Islamism is a popular and widely used new word, especially among western intellectuals. This word generally refers to Islamic social movements and stances that advocate seeking purely Islamic solutions to the political, economic and cultural tensions of contemporary life. These solutions remain partially obscure today. Each group proposes a system and solution according to itself. In addition, the widely circulated usages such as Fundamentalism, Jihadism or Islamic Extremism instead of the term Islamism bring with it much greater uncertainty.

Islamism is not a concept derived from traditional Islamic theological discourse. It is not taken from the Qur'an, hadiths or the words of the Companions. In fact, the concept of Islamiyya, used in Arabic for Islamism, has been given this meaning by contemporary writers and intellectuals writing about Political Islam. In its classical and modern sense, Islamiyya refers to what is associated with Islam or the state of being Muslim.

Many of the issues that have been identified with Islamism in history are seen in the movements of Muslim groups with strict borders. For example, this concept was used for the actions of those who adhered to the Hanbali sect or the Zaidi sect of Shiism among the Sunnis in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, today, Islam-related violence is central to the debate over the word Islamism in the West.

Many Western writers and journalists perceive the violent acts of militant Muslims against non-Muslims within this concept. The attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl or the bombing of the London train station in 2001 are evaluated within the concept of Islamism.

However, these western intellectuals never talk about the violence of the west against Muslims, especially the helpless situation of the Palestinians living under occupation in Gaza and Israel. The violence perpetrated by the European colonialists and colonialists in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa is much more. However, these are ignored. The western imperialists, who hold the power of the media, are in the act of justifying themselves and making Islam the enemy through publications. This behavior of Western politicians and intellectuals is easy to understand. Because who else could fill the enemy vacuum left by the failure of the communist ideology and the collapse of the Soviet Union? Western imperialists have always felt the need to define an enemy for themselves in order to continue their methods of expansion and exploitation. Because with such an enemy perception, it will be possible for them to direct both their own public opinion and the world public opinion in the direction of their own interests. Therefore they declare Islam as the enemy of the west.


Western Definitions of Islamism

What is Islamism according to the West? Professor James Piscatori, a famous Muslim studies, defines in his book "Islam, Islamist and the Election Principle in the Middle East": "Islamists are Muslims who take political action in accordance with the Islamic agenda they adopt." For Western intellectuals, Islamism is a commitment to the content of this agenda.

Westerners have engaged in a wrong and unfair behavior towards Islam by removing all their commitments from the scope of the term Islamism and including only violent ones. According to them, the doctrines of Islam are specifically and inherently fatal. Such a narrow characterization is both meaningless and futile. Because there are millions of Muslims who peacefully support Muslim political parties that try to realize Islamic agendas through elections. If the people involved in these political actions are not Islamists, what is? It can easily be said that they are Islamic by looking at their agenda.

Westerners often see Islam as a spiritual belief that is spread by the sword and protected by a war-hungry jihad. These anti-Islamists, especially in the Christian west, are still following the 8th-century sentiment of the invading Muslims of St. Bede's own time which he called a very painful plague. After the terrorist act of September 11, 2001, President Bush uttered the phrase "Crusader". For him, the essence of the war on terror was a Crusade. In this way, they would be able to destroy the image of Islam in the world and reach their imperialist goals more confidently and quickly. For many biblical Americans, Islam is violence. Being a Muslim today means a guilty terrorist until your innocence is proven.

The following is stated in an article by American historian Daniel Pipes, titled “The Difference Between Islam and Islamism”, written in 1998:

“Islamism has made it possible for people to adhere to the Islamic shari'ah faithfully and outside influences, except for certain issues (access to military and health technologies). He is full of hatred towards non-Muslims and especially has hostility towards the West. It means an effort to transform Islam, which is a religion and civilization, into an ideology. In other words, Islamism is also a 20th century radical utopia. It offers a method of controlling the state, managing society and recreating man, like Marxism-Leninism or fascism. It is a version of totalitarianism in an Islamic dressing.”

Graham Fuller, a former CIA agent who later turned into an expert on Islam, gives the following definition in his book "The Future of Political Islam":

“Islamist; a person who believes that the religion of Islam has something to say about how society and politics should work in the contemporary Muslim world and wants to implement it.

It is difficult to imagine any Muslim other than a secular Muslim to fall outside of this definition. If not being secular in the American or European sense is enough to qualify as Islamist; The Islamic faith will continue to be perceived and misunderstood as political, not moral.

In a lecture given in 1883, the French philosopher Ernest Renan came very close to the meaning of today's ideologues and bloggers when he was defining Islamism of his time. He said: “Every person clearly sees the backwardness of the Mohammedan countries, the collapse of the states ruled by Islam, the intellectual invalidation of the nations that have their culture and education from this religion. Liberals who defend Islam do not know its true nature. Islam is a combination of the spiritual and the temporal. It is a reign of dogma, the heaviest argument that humanity has ever produced.”

The assumption underlying the current use of the term Islamism today is that the violent behavior of certain Muslims is directed at western targets. When Saddam Hussein bombarded Iran in the 1980s, his act was not considered terrorism by anyone but Iranians. When Osama bin Laden and other mujahideen fought against the Soviets in the Afghan jihad, they were called Freedom Fighters, not terrorists. If acts of violence had not been hit American bases in Africa, the U.S.S. Cole and the World Trade Center, the term Islamism would still remain a lexical synonym for the word Islam.


 Strategy of USA

Western imperialists know that the only factor that will hinder their goals is true Islam. For this reason, they have created many organizations to degenerate Islam and are transferring financial resources to them. In this context, they invest abnormally in covert CIA operations and openly funded media and think tank projects and political campaigns. The purpose of these investments is to develop reforms in Islam, Moderate Islam and Interfaith Dialogues. Thus, true Islam will be eliminated or Muslims will be driven away from true Islam.

The new program, which was created by the United States information agency following the model used to manage the image of the USA during the cold war, included a radio station called Radio Sava broadcasting pop music in Arabic and a news satellite channel el-Hurra which has annual 63 Million dollars budget, among the projects implemented in Arab societies. They called it the Muslim World Support Program. Ironically, al-Hurra came under scrutiny in 2007 when it was discovered that he was making time for people known to be openly terrorists on some of his programs. USA allocates an annual budget of approximately $1.3 billion at the state level for all these projects established to promote our common values ​​such as democracy, women's rights and tolerance, working with the extremists such as moderate Muslim societies, organizations and reform groups. These efforts seem to have culminated in February 2008 when former President Bush appointed Pakistani-born American Muslim entrepreneur Sada Jumbber as the first representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It is considered as the international body representing all Muslim countries.

As a result of these propagandas of the West, Islamism took on the following meaning in the imagination and discourse of the western people: Islamism evokes its strict opposition to the West, its conservative and patrialcal social orientations, its intolerance towards non-Muslims, and perhaps the most frightening for an outsider, its political ambitions to establish Islamic law, i.e. sharia.

US President George Bush called the war on terror the Crusade. If we remember the Crusades in history, these Crusades were actually made for economic reasons rather than religious reasons. Because the wealth and development of the east scared the west. Bush's Crusade is also a result of the fear of Islam. For this reason, they are trying to perceive Islam as violence and terrorism with the worldwide terrorist organizations. It is known that they have created and financed these organizations. Who supplied thousands of latest model Toyota vehicles under ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq? It is impossible for ISIS militants to obtain these tools. If terrorist groups like ISIS are your enemies, why did you give them these vehicles and the weapons on them? Wasn't it the USA that gave thousands of trucks of weapons to the PKK terrorist organization in the past years? If they are against terrorism, why did they set up a terrorist army with these weapons? The hypocrisy of the USA on this issue is now known by the whole world public opinion.

The answers to these questions are revealed in the activities of the USA described above. It is the western imperialist powers that form and support all terrorist organizations. Because with these powers, they could easily seize what they wanted to achieve. They have targeted Muslims as Islamism to the world public opinion. On this subject, Donald K. Emmerson, a Stanford University faculty member, states the following in his article titled “Inclusive Islamism”:

“There is no point in attributing any act of violence by any Muslim to a religious motivation. Concern that acts of violence by Muslims are viewed as Islam-oriented is debatable. It stems from ignoring secular causes. For this reason, oppression, injustice, occupation, displacement, alienation or the truth or claim on these issues can be listed as Israeli-American partnership or insensitivity. Many Muslims are persecuted in many regions in North America, Western Europe, North, West and East Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. These massacres lead us to the famous and disgraceful phrase of Samuel Huntington, “Islam has bloody borders.”

The 2008 film "Fitna" by right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders is just one of many obvious examples of the overlapping of Islam and violence globally. The film, named after the Arabic words for discord, disagreement, and seduction, came about right after the 2005 Danish cartoon crisis. For 16 minutes, Wilders' disturbing visual work superimposed images of unsourced destruction and violence with verses from the Qur'an with militaristic connotations. The message is very clear. Muslim political violence is a result of Islamic texts and is encouraged by the ideology of Islamism. Likewise, the movie ended with these sentences: “In 1945, Nazism was defeated in Europe. In 1989 communism was defeated in Europe. Now Islamic ideology must be defeated. Stop the Islamization.”

The pro-terrorist website, which is likely to be one of the projects supported by the USA, included the following statements that set their own goals:

“To present a catalog of the beliefs, motives, texts and methods of the Islamic movement. While the Islamists have many goals, the foremost among them is the idea of ​​establishing a worldwide Caliphate, that is, overthrowing and destroying all democratic governments in the world and replacing it with a single Taliban-style fundamentalist theocracy.

Non-Muslims around the world should keep in mind that whatever views you may have in support of or against the idea of ​​Jihad published on this site, Islamists themselves believe that these ideas are valid and have taken and will take action accordingly. This means that they kill the infidels whenever and wherever they get a reasonable opportunity.”

It is obvious that these ideas are deliberate and intended to denigrate Islam. This site, most likely founded and financially supported by western imperialists, is making these false publications to mislead western and world public opinion.


Orientalists and Islamism

The debate on Islamism is mainly based on the debates swirling among western orientalists who are trying to find the best technical term to describe the current Islamic movements that use violence to achieve their goals. Their aim is to find appropriate expressions that can explain problems in another culture, using the language of their own culture.

Egyptian philosopher Hasan Hanafi, lecturer at Cairo University, says in his article "Islamism: Whose Debate?":

“The debate on Islamism is a conflict between different orientalists within western orientalism. Each indicates their own preferences and choices, which in turn reveals their inclinations and attitudes. This is clearly seen when the number of references made by western scholars writing in western languages ​​is compared with the references given to works carried out in western languages ​​by Muslim scholars living in an orientalist world. No internal (Arab, Persian, Turkish) references were used. So Islamism is peculiar to the western system, like fundamentalism, and all -isms such as Cartesianism, Kantianism, Hegelianism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, rationalism, empiricism, positivism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mohammedanism as an analogy to them are a western invention.

From the enlightenment and the rise of secular thought, Western thinkers started to reject the traditional worldviews of the past and alternatively constructed new worldviews called systems. Such as idealism, realism, rationalism, empiricism, existentialism, classicism, romanticism, formalism, materialism, voluntarism, nihilism, modernism, postmodernism and so on. Many of these systems arose as a reaction to other western -isms. The same mentality was reflected to other cultures, namely Islam, and in this context, Islamism as a term and concept was constructed by the western mentality. The native names of Islamic movements are movement, community and trend. Therefore, it is rather than translating some of the terms of western philosophy. The problem is not in the translated data but in the mind of the translator.”

In this context, the discussion about Islamism is a linguistic debate that concerns western orientalism. It deals with the means of expressing those things rather than the things themselves. This approach does not touch the hearts of people belonging to the cultures studied by western orientalism. This is a domestic discussion that does not cross the boundaries of western discourse.

Some orientalists write about Islamism by talking about Islamic terror or Islamic violence. They associate it with terror or violence; while others speak impartially, realizing that phenomena of violence and terrorism are found not only in Islam but in every culture. Still, the ideological background is involuntarily evident, as are orientalist references to the drive to spread Islam as a desire for empire and caliphate. But what about the American influence and violence spreading in the Middle East and Iraq? In this case, is there any difference between President Bush and Osama bin Laden?

Definitions of invented terms such as Islamism are not neutral. It is full of prejudices and ideological assumptions of supporters of opposing parties. Islamism is associated with terrorism, violence, reactionism, fanaticism, oppression and similar issues. These false definitions are thought up and formulated by security forces and intelligence services. They often have negative practical purposes, such as caricaturing the opposition or justifying potential tensions. The theory that gathers such strategies under one roof is "clash of civilizations". Derogatory visuals or literary tools are also widely used in these strategies. We can take the word Mahound or Mahoun used in the Middle Ages as an example. These words were played with the word Mohammed to connote demons and devils and were used in popular western literature. The Danish cartoon case is also a movement in this context. Western orientalists have used literal transferences to create negative connotations. For example, instead of using terms such as decolonization, liberation, resistance, freedom fighter, they used the negative connotations of jihad, jihadist and jihadism in English.

Nadya Yasin, Head of Women's Branches of Moroccan Islamic Movements, writes in her article "Between Etymology and Realpolitik":

“The word Islamist has been used in orientalist terminology since the 18th century. Voltaire had adapted this inappropriately to Islam and its Prophet long ago, and of course, defaming Islam was nothing new. Voltaire and other philosophers pioneered this stigma within the enlightenment and political modernity. What came with the Enlightenment was a structure that would ideologically legitimize the economic boom created by the Industrial Revolution, which would inevitably lead to the colonial system. Here, for our purposes, there is no need to go to the Crusades from the 11th to the 13th centuries by referring to history as many have done, to show that Islam has always been the source of the west's unrest and its otherness.

The 19th century saw an ever-increasing interest in the issue of otherness. Associated with the image of the East, Islam was seen in an oscillation between attraction and hatred. Violence, which was accused of Islam, was brought to the fore at that time, as the approaches that existed in this period were clearly inexperienced and insecure.”

This turmoil arose as a result of a power struggle that tended to center religion. On the other hand, the primary and even the most important driving force of this situation was economic. Because the main reason that brought it out was oil, which is also called the “black scourge”. Islamism was an enemy that needed to be eliminated because it was about to form a relationship too dangerous for its desire for power, and this was too obvious to hide behind words any longer. An all-out war began, and its maneuvers included the manipulation of minds and the war of words. September 11, 2001 was such a turning point, to justify and perfect (to explain Voltaire) the demonization of the other, which actually never existed but had to be invented. Now this has an ideological tool: an unwavering Islamic identity that transcends ethnic and geographical differences. The manipulation of the term Islamism to combat the Islamic Other, which was opposing the claims of Western liberalism, became an inevitable tool of attack.

Orientalism supported colonialism but did not initially spell out a wide variety of propaganda. Because this discourse belonged to a limited elite. Neo-colonial expansion subsequently developed a massive and radical verbal weapon: the mass media. Directed public opinion and electoral base became attractable and impressionable in all directions. Opinion polls were at work to measure people's pulses. The American philosopher Noam Chomsky in his “Media Control” demonstrated the processes used to provoke a broad public backlash against Islam, a phenomenon that was troubling for public-manipulating clamorers.

A proper understanding of the term Islamism and discussing it is possible only by going beyond the clichés. The term should be associated with the north-south divide, which is based on economic inequalities, rather than assuming a civilizational clash between Islam and the west.


Statistics and Violent Acts of Christianity

It is clear that there is insufficient evidence that Muslims are prone to violence in the 20th-century which is the fact that both Muslims and non-Muslims cannot deny. Claims on this subject are associated with a data set that includes all the armed conflicts that took place in the world between 1946 and 2007, compiled by Dr. Monty Marshall. Although many of these conflicts came to an end in 2007, twenty-five, old or new, continued during that year. Of these ongoing conflicts, 12 were in Muslim-majority countries, while 11 were in non-Muslim-dominated countries. The remaining two were between Arabs and Israelis in Palestine and between Pakistanis and Indians in Kashmir.

While the total number of deaths as a result of the ongoing conflicts in Muslim and non-Muslim countries in 2007 was an estimated 2 million 243 thousand, about three-quarters (%74) of this occurred as a result of conflicts between non-Muslims and 21% as a result of violence between Muslims. . 5% took place in conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims. Assuming that 20% of the world's population is Muslim during the historical course of this political violence, the internal boundaries of religion allegedly drawn with blood, namely the proportion of Muslims killed by Muslims, becomes the same as the ratio of Muslims to the world population. This rough calculation shows that, given the worldwide armed conflicts in 2007, the deaths as a result of violence among Muslims are neither more nor less than the violence and deaths caused by non-Muslims all over the world.

The scarcity of deaths caused by violence between Muslims and non-Muslims (5% of the total) weakens both Huntington's delusions that Muslims are engaged in a global jihad against their non-Muslim enemies, and radical Islamists' claims that Christians and Jews are committing global persecution against Islam.

For some reason, those who commit violence only by Muslims are expressed in the world public opinion. However, the acts of violence committed by Christians are tried to be ignored. Emir Hussein, a faculty member at Loyola Marymount University, states the following in his article titled "Terminological Problems for Muslim Lives":

“While the 1979 Iranian revolution was shown to us as "bad Muslim" violence because it was directed against our ally, the Shah, those who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were presented as "good Muslim" violence because it was directed against our enemy. Nothing is publicized about the fact that the modern American navy was created to fight Muslim pirates off the coast of North Africa. This situation takes place in the first lines of the Mariners' Anthem. “From the cloisters of Montezuma/to the shores of Tripoli.” Many of us are aware of the connection between Mexico and Montezuma, but how many of us know why Tripoli is mentioned?”

Emir Hüseyin continues as follows in his article:

“Are we aware of our government's role in supporting oppressive regimes, or are we content to criticize when the citizens of these countries act in their own interest, not ours? Of course, a small group of 19 Muslims did terrible damage to the United States on 9/11. But we are the ones who associate these people with other or other terrorists responsible for the Oklahoma bombing or suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. How many of us remember that bomb vehicles were invented not in the Middle East, but in Europe and by Christian? And again, I wonder about our role in the spread of terrorism and the formation of terrorist groups. The US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, not North Korea. Al-Qaeda started its actions in Iraq after we invaded that country."

The same can be said for Christians in Africa, for example. However, although the incredible murders that have taken place in Rwanda and Congo, where very few Muslims live in the last 20 years, are much larger than the sum of all the murders committed by Muslims in the same time period. But very few people see this a category such as Christian violence or African violence.

On the other hand, there is no mention of the disproportionate numbers of Muslims killed by non-Muslims. Even the killing of Muslims is not mentioned at all. It would be important to compile a rough inventory of the Muslims killed by non-Muslims in the last few decades. It should be mentioned whether the use of military prisons and courts in the United States as a tool to unlawfully incarcerate civilians, or whether the acceptance of torture by the US government is a violation of the Geneva convention.

All this clearly reveals what the purpose of the west is. They declare Muslims as terrorists and pro-violence in order to defame and destroy Islam, even though they are committing the greatest of violence, terror and massacre. The reasons for this injustice are clear. They are trying to deceive the world public opinion in order to legitimize their imperialist movements. But these goals will be fruitless in the long run. Just as the Crusades in the Middle Ages, which lasted for centuries, failed. Muslims emerged on the stage of history stronger after each Crusade. It will be the same in this case. Islam will defeat all these attacks within forty years and justice will be established in the world again. Let no one doubt that.

He is the One who has sent His Prophet with guidance and the true religion to make Islam superior to all religions. Allah is sufficient as a witness.” (Victory, 48/28)

A group from my ummah will prevail over the truth until Allah's command comes (that is, until the Day of Judgment).” (Hadith)


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Publishing date: 22.10.2022

“He is the One who has sent His Prophet with guidance and the true religion to make Islam superior to all religions. Allah is sufficient as a witness.” (Victory, 48/28)