Islamic fundamentalism is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Islamic fundamentalism is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

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Islamic fundamentalism has been defined variously as a movement of Muslims who harken back to earlier times and seek to return to the fundamentals of the religion[1] 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 (the Quran and Sunnah),[2] and seek to eliminate (what they perceive to be) “corrupting” non-Islamic influences from every part of their lives,[3] and see “Islamic fundamentalism” as a pejorative term used by outsiders for Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism.

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Mujahideen is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Mujahideen (Arabic: مجاهدين‎‎ mujāhidīn) is the plural form of mujahid (Arabic: مجاهد‎‎), the term for one engaged in Jihad (literally, “striving” or “struggling,” especially with a praiseworthy aim). Its widespread use in English began with reference to the guerrilla-type military outfits led by the Islamist Afghan warriors in the Soviet–Afghan War, and now extends to other jihadist outfits in various countries.

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Islamic terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Islamic terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

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Islamic 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.[1] Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through interpreting the Quran and Hadith according to their own goals and intentions.[2][3]

The highest numbers of incidents and fatalities caused by Islamic terrorism occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.[4] In 2015 four Islamic extremist groups were responsible for 74% of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2016.[5] In recent decades, such incidents have occurred on a global scale, affecting not only Muslim-majority states in Africa and Asia, but also Europe, Russia, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Such attacks have targeted Muslims and non-Muslims.[6] In a number of the worst-affected Muslim-majority regions, these terrorists have been met by armed, independent resistance groups,[7] state actors and their proxies, and elsewhere by condemnation coming from prominent Islamic figures.[8][9][10]

The literal use of the phrase “Islamic terrorism” is disputed. Such use in Western political speech has variously been called “counter-productive,” “highly politicized, intellectually contestable” and “damaging to community relations.”[11] However, others have referred to the refusal to use the term as an act of “self-deception”, “full-blown censorship” and “intellectual dishonesty

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Islamic extremism and Radical Islam and Political Islam are now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Islamic extremism and Radical Islam and Political Islam are now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

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.”[1] Related terms include “Islamist extremism” and Islamism.[2]

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On the other hand, many oppose the use of term, fearing it could “de-legitimize” the Islamic faith in general.[3] Some have criticized political rhetoric that associates non-violent Islamism (political Islam) with terrorism under the rubric of “extremism”.[2]

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Salafi is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

The Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative[1] reform[2] branch[3][4] or movement within Sunni Islam[5] that developed in Arabia in the first half of the 18th century against a background of European colonialism. It advocated a return to the traditions of the “devout ancestors” (the salaf). Some scholars define this movement as Modernist Salafism.

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The movement emerged as a liberal one, in later 18th century Egypt[6] – this variant is nowadays qualified as Modernist Salafism – before taking its contemporary orientation in the 1920s,[7] which ascribes itself in the ideology lineage of Ibn Taymiyya and has merged with the wahhabism which is now considered as synonymous.[8]

Some 21st-century scholars have suggested there was a medieval form of Salafism, but there is little evidence of this. Generally scholars believe the Modernist form has been superseded since the mid-20th century by what is called Purist Salafism.

The Salafist doctrine can be summed up as taking “a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating Muhammad and his earliest followers – al-salaf al-salih, the ‘pious forefathers’.”[9] “They reject religious innovation or bid’ah, and support the implementation of sharia (Islamic law).”[9] The movement is often divided into three categories: the largest group are the purists (or quietists), who avoid politics; the second largest group are the activists, who get involved in politics; and the smallest group are jihadists, who form a small minority.[9]

The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term “Wahhabi” to be derogatory.[10] At other times, Salafism has been described as a hybrid of Wahhabism and other post-1960s movements.[11] Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam. Particularly in the West it is associated with Salafi jihadists, who espouse jihad as a legitimate expression of Islam against those they deem to be enemies of Islam.[12][page needed] Traditional Salafism concentrated in Saudi Arabia is opposed to the newer groups calling themselves people of Salafism, such as the Muslim Brotherhood concentrated in Egypt, whose leaders such as Sayyid Qutb call for revolutions and secularism in deep contrast with Saudi Arabia historically.

In legal matters, Salafis are divided between those who, in the name of independent legal judgement (ijtihad), reject strict adherence (taqlid) to the four Sunni schools of law (madhahib), and others who remain faithful to these.[13]

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Islamism is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Islamism is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

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Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts.[1] The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles,[1][2] or more specifically to movements which call for full implementation of sharia.[3] It is commonly used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism.[3] In Western media usage the term tends to refer to groups who aim to establish a sharia-based Islamic state, often with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, and has acquired connotations of political extremism.[3]

Different currents of Islamist thought have advocated a “revolutionary” strategy of Islamizing society through exercise of state power or a “reformist” strategy of re-Islamizing society through grass-roots social and political activism.[4] These movements have “arguably altered the Middle East more than any trend since the modern states gained independence”, redefining “politics and even borders” according to Robin Wright.[5]

Islamists may emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law);[6] pan-Islamic political unity,[6] including an Islamic state;[7] or selective removal of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world that they believe to be incompatible with Islam.[6]

Graham Fuller has argued for a broader notion of Islamism as a form of identity politics, involving “support for [Muslim] identity, authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, [and] revitalization of the community.”[8] Some authors hold the term “Islamic activism” to be synonymous and preferable to “Islamism”,[9] and Rached Ghannouchi writes that Islamists prefer to use the term “Islamic movement” themselves.[10]

Central and prominent figures of modern Islamism include Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi,[11] and Ruhollah Khomeini.[12] Some Islamist thinkers emphasize peaceful political processes, whereas Sayyid Qutb in particular called for violence, and his followers are generally considered Islamic extremists. However, Qutb, unlike modern extremists, denounced the killing of innocents.[13] Following the Arab Spring, some Islamist currents became heavily involved in democratic politics,[5][14] while others spawned “the most aggressive and ambitious Islamist militia” to date, ISIS

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Wahhabism is now in Southern Mexico, Latin America and Europe

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎‎, al-Wahhābiya(h)) is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.[1] It has been variously described as “ultraconservative”,[2] “austere”,[3] “fundamentalist”,[4] or “puritan(ical)”;[5][6] as an Islamic “reform movement” to restore “pure monotheistic worship” (tawhid) by devotees;[7] and as a “deviant sectarian movement”,[7] “vile sect”[8] and a distortion of Islam by its opponents.[3][9] The term Wahhabi(ism) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid.[10][11][12] The movement emphasises the principle of tawhid[13] (the “uniqueness” and “unity” of God).[14] It claims its principal influences to be Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) and Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), both belonging to the Hanbali school,[15] although the extent of their actual influence upon the tenets of the movement has been contested.[16][17]

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Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792).[18] He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd,[19] advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the veneration of saints, the seeking of their intercession, and the visiting of their tombs, all of which were practiced all over the Islamic world, but which he considered idolatry (shirk), impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid’ah).[20][14] Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saud offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement mean “power and glory” and rule of “lands and men.”[21]

The alliance between followers of ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud’s successors (the House of Saud) proved to be a durable one. The House of Saud continued to maintain its politico-religious alliance with the Wahhabi sect through the waxing and waning of its own political fortunes over the next 150 years, through to its eventual proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, and then afterwards, on into modern times. Today Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab’s teachings are the official, state-sponsored form of Sunni Islam[3][22] in Saudi Arabia.[23] With the help of funding from Saudi petroleum exports[24] (and other factors[25]), the movement underwent “explosive growth” beginning in the 1970s and now has worldwide influence.[3] The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades Riyadh has invested more than $10bn (£6bn) into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism.[26]

The “boundaries” of Wahhabism have been called “difficult to pinpoint”,[27] but in contemporary usage, the terms Wahhabi and Salafi are often used interchangeably, and they are considered to be movements with different roots that have merged since the 1960s.[28][29][30] However, Wahhabism has also been called “a particular orientation within Salafism”,[31] or an ultra-conservative, Saudi brand of Salafism.[32][33] Estimates of the number of adherents to Wahhabism vary, with one source (Mehrdad Izady) giving a figure of fewer than 5 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region (compared to 28.5 million Sunnis and 89 million Shia).[23][34]

The majority of mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims worldwide strongly disagree with the interpretation of Wahhabism, and many Muslims would denounce them as a faction or a “vile sect”.[8] Islamic scholars, including those from the Al-Azhar University, regularly denounce Wahhabism with terms such as “Satanic faith”.[8] Wahhabism has been accused of being “a source of global terrorism”,[35][36] inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),[37] and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labelling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates[38] (takfir) and justifying their killing.[39][40][41] It has also been criticized for the destruction of historic shrines of saints, mausoleums, and other Muslim and non-Muslim buildings and artifacts

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