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Abstract

Overall, this research finds that cultural jihad is a significant threat to the Western way of life, particularly when combined with the direct threat of the more commonly known violent jihad. This research draws upon primary sources including evidentiary exhibits, government documents, publications from radical Islamist leaders, and the Quran. As a backdrop, the paper reveals a pathway and series of key influencers that have shifted violent jihad to be viewed by radicals as (1) the only option for change and (2) an offensive and globally-oriented tactic. Cultural jihad is also discussed as a passive, long-term threat to the West. Several shared operational themes are identified relative to both violent jihad and cultural jihad. Thus, the homeland security apparatus, and particularly the intelligence community might benefit from propagating a less offense-oriented ideology as part of an overall approach that holistically addresses the combined threat of violent jihad and cultural jihad. This paper also identifies the need for further academic research on cultural jihadism as a key component in addressing the long-term threat to the West.

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