Acording to the Qur'an Jihad is an internal struggle to maintain faith, the struggle to improve the Muslim society, or the struggle to defend Islam.

In western societies the term jihad is often translated by non-muslims as "holy war". Scholars of Islamic studies often stress that these words are not synonymous. Jihad which means struggle often refers to the struggle to maintain faith.

  1. The jihad al akbar or "greatest jihad" is the effort or struggle to understand the true word of God and to control one's human impulses in order to achieve real peace by submitting to the will of God.
  2. The jihad al saghrir or asghrar, the lesser jihad, is the community-approved joint struggle using armed force to defend the universal principles of human rights against attack by armed aggressors.
  3. The jihad al kabir or "great jihad" is mentioned in the Qur'an (Surah al Furqan 25:52) where the other two are are mentioned in both the Qur'an and tha Ahadith.
See Jihad at Wikipedia

IN a March 2016 Newsweek article "Jihadi Cool: Belgium’s New Extremists Are As Shallow As They Are Deadly", Kurt Eichenwald says,
"Anyone surprised by the murderous attack in Brussels on March 22, 2016 has not been paying attention.
These European attackers are not like the Al-Qaeda members of old—the radicalized adherents to fundamentalist Islam.
Their knowledge of Islam is quite limited; they are more like jihadi hipsters than dedicated Islamists, or what some experts in the intelligence community call 'jihadist cool.' They celebrate what the Dutch coordinator for security and counterterrorism called 'pop-jihad as a lifestyle.'
In another time or another circumstance, these are young people who would be called losers or narcissistic punks—although they are punks who murder.
In what may be the most representative event depicting the nature of these new Islamist extremists, two British Muslims, both 22, purchased copies of Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies in August 2014 just before they boarded a plane on the first leg of their trip to join ISIS fighters in Syria."
See also "To Defeat ISIS, Know Thy Terrorist", Dec. 2015.

Many people will say that the Quran instructs Muslims to kill all Infidels using the following verses:
- The infidels are your sworn enemies. Sura 4:101
- Fight and slay the pagans (or infidels or unbelievers) wherever you find them. (9:5)   (a Surah is a collection of verses)
'The exact Arabic expression in these verses - indeed, in every verse that talks of the non-believer - is "Al-Kaferrin" or "Al-la-dhina Kafaru." The use of "Al-" or "Al-la-dhina" limits the verse (and thus commandment) to 1) a specific time and place in historyand 2) a specific group of people who were obstacles to the establishment of Islam in its nascent phase. It is these two factors that caused these verses to be revealed. Had the intentions of the Quran been to extend the application of these verses in perpetuity, it would have used the expression "Man Kafar," rather than "Al-Kafereen" or "Al-La-dhina Kafaru".'
Source: (5) Why is Islam a religion since it's the most prone to radicalization and terrorism? - Quora


At they say: "The infidels denotes a specific group of people: they who fought Prophet Mohamed in the early stages of Islam."

The Quran also says, "and those who restrain their anger and pardon men; and God loves the doers of good to others." Verse (3:134)

Historical evidence: A considerable parts of India was for several centuries controlled by the Muslim Mughal Empire, yet Hindu's were not killed in mass.

When Saladin took back Jerusalem in 1291 it is said that he allowed all christian inhabitants to leave before his people entered. King Richard and Saladin agree on a truce, The Peace of Ramla, the terms of which permitted Christians to visit Jerusalem without paying tribute and have free access to the holy places. Contrast this with the Christian crusades which killed everyone.

History shows that Muhammad generously forgave his opponents and won many new followers among his former enemies.

Criticism of Islam in the west:

The main criticism is terrorist attacks all over the world by religious fundamentalist groups like Al Qaeda, Hezbolla, and Hamas. culminating in the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. There are books written on this and I won't say more about it here. See the terrorism page here.

The Arab-Israeli war has been a major problem in the middle east since the partitioning of Palestine in 1948. See Arab-Israeli wars

The treatment of women is another issue.

Criticism of the West by Muslims

  • Iraq war, Presence in Afghanistan, raids and drone strikes in Pakistan.
  • In 1988 Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie an Indian-British novelist and essayist's published a novel, "The Satanic Verses", resulting in a fatwā (juristic ruling) issued against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran. The media made this out to be a death sentence.
  • In 2005 The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad . This led to protests across the Muslim world and the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan.
  • In 2010 Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Florida planned to set ablaze thousands of copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, on Sept. 11, a day he dubbed International Burn a Koran Day. See ABC News

All Major Muslim Organizations in North America Issued Condemnation Statements against ISIS.

(/ A letter by over 100 Muslim Scholars issued to the head of ISIS on Sept. 24, 2014


In the ninth and tenth centuries more scientific discoveries had been made by the Abbasid empire (Muslim) than in any previous period of history, (Arabic numerals, algebra, medicine, astronomy, ...)

At the same time Christians were busy planning the Crusades.

See Criticism of Islam at Wikipedia Links:
Why does Islam have the concept of jihad or holy war, which some use to justify violence and terrorism? |
(5) Why is Islam a religion since it's the most prone to radicalization and terrorism? - Quora

last updated 4 April 2016