In today’s multi-faith society, we know not to paint Islam with broad-strokes as a movement of evil. In reality, Islam has many qualities that endear it to people looking for God and spirituality. Just like every other major religion. That’s why countless people enter these faiths every year — for spiritual enhancement.
But if these malleable young Muslims knew what a false picture of “jihad” these radicals portray, we could nip radicalization in the bud. Muslims in the West must really make it known within their communities, especially among the youth, that what these radicals teach is not jihad.
Not as the Qur’an teaches it; not as the Prophet lived it.
In reality, jihad is suppose to be a spiritual struggle within oneself on the journey toward spiritual enlightenment. Jihad is prayer; it’s sacrificing to help mankind; it’s making the moral choices. This is the jihad we need these young Muslims to understand. This is what will cut at the root of ISIS’ appeal. Jihad is not about guns and bullets. It’s about reformation and spiritual growth.Maybe so, but it's the other jihad--the one which gets you all the virgins, albeit posthumously--that is so captivating. And to pretend that that's the fake jihad, and that Islam's founder, a warlord and a decapitator, was on message with Jesus Christ ("blessed are the meek"?; "turn the other cheek"?: not in Islam) is not the way to counter radicalization. Indeed, it is to end up encouraging and abetting it, albeit unintentionally.