Jihad is frequently translated as the "Holy War" for Islam. The most spectacular Jihad in history was when relatively small Mohammedan Arab tribes from the Arab peninsula swept over half the known world in the 7th century AD, from North Africa to Central and South-East Asia, and spread their Muslim faith and rule by the sword. This was achieved by extremely well organized total warfare and by totalitarian administrations which followed the conquests.
However, literally Jihad means not ‘war' but "duty" or "effort"; the effort to be done by all Muslims to improve one's self and the society, for the victory of Islam over the world, until the whole world becomes ‘Dar el-Salaam' or ‘The House of (Islamic) Peace'. Diligent learning of Islam and any creative religious work can be a Jihad effort; converting others - by the word or by force - can be too. Wars again non-Muslim neighbors, ethnic cleansing and genocide like in Darfur, Sudan, and in many other places, are also Jihad.
As Walid Shoebat, once a Palestinian terrorist, but today devoted to the reform of Islam as a peaceful religion, explains: "Jihad is fought by the pen, by money and by the sword". Where Islamists dominate, Jihad consistently persecutes converts or kills non-Muslims. Where Islamists do not have the upper hand they spread Islam by the pen: by words. Words about faith and religion and words destroying the enemies by libel and incitement. Money is there to support both the pen and the sword, as required."
Most people would like to see a peaceful Islam, and not an extremist one. Any person who disagrees with extremist Jihad's aims and ways, can also do something; by the pen; like writing about it to the editor of one's newspaper and to politicians.
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