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Jihad (4)

Fanaticism, intolerance and bloodshed in God’s name - part of wretched Syria’s horrors. A Muslim hero is wanted to rise against all that. Will Heaven send another Abd-el-Kader? One of Islam’s noblest champions, Amir Abd-el-Kader led for years the Algerian resistance against French colonial attacks. His people today revere him as a pater patriae. But he was more than simply a warrior and a national leader - Abd-el-Kader was also a pious scholar, a mystic and a Sufi - indeed a follower of the great Moorish theosophist, Ibn Arabi.

Editor's commnet A succinct article that answers the usual allegation - “Islam is a violent religion”; this has become common post 9/11, and has been adopted by the far right in their crusade against Islam and Muslims. This type of allegation is rife online, mainly emanating from the US, in particular the evangelical Christian zealots, rather ironic given that they are supposed to love everyone including their enemies. The author points out the context of the verses are missing, as well as other complementary verses on the same subject; at times even a sentence is taken out of a whole verse to construe the case. Moreover, similar verses and more also exist in the biblical texts.

Paul Sheehan said on Monday there are ''more than 100 verses in the Koran that call Muslims to violence against the Unbelievers''. Relying on the dubious website, he concludes that ''the Koran groans under the weight of its own contradictions, with entreaties to kindness co-existing with exhortations to merciless war''. It is questionable whether such an opinion is a result of a direct insight into Islam - or based merely on an old prejudice against Islam: that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant of others.

Editor's Note - The demands of the hostage takers in Algeria was hardly mentioned in the media; they called for the release of certain Muslim prisoners (or hostages) including Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, whose plight is well-known in the Muslim world, but remains relatively obscure in the west, getting very little media coverage. She was kidnapped, held in secret without legal representation and tortured, subsequently imprisoned in the US under dubious allegations. There are many others who have suffered a similar fate from America’s war on terror, and continue to be held in US custody without being charged. These captives are classed as prisoners, rather than hostages. That begs the question, what is the difeen the two.

‘...I am here fighting this murderous Taghut, Father’. A message I received from Syria. I shall call the sender ‘Omar’. Young chap I have known for years. Jihad against the rule of Bashar al-Assad is what he is doing. Taghut is an idol mentioned in the Qur’an. Also a tyrant – you get Omar’s drift.