Mitt Romney, June 3, 2009, at The Heritage Foundation on Jihad:
“I spoke about three major threats America faces on a long term basis. Jihadism is one of them, and that is not Islam.”
However: There is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad despite contemporary apologetics. The root of the word Jihad, appears 40 times in the Koran and in subsequent Islamic understanding to both Muslim luminaries—from the greatest jurists and scholars of classical Islam (including Abu Yusuf, Averroes, Ibn Khaldun, Al Ghazzali, and the Shi’ites Al-Hilli and Al-Amili ), to ordinary people—meant and means “he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers and the like.” As described by the seminal Arabic lexicographer E.W Lane, “Jihad came to be used by the Muslims to signify wag[ing] war, against unbelievers.” A contemporary definition was provided at the Fourth International Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research at Al Azhar, Cairo, The Vatican of Sunni Islam, in 1968 by Muhammad al-Sobki:
…the words Al Jihad, Al Mojahadah, or even “striving against enemies” are equivalents and they do not mean especially fighting with the atheists…they mean fighting in the general sense…
Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1942 speech “Islam Is Not a Religion of Pacifists,” is a modern vision of these classical formulations, which states plainly,
…those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [Allah’s law; the Sharia]….Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!
There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.
Mitt Romney at the June 13, 2011 New Hampshire Republican primary candidates debate on Sharia:
“Well, first of all, of course, we’re not going to have Sharia law applied in U.S. courts. That’s never going to happen.”
However: “Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases” evaluated a total 50 Appellate Court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between Sharia and American state law.
“The study’s findings suggest that Shariah law has entered into state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy. Some commentators have said there are no more than one or two cases of Shariah law in U.S. state court cases; yet we found 50 significant cases just from the small sample of appellate published cases.”