Misconception 1: Jihad means holy war
In Arabic, the word ‘jihad’ means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that primarily means to struggle against evil inclinations within oneself.
Islam is not confined to the boundaries of the individual but extends to the welfare of society and humanity in general. An individual cannot keep improving himself/herself in isolation from what happens in their community or in the world at large. Hence, it also means to struggle to improve the quality of life in society and the struggle against injustice, oppression and tyranny.
The word ‘Jihad’ is generally misunderstood and consequently evokes strong reactions. It is a word frequently used in the press, directly or subtly, to mean holy war. In fact the term ‘holy war’ was coined in Europe during the period of the Crusades. It is an alien concept to the Islamic framework. War is not ‘holy’.
Misconception 2: Islamic fundamentalism
In recent years, a gre...
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