In 2009 John Brennan, then the White House adviser on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism delivered a speech declaring that the United States is not engaged in a war on terrorism. In 2010 he argued that the term ‘jihadists’ should not be used to describe America’s enemies.
“Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children, Brennan said.
Erwin Lutzer, the author of “The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent,” disputed that notion, arguing the nation is at war with radical Islam and warned that if the government turns a blind eye the long term implications “will be very chilling.”
“Jihad is a holy war,” said Lutzer, pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. “Jihad is a holy war against unbelievers.”