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Islam is a religion, whereas "Islamism" or Radical Islam is a political ideology calling for Islamic government.

There is no doubt in saying that Muslims are the fastest growing religious group in the world. With the due course of time, Muslims and the Islamic faith have been brought on the verge of political debate in many countries~ primarily because the growth and regional migration of the Muslims are getting combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam and forecefully implement their ideologies.

Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), thus, it becomes world’s fastest-growing major religion. But today, the fundamentals of Islam cannot be seen as that of a religion, it has become an ideology, an ideology that is forceful and unjust. Hence, it has been given an another term “Radical Islam”


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  • What is Radical Islam?

“Radical” means something very different or against tradition. It can be defined as something that has extreme views, practices and policies.

The word, could be read as trying to distinguish fringe interpretations of Islam, including justifications for violence, from the mainstream majority view, which is peaceful.

“Radical Islam” as phrase tries to brief certain arguments about Muslims and religious or political ideologies that pertain with a clear motive: A Way to make sense of the Rise of Islamic State.

  • Radical Islam: Wider Meaning

It is to be noted that when one uses the phase of “Radical Islam” one is not associating entire community of Muslims with terrorism, rather, it suggests that religious ideology is the core issue.

The people who follow Radical Islam have a motive to forcefully implement Islamist ideologies, spread hate about certain communities and propagate terrorism.

Islam is a religion, whereas “Islamism” or Radical Islam is a political ideology calling for Islamic government.


If Islam is a religion of peace, then Radical Islam is the perversion of true religion.

  • Why is Radical Islam not accurate?

Radical Jihadis, Islamist extremists and missionary groups like the Tablighi Jamaat (which claim to be apolitical but some of whose teachings on social behavior are extreme and overlap with some of those of clear terrorist groups like the Islamic State) are the ones propagating the rise of Radical Islam. Their only motive is to establish a “Totalitarian Ideology”. These people plan to implement Islamic Religious Law in the world. Their ideologies force people to indulge in terrorist activities and dominative actions.

The label “Radical Islam” also brings in a range of individuals and actors that do not clearly fit in one group or another and may even move back and forth among the bodies in the broader jihadist universe. In particular, this might include “lone wolves”, the individuals who are not under the direct control of a terrorist group but are inspired to act by its message.

The biggest danger is that Radical Islam is targeting non-violent religious Muslims and using an expansive rhetoric to demonize an entire faith~ driving some Muslims into the ranks of more violent groups, which spoils the image of the whole Muslim community.

  • Conclusion

“If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with the broad brush, and imply that we’re at war with an entire religion, then we’re doing the terrorists’ work for them.”

~ Barack Obama

The fight is not with Muslims, the fight is against “Totalistic Ideology”, Terriosm, and some people who leave no means to spread hate and disbelief in the name of religion.

If Islam is a religion of peace, then violence in its name is a perversion of the true religion.

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“Islamism” or Radical Islam is the totalitarian root of the problem; terrorism is just a symptom, an instrument of war used by Islamists to achieve their objectives. If Radical Islam is the problem; moderate Islam can be the solution. The world today is facing not a clash of civilizations, but rather a struggle between Muslim moderates and Radicalists. Muslims need to reinterpret such basic issues as the concept of jihad, the position of women, and the place of non-Muslim minorities.

The “Islamist phenomenon” can be seen as a result of global trends toward modernization, a response to the problems and aspirations of the modern world. “Islamism” is part of the universal struggle to make sense of a troubling world, in this case using religion, which should not be done.

References:

  • Ny Times
  • The Atlantic
  • The Washington Institute
  • The Conversation


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