Essay on Jihad Of The Media Coverage

1723 Words Dec 9th, 2015 7 Pages
Much of the media coverage we experience today regarding Muslims and Islam circles around the term jihad. Often, the term “jihadist” is tagged to groups of individuals that employee extreme terrorist tactics. As a result, through Western eyes, jihad is violent Islam; Islam as a religion encourages practitioners to engage in jihad via terrorism. While many Muslims do emphasize jihad as an important aspect of their faith, in many cases, it does not imply violence or terrorism. Jihad was not originally intended to be a rationale for the violent spread of Islam, including acts of terrorism; however, the use of jihad as a justification for such violence resulted from historical contexts. Jihad, as it appears in most Western thought, can be defined as holy war. However, jihad in its original Arabic means to struggle (Mohammad). In other interpretations, jihad can imply exertion or striving. This can be differentiated from the traditional western idea of holy war (in Arabic, this is called harb, which is prohibited by the Sharia), in that jihad purely means struggling against evil in the name of God (Mohammad). Arguably, the catalyst for the use of jihad for violence was the interpretation of what “evil” meant. In the time of Muhammad, Mecca represented a hub for all types of paganism and idol worship. Additionally, individuals readily experienced societal pressures to abuse alcohol and gamble. This became what evil meant to Muhammad and the early Muslims, making this the focus…

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