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Brennan insists ‘jihad’ is not holy war but self-improvement

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Brennan insists ‘jihad’ is not holy war but self-improvement

After suggesting last week that the Hizbullah terror militia in Lebanon has an increasing number of “moderates” in its ranks, White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan told a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Wednesday that “jihad” is not an Islamic call to holy war but a challenge for inner self-improvement. America needs to more narrowly define the enemy it’s fighting, insisted Brennan, who said: “Our enemy is not terrorism, because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not terror because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we define our enemy as jihadists or Islamists, because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam that means to purify oneself or one’s community. There is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men and women and children.” He added that using such terminology would be “counter-productive” because it would “play into the false perception that they are religious leaders defending a holy cause when in fact they are nothing more than murderers.” He also explained that using terms connected to religion would “lend credence to the lie, propagated by al-Qaida and its affiliates to justify terrorism, that the United States is somehow at war against Islam. We are at war against al-Qaida and its terrorist affiliates.” Brennan is currently engaged in rewriting the strategic doctrines of the US under the direction of President Barack Obama. His remarks came on the eve of the release by the Obama administration of a new National Security Strategy report, which will include a focus on the threat posed by Americans who can be recruited and radicalized by al-Qaida through the Internet.

 

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