Jineev: Jihad Qitaal

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Disclaimer: This is a fictional description of a aspect of a fictional religion. See the Jineev Jihad page for more details.

Jihad and Qitaal

First, a definition of terms. Jihad is the general term for righteous struggle. Any task which requires effort, and which strives for good over evil, is jihad. Living well and deafeating one's inner demons is jihad. Preaching the word of God to unbelievers is jihad. Defending other Zensunnis against persecution is jihad. Taking up arms to do this is still jihad, but the use of force to achieve jihad has its own term: qitaal. Qitaal is righteous fighting.

The conditions that justify qitaal are clearly specified.

Justification for Qitaal

First, qitaal is permitted to those who are being attacked or oppressed. In this case qitaal must be directed against the attacker or oppressor. If the oppressed cannot defend themselves, others of the faithful may fight on their behalf.

Second, qitaal is permitted against those who reject the word of God (i.e. do not convert to Zensunnism) after it has become evident to them. Issues of who counts as having rejected the word, and whether they have adequately had the truth revealed to them, are matters that must be decided in individual circumstances. This is complicated when the idea of false consciousness (see Jahiliyya in the Jineev glossary) is taken into account.

Finally, qitaal must be authorised by a legitimate political authority: it is not permitted to engage in qitaal without such authorisation.

Conduct during Qitaal

A proper declaration of qitaal must be made before the fighting can start. This rule is not binding if the adversary has already started the war.

All fighters should respect agreed cease-fires. Whenever the opponent proposes a cease-fire or a truce, it should be accepted, whatever the circumstances.

Treachery, such as breaking a treaty, is prohibited. However, Zensunnis are allowed to retaliate to acts of aggression, so long as the retaliation is proportionate to the original transgression.

The killing of non-combatants, civilian women, children and the elderly, is prohibited. Women and children prisoners of war cannot be killed under any circumstances, but they may be freed, ransomed, or enslaved. Fremen have traditionally killed enemy combatants that do not swear to join their captor's tribe, but Maud'Dib has spared such prisoners on a number of occasions.

All Zensunni are instructed not to pillage or plunder or destroy residential areas, nor harm the property of anyone not fighting. They are prohibited from taking anything from the general public of a conquered country without paying for it. Booty of war from the battleground is altogether different. It consists of the wealth, provisions and equipment captured from the camps and military headquarters of the combatant armies and may legitimately be appropriated.