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Jihad or Business?

BBC reported that more than 5,000 people died in November as a result of jihadist violence.

There were 664 attacks in 14 countries — about 7 people each hour. The four worst countries were Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria, accounting for 80% of all deaths.

BBC’s choice of the word “jihad” imparts an unnecessary editorial commentary. It’s more interesting, I suppose, to attribute all of this to the religious crazies. In reality, none of this is due to religion. Religion is good marketing, but this is always about resources and power. When we quit superficially gazing at the rhetoric, perhaps we will get down to resolving these issues.

Aftermath of Kano mosque bombing



  1. I have enjoyed reading your perspective on international issues. They come from first hand experience and research. Becoming educated on what is really going on in the world becomes muddied by the media. Please keep the information and different points of view coming!


  2. You make a good point about religion as “good marketing.” However, I’ve always understood the term ‘jihad’ as a more general, secularized term, rooted more in the Muslim culture than in a strictly religious context.


    • Thanks so much for your comment. Clearly, your observation is correct — the word ‘jihad’ is so broad in meaning that we could make it fit almost anything. It does, however, have a specific meaning: the word means “struggle”. Some Sunnis refer to it as the Sixth Pillar of Islam and many Shiites have designated it as one of the official Practices of the Religion. Still, the word is unclear… they may mean an inner, personal struggle, or they may mean blowing things up. I was trying to make the point that when news organizations add the word ‘jihad’ to articles they are simply trying to be sensationalists. They assume too much about the real motivations. When we assume everything in Africa and the Middle East is because of jihad, we miss the real issues of poverty, corruption and greed.


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