Jihad is a complex concept that originates in Islamic religious discourse, with specific mentions of the word found in the Holy Qur’an. Islamic scholars, supplementing their interpretation of the concept with information from the life of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, have extrapolated three types of jihad. Two of these (self-purification and propagation of the truth) are mandatory for all Muslims at all times and are nonviolent. One of these (a defensive battle) is not mandatory unless certain stringent conditions have been met and involves violence. As a result, throughout history, the term has taken on multiple meanings in reference to political, religious, and social power. In the modern day, radical groups justifying their actions and media outlets attempting to understand or frame those actions have used ...

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