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Jihad, Jihad, Jihad

Commentary by Roger Oakland

The word “Jihad” has been in the news a lot lately. Ever since September 11th, the “9-1-1” wakeup call, a number of Islamic leaders have called for a “jihad,” also known as “a holy war.” Many people are confused. What is this holy war all about? Is there an agenda that can be understood in light of the Bible?

 The name Osama Bin Laden is synonymous with the word terror. The horrible dastardly terrorist acts carried out on September 11th, 2001, will always be associated with this evil man who obviously has no conscience. But while the world has been focused on Bin Laden and his web of terror cast by the Al-Qaeda, there are other Islamic leaders motivating the faithful in the name of Allah.

 A portion of a translated text taken from a speech broadcast on Gaza Palestine Satellite television will confirm this point. Speaking to his fellow Palestinians, Yassar Arafat enthusiastically stated: 

Yes, brothers, with our souls and blood we redeem you, O Palestine. This is the decision of the people with exceeding strength. This is a sacred bond. We are up to this duty. Allah is great! Glory to Allah and his prophet. Jihad, jihad, jihad, jihad, jihad! [1]

  So one can easily see, it is not just Osama Bin Laden who has called for a “holy war.”  Mr. Arafat has been quite outspoken about rallying the troops for Allah. An additional statement taken from Arafat’s speech makes his agenda even clearer. He said:

We are not defending Palestine as Palestinians. Rather we are defending it on behalf of the Arab nation, the Islamic nation, and the Christians of the world. Allah willing, a boy and a girl will raise the flag of Palestine over the walls of Jerusalem, the churches of Jerusalem, and the minarets of Jerusalem. Brothers, we will march together side by side until we reach Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” [2] 

As everyone knows, the American media along with popular political and religious leaders, have labeled Islam a “religion of peace” since September 11th. But this speech made by Chairman Arafat, a Muslim, does not sound all that peaceful to me. I suppose it could be argued that Mr. Arafat is only a self-proclaimed spokesperson for the Islamic faith, and that he really was not intending to incite Muslims against the Jewish people, but I am somewhat suspicious this is the case. “Jihad, jihad, jihad”, coupled with “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem”, makes me think there might be an agenda. As well, other Muslims like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein also have declared they would like to see Israel wiped off the map.

From a biblical perspective, I would suggest we should take these words seriously. According to the Bible, someday in the future, Jerusalem will come under attack. The prophet Zachariah foretold:

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.[3]          

Are we living at a time in history when we could see this prophecy fulfilled? Time will tell, of course. But for now, I would be keeping a close watch on current events.

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[1]  Gaza TV, “Arafat Addresses Hebron Delegation, Notes People Opt for ‘Jihad’” GMP 01/02/2002, Gaza Palestinian Satellite Television in Arabic – translated to English, 1700 GMT

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Zechariah 12: 1-3

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