Al-Qaeda's definition of jihad
is a corruption and violation of its true meaning in Islamic doctrine. Jihad
is the struggle to defend Islam against that which threatens it from inside (e.g. doubt, anger, selfishness, folly) and outside. It's meant to be a purely defensive act. The only way al-Qaeda gets away with calling its acts jihad
is by twisting the truth to pretend they're acts of self-defense, defining their victims as aggressors, and ignoring the Qur'an's unambiguous prohibition against killing noncombatants, women, and children. Al-Qaeda does not define Islam, it corrupts it. Osama bin Laden is not a legitimate Muslim cleric; his credentials are falsified. He has no more authority to declare jihad
than I do to declare war on Switzerland.
And Americans who embrace the bigoted lie that all Muslims are evil are just playing into the terrorists' hands, making it easier for them to convince their followers that we're a dangerous enemy trying to destroy them. The kind of anti-Muslim hate speech I'm hearing here just gives al-Qaeda what it wants.