James Arlandson writes in The American Thinker:
Muslim spokespersons who have access to the news media are misleading the public about jihad.
The Council on American Muslim Relations (CAIR ) says the following about jihad at the time this present article was posted:
“Jihad” does not mean “holy war.” Literally, jihad means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., – having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.
In reply, however, while it is true that a Muslim may wage jihad on the excess in his soul or on unbelief by non-violent means like argumentation, jihad must also include a military, violent war.
Also, the clauses that say jihad means the struggle to improve “the quality of life” or the fight against “tyranny and oppression” are ambiguous. Islam expresses the will of Allah, and jihad battles anything that stands in its way.
By any clear reading of the Quran, the hadith (reports of Muhammad’s words and actions outside of the Quran), the histories, the biographies and the law books on early Islam, jihad cannot exclude military warfare in the cause of Allah in order to expand Islam…
One powerful motive for waging jihad is the material benefits. The conquered territories fall under the control of the jihadists, and they are permitted to keep it. If anyone is looking for the reason for the spread of Islam, then this is a solid one, (though other reasons come into play, like following the will of Allah). The newly conquered have the option to convert, in which case they pay a forced “charity” or zakat tax. Or they are allowed to remain in the Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax. Granted, it is often asserted that the jizya is less than the forced “charity” tax, but either way, money flows into the Islamic treasury.
Why would Muhammad receive a revelation that dries up this money flow, especially when it is connected to military war?
Indeed, read it all.