Muslim Cartoons, The Importance of Submission in Islam and Terrorism due to Jihad

When thinking about Muslim Cartoons, there is a whole submission aspect that often gets overlooked. Mark Ritchie comments on terrorism due to jihad.

Muslim Culture Traditions

Is terrorism due to jihad or is jihad just one element of a peace-loving religion that has been abused by evil men? In the wake of September 11th, there have been two diametrically opposed opinions of Islam. On the one hand the world hears about the Islamic theology of evil and why terrorism is due to jihad. On the other hand we hear of the importance of submission in Islam and why it is a basically peaceful religion. Mark Ritchie, having lived in Afghanistan and traveled though Asia has a unique authority to speak to this confusion. The following is an excerpt from God in the Pits: the Enron-Jihad Edition:

In all my years I had never heard anyone in America speak the word Kandahar. But in the wake of 9/11, things are different. Concepts so obvious they were taken for granted without discussion are now open for review. Jihad. There's another word I'd never heard on the lips of an American. Until now. In the rush to return to normal following the tragedy of 9/11, jihad has been baptized with a spin that would make a politician proud. A church near my home even invited a mullah to speak to their congregation and clarify Islam for them. Christians were pleasantly surprised to learn that jihad could refer to something as mundane as the struggle against a sweet tooth. This is clarity? Over the years I've developed a peaceful coexistence with this sort of error, viewing it as the customary naïveté that Americans, in this case church-goers, embrace; we have a love affair with acceptance and toleration.

Terrorism due to Jihad

I was brutally jarred from the error of such thinking when my mother walked into a place of worship in Islamabad, Pakistan. She was there to teach English to Afghan refugee women. On that morning, the sermon was interrupted by another spiritual message delivered by a man packing grenades. The grenade that landed a few meters from Mom failed to detonate.

That's when I woke up to the reality that I am one source of the problem; I tolerate American naïveté. I even chuckle at it. Jihad is an Arabic word that means "to struggle". In Asia, everyone knows that it refers to the struggle to preserve the faith of Islam. It means killing people on the road to Kandahar and throwing hand grenades at eighty-two year old ladies in church. To some in America, it means struggling against candy. In Asia, my mother stumbles out of church stepping over the severed bodies of her friends.

Every Moslem in Asia knows that jihad has little to do with inner temptation. And every Moslem in Asia knows that Islam does not mean peace. (Its meaning is actually even better that that; Islam means submission. It is common knowledge that the submission is to God).

Excerpt from God in the Pits, The Enron-Jihad Edition, by Mark Andrew Ritchie
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