Muslims See Wordplay as Swordplay in Terrorism war.(PAGE ONE)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 24, 2002 | Go to article overview

Muslims See Wordplay as Swordplay in Terrorism war.(PAGE ONE)


Byline: Larry Witham, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Muslim scholars who want to get rid of the oft-used word "jihad" are meeting with U.S. officials today in Washington.

The academics, who have origins across the Muslim world, want to engage in an ideological battle within Islam to replace "jihad" with a term that labels terrorists as cowardly pirates who kill women and children, which in Islam is the crime of "hirabah."

"There has been an increase in the number of people working on terrorism, and some of them have portfolios that include the Muslim world," a U.S. official said, confirming the closed conference. "Yes, more analysts are working on that."

In an attempt to penetrate the mysteries of Islam, analysts and the public often have begun with the Arabic word "jihad," made famous by the 1979 Iranian revolution and now used widely by terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda.

But because the term roughly means "religious effort," the West can come off as attacking the daily life of ordinary Muslims worldwide, while the terrorists get away with wrapping their crimes in religious phraseology.

"When people carelessly dump on jihad, it has an immediate polarizing effect," said Khaled Abou el Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at the University of California at Los Angeles who will attend the meeting.

Mr. Abou el Fadl is among those who want the despised label of "hirabah," reserved for terrorizing bandits, to become the popular label for the radical groups.

"It may not change much, but it allows Muslims and non-Muslims to say something about terrorists without appearing to malign Islamic theology," said Mr. Abou el Fadl, who has advised U.S. officials since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"'Hirabah' is seen as a bad thing, while 'jihad' is a good thing," said Mr. Abou el Fadl, whose book compares the two concepts.

Riffat Hassan, a professor of religion at the University of Louisville, agrees that a proper war of words can help attract rank-and-file Muslims to democracy.

"Language is how we describe reality, and this is not a difficult word," she said of "hirabah." "It might take some getting used to."

To critics of this gradual approach, Islam is too deeply flawed to be changed by words and needs an internal upheaval.

"I think we must drive Islam to have a Reformation, which is what Salman Rushdie is saying, that Islam unreformed will be brutal and barbaric," the Rev.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Muslims See Wordplay as Swordplay in Terrorism war.(PAGE ONE)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.