I know what you're thinking: he must be joking right?
I know what you're thinking now: then he must be nuts. Right?
I know what you're thinking now: has he gone soft on Islamic terrorism?
In writing this blogpost I fully expect a lot of my readers to have an impulse to disagree vehemently, especially considering the as-of-this-writing-ongoing terrorist hostage taking in Australia. I'm prepared to accept that. I also have faith in my readers to fully understand the argument I'm going to make. Whether or not you agree with it is, of course, entirely in your hands.
But I'm fully serious when I say that we shouldn't call Islamic terrorism "Jihad." And I'm entirely sincere when I say that we should call Islamic terrorists "Jihadis."
In calling their terrorism "Jihad," and in calling themselves "Jihadis," these terrorists are seeking something absolutely vital to their cause: a sense of justification. A means to aggrandize their barbarism. We shouldn't strengthen their claim.
Muslims do, indeed, treat Jihad as a religious obligation. Canadian traitor/walking bullseye Abu Anwar al Canadi said so himself. But then the question remains: what, exactly, is Jihad?
ISIS and al Canadi seem to think Jihad may be declared against anyone who takes up arms against them. Many Islamic scholars --
among them those of the Ahmadiyyah Jiamat -- would disagree. They would contend that Jihad has specific conditions which must be met. Those conditions, in short, are:
1. Muslims may only fight against those who prevent themselves or others from practicing Islam.
2. Muslims may only fight against those who fight them without cause.
3. If the above conditions are met, Muslims may only fight battles they have the means to win. They are not permitted to sacrifice their lives in vain.
4. Moreover, Muslims may only fight in the way in which they are fought.
Such scholars would contend that Jihad can take several forms, and the fourth condition described above is particularly crucial in this. Jihad could very well be an armed conflict. But it depends on by what means Islam is being attacked.
If the "attack" is religious criticism, then Muslims are encouraged to respond by debating their critics. If the "attack" is one of poverty, (the attacker need not even be another person or people) then Muslims are encouraged to give of their time and money to alleviate that suffering. If the attack is by force of arms then they are allowed to protect themselves by force of arms.
Taking a close look at these above conditions, it's clear that ISIS cannot truly justify any attacks they perpetrate as Jihad:
1. Neither Canada nor Australia prevent Muslims from practicing Islam.
2. Although Canada and Australia are both fighting against ISIS in Iraq, ISIS has given us cause to do so.
3. Even if condition #1 were met and even if condition #2 were met, ISIS does not have the means to defeat us in Iraq or Syria or in Canada or Australia.
4. Even if all above conditions were met, ISIS is permitted to fight us only in the way we fight them. In this case that means with their fighters operating openly, in uniform, under a declared state of war.
If any of the above conditions are not met, they cannot truly and rightly justify their actions as Jihad. And it isn't merely "any" of the above conditions that are unmet. It's "all."
So according to Islamic doctrine, the battles ISIS is waging, the attacks they are threatening us with, are not truly Jihad. It's merely terrorism. But if we ourselves call them "Jihad" we are helping them establish a religious pretext for their actions that they otherwise cannot truly and rightly establish.
Here is the reason why we should not call this Jihad: because if we do we are actually doing them a favour, and doing much of their dirty work for them. And we shouldn't do that.
We should just call it for what it is: terrorism. Barbarism. Because that's what it is. But let's not call it Jihad. Because that's what it isn't.