holy war

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  • holy war
    • Islam
      • lesser jihad makes holy war an important concept because it defends islam and the rights of muslims
      • During the time of Muhammad, he and his followers were forced to fight to defend themselves from attackers who disagreed with their teachings - if they hadn't islam would have been wiped out
      • holy war cannot be declared to convert people to islam
        • cannot be used to take over other countries or for financial gain
        • holy war must be fought for God
      • for a holy war to be justly declared, the faith of islam must be under threat or the right to worship and practise islam must be denied
        • must be last resort, following negotiation and diplomatic efforts to find a solution
      • holy war must only be declared by a fair religious leader
        • any muslim who is killed fighting in holy wat in defence of islam is promised a place in paradise
        • if soldiers leave the battlefield before the war is over, they are believed to be against God because they are making it more difficult for their comrades to be victorious
      • the belief in holy war has been seen by some as justification for acts of violence like terrorism
    • Christianity
      • in the OT, there are many references to god helping the jews to establish themselves in the promised land by winning bloody battles
        • in the crusades, both sides believed that god was helping them to win
      • holy war must be authorised by a religious leader - should be to defend christians from attack
        • those who take part will gain spiritual rewards - straight to heaven if they die
      • concept of holy war does not feature widely in christian belief - more likely to use power of argument rather than military strength
      • christian teachings do not encourage a violent response to an offense to their religion
      • "eye for eye, tooth for tooth"
      • the teachings of jesus make it clear that violence is not justified
        • "you shall not murder"
        • "all who draw the sword die by the sword"


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