Jesus and Jihad

“For the sake of Allah, he will sacrifice his time, his wealth, and his life in jihad against any who stand in the way of the propagation of Islam and the rights of all people.”

This quote is taken from an article entitled, “A Call for Jihad,” which I found on the website http://www.oneummah.net . This comment took me by surprise. It is odd to hear the juxtaposition of a seemingly radical Islamic message with “rights” language.

Is it possible that way that this individual views his “enemies” is not unlike the way that we (justifiably) viewed the Nazi’s in WWII? Whether or not the Arab world is “justified” in seeing the world in this way is another question entirely, but consider this quote:

“As we sit in the comfort of our homes, another Israeli tank is rolling into the West Bank; another Indian soldier is being sent to Kashmir, another innocent life is being taken away in Afghanistan; another child is starving in Iraq; another law-abiding Muslim is being thrown into an American jail without trial; another news story is written; another  image is flashed on the television screen; another tear is shed.”

I’m not sure how representative this attitude is of the Arab world, but it is interesting to think that at least some Muslim individuals are thinking this way.

The reason that I stumbled upon this article in the first place is because I was reading this news story. I wonder if Aldawsari saw the world this way. Either way, this line of thinking bears a striking resemblance to “just war theory.” This is how we’ve been doing things for centuries.

Then, of course, there is Jesus’ way of handling oppression.¹ Non-violent “street theater” (Borg coined this phrase), and this method seems to bear some resemblance to the recent protests across the Muslim world. Perhaps, then, Jesus’ method is not as crazy as it first appears, for violent Jihad has not been very beneficial for Muslims who are “fighting for rights.”

1. It is worth recognizing that the Gospel writers have not portrayed Jesus as a non-violent individual as univocally as we sometimes think.

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