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Debating Jihad

MEMRI: Sheikh Omar Bakri: "Jihad is a duty that has to do with the means, not the goals. In other words, jihad is a religious means to a religious goal - to elevate the word of Allah. This is what jihad for the sake of Allah, in the sense of fighting, means, although we accept that there is another meaning to jihad."

Interviewer: "Does the end justify the means?"

Sheikh Omar Bakri: "Our goal is not a materialistic one. Our goal is to please Allah by carrying out His commandments. We do not determine the goals. Allah does. 'I created the jinn and mankind only that they might worship Me.'" [that's a "yes." - RB] ( ...) "Killing innocent people is forbidden in Islam. But who is innocent - that is another question."

Dhiyaa Al-Musawi: "Today, jihad does not mean carrying out attacks with airplanes. Jihad means economic power, development, strengthening human rights, and establishing a civil, rather than theocratic, state. We can elaborate on this later. Jihad means that we be productive, and manage to invade the West with our economic products, with our science, our books, and so on. But if we narrow jihad down to striking with swords or bullets, and to the killing of civilians... Of course I am not justifying the Western governments, but there is a crisis."

Gamal Al-Bana: "Martyrdom operations in Palestine, in particular, are justified, for two reasons. First, the Palestinians do not have weapons to defend themselves. They have no tanks, artillery, and so on. This is the only means available to them. Therefore, it is justified, especially since it is the Israeli soldiers that are targeted. When I say 'soldiers' - the entire Israeli people is recruited. The women are the most vicious of them all. Therefore, this is justified. I consider this to be martyrdom. Even if they harm a woman - all the women serve in the army. All the men serve in the army. Only the small children remain, and the fact is that these are only very rarely harmed. I believe that these are martyrdom operations, and are necessary."