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jihad

 

Pronunciation: [jeehad]

History: (Arabic 'struggle')

 

The term used in Islam for 'holy war'. According to the Koran, Muslims have a duty to oppose those who reject Islam, by armed struggle if necessary, and jihad has been invoked to justify both the expansion and defence of Islam. Islamic states pledged a jihad against Israel in the Mecca declaration of 1981, though not necessarily by military attack.