Jihad

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Jihad

A religious obligation for Muslims. The word is Arabic for "struggle," though its technical meaning has been disputed. Historically, many scholars have argued that jihad primarily entails a struggle against one's base instincts. However, it was used both in the Quran and by rulers of some Muslim-majority countries to justify war, whether to end persecution of Muslims or to provide religious grounds for conquest. The meaning of the term remains controversial, though some groups, notably al-Qaida, emphasize its militant element.