Amr Salah

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Between "Jehadism" and "Imperialism", a Tale of Two Ideologies

This conversation aims at expressing personal opinions about two terms, "Jehad" and "Imperialism". To be clear: it's not about any group or country in particular.

The term jehad is derived from "johd" which means exerting effort. Many scholars distinguish two different forms of Jehad. "The Greater Jehad" is about the conflict between one and oneself. While "self" would want to follow its desires unrestrictedly even if it is wrong or harmful, one would want to do what is healthy, good and beneficial. Would one take control, or become a slave and a steed to the "self"? It is called "greater" because it's harder because self is more like "inside" and not separate. On the other hand, "The Lesser Jehad" is fighting the enemy or invaders "outside".

Imperialism is like a viral disease in a way. It forces itself in a host then it sucks its resources and attacks its living cells, while weakening the host. Also, Imperialism has various forms and mutations.

"Jehad" is like a natural process, almost like the immunity system of a living creature. Jehad is usually a reaction, a self-defense mechanism.

Imperialist propaganda is more about deception. It would raise a feeling of superiority among its people while regarding the victim nations as inferior "species". Imperialism is also closely related to racism. It is much easier for it to maintain control when people are kept ignorant. Also, it devalues the lives of its victims while using any acts of resistance or revenge against it as fuel for war. It usually relies on military and technological superiority. Awareness and knowledge are its natural enemies.

Jehadist propaganda is more about direct confrontation. Even though it could be abused, its main goal is justice and equality. It may also evolve to hatred and revenge and strays from its original course.

How much do you agree or disagree with the proposed concepts? Would you agree about the importance of awareness and knowledge as means against racism and hatred?