KYLA TABIGUE GRADE 11 HUMSS 1
Jihad is a linguistic term that means "effort" or "making effort." It comes from the
word [juhd], which means "effort" and is associated with pain. That is, if anyone is
afflicted by an external or internal force, he may make an attempt to rid himself of it
or to be cured of his misfortune. For example, if someone is in need of money and
works hard or makes an attempt to obtain it, this effort is referred to as jihad.
Working very hard in order to accomplish a target is a typical human characteristic.
Any language, including Arabic, has words to convey this human quality.
Why Jihad has been exploited in wrong way by Western
The word Jihad is often associated with terrorism, but the above explanation
explicitly states that Jihad merely means that if anyone is oppressed by a foreign or
internal force, he makes an attempt to overcome it. Nevertheless, the west
frequently associates the term JIHAD with terrorism, which harms Muslims greatly.
Negative portrayal by Media
Media play a vital role in the semantic shift of the meaning of these expressions.
The words Islam and jihad have been connected with terrorism. Recently terms like
Al-Jihad, Islamic Jihad, Gamaa Islamiyya, Hizb-ut Tahrir, Army of God, Islamic
Liberation Front, Armed Islamic Group, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda, make the
headlines almost daily in connection with
terrorism, which makes a direct link
between a religion (in this case Islam) and international terrorism. Media play a vital
role also in attributing terrorism to Islam and jihad intentionally or unintentionally.
Headings of news papers, TV news, and
“terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad”
Not only do some writers and politicians associate jihad with terrorism, but they also
translate it into ‘holy war’. Let us take the following examples:
“Violent radical Muslims – [jihadis]xc b (holy warriors)” (McCabe, 2009: