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The Power of Words: Crusade/Jihad

By Remy Benoit

   Words have power.

   Words have history, have baggage, and have major impact.

   Words once spoken can never be totally taken back.
   There is an old Jewish folktale that goes something like this.

A man in the village was saying negative things about the Rabbi. He talked and he talked venting his anger.

   However, it came to be known to the man that he was wrong.  The Rabbi had nothing to do with the things he of which he was accused.

   The man went to the Rabbi to apologize, pleading, "Please what can I do to make amends?"

   The Rabbi gave him a feather pillow. Confused, the man took what was offered.  The Rabbi asked him to tear the pillow open and release the feathers to the wind.  The man did as was asked.

   The Rabbi then told him to please go and gather up each and every feather that had been released.

   The man said, "That is impossible. No one can gather back all that has been sent into the air, into the wind."

   And then he realized that that was also the way with words.

   Once they have left the mouth, gone into the air, into the wind, their impact cannot ever be totally undone.

   Let us be care filled with the words we use. They generate strong emotions. They are capable of bringing life and resolution, or death.

From Impressions of Holy War Iraq War, and the President in Particular, Stoke Muslim Fears.

From Fox News and the AP Press: Alleged Statement From Saddam Hussein Calls for Holy War

From CNN: Nic Robertson: Saddam's use of 'jihad' new.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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