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Islamism - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Islamism. Origins, Motivations, Manifestations. Islamism. Controversial term—devotees say theirs in the true Islam Outsiders define it as: a belief that the Sharia should be the basis for law, political, and governmental organization. Western ideas are corrupt and ought to be resisted.

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Origins, Motivations, Manifestations

  • Controversial term—devotees say theirs in the true Islam
  • Outsiders define it as: a belief that the Sharia should be the basis for law, political, and governmental organization.
  • Western ideas are corrupt and ought to be resisted.
  • Long termOrigins:
  • Failure of Muslim States—weakness of Ottoman Empire
  • Wahhabi movement. Arabia, led by Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab (1703-92)—source of Muslim difficulties was improper practice of Islam.
  • More Recent Origins: 1800-1950
    • Encroachment of the West: capital, financial systems, European immigrants.
    • Western colonial control; economic dependence
    • Widespread social dislocation.
    • Efforts to adapt Western ideas, structures, and technology.
    • World War I and After—Arab Nationalism, Oil Exploration, Arab Socialism—led to authoritarian states (Saudi Arabia, Nasser’s Egypt, Pahlavi’s Iran) that were seen as hostile to “true” Islam and, often, had western Support.
  • Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966)
  • Egyptian scholar and critic—he also earned an MA at Greeley—leader of Muslim Brotherhood
  • Social Justice in Islam (1949)
  • Critical of Western music and sensuality
  • Imprisoned by Nasser for ten years
  • Works inspired QTUBISM
  • World of Islam has ceased to exist because nowhere is the sharia the law.
  • The existence of government is evil—Muslims should submit to the sharia—and not to other men.
  • A vanguard of the devout should wage jihad to reintroduce true Islam.
sayyid abul ala al maududi 1903 1979
Sayyid Abul Ala al-Maududi (1903-1979)
  • Founded Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamist political party for India and Pakistan in 1940
  • Worked to create Islamist state in Pakistan after 1947 (sentenced to death—sentenced commuted because government feared his martyrdom)
  • Perhaps the most widely read Muslim writer today
  • Favors the seizing of power within a state and transforming it to adhere to Sharia.

Islam wishes to destroy all States and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which Nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of Islamic 'Jihad' is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. --Maududi

events in the middle east
Events in the Middle East
  • Creation of Israel
  • Failure to defeat Israel in three major wars—1956, 1967, and 1973
  • Illustrated to Islamists the illegitimacy of secular, pan-Arab states.
  • Islamic Revolution among Shia in Iran in 1979—showed that Islamism could humble the “great Satan.”
  • Iran exports Islamist revolution--Lebanon: Hizbollah (Party of God); Palestine: Hamas (“fervor”) (won 2006 Palestinian election)

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini –1903-1989—Brought Islamist

Revolution to Iran

soviet invasion of afghanistan 1979
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan--1979
  • U. S. supported the Mujahideen with arms
  • Soviets left in 1989
  • Marxist government in Afghanistan collapsed in 1992.
  • That poor Muslims could topple a superpower emboldened Islamists
  • U. S. aid kept covert because of Cold War
  • Taliban assumed power—imposed Sharia—ousted by U. S. in 2002.
al qa eda
  • Founded by Osama bin Laden in 1989, as Soviets left Afghanistan
  • Goals are to create a pan-Islamic movement
  • Eliminate foreign influence from Muslim lands, both for its moral bankruptcy and for its support of repressive regimes.
  • Eliminate Israel
  • Create a new Caliphate under Sharia

Osama bin Laden—1957-2011

Founded Al Qa’eda--


For over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. –Fatwa of Osama (1998)

  • Threatens secular states—Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and even Turkey.
  • Home grown Islamists have had success in terrorism in Spain, and England.
  • Islamism may be attractive to the young in Western Europe’s large cities.
  • Islamist movement have had success in striking the United States (9-11)

September 11, 2001—World

Trade Center Destroyed,

Pentagon Attacked, Flight 93


19 hijackers, 2,973 confirmed dead, another 24 are missing and presumed dead


The July 7, 2005 bombings of the London transit system killed 52 and injured 700. The alleged bombers—Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Linday, and Hasib Hussain—were all native Englanders


For the non-Muslims in Britain, you may wonder what you have done to deserve this. You are those who have voted in your government who in turn have and still continue to this day continue to oppress our mothers and children, brothers and sisters from the east to the west in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya. Your government has openly supported the genocide of more than 150,000 innocent Muslims in Fallujah.

  • We are 100 per cent committed to the cause of Islam. We love death the way you love life. I tell all you British citizens to stop your support to your lying British government and to the so-called war on terror. And ask yourselves: why would thousands of men be ready to give their lives for the cause of Muslims?
  • What you have witnessed now is only the beginning of a series of attacks which will intensify and continue to until you pull all your troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Until you stop all financial and military support to the US and Israel and until you release all Muslim prisoners from Belmarsh and your other concentration camps. And know that if you fail to comply with this then know that this war will never stop and that we are willing to give our lives 100 times over for the cause of Islam. You will never experience peace until our children in Palestine, our mothers and sisters in Kashmir, and our brothers in Afghanistan and Iraq feel peace.—Shezad Tanweer July 6, 2006
  • Accept the Truth of Islam

Daniel Pipes suggests the following for the U. S.

  • Support states that contain Islamists and encourage them to do so. Keeping Islamists out of power is in their interest and in ours.
  • Pressure those states that are already Islamist to reduce their aggressiveness toward their own populations and toward the outside world.
  • Celebrate and support those brave souls who stand up to the Islamists.
  • Label the Islamist groups that engage in terrorism as such.
  • Do not work cooperate with Islamists, thereby encouraging them. Dialogue with Islamists tends to enhance their stature.
  • Be very careful about pushing for elections
western responses
Western Responses
  • Multilateral action—Gulf War I
  • Unilateral action—Gulf War II
  • Economic Sanctions—problem of effective compliance.
  • Engagement—PLO and Israel
  • Quarantine—(enforcement of secular rules in Europe)
  • How does a state challenge an movement that is not directly correlated with a state?
  • How do modern/secular states engage a movement that considers modernism and secularism as “Satans?”
  • Whither Israel?