Global Jihad, a Myth or Reality
The Jihad is often associated with a certain Muslim fight against the unfaithful, one that has been going on for decades now and which is unlikely to stop in coming years. However, despite this sustainable development of the notion and everything it entangles, it cannot be stated without a doubt that this is an obvious reality. This assumption is made based on the fact that the Jihad, as a means of war, is an artificial creation rather than one that is dictated by religion or supported by it.
This perspective largely depends on the point-of-view that is applied when looking at the global jihad. Therefore, from the point-of-view of the extremist Muslims the Jihad is an inevitable took with which pressure is applied on the "unfaithful." It represents a legitimate expression of the will of the Muslim and is justified in particular by the fact that the Muslim religion has often been subject to pressures from the Christian one and no freedom of religion has ever been applied in the case of the Muslim creed. Indeed, if taken together with the situation in the Middle East and in particular with that of the Occupied Territories, the anger and frustration that fuels the Jihad is further exacerbated.
From the point-of-view of the people experiencing the effects of the so called Jihad, especially those living in the Middle East or in communities where the tensions between the Muslims and the Christians are expressed through violent and armed means, the Jihad is a day-to-day reality. However, these actions can further be labeled differently as there have been numerous cases in history when religious tensions often took the form of armed conflicts such as the conflicts between Catholic and Protestants in the 16th century in Europe or the conflicts in Balkans. These examples alone point out that what is going on in terms of the tensions between the Muslims and the Christians are not a new elements of society and international environment.
Finally, from the point-of-view of the outside world, the one that is not in direct contact with the reality of the Middle East, the global Jihad can be seen as a myth in the sense that the only contact the outside world has with the expressions of the Jihad as a "holy war" is intermediated by the mass media, by the decision makers, and by other interferences of the public opinion. This intermediation however is extremely subjective and influences the way in which the Jihad is perceived. Therefore, when every manifestation is labeled as "Jihad" and with due account for the fact that, if taken pragmatically, such claims as the ones provided by the Jihadists have been seen before, the actual phenomenon may be seen as a myth.
Overall, it is rather difficult to label global Jihad as a myth or reality because in order to establish such an assumption, one needs to have the same access to information and practical experience as the ones actually experiencing the effects "the holy war" may have on the communities in which this is manifested. However, the labeling of the violent reactions to religious tensions as "Jihad" may transform the word and what it implies in a myth, rather than a reality. Even so, these reactions create a reality that for the people on the ground may fall in the category of "global Jihad."
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