Harassed by a ‘Jihadi’!!

13 06 2007

This morning I heard Helen (non-Muslim ex-colleague) complaining of harassment by a ‘Jihadi’ bloke. My immediate reaction: how on earth does she know he was a Jihadi? I assumed it must be the typical long beard, thobe and turban – the Taliban look perhaps. On the contrary she claimed, ‘oh, he was the typical, white, clean shaven, bald, wearing shorts..’ That in no way comes close to the common perception or image of a ‘Jihadi’ anyone would have in their mind!! Apparently, the bloke had ‘Jihadi’ tattooed on his arm. Now, Helen is going around making this point to every other person including her blog (which I am not going to link here)… with added emphasis on this bloke being a ‘Jihadi’.\

Well, never mind Helen, I have a problem of my own with how the word ‘Jihadi’ is being used not just by the Media but Muslims themselves to link anyone with some ‘radical’ views. This brings me on to the term ‘radical’, which has been used so much that it has become part of Muslim vocabulary. The common view of a radical is someone who supports the resistance abroad, would like to live by the Shariah and adheres to Islamic values without compromise. Does this describe a Jihadi? I have been asked if I am a Jihadi or ‘Salafi Jihadi’ by fellow Muslims, I am neither. However; amongst some Muslim circles calling yourself ‘Jihadi’ is seen as certificate of authenticity, if you don’t claim to be one, there is a chance of you being a sell-out (Allah forbid) or a ‘moderate Muslim’ for that matter!! Moreover, you have to be a Salafi to be accepted in these circles, and not just a salafi but the right type of Salafi… else no matter what you say and how much you agree with them, you will always be considered ‘ahle Bidah’ or someone with ‘dodgy’ Aqeedah. Although, you will only find this brand of ‘Jihadis’ on internet discussion forums usually doing takfeer on fellow Muslims, but there are some chances of encountering one outside the net.

Basically, the point I am trying to make is the term ‘Jihadi’ is not an accurate term or at least one which does not stem from Islamic culture. The most simplistic understanding of a ‘Jihadi’ would be someone fighting in the cause of Allah (swt) by means of participating in resistance against occupiers or alike. Isn’t that what we call a ‘Mujahid’?? So what really is a Jihadi?? Hmm.

Oh, and I have decided on going back to Uni to finish off what I started… can’t wait 😀


Kaffir – Is this word offensive??

10 06 2007

Assalam Alaikum

A few years ago, the words ‘Kaffir/Kuffar/Kafiroon’ were often heard in Islamic talks, lectures and from there carried over to coffee table discussions. “Look at these kuffar”, “silly Kuffar”, “dirty Kuffar” were quite common and used loosely. However, more recently the use of this term has evaporated off the Da’wah scene and replaced with more moderate terms with similar meanings, non-Muslim, non-believer or even brothers in humanity.

The corruption involved here seems twofold:

1. Media, for the past few years has intensified its campaign against Islam where the use of words like Kaffir, Jihad, Caliphate and such have been portrayed as offensive and moreover associated with ‘radicals’, ‘extremists’, ‘Islamists’…. to the extent where an ordinary Muslim is forced to think twice before using these words publicly or even private gatherings.

2. The Muslim individuals, organisations, Jammahs, who are working hard to remove certain valuable terminologies from the everyday vocabulary of Muslims. On the other hand, we have Muslims who are using these terminologies in a very irresponsible way, not considering the effect or adopting the best styles and means to propagate their message in the most effective way.

Kaffir, is not really an offensive word, it is referring to non-Muslims, disbelievers and those who reject the deen al-Haqq (Islam), therefore anyone who is not a Muslim is a kaffir. This doesn’t mean we go around calling everyone Kaffir or dare to associate the term ‘infidel’ with the term kaffir… for that kind of association is part of the problem as ‘Kaffir’ is a loaded terminology and so is the word infidel, marrying the two is naturally recipe for disaster.

During the period of Prophet (saw) the terms Kaffir, Mushrik etc, were used but never in a derogatory way to offend the people, rather they were used to describe the beliefs of people and the people never took an offence upon being called a kaffir or Mushrik.

So what seems to be the problem today?

why is the west so concerned about the terminologies we use?