and secondary religious terrorism are to construct a new society based on a religious or ethno- national identity. The terrorist behavior of both tendencies is active and public. State-sponsored religious terrorism arises in governments that pursue international agendas by mentoring and encouraging religious proxies. Dissident religious terrorism involves attacks by self-proclaimed true believers against members of other faiths and perceived apostasies within their own faith. Some dissident groups espouse mystical or cult-like doctrines outside the belief systems of major religions. Jihad: Struggling in the Way of God Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (New York: Modern Library, 2000), The concept of jihad is a central tenet in Islam. Contrary to misinterpretations common in the West, the term literally means a sacred struggle or effort rather than an armed conflict or fanatical holy war. Although a jihad can certainly be manifested as a holy war, it more correctly refers to the duty of Muslims to personally strive “in the way of God.” This is the primary meaning of the term as used in the Quran, which refers to an internal effort to reform bad habits in the Islamic community or within the individual Muslim. The term is also used more specifically to denote a war waged in the service of religion. Regarding how one should wage jihad, the greater jihad refers to the struggle each person has within him or she to do what is right. Because of human pride, selfishness, and sinfulness, people of faith must constantly wrestle with themselves and strive to do what is right and good. The lesser jihad
involves the outward defense of Islam. Muslims should be prepared to defend Islam, including military defense, when the community of faith is under attack. Thus, waging an Islamic jihad is not the same as waging a Christian crusade—it has a broader and more intricate meaning. Nevertheless, it is permissible—and even a duty—to wage war to defend the faith against aggressors. Under it, warfare is conceptually defensive; by contrast, the Crusades were conceptually offensive. Those who engage in armed jihad are known as mujahedeen, or holy warriors. Mujahedeen who receive martyrdom by being killed in the name of the faith will find that awaiting them in paradise are rivers of milk and honey, and beautiful young women. Those entering paradise are eventually reunited with their families and as martyrs stand in front of God as innocent as a newborn baby. The precipitating causes for the modern resurgence of the armed and radical jihads movement are twofold: the revolutionary ideals and ideology of the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the practical application of jihad against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 10 pages?
- Spring '16
- Islam, Religious Violence, Psychology of Religious Terrorism