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The Middle East Conflict: Perpetual Jihad

PAM, Vol. 9 No. 1, (2004)

The Middle East conflict has been fiercely debated by politicians and religious
and professional groups. In recent years, the Middle East conflict has been the primary
source for unrest and instability in the world. Addressing this conflict objectively and
rationally could reduce/eliminate bloodshed and profoundly change the direction of world
politics. The conflict has led to deep resentments among people of various faiths and
cultural backgrounds. Its persistence is attributed to the tremendous influence that religion
and economic factors exercise upon policy. It appears that there are several groups that
prefer to politicalize religion and are intended to keeping the world in a state of perpetual
Jihad. In this paper, the various perspectives of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam regarding
Jihad are outlined. The origins of and the historical perspectives on Jihad are clarified.
The evolution of the meaning of Jihad in each religion is outlined in the context of the rise
and fall of power in each religion. Various forms of Jihad are presented. This paper
suggests that perpetual Jihad is a tragic and highly dangerous development and its
consequences to the world are potentially devastating. Perpetual Jihad will fuel rather
than resolve conflict and will eventually threaten world stability.

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