Frank Herbert's Dune and Dune Messiah, in which crusade-like jihads figure so prominently, predate TAS: The Jihad by several years. I wonder whether this had any influence on the usage of the term.
I'm sure it goes back centuries longer than that. It's just normal human ethnocentrism, the tendency to assume that anything you observe in other cultures is just the same thing your culture would do, but under a different label. Europeans waged crusades, aggressive wars of religious conversion, so when they came upon the term jihad
, they assumed it was the same thing as a crusade, rather than making the effort to understand the differences between the concepts. And to be fair, there have been times in Muslim history when conquerors have co-opted and misused the term jihad
to justify their actions, just as al-Qaida does today, and that would tend to confuse the issue for outsiders.
Personally, I think both of these episodes exhibit relatively mature themes for Saturday morning cartoons, like many TAS episodes.
Yup. War, religion, death, even sex to a degree.