On Politics and the Arabic Language from Porphrogenitus
Musing a bit further on this article, particularly this section:
Next, our counterterror adviser evokes the perverse logic behind the administration’s recent decision to censor words offensive to Muslims (which I closely explored in this PJM article):Until the recent "troubles" it wasn't just Islamic jurisprudence that properly understood what the term Jihad meant; it was universally understood throughout not just Islam but all cultures that had contact with Islam to mean warfare, specifically directed at non-Muslims or those declared heretics and thus deemed to be un-Islamic. (more)Nor do we describe our enemy as “jihadists” or “Islamists” because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.Inasmuch as he is correct in the first clause of that sentence — “jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community” — he greatly errs in the latter clause, by projecting his own notions of what constitutes “holy,” “legitimate,” and “innocent” onto Islam. In Islam, such terms are often antithetical to the Judeo-Christian/Western understanding. Indeed, the institution of jihad, according to every authoritative Muslim book on Islamic jurisprudence, is nothing less than offensive warfare to spread Sharia law, a cause seen as both “legitimate” and “holy” in Islam. As for “innocence,” by simply being a non-Muslim infidel, one is already guilty in Islam. Brennan understands the definition of jihad; he just has no clue of its application. So he is left fumbling about with a square peg that simply refuses to pass through a round hole.