Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
It is apparent that the understanding of Jihād as a concept is dismally blurred by the ongoing rhetoric employed by financially-empowered Islamist activists and extremist scholars. Disregarding centuries of classical scholarship, using a simplistic, literal approach to the Qur’ān and holy traditions of the Prophet, they have built a convincing picture of Jihād as militant, continuing warfare between the Muslims and non-Muslims; a situation they contend will maintain until the end of time.
The only way to dispel the false notions of Jihād put forth by the extremists, who are massively funded by external sources, is an equally strong effort put forth by Muslim governments in re-education of their populations, in particular the youth, with a correct understanding of this term. Such efforts must be sustained and ongoing and must have the support of modern, moderate Muslim scholars in each nation.
We propose the following recommendations for each nation engaging in these re-education efforts:
1) follow-on discussions to create a response to the current abuse of the term Jihād;
2) development and staging of public presentations to educate the public based on the information and discussions in (1);
3) publish literature detailing the accurate definition of Jihād and distributing this literature in large quantities;
4) encourage modern, moderate scholars to stand up and speak up in opposition to the extremists;
5) Create a national podium for modern, moderate scholars;
6) Publish in public media the proceedings of the above-mentioned debates and discussions by modern, moderate scholars.