LETTER: Use of the word jihad inappropriate

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By The Staff

I picked up your July 6-7 issue of the Optic and was upset by the use of the word “jihad” in (David Giuliani’s column) “It’s hard to say no to a boss.”

In recent years the media has used the term jihad to push anti-Islamic sentiment. When used in the context printed in the article, it undermines the progress being made by Muslims, to mend the differences of between the various faiths.

The term jihad translated from Arabic has two meanings. The first meaning, which is often referred to as the “greater jihad,” means to struggle within ones self to be a better person. The prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) used this form to help remind us that we should always try to be better people. The second form of jihad often referred to as the lesser jihad means, to take up armed struggle against those who want to hurt Muslims because of differences in religious practice.

I appreciate that you are trying to hold public officials accountable for possible abuses of power. I also know that you are trying to grab the readers’ attention, but when it demonizes the members of a peaceful and beautiful faith, this does not sit well with me. Many readers are uninformed when it comes to the practices of Islam or the Arabic language and it further feeds in to the notion that all Muslims are violent or confrontational.

It is my opinion that the use of another term would have been just as effective.

I would like to thank you for your time and I ask that you consider the use of a phrase that does not reflect negatively.

Clarence V. Romero

Las Vegas