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The word "jihad" does not mean "holy war". It actually means "to struggle" or "to strive". In a religious context it means the struggle to successfully surrender one's will to the will of God. Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war to defend themselves or others, but they say this because they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are many other forms of jihad which are much more relevant to the everyday life of a Muslim such as the struggles against laziness, arrogance, stinginess, one's own ego, or the struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptations of Satan, etc. Regarding the so-called verses of "holy war" in the Qur'an, two points: A) The term "holy war" neither appears in the Arabic text of the Qur'an nor in any classical teachings of Islam. B) The vast majority of verses in the Qur'an pertaining to violence refer to wartime situations in which Muslims were permitted to defend themselves against violent aggression. Any rational, intellectual analysis of the context and historical circumstances surrounding such verses, often ignored by pundits or violent extremists, proves this to be true. Other verses of violence deal with stopping oppression, capital punishment and the like.

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  • I quote from the above: " B) The vast majority of verses in the Qur'an pertaining to violence refer to wartime situations in which Muslims were permitted to defend themselves against violent aggression. " This is only true in part. E.g. 5.32 is often refered too as a 'peacefull verse' ...that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind..." this verse should implicate that islam doesn't condone violence. But if you read that verse entirely and more closely you will notice that at the start it is adressed to 'the children of Israel' (the Jews) and secondly "... other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth..." Corruption in the Qu'ran means disbelief in Allah, a crime solely commited by non-muslims. They can be killed according to this 'peacefull' verse.
    • First, "Corruption = Disbelief" is NOT the scholarly interpretation of this verse. It may be the interpretation of the IGNORANT and/or violent EXTREMIST. Second, your layman interpretation makes no LOGICAL sense, because if this verse is "addressed" to Jews (as you claim) you CANNOT then say it's an exhortation to MUSLIMS to kill non-Muslims!