Saturday, March 10, 2012

Islam, Religion of the Sword?

By Richard D. Connerney
Unlike Christianity or Judaism, Islam's religious history is inseparable from its conquests -- which is why the concept of holy war lives on today.
On Sept. 9, I was giving an introductory lecture to my Religion 203 weekend seminar at Iona College. I began as usual with some definitions of some commonly heard terms used in the study of religion. As an example on the term “fundamentalism,” I wrote the word “jihad” on the board. I explained that the word could be interpreted as “religious war,” but that it was perhaps more accurately translated as “struggle,” meaning simply that Muslims were encouraged to struggle for their religion.
“Only an Islamic fundamentalist would interpret it as a rationalization for physical violence,” I continued. “The vast majority of Muslims define jihad as the jihad al’akbar, or the greater warfare, meaning to wage war against human ignorance and cruelty.”
The entire class wrote what I had said down in their notebooks. Nobody asked any questions.

1 comment:

  1. If you think Jihad is an inner struggle against evil, think again, here is from Quran 4:95, "Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward;"


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