I am hearing from some ‘westerners’ who are Muslim that Jihad is an internal struggle. That the terrorists are being incorrectly labeled jihadists. In the long run, for Islam to become agreeable with the rest of the world, this view will need to be adopted by ALL Muslims. The problem today is that this is only one of two ways of viewing jihad. This is actually a watered down version of Islam and is viewed as being incorrect by much of the Islamic world. To suggest this version of Jihad will place you in danger of being accused of being an Apostate. The term Apostate and the penalty for conviction are NOT an overlooked Islamic legal term. The death penalty for this offense has been enforced strictly throughout the Middle East for the entire Islamic history of 1400 years.
Jihad has two meanings. The first is the version mentioned above: It is the internal struggle to improve yourself. The second is armed force. The problem is that the second is and has been far more accepted.
Bernard Lewis is a well-known and respected historian on the Middle East. "For the majority of the fourteen hundred years of Islamic history, jihad has been most commonly interpreted as being ARMED struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power."
"The implication is that Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until either the entire world adopts Islam, or is subjected to Muslim rule."
If you look at the Islamic legal system and its laws, you will notice the organized effort to expand the ‘religion’ at the expense of everything and everyone else that is not Muslim. The overall effect can only be discrimination against anything that does not agree with Islam. This is quite deliberate. Taken in context with all of the Koran and Islamic law, it is obvious that it was designed this way.