What the Islamic scriptures really say about jihad and violence?
For years Islamic terrorists have justified their actions as being compelled by their faith. Osama Bin Laden reportedly thanked Allah when he heard the news of this week’s attack. Other terrorist groups invoke Islam as well. Hezbollah, the name of one militant group, is the Arabic word for Party of God; Hamas is the Islamic Resistance Movement.
Are the terrorists who cite the Qur’an distorting the spirit of the religion or depicting its emphasis accurately? Here are several of the Qur’an passages most frequently cited, and analysis from Islamic scholars.
On Jihad or “Holy War”
Chapter 2, verse 190: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.
This portion of the Qur’an was written in about 606 C.E., when the Prophet Muhammad and his followers were under attack in the city of Medinah, says
Imam Yahya Hendi,
a Qur’anic scholar who is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University. There, they had established their own state. But various coalitions of non-Muslim tribes–including Christians, Jews, atheists and animists–continued to go to war with them. This portion of the Qur’an explains their reasoning behind striking back.