Jihad – Myth and Reality

No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam.  It haunts the popular Western imagination as an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, civil war, and terrorism.  Karen Armstrong asserts that the [this] fastest-growing faith is a much richer and more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.[1]  The heightened interest for better understanding Islam is important not only for the non-Muslims but is critical for Muslims who have grossly misunderstood and misrepresented their religion.  Jihad is one example of this lack of understanding which, in addition to tarnishing the image of Islam, has done incalculable damage to Muslim’s economic and political interests around the world.  Terrorists use this misrepresented doctrine primarily to recruit young, ignorant Muslims to commit terrorist acts with the guarantee to heavens if they die.  Muslim countries use it as a training tool for their armies to fight political wars.  The classic unintended consequence of this flawed application was the 8-year old Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s when both Muslim countries were fighting “jihad” against each other.  It is important to state the facts about the original concept of jihad and demolish the myth.  Click Jihad Myth & Reality to read full article

[1] Karen Armstrong “Islam: A Short History” dust jacket comment

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