A Muslim imam in London went to court recently with a libel action against the BBC, claiming damages for having been wrongly called an "extremist" on a TV programme. In court, the BBC defended calling him as such. In the end the Judge held that the BBC had succeeded in its defence, and that it was true to describe him as someone who espouses extremist Islamic positions.
In his judgment the Judge has discussed the teachings of Islam about jihad, which all Muslims should find very enlightening. For your convenience I have extracted those sections from his judgment (consisting of pages 22 to 30 of the judgment).
the link to those sections.
The judge writes:
"… it is clear in my view, that the Qur’an permits only defensive jihad (al-jihad a-difa’i)." (Sec. 113)
"Terrorism in Islam (hiraba or irhab) was defined by the 11th Century Chief Judge of Muslim Lisbon, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, as follows:
“Anyone who disturbs the free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate, is guilty of terrorism [hiraba], be he a Muslim or a non-Muslim, free or slave, and whether he actually realises his goal of taking money and killing or not.”
Thus, the “9/11” and “7/7” bombers would have been guilty of terrorism (hiraba) under Islamic law." (Sec. 130-131)
the link to the Press Summary of the case as released by the court