I believe the Jihadis are the only Muslims who practice a "pure" form of the faith - that is, they obey the example provided by the prophet. The vast majority of modern Muslims understand the immorality of what their scriptures call them to do and they refrain, concentrating on those verses that call them to do what most humans find pleasing - being loving and kind to friends and strangers alike. But there is no doubt that the Qur'an - in unmistakable language - calls on the devout in over a hundred verses to commit extreme violence against non believers and to show no mercy to enemies. The instances in the O.T. Bible where similar acts are recorded are specific to time and location, they are not open ended commandments that have no "expiration" date. The exhortation that "the final day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them" is as valid today as it was 1400 years ago. The greatest falsehood regarding Islam and the chief mistake of those who feel the need to defend it is that they think of it ONLY as a religion and it has never been thus. From Muhammad's time until today it has always been a religious POLITICAL system of meaning. It is about conquest and subjugation of any who do not agree with it. This is a fact. I believe the Biblical scriptures concerning the last days paint a very clear picture of a global war that consumes 1/3 of humanity and this current conflict will be the catalyst for that war. It is a war that is based on whose god is greatest. Christians and Jews and most every other flavor out there give an invitation to join. Qur'anic invitations come with the threat of force if one refuses. Those who predominate as peaceful and loving adherents of Islam are also afraid of the Jihadis and they seem to be conflicted and perhaps ashamed of themselves because they KNOW that the truest reading of the books of their religion are unmistakable in their instruction. And they do not keep all these things sacred. They therefore will not stand up against the savages among their ranks. This conflict is going to be the end of the current age of the world. Human government will not survive it and BILLIONS of souls will perish because of it.
Indeed--Jihadists are merely the honest adherents of Islam. But rather than look at the scripture, I'd like to look at the history.
Islam of course began in 7th century Arabia, and was founded in war (the Jihad of Mohammed), and then spread through war (again, Jihad), as the Arabs burst forth from Arabia, into the Levant, Middle East, and North Africa. Without this violent war Islam would be at most a short-lived religious trend specific to Arabia. So this violence is clearly an integral part of the religion itself, and these so-called extremists/jihadists are merely following the example of founders of their religion.
Contrast this to Christianity, which was born through the adaptation of Platonic philosophy to Judaism and the efforts of one chap and his followers preaching it peacefully. It then spread throughout much of the Roman Empire by offering a message of forgiveness, brotherly love, and the idea of a happy afterlife for anyone who tried to be good. The only instances of violence were those against the early Christians. Modern extremists who preach hate and practice violence do so very much against the example of the founders of their religion.