جهاد

Dalrymple writes:

As is by now well known (for the last few years have made us more attentive to Islamic concepts and ways of thinking, irrespective of their intrinsic worth), the term jihad has two meanings: holy war, and inner struggle.

While the political meaning

connotes violence, though with such supposed justifications as the defence of Islam and the spread of the faith among the heathen,

the personal meaning

suggests something peaceful and inward-looking. The struggle this kind of jihad entails is spiritual; it is the effort to overcome internal obstacles—above all, forbidden desires—that prevent the good Moslem from achieving complete submission to God’s will. Commentators have tended to see this type of jihad as harmless or even as beneficial—a kind of self-improvement that leads to decency, respectability, good behaviour, and material success.

In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

these two forms of jihad have coalesced in a most murderous fashion.

Those who die in Islamic terrorist bombings are

sacrificial victims to the need of young men to resolve a conflict deep within themselves.

The young men

imagine they can do so only by the most extreme possible interpretation of their ancestral religion.

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