April 18, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - As noted in the preceding article [The Khalil Gibran School - Government Funded Da'wa Columbia University has prepared a study guide for use in New York City schools Educational Outreach for Muslim Sensitivity prepared by Columbia University.
One of the members of the curriculum design team and one of its trainers was Dhabah Almontaser the under siege principal designate of the proposed Khalil Gibran International Academy.
Along with the lesson plan are a series of handouts [available here Educational Outreach Website] below are some excerpts from the one covering jihad.
As a counter to Columbia?s jihad revisionism, some perspective regarding the traditional Islamic teachings pertaining to this subject may be accessed here Understanding Jihad - The PipeLineNews Review in which Rice University Professor David Cook observes, perhaps more objectively:
"There is no lack of evidence concerning the Muslim practice of jihad. The classical and modern works on the subject are voluminous, and they are documented by an examination of Muslim actions as recorded by historians. There can be no reasonable doubt that jihad is a major theme running through the entirety of Muslim civilization and is at least one of the major factors in the astounding success of the faith of Islam?after surveying the evidence from classical until contemporary times, one must conclude that today's jihad movements are as legitimate as any that have ever existed in classical Islam." p 163-164
Below some excerpts from handout #9 on jihad as featured in Columbia University?s ?Educational Outreach for Muslim Sensitivity, (Re)embracing Diversity in New York Schools."
?The Arabic word jihad means ?struggle" or ?exertion" and refers to any spiritual, moral or physical struggle. Upon returning from a battle, the Prophet Muhammed is reported to have said, ?We are returning from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad-jihad against the self." For Muslim, jihad means struggle in the cause of God, which can take many forms. In the personal sphere, efforts such as obtaining an education, trying to quit smoking, or controlling one?s temper are forms of jihad.
Jihad as a military action is justified in two cases: struggle to defend oneself, or others, from aggression and struggle for freedom of religion and justice. The Qur?an says ?Tumult and oppression are worse than killing" (2:217), and therefore must be thwarted. Human beings as responsible agents of God on earth are compelled to exert themselves to protect the oppressed and strive to create righteous societies.
Systematic, forced conversion to Islam is a historical myth. Muslims defeated hostile forces (Byzantines and Persians for example) and gained control of new lands where Islamic rule was established, yet non-Muslim inhabitants were not forced to become Muslims. Islam clearly condemns such actions: ?There is no compulsion in religion" (Qur?an, 2:256). For various reasons, and in the course of time, many non-Muslims did find the message of Islam appealing, however, and converted to Islam, resulting ultimately in the transformation of society at all levels.
Because jihad is a highly nuanced concept, and because the term stems from an Arabic root meaning ?struggle," the term ?holy war is an inappropriate rendering or definition.
Does Islam promote violence and terrorism?
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not condone terrorism. Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly-guided Khalifahs (caliphs) prohibited the killing of civilians and non-combatants in the course of warfare. The Qur?an says, ?Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors" (2:190) Moreover, the Qur?an indicates that taking one life unjustly is like taking the life of all humanity, providing a strong moral deterrent to indiscriminate bloodshed. Besides prohibiting the killing of non-combatants, the Qur?an and the
Prophet also prohibited the torturing of prisoners and the senseless destruction of crops, animals and property.
In any case, there can be so such thing as ?Islamic terrorism," despite the fact that such terms have become a popular oxymoron. The adjective ?Islamic" cannot be appliet to what some misguided Muslims do."
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