Muslim organisations decry terrorists for misusing term Jehad
26 June 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
New Delhi: Several Muslim organisations, including All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), today decried terrorists for 'misusing' the term 'Jihad’ and stressed the need for clearing air on 'misinterpretation' of the 'holy' word which has nothing to do with terror. 'It is very unfortunate that we have reached a point where we need to clarify that Jihad has nothing to do with terrorism. Jihad is a holy word in Quran meaning action which is done to further the cause of God,' AIMPLB vice president Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said participating in a conference on 'Terrorism and Jihad An Islamic perspective’ here. Religious leaders of all the religions should be involved to discuss the issue and make people understand the difference between the two words, he said, adding 'wide-spread misuse of the word 'Jihad’ for terrorism might confuse the people.' T A Rehmani, president of the Muslim Political Council of India, said after September 11, there has been 'reckless use of the word 'Jihad’ as a synonym for terrorism.' 'Knowingly or unknowingly, our leaders and media have also used the term as if the Islamic philosophy of Jihad is the root cause of terrorism,' he said. 'There is a need for eminent and known Islamic scholars and other Muslim and secular intelligentsia to take a unanimous, just, firm and clear stand on the issue which is of paramount importance for the whole world,' said Rehmani. Sadiq called for a dialogue of Muslim religious leaders with the heads of other religions to dispel the myth about Jihad. Earlier, inaugurating the conference, Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai said 'politics of religion' was to blame for perjudices about Islam. 'Politicians, by using the word Jihad to refer to terrorism, are indirectly strengthening the terrorists by giving them a religious identity,' he said. Senior Journalist Pankaj Pachauri said media was not to be blamed fully for the misuse of the word ‘Jihad,’ saying the usage had trickled down from those in power. 'We in the media have derived the usage from the politicians, from those at the helm,' Pachauri said, adding the issue has to be discussed at various fora so that people understand the real meaning of Jihad. 'Information and truth are the most potent weapons to fight the propaganda,' he said. Calling for a 'Jihad against terrorism', Obaidullah Khan Azmi, MP, said, 'people all over the world need to unite and fight in a determined manner the scourge of terrorism.' He said Jihad meant to struggle made in a positive, constructive manner, hence the word should not be associated with terrorism. President of Darul Uloom Yasin Akhtar Misbani alleged that 'people at the root of the misuse know the real meaning of the words Jihad and Mujahid. But as part of a well-thought out propaganda, they have misused them and given them wrong connotations.' The conference unanimously declared that 'Jihad is a pious, pure and holy duty of all Muslims and has nothing to do with any sort of terror act.'