Banner in Egypt

Radical Islam Often Mistakenly Labeled 

This essay aims at constructing and deconstructing three main prevalent Islamic discourses—Ialamism, Salafism, and Wahhabism--in this century, which comprise the core beliefs of Muslim communities throught the world.  They are all mistakenly labeled as radical Islamic movements or fundamentalism.  However, a deeper anaylsis of modern Islamic thought shows that there are great normative and political diversions among and within the three main Islamic beliefs: normally and mistakenly lumped together as

  • Islamism (moderate and radical),
  • Salafism (puritanical Salafist and neo-Salafist), and
  • Wahhabism (instructionist and Jihadist).

By developing a typology of major ideologies of active Islamic trends that centers specifically on radical Islamism, we can compare Jihadist Wahhabism, and neo-Salafism, both of which have either terrorist or jihadist involvements worldwide.  Understanding these trends and their discourses will allow world powers, policy-makers, academicians, intellectuals, terrorism experts, journalists, and Muslims themselves to distinguish between and understand the logic of the radical and the moderate, the active and the inactive, the jihadi and the peaceful, the takfiri and the tolerant, and the modern and the traditional. Photo(above): 2011 Cairo, Egypt.  A banner carrying a verse from the Holy Quran, No rule is better than God's rule.


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