"Allah" in Arabic calligraphy

One of my doctors is a Muslim (actually three of them are but I know this one very well). It is he who made this point to me. Modern Muslims have to make this distinction and do so out loud: jihadism is unacceptable and reform/renewal/modernism is the way forward.

Modern Muslims need to be able to say clearly that they recognize that Islam is the soil from which extremist, zealous, doctrinaire jihadist grew and which continues to nurture and protect it. AND they have to point out the nature of modern, enlightenment Islam but they fear doing so and then to act on it.


“Contemporary Islam”


“Contemporary Jihadism”


The TestimonyThe Testimony

There is no god but God,

Muhammad is the messenger of God.


Jihadism refers to contemporary armed jihad, holy war against the unfaithful, as an expression of Islamic fundamntalism. The term “jihadism” was coined in the 2000s and to cover Islamic insurgency and terrorism since that time, and has been extended to cover guerrilla warfare, and terrorism in the name of the struggle against the infidel and the heretic. Contemporary jihadism ultimately has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th century ideological developments of Islamic revivalism, which is normal described as a return to the pure (and in terms of contemporary Islamic practice “primitive/antiquated fundamentals of the Islamic faith which looks to a literal acceptance of the Quaran and certain scholarship as the direct Word of God which cannot be altered in any way.

Its two most common expression in Qutbism which later became known as Salafism.

Qutbism/Salafism has its roots in the thoughts of the late Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead master of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966. It has been described as an extremist ideology propagation “offensive jihad, armed jihad, conquering jihad” as its core value.

Both Al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL have their origins in this movement. Their overall strategy has three fronts: a “system-collapse strategy” to be waged against those governments not aligned with Sunni Islam; “separated enclaves” that keep true Muslims from the “infections” of non-Sunni Islam, of the allures of the contemporary world, and of the Western “satanic” world in particular; “direct assault” on highly symbolic/representational targets in the West.

Contemporary Islam or Islamic Modernism has been described as “the first Muslim ideological response” attempting to reconcile Islamic faith with modern Western values such as nationalism, democracy, civil rights, gender equality, secularism, rationality,, general equality, progress and freedom of religion.

It features a “critical reexamination of the classical conceptions and methods of jurisprudence”, a new contextual and evolutionary approach to Islamic theology and Quranic exegesis/study.

This movement has its roots in the 19th century renovation of Islamic thought called the salafiyya movement

Modernism differs from secularism in that it insists on the importance of religious faith in both private and public life, while still embracing contemporary European institutions, social processes and values.

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The big problem with Islam and elements of Christianity is, in my humble opinion, that there really is no central authority. Any haphazard, self professed Imam can interpret the Quran and Hadith any way they choose. Christianity is not immune to this, but it seems much more prevalent within the Islamic faith.

I think this is a sort of danger within any organized religion, really. America has had it’s share of dastardly behavior, to say the least, and Christianity has been at the root of it. Case in point, George W. Bush claiming that god told him to invade Iraq. That’s pretty fricken scary when you think about it. Especially if you were an Iraqi. There is a great, but very subtle, emphasis on Christianity in every branch of our own military.

I’m not sure what you are saying in this article, but it is informative. Thanks for taking the time to write it and post it.


Murph, I can’t say I understand jihadism or ISIS motives in killing any and all nonbelievers. To me they are extremists. All religions have extremists but these guys are more extreme! Look at the Westboro baptists. Talk about extremists! They stop at killing , so far. The extremists of other religions are just as bad. However the jihadists seem to have no bounds. You can’t talk to them or reason or negotiate. It is their way or death to all others. That is what I see.

You put a lot of effort in trying to explain this but I for one don’t understand it. I don’t believe all Muslims are bad or condone jihadism any more than all Christians condone the Westboro Baptists.

Good try though.


Thanks Nirek for your very honest feedback. Sometimes, the plain, blatant reality of what we see for ourselves is all the explanation we need.

Do we ever see large crowds of moderate Muslims marching in protest of Islamic extremism? No, we don’t, unless I have been asleep for the last decade or so.
At that point, I would surely become a quiet apostate. Is the word “moderate” a verb or a noun?