Quick Overview

Answering Jihad is a personal, challenging, and respectful answer to the many questions surrounding jihad. Explore what jihad is, how it relates to ISIS and Islamic terrorism today, and the most appropriate response we should make.

Key Quotes

"How should we answer jihad? This question is proving to be one of the more pressing and problematic of our time."

"There is a better way forward, a way that upholds both truth and compassion."

"Fear and fighting, both fuel the radical fires. We need something that breaks the cycle, and I think that can only be love."

"Even though Muslims are often raised with the teaching that 'Islam is the religion of peace,' when they study the texts for themselves, they are faced with the reality that Muhammad and the Quran call for jihad. They will stand at the crossroads for only so long before they choose what path they will take—apostasy, apathy, or radicalization."

"The final marching order of Islam is jihad. The final marching orders of Christians are grace and love."


The mass shooting in San Bernardino was the most lethal terror attack on American soil since 9/11, and it came on the heels of a coordinated assault on Paris. There is no question that innocents have been slaughtered in the name of Allah, and that jihad increasingly impinges upon our lives.

But do terrorists’ actions actually reflect the religion of Islam? What about our peaceful Muslim neighbors?

Setting aside speculation and competing voices, Answering Jihad provides insights to the questions we are all trying to answer. What really is jihad? Who are the true Muslims—violent or peaceful Muslims? Is Islam a “religion of peace?” And perhaps most important… How are we to move forward?

Table of Contents

Preface: A Better Way Forward
Introduction: Understanding Jihad and Our Muslim Neighbors

Question 1: What Is Islam?
Question 2: Is Islam “a Religion of Peace”? 
Question 3: What Is Jihad? 
Question 4: Is Jihad in the Quran and the Life of Muhammad? 
Question 5: What Is Sharia?
Question 6: Was Islam Spread by the Sword?

Question 7: What Is Radical Islam?
Question 8: Does Islam Need a Reformation? 
Question 9: Who Are Al-Qaida, ISIS, and Boko Haram?
Question 10: Who Are the True Muslims—Violent or Peaceful Muslims?
Question 11: Why Are Muslims Being Radicalized?
Question 12: Are Muslims Trying to Take Over the West with Sharia? 

Question 13: Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? 
Question 14: Why Do Some Christians Call God “Allah”?
Question 15: How Does Jihad Compare with Old Testament Warfare?
Question 16: What Does Jesus Teach about Violence?
Question 17: How Does Jihad Compare with the Crusades?
Question 18: What Does Jesus Have to Do with Jihad?

Conclusion: Answering Jihad
Appendices and Glossary