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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2003 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Jehad means only killing: Muslim Togadia

New Delhi: Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar has ruled out a peaceful version of jehad, saying in Islam, the only meaning of jehad was killing and any other interpretation went against the religion. 

The remark was followed by yet another exhortation by a supporter, asking Pakistan to declare suicide bombing against the West as jehad. ''In Islam, the only meaning of jehad is killing, and those who projected the concepts of jehad akbar and jehad asghar were against Islam,'' Azhar was quoted by Urdu daily Nawa-e-Waqt. Azhar was speaking at a gathering at Pattoki in Pakistan organised by the Lashkar-e-Toiba. Jehad Akbar is the non-violent version while jehad asghar is war by the sword. Azhar said it was a conspiracy against Islam to say that jehad was not killing. (PTI, 7 Dec. 03)

(Azhar is rejecting the Prophet’s well-known saying after returning from a battle: ‘we have retured from smaller Jihad (Jihad asghar) to the greater Jihad (Jihad akbar)” - editor).

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