Is Islamism legitimate and different from jihadism?

Where countries such as Sudan and the United Arab Emirates are moving away from the most controversial aspects of the Islamic legal system of Sharia, Islamism is emerging in the Netherlands and Belgium. According to a group of predominantly “progressive” opinion formers, we must distinguish between Islamism and Jihadism. Where jihadism is seen as criminal, because: calling for violence, this group sees Islamism as a legitimate political movement. Are they right? What is Jihadism and What is Islamism?

What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?
Islamism is a neologism which basically amounts to "political Islam". Traditionally, there was only Islam, which contained both personal and political elements. In Sharia there is no distinction between the personal and private domain. The hadith (traditions) of a political nature, such as the prescribed penalties and marriage laws, are in the same book as the hadith of a personal nature, such as the prescribed way of praying or performing the ablution. This follows the system of the most important Islamic scripture, the Quran. The Islamic state also strictly monitors the religious life of the individual. For example, communal prayer for Muslims was regularly a legal obligation in a Sharia state, as in the strict Islamic state of the Almohads [1].
In summary, in traditional Islam there is no clear distinction between the political and the religious dimensions. These flow seamlessly into each other. The explication of Islamism is of a fairly recent date, with thinkers such as the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb, executed by Nasser. Before that, and to a large extent after that, there was no distinction between the private domain and the public domain in terms of Islamic law. The strict separation of the private domain relates solely to the prevention of “illegal” sex between unmarried persons of the opposite sex. The harem is derived from the Arabic 'haram': forbidden or sacred.

Corporal punishment such as whipping, abolished in the Low Countries more than a century ago, will return when Islamists have their way.
Source: L'Exécution de la Punition de Fouet by Jean-Baptiste Débret (1829)

What is the difference between "Jihadism" and "Islamism"?
Who reads the magazines quite tough in terms of readability that terror groups such as Al Qa'eda and Islamic State, such as Inspire (Al Qaeda) and Dabiq (IS) is striking that the sources they cite are the same as the sources that Islamists cite. Namely the Quran and (especially) the hadith. A group known as 'non-terrorist' such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir condemns attacks on, for example, Israelis and others; enemies of Islam 'good on theological grounds. [2] This also applies to a large extent to the ideologically more flexible Muslim Brotherhood, which for the purpose of uniting all Muslims under one Sunni caliphate and subjugating the non-Muslims, sees the mutual differences between Muslims as secondary [3] . There are countries where this group manifests itself peacefully, such as Turkey and many Western countries, and there are other countries where this group carries out terrorist attacks (Gaza Strip, Syria).

Ideologically, there is no difference between a "peaceful" Islamist and a "jihadist", except for a disagreement about the strategy to be followed. The ideology of jihadists IS Islamism. “Jihadism” (more accurately: jihad al-qital, armed struggle) is only a method of struggle of Islamism, it is not a separate ideology.

What if jihadists or Islamists are in control?
The consequences are the same in both cases and extremely predictable: introduction of Sharia, ie restriction of the rights for women and non-Islamic groups, introduction of the jizya (a head tax applied to non-Muslims), introduction of polygyny, abolition of the human rights of homosexuals, the death penalty for leaving Islam for ex-Muslim men / life imprisonment for ex-Muslim women until they change their mind, ar-rajam (stoning) for married Muslims who have sex with someone other than their own husband or a ma malakat amaynukum ('what belongs to the right hand', ie slave girl taken prisoner). And, of course, invalidating the marriage of an ex-Muslim to his wife, in countries such as Egypt where a Sharia light prevails. It was not until 2020 that there was open discussion in Egypt about the abolition of this law [4]. Had this ex-Muslim lived in, for example, Mauretania, where Sharia law applies, he would have been executed.

As you have already understood, dear reader, slavery is also being reintroduced. After all, abolitionism is bida (innovation) of the kuffaar (unbelievers). And, of course, the invalidity of a non-Muslim's testimony against that of a Muslim. In Pakistan and Northern Nigeria, for example, you see Islamism in practice. In all countries where Islamism is advancing, women's rights and the rights of non-Muslim and sexual minorities (including those who have sex without marriage) are being curtailed or abolished.

Islamism has no positive sides compared to the currently prevailing political ideologies in the west.

In short, not really ideals associated with progressive, let alone visionary thinking.

Is Islamism Legitimate?
The question is whether Islamism is “legitimate”. The CP'86 has been banned by the courts due to racism. The ideals of apartheid of Islamism are also over the edge of what is permitted under current Dutch criminal law. We are therefore inclined to answer this question positively in the negative.

1. D. Serrano, Judicial pluralism under the “Berber empires” (last quarter of the 11th century CE - first half of the 13th century CE), Bulletin d'Études Orientales,, 2015
2. Hizb ut-Tahrir: ideology and strategy, Henry Jackson society, 2013
3. A. Ayyash, Strong Organization, Weak Ideology: Muslim Brotherhood Trajectories in Egyptian Prisons Since 2013, Arab Reform Initiative, 2019
Amna Naseer: Controversy in Egypt after a statement regarding the legality… [of a marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man], 2020


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