Hizb ut-Tahrir scholar Dr. Mahmoud Abd Al-Hadi said in a November 25, 2020 interview on Al-Waqiyah TV (Lebanon), a channel that is affiliated with the organization, that Jihad means both offensive and defensive war. He said that Islam is spread by means of Jihad, and this could not be interpreted as only defensive or preemptive war. Dr. Abd Al-Hadi stated that Islam gives the "People of the Book" three choices, conversion to Islam, dhimmi status, or to be fought against, while Americans, French, English, and Russian conquerors would only exterminate people.
Dr. Mahmoud Abd Al-Hadi: "We must present Islam as it is. Is Jihad really just a defensive war? That is obviously not true. If it were really just a defensive war, how did the Muslims arrive to Indonesia, East Turkestan, Central Asia, and Al-Andalus in Spain?"
Interviewer: "Some say that Jihad constitutes a preemptive war."
Al-Hadi: "A preemptive war that reaches all corners of the Earth? Can a preemptive war achieve all these conquests? All the Jihadi conquests in North Africa and the Levant constituted a preemptive war?
"There is such a thing as defensive Jihad. If you are attacked, you should defend yourself, your values, your religion, and the sovereignty of your country. But Jihad is also offensive, Jihad al-talab, in which you initiate the war. Now, some people are saying that times have changed. Who gets to decide that things were one way and now they have changed? Islam introduced the laws of the shari'a that regulate people's lives and relationships. These very laws prescribe Jihad.
"The Muslims have given the People [of the Book] three options – either to convert to Islam, out of free will and conviction, to live under the protection of Islam as dhimmis, or to be fought against if they refuse [one of the two previous options]. So Islam has given them three options. Tell me how many options America, France, and England give the people? Russia – with everything it is doing in Syria, and has done to the Muslims in the past, when it started occupying the lands of the Islamic State... How many options did the Russians give to the people? The only option they gave them was to be annihilated."