Jihad is ‘getting to a better place,’ says CAIR campaign

slide_270028_1886096_free-600x350By Neil Munro

An Islamic-advocacy group linked to terrorism is launching a public-relations campaign to argue that jihad doesn’t mean Islamic holy war, but instead a “concerted effort … with the purpose of getting to a better place.”

However, the campaign, which is being launched Dec. 14 by an affiliate of the Council on American Islamic Relations, isn’t a formal religious declaration by United States or Arab Islamic authorities, and it does clash with orthodox judgments dating back 1,400 years to the beginning of Islam.

“It is [public] education about what we believe,” said Ahmed Rehab, who serves as the founder of the project, head of CAIR’s Chicago affiliate and CAIR’s strategic communications chief.

The views of jihad groups, Salafi activists in Egypt and of the Arab world’s leading preacher, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, “are not the entirety of the story,” Rehab told The Daily Caller on Thursday.

Those orthodox views of jihad as warfare to spread Islam are being championed by a new wave of Islamic revivalists — including numerous jihadi groups, such as the “Jamaat al-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad” terror group in the Gaza strip.

They also are being pushed by Qaradawi, whose weekly radio show has a claimed audience of 60 million. In 2011, he was invited by the dominant Islamic group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, to give a speech to thousands of Islamist supporters in downtown Cairo.

“I have hope that Almighty Allah … will also please me with the conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem, Israel]. … May Allah prepare the way for us to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque in safety!” he declared.

In contrast, Rehab’s “MyJihad” public-relations campaign portrays jihad as “a concerted and noble effort against injustice, hate, misunderstanding, war, violence, poverty, hunger, abuse or whatever challenge big or small we face in daily life, with the purpose of getting to a better place,” according to the campaign’s website, MyJihad.org.

The campaign will include testimonials, op-eds, bus advertising and visits to mosques, Rehab said.

“This is a whitewash,” charged Robert Spencer, the author of several books about orthodox Islam.

Jihad, Spencer said, in Islamic texts “as well as in Islamic law, has always borne the primary meaning of warfare against unbelievers in order to affect their subjugation under Sharia.”

Read more at Daily Caller

See also: Jihad in Islam (counterjihadreport.com)

5 thoughts on “Jihad is ‘getting to a better place,’ says CAIR campaign

  1. Pingback: Jihad is ‘getting to a better place,’ says CAIR campaign « Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

  2. Pingback: “Jihad means getting to a better place” — Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami

  3. Jihad

    The literal meaning of Jihad is struggle or effort, and it means much more than holy war.

    Muslims use the word Jihad to describe three different kinds of struggle:

    A believer’s internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible
    The struggle to build a good Muslim society
    Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary
    Many modern writers claim that the main meaning of Jihad is the internal spiritual struggle, and this is accepted by many Muslims.

    However there are so many references to Jihad as a military struggle in Islamic writings that it is incorrect to claim that the interpretation of Jihad as holy war is wrong.

    Jihad and the Prophet

    The internal Jihad is the one that Prophet Muhammad is said to have called the greater Jihad.

    But the quotation in which the Prophet says this is regarded as coming from an unreliable source by some scholars. They regard the use of Jihad to mean holy war as the more important.

    The internal Jihad

    The internal Jihad

    Learning the Qur’an by heart is considered engaging in Greater Jihad ©
    The phrase internal Jihad or greater Jihad refers to the efforts of a believer to live their Muslim faith as well as possible.

    All religious people want to live their lives in the way that will please their God.

    So Muslims make a great effort to live as Allah has instructed them; following the rules of the faith, being devoted to Allah, doing everything they can to help other people.

    For most people, living God’s way is quite a struggle. God sets high standards, and believers have to fight with their own selfish desires to live up to them, no matter how much they love God.

    The five Pillars of Islam as Jihad

    The five Pillars of Islam form an exercise of Jihad in this sense, since a Muslim gets closer to Allah by performing them.

    Other ways in which a Muslim engages in the ‘greater Jihad’ could include:

    Learning the Qur’an by heart, or engage in other religious study.
    Overcoming things such as anger, greed, hatred, pride, or malice.
    Giving up smoking.
    Cleaning the floor of the mosque.
    Taking part in Muslim community activities.
    Working for social justice.
    Forgiving someone who has hurt them.
    The Greater Jihad controversy

    The Prophet is said to have called the internal Jihad the “greater Jihad”.

    On his return from a battle, the Prophet said: “We are finished with the lesser jihad; now we are starting the greater jihad.” He explained to his followers that fighting against an outer enemy is the lesser jihad and fighting against one’s self is the greater jihad (holy war).

    This quotation is regarded as unreliable by some scholars. They regard the use of jihad as meaning ‘holy war’ as the more important.

    However the quotation has been very influential among some Muslims, particularly Sufis.

    Holy war

    Holy war

    When Muslims, or their faith or territory are under attack, Islam permits (some say directs) the believer to wage military war to protect them.

    However Islamic (shariah) law sets very strict rules for the conduct of such a war.

    In recent years the most common meaning of Jihad has been Holy War.

    And there is a long tradition of Jihad being used to mean a military struggle to benefit Islam.

    What can justify Jihad?

    There are a number of reasons, but the Qur’an is clear that self-defence is always the underlying cause.

    Permissable reasons for military Jihad:

    Strengthening Islam
    Protecting the freedom of Muslims to practise their faith
    Protecting Muslims against oppression, which could include overthrowing a tyrannical ruler
    Punishing an enemy who breaks an oath
    Putting right a wrong
    What a Jihad is not

    A war is not a Jihad if the intention is to:

    Force people to convert to Islam
    Conquer other nations to colonise them
    Take territory for economic gain
    Settle disputes
    Demonstrate a leader’s power
    Although the Prophet engaged in military action on a number of occasions, these were battles to survive, rather than conquest, and took place at a time when fighting between tribes was common.

  4. Pingback: #MyJihad: CAIR’s New Disinformation Campaign on “Jihad” | The Counter Jihad Report

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