Combating radical Islam requires understanding the lawful or peaceful means Islamists use to spread their doctrines.
Islamism is a threat to America because it does not accept the principles of general religious freedom, as protected under the U.S. Constitution.
Rather, it has a totalitarian agenda that does not recognize national boundaries or the separation of religious dictates from the social, political, and economic governance of society – including the private lives of its citizenry. The Islamist view of law is based on Shari'a (Islamic law), not the American Constitution.
The central strategy of Islamists in the West is lawful Jihad, or soft Jihad. This Jihad is non-violent and proposes to work through a society's existing institutions to gain social and political influence, and then introduce Islamic law into society. Specific methods include lobbying, Islamist lawfare, libel tourism, seeking special, unreasonable accommodation in the name of religious freedom, and most importantly, radical missionization.
One of the key tools used by Islamists to spread their message and recruit individuals is that of aggressive proselytizing – thus distinguishing Muslim converts who are on a personal spiritual mission to Islam from those being indoctrinated towards a political ideology is a key task. Combating the latter begins with keeping a vigilant eye on Islamic organizations and the materials they disseminate to potential converts.