Religion is looked down upon in societies today because it is considered troublesome and opposing to the way people view the world today. Muslims get the media’s attention because they strictly follow the religion; however, it’s not what many focus on, that’s just scratching the surface. Over the years we saw the events of 9/11 and the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, which led up to the war of Afghanistan, even worse, the war of Iraq and Sadam Hussein’s rebellion; which led to the rebellion of many Muslims going into many separate groups, radical and some that are indeed real Jihadists in the sense that they are fighting in the sake of Allah. The west in general dominated in media and news coverage. That dominance has been taken over to manipulate and put unethical and negative ideas about Islam and Muslims.
But they also have the same potential for violence as others, and Islam as a religion and an ideology seeks to exploit that potential. Thoug... ... middle of paper ... ...volutionary movements. The conflict with militant Islam may last a long time—centuries, potentially—since even if curing Muslim society of its violent tendencies is possible, it would involve ripping out or otherwise neutralizing a tendency that has dominated Muslim culture since the days of its founder. This is not an easy task, for Muslims willing to make the change would be portrayed as traitors to their religion, amid renewed calls to practice Islam in its original, pure, and more violent form in order to regain the favor of God. The signs of the times suggest that we are, indeed, in for a "clash of civilizations" that will be neither brief nor bloodless.
Jihad is an Arabic word that means “exerted effort”. It is mentioned in the Qur’an and projected as exerting effort to change one’s self to the better which is seen as each person’s most difficult jihad. This concept of jihad and the betterment of one’s self is almost unknown to non-Muslims specially westerners who refer to jihad as the holy war and terrorism. What people fail to realize is the multi dimensions of jihad which consists of two parts: the greater jihad which is actually considered the highest form of jihad and used in a moral, ethical, and spiritual sense. Jihad is viewed by Muslims as the struggle to overcome personal temptations and worldly temptation and the struggle to becoming an overall better Muslim.
The concept of Jihad was not widely known in the western world before the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Since then, the word has been woven into what our media and government feed us along with notions of Terrorism, Suicide Bombings, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and now, Jihad. Our society hears exhortations resounding from the Middle East calling the people to rise up in Jihad and beat back the imperialist Americans. Yet, if we try to peel back all of these complex layers of information we can we attempt to find out what Jihad really means. Webster’s Dictionary defines Jihad as “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty or a crusade for a principle or belief” (1).
The religion of Islam garners large amounts attention. Many believe it is a violent and backwards religion. Since 9/11, "Islamic reform" has become an all-purpose phrase: equally a western impulse to protect itself from Muslim violence and a humanist notion aimed at assisting voiceless Muslims (Eteraz1). Extreme displays of Islamic faith such as the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 have generated negative stereotypes about Islam as a religion. These stereotypes of violence and backwards thinking have been further perpetuated by even more recent examples of extremism by Muslim terrorists.
Suggesting that jihad and violence are in connection with each other has been the case since pre-modern times. In fact, Fisher suggests that the primary associations of the word jihad are religious, specifically with reference the Prophet Mohammad and to the religion of Islam, but also invoke a sense of violence or resistance against an opposing force. While violence and jihad have typically been spoken about together, as of late, the... ... middle of paper ... ...years there has been a lot of nonsense written on the subject of jihad, both by Muslims who have intentionally sought to uphold a specific type of definition of jihad and by academics who are seeking to define Islam and Islamism. The term jihad is said to have derived from the Arabic verbal root jahada, which means to “strive,” to “struggle,” or to “exert oneself,” especially in the path of God. While is it that the the Qur’an makes a distinction between the Greater Jihad, that is a struggle against unbelievers, and the Lesser Jihad, a struggle against ----, many would argue that there are also several distinct categories of jihad that take these definitions a step further.
Terrorism what a complete disgrace, however people forget one thing that terrorism is not only found in Islam yet also continued in other religions and countries. But then why Islam? Is it because terrorism has been related to Islam just like peace is to war. The terrorist that claim they are Muslim with pride are oblivious, ignorant and it shows their lack of knowledge. The Holy Quran clearly states that: It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land.
The West tends to think of jihad as a call to outward or external activity, but in the Islamic mind, jihad is a call to all individuals to prepare their hearts and s... ... middle of paper ... ...t it perceives that the terrorism it wages against the West is an integral part of its religion. The West in general and the United States in particular cannot ignore it and should therefore unite their efforts in an attempt to find different means of countering this kind of Islamic terrorism. But, the main success or failure of these terrorist groups does not depend on their religious commentary or authority. It lies in their ability to gain legitimacy from the general public or from the greater part of it in each Muslim country, as well as in the Arab world in a whole. The need for public sympathy and support is a crucial element of every terrorist group without regard to its ideology or political affiliation.
Generalizing in such a manner is not seen as being objective, yet we find that the Western world is foremost in propagating this outlook on Islam. So what is real Islam? How does one dispel the myths, which have been created and spread so viciously? The only way one can examine Islam is to simply examine its belief system, the Qur'an and Sunnah, not on Osama Bin Laden’s activities. This is the way to find the truth about what Islam says about terror, terrorism and terrorists.
“Is Islam a religion of terror?” It is a question that many people ask. When people who claim to be doing the will of Allah by being the cause of terrible events such as the attacks of 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombings, it is a question that is a fair question to ask. It was a question that I did not have a clear answer on before I started to research. When I asked some people, they adamantly replied that it was indeed a violent religion. Then when I asked other people such as a British Pakistani girl named Meezaab, they replied that it is a religion of peace.