Originally Posted by AhmedGassama
As a non-Muslim, I don't have any particular motivation to like or accept jihad in any era or under any particular set of circumstances. However, I will start by saying this....and perhaps I'll learn something new that will cause me to think differently.
It seems this way to me, at this point in time. Jihad seems to have made more sense, meaning it was more straightforward and understandable, under circumstances where a tribe of people controls a region because they simply live there and control it. If attacked, they must defend themselves or be destroyed. It's simple, it's understandable.
When you're talking about any sort of caliphate, especially an aggressively expanding one, then it gets quite a bit more complicated. Lines are blurred, outright survival is not really in question, it's no longer just a single tribe, there is a clear split between military and civilians....or there should be anyway. And in the era of the Westphalian nation-state, in the modern era of war where military targets are ideally the only thing a military tries to hit, when regime change or government reform are the aims and not the total destruction of a people, when the terms of what a country will be like are determined by peace negotiations after the fact and not nearly as much by active fighting on a battlefield....
It would seem that the terms of jihad in the modern day are, at best, going to be murky and contentious and complicated. And in my estimation, it seems like jihad does not readily have a place in the modern geopolitical sphere. It doesn't fit in, it can't make sense, there are no modern circumstances under which it could possibly be a coherent plan when it comes to foreign policy. Yes of course it's in the Quran, before modern nation-states existed. As applied to semi-nomadic tribal warfare. Before there was a modern concept of a proper military, with rules of engagement pertaining to violence against civilian non-combatants. Things are very different now, and in practical terms, it would seem that jihad is now the exclusive property of terrorism and it has no useful role for regular Muslims.
This is very much how it seems to me at this time, but I'll keep an eye on the thread and see what everyone else has to say.