Over the past few years I think the mainstream Muslim community has started to shy away about discussing Jihad.
I am not talking about the struggle against your own soul, but war.
Islam has pragmatism and it understands that pacifism is not always the right answer. The revelation of the verses relating to Jihad were not easy and occurred after the Muslims had been oppressed severely for a long period of time.
As terrorism has become more prevalent, more and more people seem to shy away from discussing the topic, hoping to not ruffle any feathers, to not be misquoted and not be harrassed by any extremism government policies.
However the problem this has had on the community is that with the peaceful, knowledgeable contingent keeping silent, it is the rowdy ignorants that have taken over the debate. This has harmed us all and may even have resulted in people being brainwashed because the counter argument was less prevalent.
A few who have tried to discuss and educate on the topic have been set back by being taken out of context or even set up for other peoples political purposes, however the silencing of the mainstream Muslim view on Jihad has had a hugely detrimental effect.
It is easy to find voices in support of violent online on social media platforms. However the vast majority do not seem to know what jihad is.
Whilst there is plenty of condemning of attrocities and crimes, there seems to be lesser focus on structured education and explanation of Jihad, the concept, its rules and requirements.
Jihad is not acting on your anger. Which the majority talking about the subject on social media do not seem to understand.
Jihad is not about vengeance. Which many do not seem to understand.
Jihad is not attacking and killing random people who are not even fighting you – this is absolutely clear from the verses in the Qur’an.
There are people who are angry with many injustices in the world and many may feel powerless and feel compelled to act. But these individuals also need to be educated about the Islamic concept of Jihad and be spared from the brainwashing of people who preach anger and hatred.
There are legitimate greavances with eg British foreign policy and hypocrisy around the world and for many a huge source of anger, but legitimate avenues of expression and action need to be provided.
Maybe then we will be able to stop the marginalised petty thugs and criminals from becoming mass murderers.