Professor Hafiz M. Masood Fighting for the just cause has been one of the major themes of almost all scriptures, including the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible. The Quran is the final and unaltered word of Allah (SWT). It reaffirms all the just and moral principles that human societies have consistently revered through thousands of years of struggle between truth and falsehood. The Quranic injunctions of jihad (struggle and fight for the just cause) must be looked in this perspective. An honest and unbiased comparative study of scriptures would prove that. Therefore, blaming the Quran for promoting violence or terrorism, as Terry Jones or his likes did, is the result of a sheer negligence of reality and deliberate ignorance. But not all worldly affairs go by the book. History tells us that there has been a strategic alliance between imperial powers and the Christian church in their occupation of Muslim lands, and invariably all crusades did find Church as their motivator and backer, despite the fact that the occupation was neither moral nor religiously justified. A study of the typology of world conflicts reveals that the recent Afghan and Iraq wars after 9/11 are crusades of modern imperial powers in the guise of the war on terror. As in the past, the Christian church is only doing its classical role of motivator and supporter of the conflict. {Despite all the changes in perceptions and social transformations of human societies over time starting with the fist crusade to the latest one, this duo of imperial powers and Christian church has been surprisingly robust and consistent. What motivates this robustness and consistency? The answer mostly lies in three major factors.} Jealousy of the people of the Book: Islam posed insuperable challenge to Christian and Jewish faiths alike. One of the most tangible challenges came with the study of comparative textual authenticity of scriptures. The way the Quranic text has been preserved is unprecedented throughout the history of holy books. When they see Muslims have preserved their scripture, the Quran, so meticulously and they compare this with their performance on that account, they cannot help being jealous. No faith, except Islam, can truly claim their scripture is free from human intervention, thus 100 percent as original as it was on day one of its revelation from Allah. The Jews and Christians admit the fact themselves that their scriptures have gone through vast changes due to human interventions at different times in history. Moreover, the phenomenon of millions of people, who have memorised the scripture (the Holy Quran) word by word, is also unprecedented and unique. When it comes to reverence and recitation, there is hardly a moment when it is not being recited all over the planet. Only believers of the Quran can claim the honour of holding the largest gathering of the most diverse collection of human beings truly representing the entire humanity in the valley of Arafat for Haj every year. So the Christian establishment, who dreams to evangelise this global village, is unable to swallow these facts, especially in the age of information technology and mass media. Spiritually uplifting televised scenes of millions of people listening to the Quran in various mosques around the globe and bewildering images of the pilgrimage in Makkah are few to mention, which makes the nation of Quran prominently stand out among all other nations of the world. They are losing their supporters/believers, who are converting to Islam on a daily basis, and thus Islam has become the fastest growing religion on the globe in general and in the West - the home ground of Christian faith - in particular. The rapid propagation of the Islamic faith is going on with amazing success against the hurricane of the most shameful negative propaganda about the Quran, Muslims and Islam in the West. The Quran describes this pattern of jealousy-filled behaviour of the Jews and Christians and amazingly this behaviour has not changed, despite the changes that have taken place since the advent of the Holy Book. A charge sheet of crimes: Even though the concept of the separation of church and state exists in the Western societies, but when it comes to dealing with Muslim lands and people, we see the Christian establishment fully embedded with their policymakers and fighting forces. So we can safely consider these otherwise two entities as one. The Quran exposed the most heinous crimes of the people of the book (the West) that they perpetrated against God and humanity. They were charged with mass murder, including the killing of prophets of God and true followers of these noble prophets (Quran, 3:21); they commit polytheism when they attribute trinity to One God (Quran, 5:74); they unjustly devour the wealth and resources that do not belong to them (Quran, 9:34); they justify discrimination among humanity by dividing them in different races and groups making some superior over the other to loot them (Quran, 3:75, 4:161); they avert every chance of peace and bring humanity to the battleground (Quran, 5:64); they inherently prefer to fight over peace (Quran, 5:64); they make god from among the creation of God (Quran, 9:31); they prefer falsehood over truth (Quran, 47:3); they promote vice and prohibit virtue (Quran, 5:62); they break treaties and promises with other nations (Quran, 5:13); and they alter their holy scriptures (Quran, 5:13). This long list of crimes contradicts their claim that they are special and chosen people among all humanity (Quran, 5:18). When one puts this charge sheet revealed more than 14 centuries ago to the empirical test of hard facts and data about todays West, one is amazed to find so much truth to the Quranic case against such people. The entire history of Western imperialism is fraught with exploiting world resources, mass murder, and discrimination and war-mongering. The Western economies of today, especially the US economy, are mainly based on exporting war to the rest of the world. What they describe as national interest is either direct control of the precious resources that do not belong to them or they create a situation wherein a number of conflict spots are maintained to find enough buyers of the most modern weapons made in the West. War is the engine of Wests prosperity; peace is the killer of their economies. It is amazing to note how robust the Quranic description of this criminal behaviour has been throughout the history of Western imperialism. The Holy Quran and jihad: The Quran teaches its believers not to give in to tyranny, injustice and oppression and enjoins them to carry out a sustained struggle against all evil. About one-forth of the Quran is devoted to the theme of fighting for a just cause. Despite the vicious propaganda, where every movement of resistance against foreign occupation has been portrayed as terrorism, the believers of Quran have been successful in reviving the forces of jihad. One of the recent manifestations of its revolutionary message was seen in the armed struggle against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Ironically, that fight was fully supported by the Western powers because, to them, it was a just war by the democratic capitalist West (good guys) against the authoritarian communist Soviets (bad guys). The victory in this war defied all the projections and estimation. One of the unintended consequences of this war (from the Western stand point) was the re-emergence of jihad throughout the Muslim world. This was a brand new development in the Muslim nations after centuries of colonial subjugation, loss of power centre (khilafah) and passivism in the intellectual and military make-up of the Muslim populace around the globe. At that point in time, nobody could ever fathom its true consequences until much later, when it was too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Inspiration from the Quran and morale boosting experience of fresh victory over imperial occupiers electrified the Muslim youth around the world. Since governments in the Islamic countries continued to tow the Western agenda, the zealous Muslim youth and their governments found themselves on mutually diverging projectiles. This gave birth to a new phenomenon where the war was taken over by the non-state actors. Certainly, if Muslim governments were not doing what they were supposed to do, i.e. carry out a just war against injustice, somebody had to do it. Thus, the youth decided to do it alone in the face of utter plight of Palestine under the Israeli occupation, oppression and subjugation of Kashmir under the Indian occupation and the unjust occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by crusaders. Muslim governments were perceived either observing passivism in defending Muslim interests or, in many cases, cooperating with the Western interests. Jihad continued gathering pace and volume and became a serious force to reckon with. Western powers, who had invested heavily in maintaining the status quo to pacify any opposition to their imperial agenda around the resource rich Muslim world, soon realised that the challenge was much bigger than what they had initially imagined. So who is to be blamed? To the West, it is the Book of the Muslims, since the Quran-inspired jihad-waging youth had become a major impediment in the way of the West, denying it the occupation of the oil and mineral rich Muslim lands. Most recently, the new free Middle East and North Africa is taking shape, inter alia, by weakened clout and power of the West, at the hand of jihad, in keeping the status quo. The Western powers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the ever spreading war theatre, now reaching the brink of global explosion. No wonder, Terry Jones acted like a frightened criminal in the face of arrest by the law enforcement agency when he held a mock trial, while he had already soaked the Holy Quran in kerosene (even before the so-called trial started) and put it on fire in haste. People noticed the Western governments acquiesce in this heinous act and, if at all, carried half-hearted condemnation, to the utter dismay of many Muslim sympathisers of the West. No doubt, the consequences of injustice and oppression are too frightening for them to keep cool or rational. Is there anyone who will tell them that it is not the Quran, but it is their evil ways that have taken peace away from this small and interdependent world? n The writer is a freelance columnist.