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Obama’s Creative Interpretation Of ‘Jihad’

From the Times Of India:

A Palestinian girl waves Islamic Jihad flags during a rally in Gaza City October 29, 2010. Thousands of Palestinians attend a rally marking the 23rd anniversary of the Islamic Jihad movement foundation.

Indian Muslims Appreciate Obama Remarks on ‘Jihad’

Bhaskar Roy, TNN, Nov 8, 2010

NEW DELHI: Muslim activists and opinion-makers on Sunday widely approved of President Barack Obama’s remarks on jihad without hiding their reservations about the US policy towards the current turomil [sic] in the Islamic world.

They sought to draw a line between the real meaning of ‘jihad’ and the current spell of violence targeting the innocent.

In their opinion Obama’s comments on jihad at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College earlier in the day was a clear attempt at separating the violent campaign from the basic concept of jihad.

"Jihad can in no way assume the form of violence against the innocent and those who are perpetrating such violent acts have done great disservice to Islam," said Kamal Farooqi, a prominent member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. "To that extent President Obama is correct," he said.

Farooqi agreed with Obama that certain elements had distorted the image of Islam by resorting to violence in the name of faith.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind leader Maulana Masood Madani said that Obama `correctly’ understood that wrong impressions about jihad had been created in the wake of distortions of the concept by certain elements. "It’s true that jihad has been wrongly interpreted by some people; however, I don’t know by what yardsticks the US brands someone a jihadi or non-jihadi," said Madani, a Rajya Sabha member.

The same view was shared by Congress MP Rashid Alvi who forcefully argued that Islam could in no way be judged by the activity of terrorist organisations like al-Qaida or Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"He is right — jihad originally meant struggle against injustice, it does not mean killing the innocent," Alvi said.

He said that the current crisis facing Islam had been set off by the activity of a small group. "There is nothing wrong with the religion, Obama is right," he said.

For some reason the Times of India left out what Mr. Obama said, which we find at the Fox News version of this story:

Indian Muslims Appreciate Obama Remarks on ‘Jihad’

Published November 08, 2010

President Obama’s remarks on the real meaning of "jihad" and the exploitation of Islam by extremists has gone over well with Muslim activists and opinion-makers in India, where the president is traveling on a three-day jaunt to the world’s largest democracy.

In a town hall with students at St. Xavier College in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, Obama responded to a question about his views of jihad by saying that the term has a lot of meanings within Islam, but the overwhelming majority of the more than 1 billion Muslims in the world see their religion as one that reaffirms "peace and justice and fairness and tolerance."

"I think all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence towards innocent people that is never justified," Obama said, adding that Islam is one of the world’s great religions and people of all faiths need to treat one another with respect and mutual dignity.

The reaction won favorable responses from leading Muslims in India, where Islam is the second largest religious with more than 160 million Muslims…

Well, let’s turn to the Oxford English Dictionary to see how the term has been understood through the history of the English language:


[Arab. jihad struggle, contest, spec. one for the propagation of Islam.]

A religious war of Muslims against unbelievers in Islam, inculcated as a duty by the Koran and traditions.

The OED’s first quote for usage dates back to 1869. There has never been any doubt at the meaning of this all.

There has never been any doubt about the meaning of this term until lately.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Obama’s Creative Interpretation Of ‘Jihad’”

  1. jambon says:

    “The OED’s first quote for usage dates back to 1969. There has never been any doubt at the meaning of this all.”

    OED3 will take care of that… if it hasn’t been dealt with already.

    • Steve says:

      My typo. I meant, 1869.

      1869 M. Wilks’ Sk. S. India (ed. 2) II. xlviii. 381 The projects of Jehad–holy war.

  2. wardmama4 says:

    Gee where do we start – this group of liberals – with their ‘it depends on what the definition of is is,’ ,’words just words,’ and of course those who believe that they are so much more intellectual than everyone else simply attempting to co-op the words, their definition and of course the message to the stupid masses.

    I don’t care of the hairsplitting to imply that islam is not the problem – every muslim is not a terrorist but every terrorist (of late) is a muslim – What’s the problem?

    Oh yes for The Won and his ilk – the enemy of my enemy is my friend (even if it ends up getting some of us killed) – he cares not about the liberals of America, he cares not for the Democrat Party, he cares not about the blacks (and other minorities) of America, he cares not about the economy, he cares not about healthcare, he cares not about the economy and jobs, he even cares not about America – he only cares about destroying as much of America as is possible in the time allowed him.

    Words – just words to someone who is busy bein’ the rock star of the Master of the Universe wanna be tour 2.

    • preparing4theworst says:

      It all comes back to Obamas primary religious belief. Worship at the alter of power….1) Get power, any way necessary, 2) Keep power- any way necessary, 3) Use power exclusively for the advancement and security of your own agenda- any way necessary. Are there ANY conservitives/republicans in office out there who actually understand this and can communicate it to the rest? I will believe it when I see it.

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    I knew a guy who dated a liberal girl. IT WAS GREAT! and then they got married. That’s like what we got with Obama. You ain’t gonna get nothing & he’s not gonna do nothing! Not anything that’s good anyway.

  4. Enthalpy says:

    Taqiyya at its best.

  5. Mae says:

    He-Who-We-Are-Not-Waiting-For is so completely full of it. Jihad’s intent is to get rid of infidels or to subjugate them into second class citizenship with just a few killings a year to keep everyone in line. The fact that not all Muslims perform this true jihad is good for the world because we ain’t dead yet. The fake jihad is the one of the “heart.” Now we really know what he means as “shovel ready.” He’d be completely comfortable with Sharia law. No doubt about it.

  6. Papa Louie says:

    “the current crisis facing Islam had been set off by the activity of a small group. There is nothing wrong with the religion…”

    So a few million Muslim extremists out of a billion Muslims in the world are considered a “small group” that does not represent the views of the religion as a whole. The left is quick to get behind this explanation even though this “small group” has killed thousands of innocent Americans and openly threatens to kill many more. But why doesn’t the left buy this excuse when it comes to the Tea Party? If the Tea Party contains just one mild extremist who ruffs up a protester a bit, they are quick to claim that he is representative of the Tea Party as a whole. There will be a parade of leftists lining up on MSNBC to claim over and over that this one outlier is proof positive that the entire Tea Party is composed of violent extremists. There will be no attempt to distinguish between a “small group” of extemists and the rest of the group.

    Why is it that the left is more willing to give Muslims the benefit of a doubt than a group of American patriots? The Tea Party has expelled members they considered too extreme. But when have the so called “peace-loving” majority of Muslims ever expelled violent extremists from their religion? Have you ever heard Muslims say that Osama bin Laden is no longer a Muslim because he was excommunicated for being a radical who violated the tenants of Islam? Neither have I.

    Until fellow Muslims expell this “small group” of murdering Muslim extremists from Islam, revoke their Mosque priviledges around the world, and stop referring to extremist Muslim spiritual leaders who advocate violence as Imams, I will continue to consider the majority of Muslims dangerously sympathetic with extremist views and unconcerned with the loss of innocent lives. If that makes me persona non grata at NPR, then I’m ok with that. Just give me a refund of all my tax money that has gone to support NPR.

  7. canary says:

    So, is it okay to say Jihad on America now? or Jihad on Obama in America? Here is the video. After the Obama uh uh part and his unrealistic remarks that the majority of muslims around the world want peace he slips and says only few want religious war. Try 7% of muslims in America that admitted America had it coming.

    Perhaps, Obama was afraid to answer in a strong leadership manner. The crowd seemed to notice his faltering in answering the question. After all, 160 killed in the al-Qaida bombing of the world wonder hotel Obama rented.
    I believe the question was meant on a world wide basis, because anyone with a brain notices the growth of radical Jihad against even muslims who are just attending Mosque worship.

    And now we are sending troops to help over in Yemen?
    One of the most dangerous to the world, especially to America, Jihad terrorists in the world.
    What will Obama name this military exercise? Just another war he inherited?
    Pretty bleak when the President refuses to see a huge growing Jihad against even muslims while they attend mosque worship. I’m sure there are muslims around the world that see right through Obama’s
    stupid answer.

    Nope only Republcans are the enemies in the world. He only wants to combat Republicans, evil Americans.


    Obama: There are only a few muslim radicals in the world. That is why I have the highest security force protecting me in your muslim country. I am costing Americans millions of dollars on this trip, only because of a trace of extremist muslims that exist. Bleep Obama.

  8. canary says:

    If Obama is asked the same question in Indonesia, next on his trip, we he answer it as he wrote here, when he was campaigning and trying to look educated on world affairs? Such contradictions, and he calls Indonesia a metaphor of all countries. Oh words as Militants!, vice-squads (pl) , militant organizations (pl)! extremists, sharia law is Islam law, radical. The damage Obama snivels about pales in comparison to 9/11 and bombings in India by holy jihads. Bring back the animist traditions for Obama. Woe is him.

    NOTE: Obama says the exact definition of Sharia law is Islamic law, as CAIR director did in his speech on suing Oklahoma.

    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. 2006, Excerpts

    pg 271) Almost 90 percent of Indonesia’s population practice Islam, making it the world’s largest nation.

    pg 272) Most Americans can’t locate Indonesia on a map.

    pg 278) All of which underscores perhaps the most profound shift in Indonesia – the growth of militant, fundamentalist Islam in the country. Traditionally, Indonesians practiced a tolerant, almost syncretic brand
    of the faith, infused with the Buddhist, Hindu, and animist traditions of earlier periods. Under the watchful eye of explicitly Suharto government, alcohol was permitted, non-Muslims practiced their faith free from
    persecution, and women – sporting skirts or sarongs as they rode buses or scooters on the way to work – possessed all the rights that men possessed. Today, Islamic parties make up one of the largest political blocs, sharia, or Islamic law. Seeded by funds from the Middle East, Wahhabist clerics,with many calling for the imposition of schools, and mosques now dot the countryside. Many Indonesian women have adopted the head coverings so familiar in the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Persian Gulf; Islamic militants and self-proclaimed “vice squads” have attacked churches, nightclubs, casinos, and brothels. In 2002, and explosion in a Bali nightclub killed more than two hundred people;
    similar suicide bombings followed in Jakarta in 2004 and Bali in 2005. Members of Jemaah Islamiah, a militant Islamic organization with links to Al Qaeda, were tried for the bombings; …

    It was on a beach just a few miles from the site of those bombings that I stayed the last time I visited Bali….

    pg279) I fear it’s becoming a land of strangers.

    IN THE FIELD of international affairs, it’s dangerous to extrapolate from the experiences of a single country. In it’s history, geography, culture, and conflicts, each nation is unique. And yet in many ways Indonesia serves as a useful metaphor for the world beyond our borders – …..

    *sharia, or Islamic law. Seeded by funds from the Middle East, Wahhabist clerics…*
    one in the same, seeded by Wahhabist clerics. Course, while most consider Wahhabist’s terrorits, Obama probably has many definitions of a Wahhabist.

  9. eaglewingz08 says:

    A secondary but by no means less important islamic legal and theological issue is ‘who do muslims consider to be ‘innocent’?’ If the ‘innocent’ are only muslims, or if by ‘innocent’ muslims mean only muslims or the sect of muslims that one belongs to, then the alleged prohibition of ‘jihad’ against the ‘innocent’ would deflate into no ‘jihad’ by muslims against muslims in general, or against muslims of one’s own sectarian group. That would leave out all infidels from protection as ‘innocent’. Indeed, for fourteen hundred years that lack of protection from ‘jihad’ for non muslims, has informed islamic civilization and culture (sic). So when an islamic speaker says jihad is wrong against the innocent, without specifying further that that means all non combatants of whatever faith, then he or she is not really speaking against jihad in general, but is only engaged in taqqiyah (lying to infidels so they let down their guard enough to be conquered or slaughtered by muslims).

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