  Must be someone at the South China Morning Post who gets the issues.  Or at the least is undaunted by the jihadi threat.... The International Herald Tribune, by contrast, will virtually never carry anything critical of Islam.
Letter follows:

Fadel Soliman seeks to convince, with his new documentary, that the term "jihad" does not mean "holy war" ("Islamic scholar on jihad for truth on terrorism", April 17).
The most ancient and authoritative university in the Islamic world would beg to differ. Cairo's al-Azhar University has authorised the classic manual of Islamic Jurisprudence, known as the "Umdat al-Salik".
It is unequivocal: "Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion."
Not much ambiguity there. Moreover, in the Hadith, the sayings and doings of Mohammed, the use of jihad almost always refers to warfare in the cause of Islam.
To quote the etymology of "jihad", as Mr Soliman does, in his attempt to sell its alleged benign meaning, is irrelevant.
Consider the word "awful", which used to mean "full of awe", but now means the opposite.
We go on what the word clearly means to many in the Muslim world.
In any case, shouldn't Mr Soliman direct the propaganda in his documentary at those Muslims for whom the meaning is clearly warfare in the way of Allah, and not at we non-Muslim infidels, who will simply go on the evidence of our eyes?
Yours, etc.