Jihad

The "black flag of jihad" as used by...

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This is a quotation from Blood on the Lens by Jim Burroughs. The book is mostly about Afghanistan, but this quotation is from a conversation with a mullah at a religious gathering, Ijtema, held every December in Bangladesh which is designed to cleanse the faith of lies and fictions.

“He leaned forward and spoke in a gentle voice, ‘The lies of killing innocents and of killing oneself for Allah.’
‘But doesn’t the Qur’an say that jihad must be waged against unbelievers?’
‘Jihad must first be waged against oneself,’ he said. ‘It is an internal striving, a struggle of the soul with the mind and the body.’
But then why is the term jihad used to mean ‘war‘?’
‘That is not the translation. It means to strive for God, with prayer,  fasting, good deeds, and, yes, war, if war becomes necessary after you have struggled without war. But jihad is not war.’
‘And suicide bombers?’ I asked.
‘The Qur’an is very clear: to kill oneself is to take God’s right upon oneself. Hell awaits him who takes that right from God,'”