Martin Tran Nguyen is a professor of religious studies (particularly Islamic studies) at Fairfield University in Connecticut. On Wednesday, he gave a presentation on Islam before the Retired Men's Association in Greenwich. From the description in the below report, it appears that Nguyen gave the standard template presentation on Islam that Muslim speakers give to non-Muslim audiences. I have heard these presentations numerous times, and they are misleading to the point of out and out falsehoods. In the q and a, Nguyen gave a misleading description of jihad. Like his colleagues, whose business it is to mislead non-Muslim audiences, Nguyen gave the default definition of jihad.
Truth be told, there are two versions of Islam. One is -as Nguyen describes it- the struggle to be a better Muslim. However, the other version of jihad is fighting in the cause of Islam. That means warfare.
According to Islamic historiography, the Prophet Mohammad, upon returning from a battle, is said to have proclaimed: "Now that the lesser jihad is finished, it is time for the greater jihad."
According to that interpretation, the lesser jihad is actual fighting in the cause of jihad (warfare), and the greater jihad is struggling to become a better Muslim. The Koran is replete with references to fighting wars and killing non-Muslims. That is jihad. Call it the lesser jihad if you will, but it is jihad. Go back to every Islamic act of terror including 9-11 and beyond, and that is jihad.
Just as a side note, one of the best-selling books in the Middle East to this day is Hitler's, "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle), which is translated into Arabic as "My Jihad".
People who attend these presentations need to go armed with the facts and able to challenge speakers like Nguyen. These lies are skin deep and easily exposed.