After a terrorist attack perpetrated by jihadiists two kinds of reactions are expected: some affirm the attacks have their roots in Islam whereas the others, especially the Muslim and the political correct westerners, affirm terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Both sides are right.
Perhaps, terrorism has nothing to do with Islam but it is inspired by Islamism, that is, a political analysis of Islam. The very same jihadiists consider himself non-state combatants who have an irregular war against non-believers. They consider their acts are justified by the new interpretation of the Jihad developed by Islamism. Jihad is extremelly defined in the Koran and terrorism has nothing to do with it. However, affirming that Jihadism has nothing to do with Islam is false because Jihadiists see themselves as real believers. That is the reason why the debate regarding terrorism’s Islamic nature or not is meaningless.
Jihadism is a new direction of the Islamic civilization and it is necessary to work with the Muslim community to find out who the Jihadiists are. These are the followers of Hassan Al-Banna and de Sayyed Qutb’ ideas who laied the foundations of Islamism. I am an inmigrant Muslim in Europe and I reject the idea of the “clash of cilizations” but there is a war of ideas, a war of pacific and democratic movements against the global Jihad.

International Herald Tribune (France)
The International Herald Tribune is a version of the New York Times adapted for the European public. It works in direct association with Haaretz (Israel), Kathimerini (Greece), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), JoongAng Daily (South Korea), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), The Daily Star (Lebanon) and El País (Spain). It also works, through its head office, in indirect association with Le Monde (France).

Jihadism’s roots in political Islam”, by Bassam Tibi, International Herald Tribune, August 30, 2005.