Why the west fails to understand the «Islamist» radicalization

The article was first published in the Greek newspaper «Phileleftheros» (27-1-2018) under the title: Muslims and Terrorism: Whom is Greece threatened by

Author: Ahmad MohiEldin

There are many who have dealt with the issue of the so called «Islamist» terrorism in their attempt to decipher the behaviors of terrorists. Western scholars, almost all of them, have failed to present a credible analysis and explanation so that the ordinary world can understand the beginnings of so-called «Islamist» radicalization. Failure lies in four main factors:  Ignorance of Islamic theology, approach to radicalization with wrong «tools», Islamophobia, and serving of geopolitical think tanks and interests. These factors impede objective analysis. Islamic theology is necessary in order to decode the doctrine of radicalization. Questions such as ‘who are the terrorists’ cannot be answered by sociological and political sciences because they do not possess the ‘tools’ possessed by Islam’s theology, dogmatology and heresiology.  Also, the Islamophobic tendencies in the analysis create enormous problems in order to capture an objective attitude. An equally important obstacle is the analyst who adheres to specific geopolitical think tanks, the result being a loss of academic and neutral attitudes.

These recurring failures create huge gaps in national security issues as the element of validity is lacking. The result is that extremism and terrorism are not only not effectively tackled but also targeted at the wrong people.

The doctrine of “Islamist” terrorism

They are the Harijites (al-Khawarij) who have fled the Islamic Orthodox community because of cacodoxies. The Harijites are the first sect to be recorded in Islamic history. Their main features are the extremism and the violent overthrow of the «corrupt» ruler. For the Harijites, violent overthrow of leadership is a virtue. They believe that major sin is a cause for defection and acts as a cancellation of faith itself. These beliefs are not accepted by Islamic Orthodoxy, both theologically (about sin) and methodologically (about violent revolution against the ruler).

The Harijites are the ancestors of all modern terrorist organizations (Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc.) that carry out terrorist acts to establish, as they say, Sharia and the Caliphate. However, neither Sharia nor the Caliphate establish themselves in this way, and so Islamic Orthodoxy condemns them.

Two main heretical divergences characterize the Harijites. A dogmatic and a methodological: Dogmatic divergence: That you are put out of faith by major sin. b) Methodological divergence: Opposition to ‘corrupt’ rulers with violent revolutions.

The heretical sect of the Harijites was reborn through the «Islamic» politicized movements of the 20th century. Three stood out: Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat Islam, Hizb at Tahrir.

From these movements modern «Islamic» terrorism borns, mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization created in Egypt in 1928 with the establishment of Hassan al-Bana. One of the most important ideological fathers of this organization, along with Hassan al-Banna, is Sayd Qutb, whose ideology was the matrix of today’s terrorism. Qutb called Muslim societies and Muslim rulers «infidels» and «defectors.» He often expressed the necessity of revolution and rebellion against these leaders and demanded their replacement.

The ideological «marriage» of the Harijites, with the politicized pseudo-Islamic movements of the 20th century, is a very central observation as the birthplace of modern radicalization is located. In fact it was nothing but the revival of the Harijite sect through the Stalinist and Marxist methods that were (unorthodox) adapted to various Islamic terminologies.

Is Greece threatened?

Greece, like most European countries, hosts in its ranks various organizations that secretly or openly adhere to either the ideology of the Brotherhood or its methodology that goes out with political activism. Tolerance to this particular ideology is more than dangerous and certainly a present and future threat.

Not only do we mean terrorism as a threat, but also a general operation to destabilize a country through political interventions (empowering foreign countries), mass revolutions and chaotic scenes on central roads. These are not hypothetical scenarios but real Brotherhood methodologies that we occasionally see in the Middle East and have seen in the past with the «Arab Spring».

Any kind of tolerance towards the ideology of the «Islamist» movements of the 20th century, which is expressed and propagated mainly by the Brotherhood, is a serious threat. European countries, and in particular Greece, mistakenly regard this organization as a persecuted political group. Remember, however, that this is exactly what the Westerners thought about al-Qaeda before 9/11.

In addition, Islamophobic rhetoric is also a threat. The marginalized (due to Islamophobia and stereotypes against Islam) and the ignorant Muslims in a western society are more likely to embrace a radicalized call that allows the bloodshed of innocent people since they have been convinced that the whole West must be a place of violent conflict. The risk is significantly increased when the proper part of Orthodox Islamic education is absent from the proper Muslim scholars.


Ahmad MohiEldin

Diploma in Islamic Theology

Salaf-ul-Salih Mosque (Ar Rahman) – Athens, Greece

IslamForGreeks.org – AhmadEldin.blog

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