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Definition of Jihad - Correcting the MEDIA

 
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It's a rather tough task to try to get the media to provide a balanced picture but here is my tiny attempt:
Following is a definition of possibly the MOST MISUSED Islamic term in the history of the religion. And I am convinced the Misuse is constant, consistent, obvious, done on purpose to portray a negative picture of muslims. Anyway, when Talibans say that they are ready for Jihaad, it means they are ready to defend themselves having been warned of America's arrival. It does not mean they are ready to declare war on America as the media has been saying. Note that whether I agree with Taliban's past and present decisions is another topic entirely.

Source: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/glossary/term.JIHAD.html
Jihad
Other Commonly Used Spellings: JIHAAD
-------------------------------------
It is an Arabic word the root of which is Jahada, which means to strive for a better way of life. The nouns are Juhd, Mujahid, Jihad, and Ijtihad. The other meanings are: endeavor, strain, exertion, effort, diligence, fighting to defend one's life, land, and religion.
Jihad should not be confused with Holy War; the latter does not exist in Islam nor will Islam allow its followers to be involved in a Holy War. The latter refers to the Holy War of the Crusaders.
Jihad is not a war to force the faith on others, as many people think of it. It should never be interpreted as a way of compulsion of the belief on others, since there is an explicit verse in the Qur'an that says:"There is no compulsion in religion" Al-Qur'an: Al-Baqarah (2:256).
Jihad is not a defensive war only, but a war against any unjust regime. If such a regime exists, a war is to be waged against the leaders, but not against the people of that country. People should be freed from the unjust regimes and influences so that they can freely choose to believe in Allah.
Not only in peace but also in war Islam prohibits terrorism, kidnapping, and hijacking, when carried against civilians. Whoever commits such violations is considered a murderer in Islam, and is to be punished by the Islamic state. during wars, Islam prohibits Muslim soldiers from harming civilians, women, children, elderly, and the religious men like priests and rabbies. It also prohibits cutting down trees and destroying civilian constructions.
 
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Jihad is not a defensive war only, but a war against any unjust regime. If such a regime exists, a war is to be waged against the leaders, but not against the people of that country. People should be freed from the unjust regimes and influences so that they can freely choose to believe in Allah.
How convenient declare any regime unjust and bingo declare war. Maybe the media is viewing it a certain way because in many cases that is exactly how it is being used. We hear clerics on all the time declaring or making threats of Holy Wars.
 
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To me if a war is based on religion or religion is used as an excuse/reason for war than it is a holy war. Doesnt matter if the intent is to kill or convert, thats irrelevant.
 
Shama Khan
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When muslims think of the Holy War we think of the Crusades. Crusades were meant to destroy the non-christians - Convert Them or Kill Them.
I meant to show that Jihaad doesn't mean that. Furthermore, in Jihaad's way of warring, destroying of public infrastructure is not allowed nor is cutting down of trees nor is forced conversion as 'there is no compulsion in Islam. (from Quran)'
All coming down to the following: ruining your enemy's way of life is not allowed.
If you compare this definition to non Jihaad's way of warring, you may get my meaning.
I mentioned the negation of forced conversion because a poster in another post seemed fearful that Taliban's want to force the west to become like them ie. Islamicize them.
[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited September 21, 2001).]
 
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To Shama Khan:
Six-thousand people are dead and you are worried about the media providing a balanced picture. Your way of thinking is through in this country for at least the next 20 years. We have been walking on egg-shells trying to avoid offending people like you who will never be satisfied anyway. Now we see the reality that there are people out there that want us dead. We have no time for you or people who think like you. You can quibble over semantics, but the reality of it is when the word Jihaad is envoked it means Holy War. The Taliban is almost entirely illiterate. They don't have dictionaries and wouldn't even know how to read them if they did. When they use the word they mean WAR. There are words that people use in a certain way in every culture that are actually different from the true definition. What matters in this case is the intentions of the people using the word not the definition you pulled off of some web site. It's time to wake up to reality and realize you are not on your college campus anymore.
 
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Originally posted by Ken Bates:
Six-thousand people are dead and you are worried about the media providing a balanced picture.


Perhaps Shama doesn't want other six-thousand people to be dead? Which characterizes her very badly, of course.
It's time to wake up to reality and realize you are not on your college campus anymore.
I am sure Shama realizes she is not on her college campus anymore. I am not sure why you are so scared by a semantic definition.
 
Ken Bates
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To Mapraputa Is
Your reading comprhension is poor. Your comment is "why am I scared of a semantic definition." Are you insane? I think you ought to go back and read or re-read what I have written. You comment makes no sense. Please only respond intelligently or not at all.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Ken Bates:
Your reading comprhension is poor. Your comment is "why am I scared of a semantic definition." Are you insane? I think you ought to go back and read or re-read what I have written. You comment makes no sense. Please only respond intelligently or not at all.


Ok, I guess I deserved it... My apologies for "scared".
To make an intelligent response isn't always possible: some people consider anybody who disagree with them completely dumb (I do not mean you, honestly! But unfortunately what is intelligent for one doesn't sound so for another.)
I wondered why you are so opposed to one harmless definition mentioned in this forum. Nobody makes you agree with it and you are free to post your opinion here.
You made a good point that actual use of a term may be different from one given in a dictionary, enciclopedia, or holy book, or whatever. But that doesn't mean nobody can cite a dictionary any more?
Why tell Shama "We have no time for you or people who think like you"? And who are "we"? I am sure there are people in this forum who doesn't mind some explanations about Islam from those who actually practice it.
Please, do not shoot me if you think my response isn't intelligent enough - I do what I can...

 
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Shama,
Sometimes I wonder why Muslims find it necessary to war upon the world. I am sure if you look deep enough you will find something good in your religion. You need to make a serious effort to understand your religion. I am pretty sure that barring a handful of people most you must have missed the entire point of your religion. I do not know how a sizable portion of the world's population can be lead into delusion like this. But it seems to have happened.
It seems unlikely that the Americans will be successful in weeding this out. If anyone can do it , it is the muslims themselves. There must be a backlash against terrorism and violence. You must make a firm commitment to understand your religion and if necessary supress those among you who seek to pervert your religion for their personal (political?) objectives. Furthermore, how can you know for sure that those among you who have successfully perverted your religion are not really devil worhippers in disguise. How best to pervert a religion than from within. Just think for a moment, does it make sense to allow such evil to grow in your midst. How on earth did you people allow this to happen ?
Perhaps the word jihaad was coined to symbolise the fight to root out this sort of ignorance and evil from your midst. Your war should not be against the rest of the world, it should be against evil men such as these who seek to destroy your religion from within.
Rgds
Sahir
 
Sahir Shibley
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Furthermore, you should be thankful to the Americans for their attempts to destroy the Taliban. If they are successful they should be sending you a bill for cleaning up your religion.
 
Shama Khan
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Sahir,
Your post brought a smile to my face (something that's been missing around here since the tragedy). Sahir, when you say

Sometimes I wonder why Muslims find it necessary to war upon the world.


It's amazing to me how you can speak for 1 Billion Plus people in such an easy manner.
and when you say:

I am sure if you look deep enough you will find something good in your religion. You need to make a serious effort to understand your religion.


Thank you. I have found good things. I have made a serious effort to learn and have found that practicing Islam can help me in being a good citizen of this earth. Just because I chose to correct the media and its followers on the correct Islamic definition of Jihaad does not mean that I am pro-war upon the world, or pro-terrorism, or pro-any violence toward another human. I have lived most of my life among non-muslims and cherish the fact that we all have more in common and our differences are very little.

I am pretty sure that barring a handful of people most you must have missed the entire point of your religion. I do not know how a sizable portion of the world's population can be lead into delusion like this. But it seems to have happened.


Again I am just amazed at your ease in generalizaing the opinion and practice of 1 Billion Plus people. At one point or another you have to realize that the media doesn't cover people who are living in peace with one another. The media only covers the negatives because that's what brings the audience. So you can say the media is not providing the full picture. You would have to visit muslim countries where muslims and non-muslims live in harmony and you would have to visit many non-muslim countries to find muslims and non-muslims in harmony - that's a whole lot of traveling you would have to do to prove that your generalizations are incorrect. Or you can start reading more balanced material, materials that seek to understand rather than blame.


It seems unlikely that the Americans will be successful in weeding this out. If anyone can do it , it is the muslims themselves. There must be a backlash against terrorism and violence. You must make a firm commitment to understand your religion and if necessary supress those among you who seek to pervert your religion for their personal (political?) objectives.


I agree with you totally - 100%. Because I was just reading the following article: The Muslim Ally Within: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-000076250sep23.story?coll=la% 2Dnews%2Dcomment
Reading this article has given me a new feeling. There is hope. Hope for all of us.


Your war should not be against the rest of the world, it should be against evil men such as these who seek to destroy your religion from within.


Sahir, I am not at war with the rest of the world. Get it. Just because I presented the meaning of Jihaad to this forum does not mean that I am warring with the world
The evil men must be destroyed. People who misrepresent my faith or anyone's faith, people who hurt the innocent should rightly be destroyed. I am not warring, I am struggling and striving to find patience so people who destroyed a part of my city will be found and brought to justice.


How best to pervert a religion than from within. Just think for a moment, does it make sense to allow such evil to grow in your midst. How on earth did you people allow this to happen ?


I don't think Islam has been perverted only from within. If somebody is a muslim and misrepresent it, then he/she is no longer a muslim - so really it's not a perversion from within.
Also the perversion has gotten a lot of help from propagandist who seek to misrepresent to be able to sow hatred and mistrust. Just think, where are all your opinions and wide generalizations coming from!

how can you know for sure that those among you who have successfully perverted your religion are not really devil worhippers in disguise.


I agree that they are devil worshippers. Only devil will cause humans to destroy each other in such horrific manner. When Timothy McVeigh committed the Oklahoma bombing or Koreish destroyed his followers with him in Waco Fire or when IRA blows up British citizens - no one questions Christianity and the Chrisians in disguise worshipping devils. It is understood that these were misled people. Christianity was not perverted (at least not by the media as the perversion is being done to Islam).


You must make a firm commitment to understand your religion


Thanks for the pep talk Sahir. I do know my religion and seek to learn more everyday. I wish more non-muslim would try to understand the real Islam http://www.islam101.com (it doesn't take a lot)
rather than believe the Islam on the TV and the newspapers. I feel that it will be easier to identify the culprits as non-representatives of Islam.
Yes, more than 6,000 people are dead - they were innocent. They didn't deserve it. I am hurt that some people sought to destroy and divide us and I struggle with the consequences.
PS: I chose to answer your post because you can maintain your composure. While I find it hard to maintain mine at times, I try ( I do Jihaad by doing that!) and believe it or not I have improved in my ability to maintain my composure eversince I started posting here about a year ago. However, I do understand the inability of others to be able to maintain composure in the face of this horrible event which has affected all our lives so greatly. But I am unapolgetic in maintaing that I can not respond to anger that was presented by a previous poster.

[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited September 24, 2001).]
 
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Shama And Shahir
Shama I think your views are more practical than some other posters. I wish there were more people like you here. However here is what i feel about this .
I think that you have had the chance to have a more ubbiased view of the actual situation because of your exposure to the Western media(which is more neutral) .However back at some other places the situation is different .The media thrives on emotions and anger.
Also when this is combined with what some 'confused and misguided' Islamists say this leads to a very volatile situation . Both the media and such people benefit from this .
These so called protectors of Islam shouldbe completely disassociated with it ...and I agree with Shahir that this should come from Muslims. However i dont see that happening in the West because they are mostly in Minority ...and I dont see that happening in the place where we come from because of what i said earlier .I am completely at a loss on how this thing can be changed until something really drastic happens to change this situation.
All I am doing now is praying.
 
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Originally posted by Shama Khan:
When muslims think of the Holy War we think of the Crusades. Crusades were meant to destroy the non-christians - Convert Them or Kill Them. [...]
[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited September 21, 2001).]


Shama:
Apparently you have very little knowledge about what crusades were and your comments seem to be at best improper. Please do you home work, (just a friendly advice that will spare you embarrassment) before you open your mouth.
Michal
[This message has been edited by Michal Harezlak (edited September 24, 2001).]
 
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Michal,
Just curious, what exactly do you disagree with in the statement about the crusades?
[This message has been edited by Andrew Shafer (edited September 24, 2001).]
 
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From http://www.historychannel.com


Crusades, wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 13th cent. to conquer the Holy Land from the Muslims. At the Council of Clermont (1095) Pope Urban II exhorted Christendom to war, and the Crusaders took their name from the crosses distributed there. Religious motives dominated the Crusades at first, but worldly aims were never absent: The nobles hoped to capture land and loot; the Italian cities looked to expand trade with the Middle East. The First Crusade, 1095-99, was led by Raymond IV, count of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemond I, and Tancred. Their victorious campaign was crowned by the conquest of Jerusalem (1099). The establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the orders of the Knights Hospitalers and the Knights Templars followed. The Second Crusade, 1147-49, preached by St. Bernard of Clairvaux after the Christians lost Edessa (1144) to the Turks, ended in dismal failure. After Saladin captured (1187) Jerusalem for Islam, the Third Crusade, 1189-92, led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, Philip II of France, and Richard I of England, failed to recapture the city. A three-year truce, however, gave Christians access to Jerusalem. The Fourth Crusade, 1202-4, was diverted for the benefit of Venice, and the Crusaders seized Constantinople (see Constantinople, Latin Empire of). In the pathetic Children's Crusade (1212), thousands of children set out for the Holy Land, only to be sold as slaves or to die of hunger or disease. The Fifth Crusade, 1217-21, was aimed at Egypt, but failed. The truce arranged with the Muslims by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the Sixth Crusade, 1228-29, was short-lived. Three later crusades in the 13th cent. failed to reverse the Muslim gains. In 1291 the last Christian stronghold of Akko (Acre) fell.


It isn't mentioned but one other motive for the Crusades was to get mercenaries and soldiers out of Europe where they were causing all sorts of havoc.
 
Michal Harezlak
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Andrew,
Crusades are important part of European History and have many dimensions. They might not be the proudest times of Catholic Church but they have strongly influence European culture. I would not even dare to explain all the aspect that you have to take into accounts, some of them have been mentioned here by Thomas (political, religious, economical), lets not forget incidence like "children�s crusades". I guess what I was trying to do was to worn Shama against mistakes of hast and stereotyping, which he so eagerly seems to be fighting. I believe that understanding European - Muslim relationships requires extensive knowledge of history not repeating of stereotypes.
Regards.
 
Sahir Shibley
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Thanks for posting the link to the article "The Muslim Ally Within" by Jack Miles. I was impressed by his political acumen. If you have a sizable Muslim population in the west why shouldn't the theological leaders of Islam emerge from them. Look at Christianity. Though Christianity emerged in the middle east it's "Ulema" are all in west. Barring a few orthodox churches like Syrian and Coptic , the leadership of the Christian world is in the west. So why not Islam ? I know some American and Canadian muslims. I was impressed by their interpretation of the religion. They make it appear so good and atttractive. But then there is a hidden danger that they would be able to easily convert people to their religion. If they have religious leaders like Osama Bin Ladin and Mullah Omar , there is absolutely no danger that they will ever convert anyone to Islam. This is a bit of a paradox. As an interim solution I suggest appointing Thomas Paul as the ad-hoc Supreme leader of the Muslims.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Sahir Shibley:
As an interim solution I suggest appointing Thomas Paul as the ad-hoc Supreme leader of the Muslims.


You mean sort of like an Islamic Pope? Do I get to wear a cool hat?
I just wanted to make the point that Osama bin Laden is a "leader" of Islam only in the sense that David Koresh was a "leader" of Christianity. I doubt that very many true Moslems accept bin Laden as anything other than a murderous bastard.
As far as the Crusades go, this is a touchy subject with Islamic people. However, the Crusades don't mean the same thing or have the same emotional ties in the west. It is ancient history to us. We are as surprised when a Moslem gets upset about the Crusades as if an Egyptian got mad at us because Caesar conquered Egypt. As a side note: the History Channel(?) had a special on the Crusades that was very well done.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
Also with Orthodox and Cathars (if there still anyone surviving). As a matter of fact the Crusades did not only target Muslims but in general every people and religion that was not in line with the Pope.

The Pope actually didn't have much control over the Crusades. The Crusaders did whatever they felt like which was mostly killing people to get their money. The destruction of Constantinople pretty much proves that.
 
Shama Khan
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I believe that understanding European - Muslim relationships requires extensive knowledge of history not repeating of stereotypes.


Michael,
Thank you for your warning about stereotyping. Being a victim of it and a victim of demonization of Islam, I would never knowingly do that. One of my sources for learning about crusades is: http://www.mrdowling.com/606islam.html
Mike Dowling teaches Geography at Roosevelt Middle School in Palm Beach County, Florida.
He teaches:
- Islam spread far from its birthplace in the modern nation of Saudi Arabia. By AD1095, Muslim territory included land where Jesus Christ lived. Christians warriors of the era believed Christians, not Muslims, should control their holy lands.
- The Crusades were a series of wars initiated by Christians to win back their holy lands from Muslims.
- The Crusaders were ultimately unable to reclaim their holy lands, but the wars had another effect: Western Europeans had left their homes to fight in a distant war. The stories of the returning Crusaders encouraged their countrymen to look beyond their own villages for the first time.

Another source is a recent coverpage story on Times Magazine titled Jerusalem (it was within Past 3-6 months) in which it was described very vividly how the crusaders returned from Jerusalem soaked to the knees in the blood of muslims.
I would welcome your sources to correct my knowledge.
In terms of Europe's relationship with Islam, you can read the following as I found it rather interesting.
"Justice for Europe's forgotten parent" http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,534959,00.html


I guess what I was trying to do was to worn Shama against mistakes of hast and stereotyping, which he so eagerly seems to be fighting.


A correction that I am positively sure of: I am a Female.

Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Shama Khan (edited September 25, 2001).]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:

The Pope Innocenzo III promoted the Crusade against Cathars and only Johannes Paulus II said "sorry" to Orthodoxes.


http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/inn3-cdesummons.html
 
Michal Harezlak
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
[b]
The Pope Innocenzo III promoted the Crusade against Cathars and only Johannes Paulus II said "sorry" to Orthodoxes.


http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/inn3-cdesummons.html [/B]


IMHO: the whole "Crusade" discussion is irrelevant and has nothing to do with modern European civilization including US as well as present Catholic and even Christian church as a whole. The question is when will here "I ma sorry" from Muslim religious leaders.
 
Michal Harezlak
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Originally posted by Shama Khan:
A correction that I am positively sure of: I am a Female.


I apologize for misinterpreting your name. I am a bit busy now, will write more later. One thing you must realize though, is that politic uses religion, not the other way around, and that goes for all cultures.
Regards.
 
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I have only one stance on war and that is: why? Why do we fight, why do we kill people why can't we all just get along or at least tollerate each other? Why do we have to hate people and find a excuse to hurt them physically or emotionally... why is everything in the world a generalization... not to say I'm not guilty I'm not perfect nor am I a saint but I'm not a kid anymore and watching the news still makes me want to cry and that is sad.
 
Mapraputa Is
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What a thread! Thanks for bringing it up... Reminds me of the times we actually tried to talk to each other.
 
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Interesting and informative. It seems how one interpret the motives of a neighbor depends on whether a person feels the guns are pointed toward or away from himself.
If some foreign military leader were here to rescue me from George Bush I'd be confused too. Will it get worse or will it get better? Hard to say.
 
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Originally posted by Michal Harezlak:
Andrew,
Crusades are important part of European History and have many dimensions. They might not be the proudest times of Catholic Church but they have strongly influence European culture. I would not even dare to explain all the aspect that you have to take into accounts, some of them have been mentioned here by Thomas (political, religious, economical), lets not forget incidence like "children�s crusades". I guess what I was trying to do was to worn Shama against mistakes of hast and stereotyping, which he so eagerly seems to be fighting. I believe that understanding European - Muslim relationships requires extensive knowledge of history not repeating of stereotypes.
Regards.


If there is any bias in the media, its the complete lack of reporting of the historically aggressive nature of Islam. Muslims, the media, and Osama, like to talk about Crusaders, but not what preceded and prompted the Crusades. It seems that Muslim armies was extraordinarily active in the beginning, conquering the Middle East, and then spreading to Europe. By 711 AD they had taken control of all of Spain south of the Pyrenees. They then began rampaging throughout France and would have taken most of Europe had not Charles "The Hammer" Martel defeated them in 732 (this was one of the most decisive, influential, important battles in world history).
Later, caliph Hakim began to persecute the Christians and despoiled the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusleum where Christians had gone for hundreds of years in Pilgrimages. Things went from bad to worse in Jerusleum in regards to perscution of the Christians. Muslim Seljuk Turkisj armies continued rampaging.
Not that the Crusaders were saintly, although some were, but the Crusades were not entirely unprovoked initially nor were the muslims free of blame in the entire affair. What makes it hard to generalize the Crusades is that there were a number of them spanning a large number of years.
http://www.bartleby.com/65/cr/Crusades.html
[ November 17, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
How convenient declare any regime unjust and bingo declare war.


Oh! Wish you knew what you were saying ...
 
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The media got their understanding of what "Jihad" means from terrorist organizations giving themselves names like "Islamic Jihad."
If the atrocities they celebrate misrepresent the true Islamic Jihad, then why not correct the misunderstanding at the source? Publicly announce that through the bloodthirsty behavior of these organizations slanders Islam and the Prophet, and that Muslims everywhere will see to it that members of such organizations receive the punishment the Koran dictates for heresey.
But I don't think you will do that. As one Muslim might well have said, "Islam is a religion of peace, not violence; I am silent about the suicide massecres not out of approval, but only because I fear that if I speak out then my co-religionists will slit my throat."
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Ooops, forgot about Muslim conquest of India, noy a pretty sight I hear :
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/3425/page266.htm


The barbarians conquest of Persia, Afganistan and India was one of the bloodiest conquest in human history.
 
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While the word Jihad does not necessarilly mean armed conflict, over the last several decades it has come to mean just that: armed conflict with the purpose to exterminate non-Muslims.
When the Taliban declare Jihad they do indeed intend to destroy the Americans, same as the PLO when they declare Jihad against Israel mean to destroy the Jewish state by killing all its people (at least those that aren't Muslim or traitors to Islam (iow, not liking the PLO).
When you say Jihad does not mean armed conflict, also mention that the Islamic scriptures strictly forbid the following:
- suicide
- harming Christians
- harming Jews
- harming Muslims
yet tell that any other religions should be conquered by force and their adherents either killed or converted to Islam by whichever means required.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Ooops, forgot about Muslim conquest of India, noy a pretty sight I hear :
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/3425/page266.htm



Sorry to correct you but it was NOT Jihad.
If you dont know then let me tell you India was a rich and prosperous country till brit came in 1600.
And the reason for Muslim/Mangolians attacks was looting not Jihad.
 
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