Is it time to scrap the term “jihadist”?
The terms have became synonymous in the West with “holy war” and “holy warrior” against the West, and al Qaeda itself has used it in that sense. But for most Muslims, as our Security Correspondent Mark Trevelyan points out, it originally means a spiritual struggle and they don’t want it hijacked anymore.
“Now to call jihadists as terrorists is either reflective of …lack of understanding of Islam, or it is I must say an intended misuse, which again is unfortunate,” General Ehsan Ul Haq, former chairman of Pakistan’s joint chiefs of staff, told the annual conference of the EastWest Institute think-tank. “It might have been somewhat excusable in the trauma post-9/11 but I don’t think it is any more.”
Raphael Perl, head of the Action against Terrorism Unit at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the failure to agree on a shared terminology in the wake of the September 11 attacks was “a major mistake on our part.”
Read the whole article here. And then let us know if you think that the way these terms are used muddles our understanding of what is going on.