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Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Jihad is defined by The London-based Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, leader of the Al-Muhajiroun movement, who describes himself as the principal lecturer at the "London School of Shari`ah." In the translation from MEMRI, he explains the 3 common mistaken meanings of "Jihad"

Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad begins the article by rejecting three different but, in his view, equally mistaken interpretations of the term Jihad. These interpretations are: 1) that the purpose of Jihad is the forcible conversion of non-Muslims; 2) that its purpose is the establishment of an Islamic state; 3) that Jihad refers to the personal efforts of the individual to become "a model citizen in whatever society one finds oneself in." Having rejected all of these interpretations, he continues: "Rather, Jihad is the method adopted by Islam to protect land, honor and life and to save humanity from slavery to man-made regimes."

Sheikh Bakri argues that Jihad today should be understood and applied in a restricted sense. At the end of a long and repetitious presentation of the positions of eminent medieval Muslim scholars, Sheikh Bakri reaches the following conclusion: "The question of whether Jihad can be used to remove existing regimes is a relatively new issue which must be addressed. The Muslim Ummah has never before been in a position where we are divided into over 55 nations each with its own oppressive kufr [infidel] regime ruling above us. There is no doubt therefore that the vital issue for the Muslims today is to establish the Khilafah [caliphate].


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