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The term "Jihadism" (also "jihadist movement", "jihadi movement" and variants) is a 21st-century neologism found in Western languages to describe Islamist militant movements perceived as military movements "rooted in Islam" and "existentially threatening" to the West.It has been described as a "difficult term to define precisely", because it remains a recent neologism with no single, generally accepted meaning. The term "jihadism" first appeared in South Asian media; Western journalists adopted it in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks of 2001. It has since been applied to various insurgent and terrorist movements whose ideology is based on the notion of jihad.
A neologism describes a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often driven by changes in culture and technology, and may be directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. In the process of language formation, neologisms are more mature than protologisms.
The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least parts of Europe, Australasia, and North America, with the status of Commonwealth and Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.
Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or more specifically to movements which call for full implementation of sharia. It is commonly used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism. In academic usage, the term Islamism does not specify what vision of "Islamic order" or sharia are being advocated, or how their advocates intend to bring them about. In Western mass media it tends to refer to groups whose aim is to establish a sharia-based Islamic state, often with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, and has acquired connotations of political extremism. In the Muslim world, the term has positive connotations among its proponents.
Contemporary jihadism ultimately has its roots in the late 19th- and early 20th-century ideological developments of Islamic revivalism, which developed into Qutbism and related ideologies during the mid-20th century.[ citation needed ]
Islamic revival refers to a revival of the Islamic religion.
Qutbism is an Islamist ideology developed by Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim Brotherhood. It has been described as advancing the extremist jihadist ideology of propagating "offensive jihad" – waging jihad in conquest – or "armed jihad in the advance of Islam"
The terrorist organisations partaking in the Soviet–Afghan War of 1979 to 1989 reinforced the rise of jihadism, which has been propagated in various armed conflicts throughout the 1990s and 2000s.[ citation needed ] Gilles Kepel has diagnosed a specifically Salafi jihadism within the Salafi movement of the 1990s.
The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the rural countryside. The mujahideen groups were backed primarily by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.
Gilles Kepel, is a French political scientist and Arabist, specialized in the contemporary Middle East and Muslims in the West. He is Professor at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) and director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Chair at PSL, based at Ecole Normale Supérieure. He has been described by Alain Elkann as “the best possible guide through the frightening labyrinth of militant Islam.”
Salafi jihadism or jihadist-Salafism is a transnational religious-political ideology based on a belief in "physical" jihadism and the Salafi movement of returning to what adherents believe to be true Sunni Islam.
Jihadism with an international, Pan-Islamist scope in this sense is also known as global jihadism. "Jihadism" is usually defined[ by whom? ] as Sunni Islamist armed struggle, and fighters often target Shia Islam, as well as Sufism and Ahmadiyya.[ citation needed ]
Pan-Islamism is a political ideology advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic country or state – often a caliphate – or an international organization with Islamic principles. As a form of internationalism and anti-nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by seeing the ummah as the focus of allegiance and mobilization, excluding ethnicity and race as primary unifying factors. It portrays Islam as being anti-racist and against anything that divides the human race based on ethnicity.
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident of Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed caliph by a small group of Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful caliph after the Prophet.
Sufism, or Taṣawwuf,, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis". Another similar idea of tasawuf in Islam is tazkiyah (تزكية).
The term "jihadism" has been in use since the 1990s more widely after 9/11 attacks.It was first used in the Indian and Pakistani media, and by French academics who used the more exact term "jihadist-Salafist".
According to Martin Kramer as of 2003, "jihadism is used to refer to the most violent persons and movements in contemporary Islam, including al-Qaeda."David Romano has defined his use of the term as referring to "an individual or political movement that primarily focuses its attention, discourse, and activities on the conduct of a violent, uncompromising campaign that they term a jihad". Following Daniel Kimmage, he distinguishes the jihadist discourse of jihad as a global project to remake the world from the resistance discourse of groups like Hizbullah, which is framed as a regional project against a specific enemy.
Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Most Muslims do not use the term, disliking the association of illegitimate violence with a noble religious concept and instead prefer the use of delegitimising terms like "deviants".
The term "jihadist globalism" is also often used in relation to jihadism. Academic Manfred Steger proposes an extension of the term "jihadist globalism" to apply to all extremely violent strains of religiously influenced ideologies that articulate the global imaginary into concrete political agendas and terrorist strategies (these include Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, Hamas and Hezbollah, which he finds "today's most spectacular manifestation of religious globalism").
"Jihad Cool" is a term used by Western security expertsconcerning the re-branding of militant jihadism into something fashionable, or "cool", to younger people through social media, magazines, rap videos, toys, propaganda videos, and other means. It is a sub-culture mainly applied to individuals in developed nations who are recruited to travel to conflict zones on jihad. For example, jihadi rap videos make participants look "more MTV than Mosque", according to NPR, which was the first to report on the phenomenon in 2010.
Maajid Nawaz, founder and chairman of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam, defines Jihadism as a violent subset of Islamism: "Islamism [is] the desire to impose any version of Islam over any society. Jihadism is the attempt to do so by force."
According to scholar of Islam and Islamic history Rudoph Peters, contemporary traditionalist Muslims "copy phrases of the classical works on fiqh" in their writings on jihad; Islamic Modernists "emphasize the defensive aspect of jihad, regarding it as tantamount to bellum justum in modern international law; and the contemporary fundamentalists (Abul Ala Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, etc.) view it as a struggle for the expansion of Islam and the realization of Islamic ideals."
Jihad has been propagated in modern fundamentalism beginning in the late 19th century, an ideology that arose in context of struggles against colonial powers in North Africa in the late 19th century, as in the Mahdist War in Sudan, and notably in the mid-20th century by Islamic revivalist authors such as Sayyid Qutb and Abul Ala Maududi.
The term jihadism (earlier Salafi jihadism) has arisen in the 2000s to refer to the contemporary jihadi movements, the development of which was in retrospect traced to developments of Salafism paired with the origins of Al-Qaeda in the Soviet–Afghan War during the 1990s.
Jihadism has been called an "offshoot" of Islamic revivalism of the 1960s and 1970s. The writings of Sayyid Qutb and Mohammed Abdul-Salam Farag provide inspiration. The Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989) is said to have "amplified the jihadist tendency from a fringe phenomenon to a major force in the Muslim world."It served to produce foot soldiers, leadership and organization. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam provided propaganda for the Afghan cause. After the war veteran jihadists returned to their home countries and dispersed to other sites of conflicts involving Muslim populations such as Algeria, Bosnia and Chechnya creating a "transnational jihadist stream."
An explanation for jihadist willingness to kill civilians and self-professed Muslims on the grounds that they were actually apostates ( takfir ) is the vastly reduced influence of the traditional diverse class of ulama, often highly educated Islamic jurists. In "the vast majority" of Muslim countries during the post-colonial world of the 1950s and 60s the private religious endowments (awqaf) that had supported the independence of the Islamic scholars/jurists for centuries were taken over by the state. The jurists were made salaried employees and the nationalist rulers naturally encouraged their employees (and their employees interpretations of Islam) to serve the rulers' interests. Inevitably the jurists came to be seen by the Muslim public as doing so.
Into this vacuum of religious authority came aggressive proselytizing funded by tens of billions of dollars of petroleum-export money.The version of Islam being propagated (Saudi doctrine of Wahhabism) billed itself as a return to pristine, simple, straightforward Islam, not one school among many, and not interpreting divine law historically or contextually, but the one, orthodox "straight path" of Islam. Unlike the traditional teachings of the jurists who tolerated and even celebrated divergent opinions and schools of thought and kept extremism marginalized, Wahhabism had "extreme hostility" to "any sectarian divisions within Islam".
The term jihadist is almost exclusively used to describe Sunni extremists.In Syria, where there are thousands of foreign Muslim fighters engaged in the civil war, for example, non-Syrian Shia are often referred to as "militia", and Sunni foreigners as "jihadists" (or "would-be jihadists"). One who does use the term "Shia jihad" is Danny Postel, who complains that "this Shia jihad is largely left out of the dominant narrative."
According to Shadi Hamid and Rashid Dar, jihadism is driven by the idea that jihad is an "individual obligation" ( fard ‘ayn) incumbent upon all Muslims. This is in contrast with the belief of Muslims up until now (and by contemporary non-jihadists) that jihad is a "collective obligation" (fard kifaya) carried out according to orders of legitimate representatives of the Muslim community. Jihadist insist all Muslims should participate because (they believe) today's Muslim leaders are illegitimate and do not command the authority to ordain justified violence.
The Syrian Civil War became a focus for Sunni fighters waging jihad on Shia. The al-Nusra Front is the largest jihadist group in Syria.The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has called for jihad against the Syrian government and against that government's Shi'ite allies. Saudi Arabia backs the jihad against the Shia in Syria using proxies. Sunni jihadi converge in Syria from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, as well as other Arab states with Chechnya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Western countries.
During the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s, many Muslims received calls for a jihad against atheists.Mujahideen were recruited from various countries including Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. The conflict gradually turned from one against occupation to one seen as a jihad.
Ayman al-Zawahiri declared a fatwa of jihad against Jews in 1998.[ citation needed ]
Wahhabism is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "austere", "fundamentalist", or "puritan(ical)"; as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" (tawhid) by devotees; and as a "deviant sectarian movement", "vile sect" and a distortion of Islam by its detractors. The term Wahhabi(sm) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid. claiming to emphasize the principle of tawhid, for exclusivity on monotheism, dismissing other Muslims as practising shirk, (idolatry). It follows the theology of Ibn Taymiyyah and the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, although Hanbali leaders renounced Abd al-Wahhab's views.
Islamic fundamentalism has been defined as a movement of Muslims who regard earlier times favorably and seek to return to the fundamentals of the Islamic religion and live similarly to how the prophet Muhammad and his companions lived. Islamic fundamentalists favor "a literal and originalist interpretation" of the primary sources of Islam, seek to eliminate "corrupting" non-Islamic influences from every part of their lives and see "Islamic fundamentalism" as a pejorative term used by outsiders for Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism.
The Salafi movement, also called Salafist movement, Salafiya, and Salafism, is a reform branch or revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Egypt in the late 19th century as a response to Western European imperialism, with roots in the 18th-century Wahhabi movement that originated in the Najd region of modern-day Saudi Arabia. It advocated a return to the traditions of the salaf, the first three generations of Muslims, which include the generations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his companions, their successors, and the successors of the successors.
Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism is defined as any terrorist act, set of acts or campaign committed by groups or individuals who profess Islamic or Islamist motivations or goals. Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through their own interpretation of the Quran and Hadith. The motivation for Islamic terrorism in part comes from the idea of Islamic supremacy which is encapsulated in the formula, "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."
A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (unbeliever), and is described as when "one who is a Muslim is declared impure."
Abu Musab al-Suri, born Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmariam Nasar, is a suspected Al-Qaeda member and writer best known for his 1600-page book The Global Islamic Resistance Call. He has held Spanish citizenship since the late 1980s following marriage to a Spanish woman. He is wanted in Spain for the 1985 El Descanso bombing, which killed eighteen people in a restaurant in Madrid, and in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He is considered by many as 'the most articulate exponent of the modern jihad and its most sophisticated strategies'.
This article summarizes the different branches and schools in Islam. The best known split, into Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Kharijites, was mainly political at first but eventually acquired theological and jurisprudential dimensions. There are three traditional types of schools in Islam: schools of jurisprudence, Sufi orders and schools of theology. The article also summarizes major denominations and movements that have arisen in the modern era.
(They are not Arab basically because they don’t speak Arabic ) Islamist mujahideen who came to Afghanistan during and following the Soviet–Afghan War to help fellow Muslims fight Soviets and pro-Soviet Afghans.
Islamic extremism has been defined by the British government as any form of Islam that opposes "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs". Related terms include "Islamist extremism" and Islamism. Some people oppose the use of the term, fearing it could "de-legitimize" the Islamic faith in general. Some have criticized political rhetoric that associates non-violent Islamism with terrorism under the rubric of "extremism".
Mujahideen is the plural form of mujahid, the term for one engaged in Jihad.
Jihadi tourism, also referred to as jihad tourism or jihadist tourism, is a term sometimes used to describe travel to foreign destinations with the object of scouting for terrorist training. US diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks in 2010 have raised concerns about this form of travel. Within intelligence circles, the term is also sometimes applied dismissively to travellers who are assumed to be seeking contact with extremist groups mainly out of curiosity.
al-Taliah al-Salafiyah al-Mujahediyah Ansar al-Sharia, better known by the name Ansar al-Sharia (Egypt), is a radical Islamist group that operates in Egypt.
Madkhalism is a strain of Islamist thought within the larger Salafist movement based on the writings of Rabee al-Madkhali. Arab states have generally favored Madkhalism due to its support for secular forms of government as opposed to other strains of Salafism, and Madkhalism's decline in Saudi Arabia has been connected with a decline in support for secular forms of government in the Muslim world.
The relationship between Salafism and Sufis – two movements of Islam with different interpretations of Islam – is historically diverse and reflects some of the changes and conflicts in the Muslim world today.
Petro-Islam usually refers to the extremist and fundamentalist interpretation of Sunni Islam—sometimes called "Wahhabism"—favored by the conservative oil-exporting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its name derives from source of the funding—petroleum exports—that spread it through the Muslim world following the Yom Kippur War. The term is sometimes called "pejorative" or a "nickname". According to Sandra Mackey the term was coined by Fouad Ajami. It has been used by French political scientist Gilles Kepel, Bangladeshi religious scholar Imtiyaz Ahmed, and Egyptian philosopher Fouad Zakariyya, among others.
The ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which controls territory primarily in Iraq and Syria, has been described as being based on Salafism, Salafi Jihadism, and Wahhabism.
Starting in the mid-1970s and 1980s, conservative/strict/puritanical interpretations of Sunni Islam favored by the conservative oil-exporting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have achieved what political scientist Gilles Kepel calls a "preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam." The interpretations included not only "Wahhabi" Islam of Saudi Arabia, but Islamist/revivalist Islam, and a "hybrid" of the two interpretations.
'Jihadism' is a term that has been constructed in Western languages to describe militant Islamic movements that are perceived as existentially threatening to the West. Western media have tended to refer to Jihadism as a military movement rooted in political Islam.
'Jihadism,' like the word jihad out of which it is constructed, is a difficult term to define precisely. The meaning of Jihadism is a virtual moving target because it remains a recent neologism and no single, generally accepted meaning has been developed for it.
Well before the full emergence of Islamism in the 1970s, a growing constituency nicknamed 'petro-Islam' included Wahhabi ulemas and Islamist intellectuals and promoted strict implementation of the sharia in the political, moral and cultural spheres; this proto-movement had few social concerns and even fewer revolutionary ones.
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