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Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought and History - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion
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See more. Reuven Firestone. While there exists no evidence to date that the indigenous inhabitants of Arabia knew of holy war prior to Islam, holy war ideas and behaviors appear already among Muslims during the first generation. This book focuses on why and how such a seemingly radical development took place. Basing his hypothesis on evidence from the Qur'an and early Islamic literary sources, Firestone locates the origin of Islamic holy war and traces its evolution as a response to the changes affecting the new community of Muslims in its transition from ancient Arabian culture to the religious civilization of Islam.
Fawaz A. Since September 11, Al Qaeda has been portrayed as an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad, against the Christian West.
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However, as the historian and commentator Fawaz A. Gerges argues, the reality is rather different. In fact, Al Qaeda represents a minority within the jihadist movement, and its strategies have been criticized and opposed by religious nationalists among the jihadis, who prefer to concentrate on changing the Muslim world rather than taking the fight global. Based on primary field research, the author unravels the story of the jihadist movement and explores its philosophies, its structure, the rifts and tensions that split its ranks, and why some members, like Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, favored international over local strategies in taking the war to the West.
Gerges asks where the jihadist movement is going, and whether it can be transformed into a non-violent, socio-political force. Robert Spencer. Elisabeth Kendall. The term 'jihad' has come to be used as a byword for fanaticism and Islam's allegedly implacable hostility towards the West. But, like other religious and political concepts, jihad has multiple resonances and associations, its meaning shifting over time and from place to place.
Jihad has referred to movements of internal reform, spiritual struggle and self-defence as much as to 'holy war'. And among Muslim intellectuals, the meaning and significance of jihad remain subject to debate and controversy.
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With this in mind, Twenty-First Century Jihad examines the ways in which the concept of jihad has changed, from its roots in the Quran to its usage in current debate.