So after the whole Anwar al-Awlaki thing... I started to look for articles which would explain these definitions to me... especially since both of these things are integral part of our deen....
I found nothing. At least nothing that actually provides a solution... but here's an article that highlights the problem... i just think it's high time the ulema starts to take this seriously...http://www.islam21c.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150695:comment-discussing-terrorism-and-jihad-&catid=32:politics-law-a-society&Itemid=78
Comment: Discussing Terrorism and Jihad
Written by Haitham Al-Haddad
Thursday, 29 October 2009
All praise belongs to Allah and blessings and peace be upon the final prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
We have recently seen a number of articles and lectures by various speakers and scholars about jihad and terrorism, and although these brothers have sincere intentions (and we ask Allah to reward and guide them), I fear that this discourse is lacking the basic framework of an academic methodology, and as a result it can easily be misleading and cause more problems than it solves.
The most fundamental principle to be considered prior to any discussion concerning any given topic is to define the major terms used throughout that discussion. With reference to recent discussions, we find that they revolve around the terms 'terrorism' and 'jihad' and are used in an attempt to condemn those who misunderstand both terms, yet commentators fail to provide comprehensive and accurate definitions for them. As a result, discussions become relative where all understand terrorism and jihad according to their own view. Modernists will see it as a proof that the concept of jihad should be re-interpreted according to Western imperial views dominated by an anti-Islamic agenda whereby the ‘correct’ and ‘moderate’ understanding of jihad does not include any type of physical engagement, including self-defence which of course is preposterously incorrect. Others will capitalise on this warped view in order to justify their ideological opinions regarding jihad in that it is limited to one's struggle against his/her own whims and desires.
For those who have become embroiled in this discussion, it makes no difference as to whether a clarification is offered that these incorrect forms are not the jihad that they meant, or that their statements were misunderstood. What is of importance however, is that which the average reader understands, and therefore, providing clear and precise definitions must be a priority in order to avoid any possible confusion. In addition, it is notable that many lectures and articles written against so-called jihadists use an emotional tone – the same tool employed by the ‘jihadists’ themselves. This consequently lacks the ability to convince those who believe that they are the ‘authentic’ Mujahideen. It is also surprising that commentators use blanket statements which are basic , vague , and weak given that ‘jihadist’ discourse has developed to provide answers for most of the textual and rational evidences used against its mission and ambition.
Since 9/11, the ‘war on terror’ has become a legitimate justification by many non-Muslim governments to invade Muslim lands, confiscate their resources and torture Muslims in other parts of the world through the practice of military renditions. It is extremely evident that the term ‘war on terror’ is merely an excuse to terrorise Muslims wherever they are, and so, we should be asking as to who the real terrorists are? Do Muslims terrorise them or is it the other way round? Despite this, it is shocking that some of our scholars and speakers still talk and act in ways that play into the hands of the very agencies that are fighting their own people! It is ironic to see some, including speakers or even scholars, using the same terms these anti-Muslims use without exerting any efforts to provide clear definitions. Under the banner of ‘together united against extremism’ some Muslims support spying on Muslims living in non-Muslim countries, and even go to the extent of supporting the prohibition of well established Islamic practices since they are assumed to be symbols of extremism in the 'war against terrorism'. These speakers must not be as naive to assume that they themselves are viewed as extremists by many, including those who attribute themselves to Islam.
One of the major concerns at this given juncture is that those who believe in this so-called jihadist methodology become more content that their opponents’ rhetoric is falsehood and so weak that they cannot manage to even produce a consistent (let alone strong) argument! Let us remember that if one is upon the truth but then is unable to deliver it in a convincing manner, it can instead become a source of misguidance for many. This is why Allah sent his Prophets with clear evidence, He said, “Then! Are the Messengers charged with anything but to convey the Message clearly?1] 16:35