Nowaday, The word Jihad got meaning of horror and bloodshed, because of radical groups like ISIL and Prejudice in major media but truth is something else.
meaning of jihad in merriam-webster dictionary is like this: ” a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also : a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline”, as you see its a bit different with mass ordering of people!
Jihad or “جهاد” in arabic language does not mean “War”, arabic has another word for war which is “الحرب” or al-harb, the most accurate equivalent for Jihad is “struggle”, and it can have ethical, commercial, military and other aspects as an instance, if someone has a bad habit and struggle hard to quit that habit, it can be considered as jihad, or if a recession happen in a country and people try to solve it by betaking their welfare, its jihad, also defending you land against intruders, or fighting against an enemy whom is intended to fight with you, is jihad.
There is a narration about jihad which is nice to hear:
Once islam’s army was back from battlefield, Holy messenger, muhammad(pbuh) told them thu:
Good for you, you have fulfilled the minor jihad but yet you haven’t fulfilled the major jihad,
One of fellows asked: O! allah’s messenger, what is the major jihad?
Prophet answered: the major jihad is struggle with self.
this aspect of jihad s more like to Zen principles of self discipline, in fact, there is a lot of self improvement practices are mentioned in islamic sources, even though not all of muslims pat attention to them.
So jihad is a kind of hard struggle to achieve a good, and yes! defending against enemy and fighting against malignant intruders are part of that struggle in this real world, but if some pseudo muslim groups use this holy principle to invade and kill innocent people, the problem is with their logic, not islams.
islam is a powerful ideology, using it in a wrong way is like riding a dozer in wrong direction!