One BAIR member in the video stated, “A lot of us here are using either pig’s blood or bacon grease on our bullets, packing it in the middle so that when you shoot a Muslim, they go straight to hell”. Another member insisted, “Don’t f*ck with white people.”
David Wright, spokesperson for BAIR, said he was “going to start doing something about Muslims… now”. That’s code word for “I’m going to threaten Muslims with violence”.
Clearly, members of BAIR are misinformed and uninformed. One member told AJ+, “the next step in jihad does not involve random, sporadic attacks… They start killing people”.
Actually, no. That’s not true.
I teach the course “Muslims in American Society” at Rice University in Houston, not too far from Irving, where BAIR is based. Our class, composed of Muslims and non-Muslims, takes a careful look at the various dimensions of jihad. The students, I should add, get alone perfectly fine despite coming from largely Christian and Muslim backgrounds.
Jihad has many meanings. It’s often misinterpreted to mean “holy war”, obvious in the case of BAIR, but jihad really means “to struggle” or “to strive”. A jihad might be waking up when your alarm goes off in the morning. A jihad might be putting up with an annoying relative on a holiday.
A jihad might be turning the other cheek when blatantly Islamophobic groups like BAIR openly call for the murder of Muslims.
It’s true there is an offensive or “violent” form of jihad, but it’s for purposes of self-defense. The Quran, the Islamic holy book, calls on Muslims to “jihad” against the use of violence. The Quran (5:32) states, “if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole of humanity: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of humanity”. In another Quranic passage (2:190), Muslims are told, “fight in the case of God those who start fighting you, but do not transgress limits (or start the attack); for God loveth not transgressors”.