Different Meanings of “Peace” and “Truce” in Different Cultures

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Understanding the Threat
Image: understandingthethreat.com

Retired from the Marine Corps and the FBI after nearly two decades of service, John Guandolo writes for and manages UnderstandingTheThreat.com, a website he founded to provide information about counterterrorism to the American public to safeguard them. With the same goal, John Guandolo also leads the Strategic Engagement Group, a national security firm in Virginia.

Interpretation of terminology varies by culture. To effectively plan counterterrorism strategies, it is important to have a good understanding of those differences. For example, the words “peace” and “truce” are both used in Western civilization as well as Islamic law, also known as Shariah. In Western culture, “peace” refers to the end of war. It represents freedom. The term “truce” is defined as a mutual agreement to cease fighting.

Under Shariah, peace can only be achieved when dar al harb no longer exists. Dar al harb is the house of war and consists of all individuals who do not abide by Islamic law. Those who live by Shariah, such as Hamas and other Jihadist groups, must uphold the Shariah code of taking action to obliterate the house before they can achieve peace, or dar al Islam.

Shariah states that a truce is permissible when its Jihadi devotees require a moment to regroup. A truce does not result in cessation of fighting permanently. Instead, it offers time for planning, strategizing, and rearming to continue warfare with the intention of eliminating dar al harb.


Author: John Guandolo

John Guandolo, a counterterrorism consultant at Strategic Engagement Group, Inc., also contributes his time to the Centennial Institute as a Strategic Threats Consultant. The institute, part of Colorado Christian University, works to promote the public understanding of freedom, family, and faith issues. This is accomplished through research, policy analysis, and seminars and conferences with students, staff, faculty, and outside experts such as John Guandolo. He also co-authored Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II). As Vice President of Strategic Planning and Execution at Strategic Engagement Group, John Guandolo assists law enforcement, government, military, and intelligent community leaders on how to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats. Prior to accepting a position with Strategic Engagement Group, he served the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Subject Matter Expert. During his time in this role, he developed the agency's first training course on the threat of Muslim extremism and issues posed by the rise of Islamic law. John Guandolo joined the agency as a Special Agent, where he led SWAT team operations, participated in investigations, and served as an Advanced Capability Medic. His accolades include two Awards for Investigative Excellence, given by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and the Defender of the Homeland Award, given by United States Senators John Kyl and Joe Lieberman. John Guandolo graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989 and was a Company Commander during his senior year. He is a member of the Force Recon Association, a non-profit fraternal organization that promotes the fellowship of those who have served in military reconnaissance units. John Guandolo also holds membership in the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Order of St. Crispin. He enjoys hiking, competing in triathlons, and camping.

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