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Re: 14 July 1099

Sinclair and John...

I have a few brief comments regarding your interesting exchange of posts on
Jihad and Holy Wars.

(1) In today's parlance, a "holy war" is a war launched for religious
purposes.  The poster child for such wars is the Islamic conquest initiated
in the seventh century (and stretching over nearly a millennium thereafter)
"to make the world safe for Mohammed (and his co-religionists)".   ;-)
Mohammed's thinking regarding "Jihad" evolved drastically during his

During the period of Qur'anic revelation while Muhammad was in Mecca
(610-622), jihad meant essentially a nonviolent struggle to spread Islam.
Following his move from Mecca to Medina in 622, and the establishment of an
Islamic state, fighting in self-defense was sanctioned by the Qur'an
(22:39). The Qur'an began referring increasingly to qital (fighting or
warfare) as one form of jihad. Two of the last verses on this topic (9:5,
29) suggest a war of conquest or conversion against all unbelievers.*

and his followers went further... much much further.

You chose to quote the first definition proffered by the Qur'an; I would
suggest that a more correct interpretation, (and certainly one much closer
to the objective historical facts of Islam), is the last definition of Jihad
in the Qur'an : "a war of conquest or conversion against all unbelievers".

(2) Augustine's "Just War" concept was developed to answer critics who
viewed the "thou shalt not kill" commandment as a prohibition against
participation in all wars by Christians.   It had nothing to do with "holy
wars".  It was intended to distinguish moral wars from immoral wars.... a
very very different concept.

(3) Aquinas merely clarified Augustine's concept... for much the same

Best regards,

Joe Erkes

* From Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, ed. Robert Wuthnow. 2 vols.
(Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1998), 425-426.

> From: "John S. Quarterman" <jsq@quarterman.org>
> Reply-To: sinclair@quarterman.org
> Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 09:29:51 -0500
> To: sinclair@quarterman.org
> Subject: Re: 14 July 1099
>> On the 14th of July 1099 AD The Crusaders Jerusalem captured Jerusalem  in
>> the First Crusade, after laying of siege for seven  weeks.  The Crusaders,
>> in the name of God them promptly began slaughtering the city's Muslim and
>> Jewish population.
>> A Christian, Frankish, kingdom of Jerusalem was set up.  The kingdom was

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]