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This term means "holy struggle"; in both the Quran, the Hadith and in later Islamic writings, this term has always carried two uses:

(1) A personal, internal struggle (2) An Islamic holy war against non-Muslims.

Examples of Jihad as a war against non-Muslims

Speaking at the funeral of an Arab terrorist in Gaza on June 24. 1998, Ahmad Hils, secretary-general of Yasir Arafat’s Fatah movement in Judea-Samaria, said: “The path of lihad, struggle, and heroism continues to be the only way to liberate Palestine and to establish our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and so it will be in the future.” (Quoted in the Palestinian Arab newspaper Al A'vam, June 25, 1998)

In a statement published in the official PA AI-Hayat AI-Jadida on April 16, 1998, Arafat sent this message to his people: “0 my dear ones on the occupied lands, relatives and friends throughout Palestine and the diaspora. my colleagues in struggle and in arms, my colleagues in struggle and in lihad... Intensify the revolution and the blessed intifada. ..We must burn the ground under the feet of the invaders.”

On April 16, 1998, Arafat’s official Voice of Palestine radio station broadcast a speech by Marwan Barghouti, chairman of Arafat’s Fatah movement in Judea-Samaria, in which he said: “The rifle of Fatah, the rifle carried by the Palestinian people which ignited the revolution, will not be buried...Brothers and sisters, I swear, I swear, I swear by the blood of the jihad and the blood of our nation’s martyrs.”

“March as warriors of Jihad.” This is a song sung by children on the program “The Children’s Club,” broadcast on PA Television on February 13, 1998: “Each and every part of your soil I have drenched will all my blood. And we shall march as warriors of Jihad. 0 my exalted martyr, you are my example.”

See also the "Reputation and evaluation" section of Crusade for a discussion of how the terms "Crusade" and "Jihad" are perceived differently in the West and the Islamic world.