Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Jihad


In the wake of the the latest spate of suicide bombings in London, Egypt and Turkey, I sit here in the UAE and contemplate the reasoning and justification for these inhumane acts committed by fundamentalist groups. Fanatics who so eagerly claim responsibility for these atrocities. Last year whilst working in Iraq, the reasoning for suicide bombings seemed more clear, at least at the time. Rid the Nation of Iraq from the "invading Coalition forces" or infidels if you like. We may debate the precise meaning of the word infidel, but as far as the Websters dictionary is concerned the word infidel is defined as,"A person who does not acknowledge your God"

As any non Muslim is seen as an infidel, and the concept of "Jihad" literally interpreted means,"A holy war waged by Muslims against unbelievers or infidels"
some may consider the interpretation to mean a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal. Well this concept is nothing new. Christians wage war for similar reasons. War is waged under the pretext of so many "righteous" reasons by so many different nations. And when war is waged, people die.
With this in mind, I consider the reality that I have not yet recently heard of any Christian or any other non-Muslim religious fanatic, strap explosives to to his or her body and walk into a crowded public place to detonate and violently end the lives of whoever may be in the immediate vicinity. Indiscriminately killing whoever may be unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
These Islamic fundamentalists, in my opinion, have no clue of the meaning of "Jihad." Why? Whether in Iraq, London, Egypt, Turkey or wherever they ply their heinous acts, they kill indiscriminately. They do not target the infidel, they do not target anyone, they just "push the button" and hope to kill as many as possible, even if it means killing their own. In Iraq Muslim fundamentalists kill Muslims, then attempt justification by killing a few "infidels" in the process. This is not the definition of "Jihad," or not at least what I understand it to be. In the London bombings earlier this month, "Jihad" can not be used as a reasoning either. The united Kingdom is a predominantly Christian Nation, yet it opens its borders to any Nationality of any religious persuasion based on the principle of tolerance. The same principle which allows these Islamic fundamentalists into the country in the first place.
Here in the UAE there has been no suicide bombings, yet. A friend sent me a link to a news item that came as a wake up call.Safe in the UAE?

There is no doubt in my mind that Islam is rising, but I shudder to think of the misinterpretations that are synonymous with this rise. As a non Muslim living in the UAE, I have learnt through experience to be frugal with my opinions regarding the Islamic faith. I have worked with Muslim people for almost two years and have the utmost respect and have gained mutual respect of all of the true Muslims I have worked with. I will however never respect or agree with any fundamentalist mentality, Muslim or non Muslim, which condones any form of indiscriminate murder. No matter what religion, ideology or principle may be used as justification. My religion teaches me that GOD not man or religion is Judge of all humanity. Only GOD.
What then of "Jihad?" Who decides by virtue of which GOD I serve and believe in, whether or not I have the right to live or die? Again I have the belief that only GOD carries that responsibility, and that no human on this planet has the right to be so arrogant as to be a self proclaimed Judge on whether or not I am permitted to live or die, based on which GOD I believe in. Jihad? Did the Christian powers not have the same philosophy in the 13th century? Remember the Crusades?

Jihad? Crusade? I don't like either philosophy, not when the "cause" seems to be pursued with so much synonymy to arrogance.

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