Jihad: Holy or Hellish War?

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 13: The Bloodshed of Jihad

Despite some Muslim apologists attempt to say otherwise, Jihad is clearly intended as a military, combat word rather than as a struggle towards personal piety. This fight includes the command to “slay them wherever you catch them” (surah 2:191)–not exactly a nonviolent expression. In different places within the Qur’an, jihad is ordered against Christians, against Jews, against pagans, and against former Muslims who have converted to another religion.

The reward for martyrdom in jihad is great. Jihad is a requirement for followers of Islam and requires a pledge of allegiance. Fighting to the death is encouraged. Jihad is considered one of the highest calls in life and martyrdom balances the scales (see Righteousness in the Balance for a closer look at Islam’s conception of righteousness). Any action taken in jihad is justifiable–there is no such thing as a “war crime” in the pursuit of jihad. What’s more, the martyr of jihad is promised fantastic houses, a huge feast, dozens of virgins, and amazing sexual prowess in paradise.

For the Muslim, war is not an unhappy necessity, but a central tenet of faith. Jihad is commanded, encouraged, and richly rewarded. Brutality in jihad is completely excused.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

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