7 J. Islamic L. & Culture 1 (2002)
Jihad and the Modern World

handle is hein.journals/jilc7 and id is 9 raw text is: JIHAD AND THE
MODERN WORLD*
Sherman A. Jackson
The University of Michigan
To  Abd al-Karm Saldhuddin
I. INTRODUCTION
Islam is a religion of peace. This is certainly the mantra that has inundated
us from almost every quarter since the horrifying events of September 11, 2001.
From President George W Bush to local, national and even international
Muslim spokespersons, the peaceful nature of Islam has been reiterated time
and again. Of course, this has not gone unchallenged. Skeptics, polemicists,
even opportunists of various stripes, have repeatedly warned against accepting
too uncritically what they hint at being a new-found, politically correct
depiction of a religion that includes, inter alia, a scripturally mandated institution
of armed violence and a holy book that exhorts its adherents, at least on the
face of it, to slay 'them' wherever you find them.' Today, close to a year after
the tragedy, emotions and rhetoric on both sides have subsided a bit. But there
is still a perduring suspicion among many Americans - including many
Muslim Americans - when it comes to the question of Islam, violence and the
relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims.
* Versions of this paper were delivered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in
December, 2001, the University of Michigan-Flint in March, 2002 and the University of
Nevada Las Vegas in April, 2002. Many thanks to all who attended these lectures, asked
questions and commented on earlier drafts.
I Qur'dn, 2: 191. All translations of Qiur'inic material in this essay will be my own.

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