Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it’s like. Here’s the law a-standing ready to take a man’s son away from him — a man’s own son, which he has had all the trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising. Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last, and ready to go to work and begin to do suthin’ for him and give him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call that govment! That ain’t all, nuther. The law backs that old Judge Thatcher up and helps him to keep me out o’ my property. Here’s what the law does: The law takes a man worth six thousand dollars and up’ards, and jams him into an old trap of a cabin like this, and lets him go round in clothes that ain’t fitten for a hog. They call that govment! A man can’t get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I’ve a mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all. Yes, and I told ‘em so; I told old Thatcher so to his face. Lots of ‘em heard me, and can tell what I said. Says I, for two cents I’d leave the blamed country and never come a-near it agin. Them’s the very words. I says look at my hat — if you call it a hat — but the lid raises up and the rest of it goes down till it’s below my chin, and then it ain’t rightly a hat at all, but more like my head was shoved up through a jint o’ stove-pipe. Look at it, says I — such a hat for me to wear — one of the wealthiest men in this town if I could git my rights.

Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why, looky here. There was a free nigger there from Ohio — a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain’t a man in that town that’s got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane — the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you think? They said he was a p’fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wust. They said he could vote when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? It was ‘lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn’t too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they’d let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I’ll never vote agin. Them’s the very words I said; they all heard me; and the country may rot for all me — I’ll never vote agin as long as I live. And to see the cool way of that nigger — why, he wouldn’t a give me the road if I hadn’t shoved him out o’ the way. I says to the people, why ain’t this nigger put up at auction and sold? — that’s what I want to know. And what do you reckon they said? Why, they said he couldn’t be sold till he’d been in the State six months, and he hadn’t been there that long yet. There, now — that’s a specimen. They call that a govment that can’t sell a free nigger till he’s been in the State six months. Here’s a govment that calls itself a govment, and lets on to be a govment, and thinks it is a govment, and yet’s got to set stock-still for six whole months before it can take a hold of a prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger, and —

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884

Would non-Muslims stop misusing the term jihad to attack their political enemies?

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Props to Haroon Moghul for Jihad Chai Latte, an article he wrote in response to The New York Times columnist Joe Norcera’s misuse of the term jihad in an attack on the United States Tea Party.

I had seen on Twitter the term teahadist, and there’s even a Twitter account by that name.

Whatever the merits of the criticism of the Tea Party, it’s a misuse of the Muslim religious term jihad and contributes to Islamophobia. Many Muslims suggest using the Muslim religious term hiraba for terrorist violence. Tearabist, people!

Jihad is a meritorious act in Islam. Before you set the FBI on me, understand that to me, and to most Muslims, jihad is effort expended for a good cause. When it involves military action, it is subject to the conditions similar to Christians’ Just War doctrines.*

Think about the English term crusades. A Twitter search of the term reveals its use as defined at dictionary.com.

any vigorous, aggressive movement for the defense or advancement of an idea, cause, etc.: a crusade against child abuse.

So why are liberal commentators using jihad pejoratively when there is an authentic Muslim term to describe terroristic violence pejoratively and an authentic English word that can carry both positive and negative connotations?

In May 2014, a glaring example of liberal Islamophobia was published by Tennesseans for Preservation of Personal Privacy in the Tennessee Times Free Press. Read more.

Retired Major General Perry Smith, a local columnist at The Augusta Chronicle, wrote regarding the Arab revolutionaries:

These moderate leaders are sometimes called the Arab revolutionaries counter-jihadists.

In my following of the revolutions, I’ve never seen any participant call themselves counter-jihadists, and I’ve certainly seen revolutions use Muslim religious terms like jihad to describe their efforts and shaheed (“martyr”, another term Islamophobes often distort) to describe those killed by the oppressive regimes.

Examples:

A search on the term counter-jihadist returned sites of Islamophobes, discussions of the Norwegian terrorist and non-Muslims’ descriptions of Muslims’ efforts to discourage hiraba. So I’m not sure where General Ellis came across the term.

The column is correct in that the revolutionaries’ use of mass non-violent techniques is a repudiation of hiraba. The revolutions are, in my opinion, the only effective way to end hiraba. It is certainly more effective than the measures of the United States’s Global War on Terror (GWOT).

One last point regarding General Smith’s editorial. He recommended some books at the end of the column, among them a book by Robin Wright. I’d recommend ignoring being cautious about everything Robin Wright and Thomas Friedman write.

*I personally think that changes in the nature of war have rendered nearly all forms of religiously-sanctioned war impossible to support.

P.S. Although the example I used was from the political left, the political right misuses Muslim religious terms as well.

Updated September 16, 2016: Egyptian man of letters in 1938 uses the word jihad on the tongues of his French friends.

reagan-was-a-horrible-president:

The Republican “jobs” plan.

Alabama State Legislator, Talking Undocumented: “Empty the clip”

Alabama state legislator talks about “illegal immigrants.”He concludes with “empty the clip, and do what has to be done”.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “I know President #Mubarak personally, he’s been a friend of #America. I feel sad he’s going through this.”