BY EARL COX—
The term, ‟Jihad” in Arabic means ‟holy war.” To me, it’s quite a stretch to think of war as ‟holy.” Wouldn’t you consider peace to be a lot more ‟holy?” Shouldn’t the Muslims be promoting ‟holy peace” instead of ‟holy war?” ‟Jihad,” to my understanding, is an important doctrinal concept to Muslims. It comes directly from their supposedly holy book, the Koran. It is taught as a means for the spreading of Islam to non-Muslim peoples and nations. Historically, Islam has grown and advanced primarily by warfare, by conquering with the sword. Therefore, it has sometimes been called ‟the religion of the sword.”
It is important for non-Muslims to understand that ‟jihad” is based on fanaticism and hatred. Hatred is proclaimed regularly and shamelessly in a significant number of Muslim mosques. It is taught to young Muslim children in many Islamic schools. Palestinian Muslim children are often challenged to become suicide bombers. In fact, some Muslim teachings endorse the idea that Muslims have the right and the obligation not only to hate, but also to kill all ‟infidels.” That includes all non-Muslims, including all Christians and all Jews. And yet all this is supposed to be considered ‟holy?” Shouldn’t love and peace be taught as more ‟holy?” What makes a sizeable number of Muslims consider the United States to be the ‟Great Satan” and Israel the ‟Little Satan?” What makes them want to destroy the US and all Christians, and to wipe the nation of Israel and all Jews off the face of the map? It has to be that ingrained hatred which is supposed to be ‟holy.”
Can’t Muslims see the stark contrast between the behavior and attitudes of the free people of the United States versus the oppressed people of Islamic countries? Muslims are engaging in violent protests calling for the extermination of Israel and her people. Can’t they see that such behavior has only served to keep them captive to oppressive regimes, ruthless dictators and hateful theology? The “Arab Spring” ― the uprisings taking place all over the Middle East ― is supposed to be a call for reform. Apparently the Arab people see that Americans enjoy freedom and liberty and that the American free enterprise economy has enabled its citizens to achieve the highest living standard in the world. Furthermore, they must also see that the US has functioned amazingly well with a democratic government for more than 200 years. The Arab people see it and so does the Muslim Brotherhood. Regrettably, in my opinion, their agenda is anything but one of freedom and democracy.
Some Muslims call America and Israel evil in spite of the fact that they know the US provides more emergency aid than any other country when catastrophes strike ― no matter where they happen. In addition, Israel is often the first on the scene with expertly trained medical teams and equipment and trauma care specialists. This is a little known fact that is almost never reported. The US has a presence in many places around the world, and this presence is designed to promote democracy and preserve peace, not incite conflict. To the Western mind, this is not evil.
Can a nation be born in a day? Yes, indeed. Israel was born in a day, and it is a miracle nation. The standard of living of its ordinary citizens is much superior to the standard of living of ordinary citizens in any Muslim nation. Obviously many Muslims recognize this, yet they do not seem to be seriously working to restructure their societies. This recognition seems only to engender more hatred, perhaps due to envy and jealousy. They admit that Israel, though a young and small nation, is a model nation in education, agriculture, industry, technology and medicine.
In stark contrast, Muslim nations remain largely underdeveloped. I have visited Israel many, many times and even lived there for more than a year. I can attest to the fact that Palestinians prefer to bring their sick family members to Israeli hospitals and clinics, yet their leaders call Israel the ‟Little Satan.”
Why have the Palestinian leaders continued to refuse all offers for peace that have been put forth by Israel’s leaders? They obviously do not want peace. Instead, they respond with violence and terrorism. They send out young suicide bombers to kill innocent Israeli civilians. All this is under the umbrella of ‟jihad,” and it is supposed to be ‟holy.” Again we ask, wouldn’t peace be more holy? Recently the Secretary General of the Arab League made an interesting statement. He said that ‟the peace between Israel and Egypt is no longer holy.” He added, ‟It cannot be considered equal to the holy Koran.” He made the statement immediately after a large, angry mob of Egyptians ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo causing the Israeli ambassador and staff to flee for their lives. So that’s it? Peace with Israel cannot be holy? Calls have been voiced for the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel to be annulled. The Egyptian media have concentrated strong verbal assaults on Israel. One Egyptian leader declared, ‟It was a mistake that Egypt signed a peace treaty with apes and pigs,” a common Muslim slur levied at the Jews. Obviously, this is more Islamic ‟holy hatred.”
So, from the perspective of our Judeo-Christian principles and values, Muslims definitely have the concept of ‟holy” all wrong. To my mind, they have it backward or upside down. To think that hatred, conflict, violence, terrorism and war are ‟holy” is calling evil good. All that is the diametric opposite of ‟holy.” True ‟holiness” is truth, righteousness, goodness and justice. You have to wonder how anyone could follow an exhortation to hate and kill, and furthermore, consider it holy? Yes, peace would be a whole lot ‟holier” than war. Wouldn’t it be nice if the radicalized element in the Muslim world could embrace this?