What Is Radical Islam Means? (Correct answer)

Islamic extremism, Islamist extremism, or radical Islam refer to extremist beliefs associated with the religion of Islam. These are controversial terms with varying definitions, ranging from academic understandings to the idea that all ideologies other than Islam have failed and are inferior to Islam.

What is radical Islam?

It also might include the Muslim Brotherhood, which has many variations in the many different countries where it has a presence but in most calls on Muslims to use peaceful politics to increase the role of Islam in government and society. Second, radical simply means violent.

What is radical Islamic fundamentalism?

A movement that has gained momentum in recent decades within several Muslim nations. Islamic fundamentalists oppose the infiltration of secular and Westernizing influences and seek to institute Islamic law, including strict codes of behavior. They also target political corruption in Muslim nations.

Why is Islam considered a radical reforming religion?

At its core, Islam is what we call a radical reforming religion — just like Jesus and Moses sought to restore Abrahamic monotheism after what they perceived as straying, so too did Muhammad.

What does Islam literally mean?

A: The word Islam literally means “submission” in Arabic, referring to submission to God. Muslim, one who practices Islam, refers to one who submits to God.

Is Pakistan Sunni or Shia?

Almost all of the people of Pakistan are Muslims or at least follow Islamic traditions, and Islamic ideals and practices suffuse virtually all parts of Pakistani life. Most Pakistanis belong to the Sunni sect, the major branch of Islam. There are also significant numbers of Shiʿi Muslims.

Is it Shia or Shiite?

Shiʻa, Shia, Shiʻism/Shiʻite or Shiism/Shiite are the forms used in English, for adherents, mosques, and things associated with the religion.

Where did radical Islam come from?

The ideological origins can be traced as far back as the 13th century in the writings of the scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, resurrected by Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab in what is now Saudi Arabia during the 18th century.

What is terrorism based on?

To be considered an act of terrorism, an action must be violent, or threaten violence. As such, political dissent, activism, and nonviolent resistance do not constitute terrorism.

What do u mean by jihad?

jihad, (Arabic: “struggle” or “effort ”) also spelled jehad, in Islam, a meritorious struggle or effort.

Who wrote the Quran?

The Prophet Muhammad disseminated the Koran in a piecemeal and gradual manner from AD610 to 632, the year in which he passed away. The evidence indicates that he recited the text and scribes wrote down what they heard.

What is the best religion in the world?

The most popular religion is Christianity, followed by an estimated 2.38 billion people worldwide. Islam, which is practiced by more than 1.91 billion people, is second. However, population researchers predict that Islam will have nearly caught up to Christianity by 2050.

Which religion has the highest crime rate?

Among Page 10 510 SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES / OCTOBER 1985 Christians, Catholics were found to have the highest crime rate in all 10 studies where their rates were compared to Protestants.

What is Islam according to the Quran?

The word “Islam” means “submission to the will of God.” Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing God, who in Arabic is known as Allah. Followers of Islam aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah. The Quran (or Koran) is the major holy text of Islam.

Who was the founder of Islam?

The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus.

How many types of Islam are there?

As with all other world religions, Islam is represented by several major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism. These branches started to develop after Muhammad’s death when people began to disagree on the successor of the religion.

What does it mean to be at war with “radical Islam”? On the attractions and dangers of a vague term

In the United States, who is the adversary in the fight against terrorism? Does it refer to the Islamic State specifically, the wider jihadist movement, or a collection of beliefs about the role of religion and politics that are commonly referred to as “radical Islam”? The President-elect and several of his top aides have emphasized the need of focusing on radical Islam and have criticized President Obama for failing to use that exact designation when addressing the issue. “I believe Islam despises us,” Trump declared while on the campaign road.

Due to the fact that you are unfamiliar with the situation.

Steve Bannon, one of the President-principal elect’s aides, compared the situation now to the period between the wars of Vienna and Tours, when Christian armies pushed back the forces of Islam.

The actions of Presidents Obama and Bush have seen a significant shift in viewpoint in recent years.

Fighting terrorism, according to the new government, entails combating a wide philosophy rather than a specific group of violent individuals who join the Islamic State, al-Qaida, or another terrorist organization.

Several decades ago, the historian Bernard Lewis wrote a renowned essay for The Atlantic, warning of a civilizational collision caused by: “a rejection of Western civilisation as such, not merely what it accomplishes but what it is, as well as the principles and ideals that it practices and proclaims.” The label also has some conceptual worth, which is a plus.

  • counterterrorism efforts, having surpassed al-Qaida as the country’s top priority after the United States began bombing the group in the summer of 2014 and its subsequent campaign of terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States—some directed, many inspired—in the summer of 2015.
  • Indeed, the Islamic State and al-Qaida are just two jihadist organizations among a slew of others.
  • Additionally, the Islamic State claims “provinces” in other countries, with some, such as the one in Libya, having strong relations to the Syria-Iraq core while others, such as the one in Nigeria, being significantly farther distanced from the Syrian and Iraq core.
  • Ansar-e Sharia in Libya and Ahrar al-Sham in Syria are examples of such groups.
  • Additionally, the name “Radical Islam” encompasses a diverse spectrum of persons and acts who do not cleanly fit into any one group or another and who may even shift back and forth between the many bodies that make up the jihadist world.
  • Omar Mateen, the Orlando gunman, was neither a member of al-Qaida or the Islamic State, but he was a jihadist terrorist who acted in the name of both organizations.

The difficulty, of course, is that the term “Radical Islam” has grown to such an extent that it has become confused, meaningless, or even contradictory in its application. A significant portion of the debate revolves on what it means to be “radical.” Consider the following three possibilities:

  • First and foremost, radical means exactly what it says in the dictionary: “advocating or predicated on comprehensive or complete political or social revolution.” Countries and movements that are political yet peaceful would be included in this category, as suggested by the terminology used. As a result, allied governments such as Saudi Arabia, which embrace the role of Islam at all levels of society and frequently promulgate attitudes toward non-Muslims and women, among other teachings, that Western audiences would find offensive, as well as missionary groups such as the Tablighi Jamaat, which claim to be apolitical but whose teachings on social behavior are extreme and overlap with some of those of clear terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, may fall into this classification. The Muslim Brotherhood, for example, has various variations in the many different nations where it has a presence, but calls on Muslims to utilize peaceful politics to strengthen the role of Islam in government and society in the majority of cases. Second, radical is merely a synonym for violent. The majority of Americans believe that the problem of terrorism is about killing, not about opposing beliefs. Many violent Islamists, on the other hand, are not intrinsically hostile to the United States. Instead, they may oppose the governments of Egypt, India, Russia, Tunisia, or other nations, and the United States would not be viewed as an adversary in their eyes. They may also not prioritize their hostility against Americans when Americans are slain, choosing instead to direct their attention elsewhere. Third, the term radical might be used to refer to someone who is aggressive and anti-American. However, at this point, the label begins to overlap with that of already-existing organisations and persons who are already on the United States’ terrorist and target lists. The use of the epithet “radical Islam” has little effect on public policy

President Barack Obama has undertaken communication operations to undermine ISIS and has recruited Middle Eastern governments in the fight against jihadism, as Friedman points out. He has urged Muslims to denounce extremists in their midst and has subjected Syrian refugees to what Trump may refer to as “extreme vetting.” He has also pushed Muslims to criticize extremists in their midst. When it comes to fighting terrorism, he has relied on government surveillance. He has also neutralized the most alarming aspect of the threat posed by Iran, and he has established a reputation as an able terrorist hunter by using military force against jihadist leaders and operatives in a number of countries.” Home, it may mean more rigorous screening for Muslim immigrants to ensure they do not accept allegedly extreme beliefs, even when they reject violence.

  1. My Brookings colleague Will McCants draws an illuminating parallel between plans to outlaw those who support Islamic law and how Europe viewed Jews until the modern age, treating them as a distinct people whose religious beliefs were intrinsically subversive, as he describes in his article.
  2. The Ku Klux Klan, PETA, and other organizations are also zealous believers in ideas that many Americans oppose, but the law protects these organizations under the Constitution.
  3. A bigger conflict means more adversaries, more military deployments, and more interactions with disturbed and unhappy allies, all of which are undesirable outcomes.
  4. Under both Bush and Obama, the United States has had a terrible track record with such initiatives, implying that any future accomplishments are likely to be limited at the very best.
  5. Al-Qaida and the Islamic State are mortal adversaries in terms of weapons and tactics.
  6. Because there are so few Islamist groups who prioritize assaults on the United States’ homeland, there is nothing to be gained by engaging them directly; rather, when in doubt, the United States should be assisting the efforts of local partners in their counter-terrorism operations.
  7. Even those who continue to condemn violence would be less eager to collaborate with local police and federal authorities for fear that these institutions would single them out for harassment.

Indeed, the ideal situation would be to persuade those who might otherwise resort to violence to regard peaceful politics as their ally. They would then be added to the lengthy list of extremists who have been defeated by the moderation that has always characterized American politics and culture.

Who exactly are ‘radical’ Muslims?

When talking about the “war on terror,” the Trump administration has been using the word “radical Islam” quite a bit. President Trump has issued several warnings about “Islamic terrorism,” ranging from his inaugural address to statements to military chiefs. It is possible to lump many different types of persons and movements together under the umbrella term “radical Islam.” In Europe and the United States, the Salafist tradition is becoming increasingly popular as a term for “radical Islam,” and politicians and media are increasingly using it to do so.

  1. Also describing Salafism as a “basic understanding of Islam,” Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, says the ideology is justified by terrorism.
  2. As a professor of religion and politics, I have conducted study in Salafi groups, notably in France and India, two nations where Muslims constitute the greatest religious minority in their respective countries.
  3. To provide an example, estimates range from 5,000 to 20,000 in France, where there is a Muslim community of more than 4 million people.
  4. However, there is a lack of awareness about Salafism, its history, and its various manifestations.
  5. So, what exactly are Salafists?
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Origins of Salafism

The Arabic word salaf literally translates as “ancestors.” It is a technical term that refers to the first three generations of Muslims who lived in the immediate vicinity of the Prophet Muhammad. Because they had first-hand knowledge of the ancient Islamic teachings and practices, they are widely recognized across the Muslim world for their contributions. Arriving at the Kaaba, a structure located in the heart of Islam’s holiest mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Self-identified Salafists tend to assume that they are merely attempting to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

Salafism as a movement is said to have begun in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Islamic world.

The reason for this was a desire to return to the original teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran, which had become out of date as a result of societal changes and Western colonization, among other things.

Recent research, on the other hand, claims that these thinkers from the past never ever heard of the name “Salafism.” To put it another way, there is no definitive account of how or when exactly this movement had its beginnings.

The reason for this is that Salafist organizations and people do not always see themselves in this light, and vice versa. Moreover, they are at odds with one another about what constitutes real Salafist practice.

Here’s what my research shows

The great majority of those who are loosely affiliated with Salafism, on the other hand, are either completely apolitical or actively oppose politics because they believe it is morally corrupt. From 2005 to 2014, I worked as an ethnographic researcher in the towns of Lyon, in southeastern France, and Hyderabad, in southern India, for a total of two years. This was something I noticed vividly in these two towns. Every week, I attended mosque teachings and Islamic study circles with a group of dozens of Salafist women, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  1. What are Salafist women like to be around?
  2. They did not participate in demonstrations or lobbying efforts, and in Lyon, a large number of them did not vote in the municipal elections.
  3. They adopt severe types of veiling and put in long hours to ensure that they can follow their faith on a daily basis.
  4. I met her while working as an ethnographic researcher on Muslim minority in France, and we became fast friends.

She would also be classified as a “radical Muslim” if we go by the definitions that have been floated: In addition to praying five times a day, she fasted throughout the whole month of Ramadan and dressed in a “jilbab,” which is a loose, full-body garment that covers everything except the face.

She worked very hard in order to live her life in line with the ethical precepts of Islam, and she was successful.

Amal was extremely concerned about their prospects in France, because anti-veiling legislation had severely restricted their options in the country.

Religious does not mean radical

Salami women are not passive devotees, as anthropologists of religion have demonstrated in the past. They are also not coerced into following rigorous religious traditions by their spouses. However, this does not imply that they are all the same. The majority of the Salafist women I met were the daughters and grandchildren of immigrants from the old French North African colonies, according to my observations. Almost a third of those who converted to Islam did so precisely because they preferred the Salafist heritage over other currents of Islam in general.

  • Even though some of the ladies were brought up in religious households, many were forced to break away from their Muslim families or face the wrath of their relatives for converting to Salafism.
  • Despite this condemnation, the ladies concentrated their attention on what it meant to have confidence in God, emphasizing the fact that they had to work hard to maintain and build their faith.
  • Some of the pilgrims engaged in “sins” such as smoking or lying, and others strayed from the teachings by failing to pray or fast during their journey.
  • As a result of my investigation, non-Muslims and other Muslims alike reported that Salafists were critical of anyone who did not believe or practice in the same way as them.

According to my observations, the opposite was true: Salafis stressed that one’s religion and devotion were intensely personal concerns that no one, including God, had the authority to judge or intervene in.

Diverse views

Salafism, like any other movement or tradition, is deeply varied and contains a multitude of arguments and battles for legitimacy, just as any other movement or tradition. As a result, there are Salafists who identify themselves as such and who join political groups or participate in political disputes all over the world. There are various political parties in Egypt and the Ahl-i-Hadees in India, to name a few of examples. Security analysts believe that a tiny minority of 250,000 people opposes nation-states and advocates political violence.

They are spread across continents, but are focused in Iraq and Syrian territory.

Different from Wahhabism

However, in today’s political context, it has taken on a political connotation. This is partially due to the fact that it has ties to Saudi Arabia. In certain circles, Salafism is referred to as Wahhabism, which refers to the Saudi Arabian variety of the movement that is closely associated with the Saudi state. They have certain intellectual foundations and theological emphases in common, but they also have significant differences, particularly in their approaches to Islamic law. While Wahhabis adhere to one of the main Sunni orthodox schools of law, Salafis are more likely to approach legal issues in their own way.

  • For some Salafists, being labeled as Wahhabi is a dismissive or even insulting way of referring to their religious beliefs.
  • In my study, I found that individuals in both India and France expressed worry about the Saudi government’s political corruption and human rights record, respectively.
  • For example, many Salafist women dress in the niqab (head covering) (that covers the face).
  • They disseminate lectures as well as funds for the construction of mosques and schools.
  • Of course, Mecca and Medina are the spiritual centers for Muslims in general, and Mecca and Medina are the most important.

Avoiding stereotypes, assumptions

The importance of recognizing the richness and variety of the Salafist movement is explained below. It is true that it looks to be gaining in importance as a component of the worldwide Islamic renaissance. And it is likely to continue to be a part of the social scene in a number of cities for the foreseeable future as a result of these factors. Although religious beliefs and practices differ from terrorist actions, it is crucial not to presume that they are synonymous with terrorism. It incites fear and hatred, such as the type that motivated the recent killings at a mosque in Quebec and the arson assault that burnt down a mosque in Texas, among other things.

Consequently, when we hear politicians warn us about the “global Salafi menace,” or when we see a lady like Amal going down the street in her jilbab, it is critical to remember the hazards of simplistic (and incorrect) preconceptions of “radical Muslims.”

What Does ‘Radical Islam’ Mean?

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden lay flowers for the victims of the horrific shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday, June 16, 2016, at a memorial service at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) Following the tragedy in Orlando, there has been a heated discussion regarding the usage of the phrase “radical Islam.” Robin Young of HereNow chats with William McCants of the Brookings Institution on what the terms imply and why they are so contentious in the first place.

Interview Highlights: William McCants

The origins of the phrase “radical Islam” are discussed “It used to be acceptable on the academic level. Emmanuel Sivan, a scholar from the United Kingdom, wrote one of the greatest books ever published regarding the jihadist movement, which was titled ” Radical Islam “. However, I believe that since September 11, 2001, it has become a sensitive phrase. As a result, President Obama is expressing the general consensus inside the United States administration that they do not want to feed into the jihadist narrative that this is some sort of religious fight between the Christian West and Muslims in the Middle East.” On the meaning of the term, as well as why it may be considered offensive.

  • Many Muslims feel that you are insinuating that Islam, as a whole, is a dangerous religion since you are saying this to nonbelievers.” On why the term “radical Islamism” has diverse connotations.
  • The same thing would, I believe, be heard by a majority of Muslims.
  • And because this is an attempt to remove a domestic political problem from the table, it makes a great deal of sense on the domestic front.
  • In the case of other expressions such as “”Jihadists,” “Salafis,” or “Islamic fanatics” are all terms used to describe these individuals.
  • No matter which term you choose, you will always irritate at least one person.
  • That’s what they refer to themselves as.
  • I believe that President Obama has sought to avoid using a phrase that will enrage the majority of Muslims by using a different one.” In response to those who are enraged because Obama has not uttered the term “I get what they’re saying.
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That is precisely what President Obama is attempting to prevent.

With relation to Muslims, this is not done in an effort to be politically acceptable.

One is to refrain from making blanket statements about what is or is not Islamic.

He isn’t in a position to make a decision.

Salafi-jihadism is the term used by jihadists to describe their movement.

Moreover, I believe you are coming much closer to the problem when you use more specific wording.”


Among those who spoke were William McCants, a senior associate at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of “The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, The Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State.” He may be reached on Twitter at @will mccants. This part aired on June 21, 2016, according to the program schedule.

When a Phrase Takes On New Meaning: ‘Radical Islam,’ Explained (Published 2016)

President Obama and his advisors had “bent over backwards” to avoid using the word “radical Islam,” according to National Public Radio reporter Mara Liasson, who made the observation at a White House press conference immediately after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris over 18 months ago. Following the Orlando massacre, the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, explained that this was because “these terrorists are individuals who would like to cloak themselves in the veil of a particular religion,” sparking a debate over the phrase, which has gained new traction in the wake of the shootings.

Trump stated in a statement issued only hours after Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and cited the Islamic State in a 911 call.

The next day, Mr.

“Just because you call a threat by a new name doesn’t mean it will go away.” What exactly does the term “radical Islam” entail, and why has it become such a contentious term?

What does the phrase mean?

President Obama and his advisors had “bent over backwards” to avoid using the word “radical Islam,” according to National Public Radio reporter Mara Liasson, who made the observation at a White House press conference immediately after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris. It was nearly 18 months ago. As explained by the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, this is because “these terrorists are individuals who would prefer to cover themselves in the veil of a specific faith,” igniting a dispute about the word that has taken on fresh venom in light of the Orlando atrocity.

Trump stated in a statement that President Obama “disgracefully failed to even use the words ‘Radical Islam'” during his statements today, which came just hours after Omar Mateen opened fire on a gay nightclub and cited the Islamic State in a 911 call.

“A political diversion,” Mr.

In response to the president’s question, “What exactly would utilizing this term achieve?” “It does not make a threat go away just because you call it something else by a different name.” Was “radical Islam” originally intended to signify, and why has it become such a contentious phrase?

Are we talking about semantics here, or is this a more serious issue?

What is the controversy about?

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) captured most of Iraq in a campaign of appalling brutality in late 2014, and the United States struggled to understand what role religion had in the group’s philosophy during that time period. According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2014, just 38 percent of Americans directly know someone who is Muslim, thus most people have little firsthand experience to draw on. Mr. Obama, both then and now, has attempted to distinguish between terrorists and Islam, asking Muslims in the United States and overseas to practice tolerance.

Because the president hesitated to use the word “radical Islam,” it has become a shorthand for everything he would not say about ISIS, and as a result, it has become a vehicle to accuse him of prioritizing sensitivity above forthrightness when assessing the threat the group presented to the United States.

“We are at war with radical Islam,” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who was running for the Republican presidential nomination at the time of the Paris attacks, declared after the assaults in November.

Obama’s refusal to use the word was like to “claiming we weren’t at war with Nazis because we were worried to upset those Germans who may have been members of the Nazi Party but were not aggressive themselves.” It became a means for opponents to explain why the Obama administration had been unable to predict or prevent the growth of Islamic State over time as the word evolved.

Cruz was one of several candidates vying for the White House during that time period.

Why do some consider it offensive?

Over time, the term “radical Islam” has acquired more sinister implications. According to Mr. Hamid of the Brookings Institution, Mr. Trump “has given new meaning to these terms.” Image Photograph courtesy of Damon Winter/The New York Times As Mr. Trump’s anti-Muslim campaign of legislative ideas and speeches gathered pace, his Republican opponents attempted to equal him on the issue. Mr. Cruz, for example, has advocated for the deportation of Syrian refugees if they are Muslim. Ben Carson has proposed that Muslims should not be allowed to run for president.

The term does not expressly state that there is an inherent relationship between terrorism and Islam, but it implies as much.

To label something “radical Islamic violence” condemns a religion, according to Steven Cook, a Middle East scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It also gives the false impression that there are no competing modern interpretations of Islam that specifically refute violent Islamism’s worldview,” Cook wrote in a December piece for the Council.

Why do some leaders refuse to say it?

Many people, including President Obama, believe that criticizing “radical Islam” does not make it clear who is being denounced. They contend that doing so runs the danger of escalating anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, which has already been violent. It also runs the danger of alienating Muslims living in other countries. A long-standing impression among Muslims of Washington as being at war with Islam has been a source of anti-American sentiment and political fuel in the United States for decades.

  1. The president remarked on Tuesday that if we fall into the trap of portraying all Muslims as terrorists and implying that we are at war with a whole religion, we would be aiding and abetting the terrorists’ efforts.
  2. Trump used the term as a rallying cry, President Barack Obama and others expressed reluctance to use it as part of a broader reluctance to characterize the Islamic State’s use of religion as anything other than false and cynical.
  3. ISIS has “something to do with Islam,” Mr.
  4. ‘All we have to do now is talk about what that something is in a nuanced and productive way,’ says the author.
  5. Hillary Clinton has attempted to strike a middle ground this week, possibly as a subtle acknowledgement of these concerns.
  6. This is a subtle but significant distinction; Islam is a religion, but Islamism is a political ideology that calls for Islamic rule.

So is ‘radical Islam’ accurate or not?

I asked Mr. Hamid this question and he responded with a different question. Why do we continue on using this word when there are so many others that may be used to identify terrorists who derive inspiration from Islam? According to him, there are various groups, including “radical jihadists,” “Salafi extremists,” “Islamist extremists,” “jihadis,” and “jihadi-Salafists,” none of which, he claims, carries the baggage of “radical Islam.” However, if it is this baggage that repels scholars, it is possible that it is also what attracts others.

  1. In other countries, these same challenges have sparked heated arguments about terrorism and vocabulary.
  2. There is a never-ending debate about “British values” and what kind of burden this places on migrants before they are accepted into society.
  3. Mr.
  4. He said that in Egypt, the dispute over terminology is partly a means of litigating whether political parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood are philosophically similar to terrorist organizations — and, as a result, whether they should be permitted to participate in society.
  5. In every instance, the discussion is portrayed as a contest between plurality and national security.
  6. If pluralism and security are in reality at odds with one another, or whether pluralism actually helps security, is an issue that people all over the globe have been debating for quite some time now.

However, because it is so fundamental to national identity, it is difficult to broach the subject. It is much simpler to argue about semantics.

What is radical Islam?

For more than four decades, radical Islam has been one of the most overused phrases in Western political discourse, and it continues to be. This phrase has been used often since the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, when it was first mentioned in the media and by academics alike. Since September 11, 2001, it has been at the center of arguments for war, as well as the understanding of global terrorism and political violence. Despite this, it has frequently demonstrated a “we know it when we see it” quality, which is evident not only in the assumptions that underpin its usage in the lexicon of Western security policies, but also in the established genealogies of “Islamism” or “jihadism,” which are routinely recycled by scholars across a wide range of disciplines.

  1. In my paper for RIS, I address the inconsistencies of radical Islam’s ubiquitous presence in the Anglophone academic by examining the labeling of Islam and Muslim actors as radical as a specific scholarly activity, rather than as a generalization about radical Islam.
  2. To put it another way, despite the development in the study of ‘global’ movements and thinking, there has been little reflection on radicalism as a comparative notion in the study of global politics, despite the growth in the study of global movements and thought.
  3. Additionally, research on radicalization is shifting the focus away from concepts that have long been applied to historical movements in Europe and toward the more recent necessities of global Western counter-terrorism concerns in the United States and Europe.
  4. It is also possible to argue that radicalism, when considered as a scholarly category that is applied worldwide, has no substance other than its Western meaning, which is itself flexible since it lacks a set definition despite the fact that the term is used so frequently.
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Firstly, by considering radicalism as a meta-concept, it finds four discourses of radicalism – all of which originated in the Western university and were intended to address Western settings and phenomena – that scholars have used to define radical Islam, as follows: Euro-radicalism, which I associate with the European left and critical theory, fundamentalism, radicalization, and liberalism are some of the terms I use to describe them.

They demonstrate how the substance of radical Islam has been shaped in different ways by unique notions associated with each discourse.

This is especially true of post-Western approaches that uncritically import certain concepts, such as radicalism, into the analysis of non-Western traditions while critically critiquing others.

While these approaches frequently employ narratives of Islamic legal, historical, and ethical orthodoxy to counter Orientalist depictions of Islam, they do so at the expense of marginal and heterodox voices who fall outside of hegemonic conceptions of Islamic normativity and are therefore underrepresented.

The implication of all of this is that critical approaches to Islam should not be considered immune to ideological critique in and of itself.

To continue reading, please visit this page. The original version of this article was published on the website of the British International Studies Association (BISA). The featured image has been used with permission under the terms of a Creative Commons license.

Posted byDr Zaheer Kazmi

Dr. Zaheer Kazmi is a Senior Research Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice, where he works on issues of global peace, security, and justice. Aspects of his research are concerned with the notion of ‘radicalism’, as well as its history and transcultural study, as well as the comparative conceptions and practices of dissent and state subversion in Islamic and Western contexts, among other things. With a particular focus on Islam and liberalism, along with the evolution and influence of Western counter-terrorist measures on current Muslim politics.

The phrase ‘radical Islam’ gets thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean?

So far, Donald Trump has been evasive about his approach for dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He had been promising them for some time that he had a secret tactic in his back pocket that would enable him to defeat them (although this week, he seemed to suggest he wouldlook to the generalsfor a plan.) His argument to voters is that the Obama administration has been irresponsible in dealing with the Islamic State, which is a fundamental aspect of his campaign appeal. A large part of the problem, Trump claims, stems from President Barack Obama’s failure to use specific terms such as “radical Islam” and “radical Islamic terrorism.” Trump is echoing an old conservative criticism that the president has been refusing to use for years to define the organization.

  1. As a substitute, he employs more complex terminology (such as ISIL, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, rather than ISIS, which refers to the group’s presence in Iraq and Syria).
  2. Unquestionably, word choice is important to people on all sides of the political spectrum.
  3. The following is an extract from our talk in Hamid’s office in Washington, DC.
  4. Nonetheless, Obama rejects this, claiming that it is only a semantic argument that will not assist the fight against terrorism.
  5. Shadi Hamid: I believe it’s crazy that we’re having a national discourse over how to characterize something that everyone agrees is horrible, in what order do you arrange the words?
  6. With the addition of the term “radical” in front of the word “Islam,” one could be forgiven for thinking that the two words go together, that you’re pairing these two things, and that Islam is intrinsically radical.
  7. If you place the words “radical” and “Islam” next to each other, it appears like you are aiming your attacks at the entire religion.
  8. Hamid: No need to use the term “radical Islam” when there are so many alternative terms that could be used that would still represent the religious aspect of the situation.
  9. As a result, there are more exact alternatives available.
  10. Regardless of what these phrases may have meant four or five years ago, Trump has given them a whole new meaning under his leadership.

So Trump is accurate in that words do matter, and we should be worried that he is using these phrases as a type of dog whistle that is contributing to the anti-Muslim bigotry that is regrettably growing more prominent in the United States. The next video has the continuation of our talk.

Radical Islam in the Western Academy

Radical Islam has piqued the interest of academics for a long time, and it covers many fields. However, despite the widespread use of the term “radical” to describe Islam and Muslim actors, this has not been examined as a specific scholarly discipline. Furthermore, while studies of radicalism in non-Western cultures have risen in recent years, cross-cultural examination of radicalism as a specific notion in political philosophy has been overlooked. With relation to extreme Islam, the purpose of this paper is to begin to answer this subject.

This may be explained by the fact that ideas developed in the Western academic to address Western settings and phenomena serve as master frameworks, narratives, or pivots against or around which radical Islam is defined, rather than concepts developed in the Islamic world.

By providing selective, strategic, or apologetic interpretations of what defines radicalism, academic explanations of radical Islam likewise serve to legitimize Islam by increasing the legitimacy of Islam.

What is ‘radical Islam’ anyway?

Following the terrorist tragedy in Orlando, Donald Trump issued a statement in which he called on President Barack Obama to resign and for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the presidential race. As a result, they “refused to even pronounce the terms “radical Islam.”” The reason: The remark was later stated by Clinton, so I assume she’s still permitted to run in the election.

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  • Omar Mateen does not represent the Muslims of Orlando

As is customary for Republicans, Trump is repeating something that has already been said. He’s merely expressing it in a more brusque manner. During a speech in November, Jeb Bush remarked, “For the life of me, I can’t understand why people get themselves wrapped up in knots about whether or not this is radical Islamic terrorism.” The Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stated in January that “you cannot fight and win a war against radical Islamic terrorism if you are hesitant to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism.'” Using the word “radical Islam” is something that Bush, Cruz, and Trump are fond of because it apparently lends “moral clarity” to America’s anti-terror campaign.

  1. However, there is an issue.
  2. The first is referred to as “basic.” “Radical” is derived from the Latin word “radix,” which literally translates as “root.” Were the actions of Omar Mateen, who massacred 49 gay and lesbian nightclub patrons, representative of Islamic fundamentalism?
  3. Pew Research Center conducted a study in December 2015 and showed that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe that Islam promotes violence among its believers, with 68 percent of Republicans believing this compared to only 30 percent of Democrats believing this.
  4. Declaring that the United States is at war with “radical Islam” is nearly synonymous with saying that the United States is at war with Islam.
  5. Furthermore, it is not dissimilar to what Trump believes.
  6. If he had done so, he would have been forced to explain which Muslims are “radical” and which Muslims are not radical.
  7. At the very least, it implies that all Muslims are “extremist,” at least until proven otherwise.
  8. I believe this is one of the reasons why Republicans find the word so effective.
  9. It is less hazardous to declare that America is at war with “extreme” Islam than it is to argue that America is at war with “basic” Islam, since it does not place America in battle with everyone who feels they are practicing the real faith in the same way.
  10. “Extreme” is devoid of any moral or ideological connotations.

Mother Theresa’s remarkable commitment to the impoverished of Calcutta earned her the title of “extreme Christian.” Because of their exceptional dedication to fulfilling the mitzvot, ultra-Orthodox Jews are referred to as “extreme Jews.” While it is true that ISIS’s form of Islam is “radical,” this does not provide sufficient justification for opposing it, let alone going to war against it.

It is the fact that ISIS is a totalitarian organization.

Authoritarian governments strive to exert control over the political conduct of its citizens.

In the words of Hannah Arendt, “If totalitarianism is to be taken seriously, it must eventually come to the point where it must ‘stop once and for all with the neutrality of chess,’ which is to say, with the independent existence of any activity whatsoever.” For example, smoking cigarettes, not wearing socks, not growing a beard, and failing to correctly answer religious questions at checkpoints are all punishable offenses under the Islamic State’s code of conduct.

The United States has coexisted with totalitarian governments on a number of occasions.

However, because ISIS attempted to destroy a regime supported by the United States in an oil-rich country, the United States responded by declaring war on the group.

During the intervening year, ISIS has increased its attempts to murder people in the United States and in the nations that have joined the United States in its fight on terror.

That makes sense because most Americans are familiar with ISIS.

The reason for this is that from the middle of the twentieth century, political theorists have evolved a better grasp of what totalitarianism is and how it operates.

It implies that either Islam itself is the problem or that a certain form of Islam is the problem — without ever specifying what it is about that particular version of Islam that is so harmful.

The term has a threatening ring to it, yet it is completely meaningless on an intellectual level. This is similar to the man who has placed it at the forefront of his presidential campaign.

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