09 February 2014

Can you dissuade fanatical jihadis using theological argument?

How much of what jihadis do is religiously motivated? At one extreme are those who claim their beliefs are entirely explained by oppression and reaction to social circumstances; at the other is the view that the Qur'an is a kind of brain parasite, compelling its victims to slaughter.

This latter view is still quite popular on the fringes of the right. I'd like to think the view that religion doesn't matter at all has been abandoned entirely but there is bound to be some groupuscule or cult that still clings to it.

[A COMMENT] "I think it's important to clarify that 'Jihad' doesn't mean holy war the way it was alleged to either by violent Muslim extremists, or by advocates of the War On Terror - itself a pretty cynical term; it merely means 'struggle' or 'strive'."

That's constantly trotted out, but there's very little evidence that jihad refers to 'inner struggle' in the Qu'ran and Hadith: it almost invariably means holy war against, and the forced conversion of, nonbelievers.

[ANOTHER COMMENT] .... let there be no doubt that the teachings of Islam unequivocally function as a hook. If the core texts of Islam unequivocally preached pacifism under all circumstances there could be no hook and there would be no textually-justified violence. [Guardian Cif] Read more