Is Jihad Really An "Inner Struggle?"

Dr. Tina Magaard — a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual anal­ysis — published detailed research findings in 2005 (summarized in 2007) com­paring the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard con­cluded from her hard data-driven analyses:

The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with.

Magaard added some detail:

There are 36 references in the Koran to expressions derived from the root qa-ta-la, which indicates fighting, killing or being killed. The expressions derived from the root ja-ha-da, which the word jihad stems from, are more ambiguous since they mean “to struggle” or “to make an effort” rather than killing. Yet almost all of the references derived from this root are found in stories that leave no room for doubt regarding the violent nature of this struggle. Only a single ja-ha-da reference (29:6) explicitly presents the struggle as an inner, spiritual phenomenon, not as an outwardly (usually military) phenomenon. But this sole reference does not carry much weight against the more than 50 references to actual armed struggle in the Koran, and even more in the Hadith.

- Excerpted from an article by Andrew Bostom. Read the whole article here.

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