Parroting a line common among Middle East studies academics, Fairfield University Islamic studies professor Martin Tran Nguyen informed an audience in Greenwich (CT), that the "popular understanding" of "jihad" as "holy war" is incorrect. Instead, he maintained, "it means a struggle," such as "trying to make ends meet" or "getting a great education."
Nguyen's conclusion? "Though the Qur'an does talk about defending one's self, jihad is not meant to be used that way." The countless victims of those who commit violence in the name of jihad would beg to differ.