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The paper is based on interviews with Czech Muslim community leaders and focuses on the way they interpret the concept of jihad, how they think the concept should be implemented in action, and what factors shape their interpretations. It reveals two parallel understandings of the concept: a wider interpretation (i.e., the struggle to promote something good) and a narrow one (armed struggle). Three different typologies of jihad have been identified. With regard to the narrow definition of the concept, there is a consensus that jihad is legitimate in self-defence. Conversely, there is a tendency to reject the offensive jihad, but there is little consensus regarding the many conditions under which jihad can be declared and waged, especially as to the authority that can declare jihad or if it exists. The interpretative plurality is shaped by five factors, which relate to different authorities, ethical principles and audiences, different interpretations of Islamic history.


Islam; Muslims; Czech Republic; jihad; self-interpretation

Article Text


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