Even 15-20 years ago, only orientalists could clearly explain what the word "jihad" means. The most common interpretation of "jihad" was this: it is a concept from the Koran, associated mainly with the" holy war " against foreign invaders who came from Europe to the lands of Muslims during the Crusades. Since the end of the last century, the word "jihad"seems to have "detached itself" from the Koran. "Jihad" has come to refer to any confrontation between Muslims and any other "non-religious" (and not necessarily Christian) community.
In this context, the title of the book by the historian M. Y. Krysin "Jihad: from Kashmir to New York "(Veche Publishing House, 2005, 480 p.) more or less accurately reflects the essence of the issue. The armed confrontation between Hindus and Muslims at the beginning of the last century, provoked by the British during the division of the South Asian part of the British Empire, can be fully considered (at least from the point of view of the Muslims of British India) as a form of jihad.
The value of M. Y. Krysin's work is that, unlike many other modern researchers, he tries, on the one hand, to analyze the historical roots of jihad, but on the other hand, he does not go too far into history. He sets himself a very difficult task: to find the time "point of reference" when jihad began to acquire modern features-the features of international terrorism, and to trace its history, starting from this point.
Part 1 of the book, entitled "From Kashmir to Egypt", contains many episodes of the struggle of radical groups of Muslims - already in the first half of the twentieth century they were called" Islamists "- against those whom they considered" non-Believers", not only in purely religious, but also in political terms. India was the first to experience large-scale jihad: Muslim extremists initiated massacres in Punjab, Bengal, and then Kashmir. Then Islamic fundamentalism gained momentum in Pakistan.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 19 ... Read more