LIVE PEACE FROM THE INSIDE OUT

MENTION THE WORD jihad, and some people think mistakenly of terrorist bombings justified as Islamic holy war. Yet in Yemen, an in-depth look at the Koran inspired defiant Al Qaeda prisoners to renounce violence. As reported in The Christian Science Monitor on February 4, Judge Hamoud al-Hitar challenged these men, "If you can convince us that your ideas are justifiable by the Koran, then we will join you in your struggle." If not, they'd join him. It's been two years. And no longer militant, these men work for peace in Yemen.

Several years ago, during a remembrance for those lost on 9/11, my own understanding of jihad took on fresh meaning. I attended a mosque, where one of the speakers, a Christian minister, spoke of how the word jihad actually has two meanings. The one that has perhaps become most familiar means holy war. The second deeper meaning of jihad refers to striving, and necessarily includes the inner struggle to surrender completely to God—a struggle of the heart. This reminds me of the Apostle Paul's words: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds . . . and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:4, 5).

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