Jihadism (also jihadist movement or jihadi movement) refers to the renewed focus on armed jihad in Islamic fundamentalism since the later 20th century, but with a continuous history reaching back to the early 1800s (see Fula jihads).
"Jihadism" in this sense covers both Mujahideen guerilla warfare and Islamic terrorism with an international scope as it arose from the 1980s, since the 1990s substantially represented by the al-Qaeda network. It has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th century ideological developments of Islamic revivalism, developed into Qutbism and related ideologies during the mid 20th century. The rise of jihadism was re-enforced by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and has been propagated in various armed conflicts throughout the 1990s and 2000s. A specifically Salafist jihadism has been diagnosed within the modern Salafi movement by Gilles Kepel in the mid-1990s.
Jihadism with an international, Pan-Islamist scope in this sense is also known as Global Jihadism. Generally the term jihadism denotes Sunni Islamist armed struggle. Sectarian tensions led to numerous forms of (Salafist and other Islamist) jihadism against Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi mosques.
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Although the adjective jihadist can be traced to the 1960s, and the abstract jihadism to ca. 1980, these terms did not see frequent use in popular media until after the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The equivalent terms of "jihadist movement" and "jihadi movement" date to the same period, entering use during the 1970s. The term "jihadism" translates or parallels Arabic jihādiyya جهادية. The alternative form jihadi for jihadist in English usage is a transliteration of the corresponding Arabic adjective jihādī جهادي.
According to Martin Kramer the term jihadism first became common in "the Indian and Pakistani media". "At present, jihadism is used to refer to the most violent persons and movements in contemporary Islam, including al-Qaeda." The term jihadism may also have been influenced by the term "jihadist-Salafism", put into "academic circulation" by "French academics". Brachman in his Global jihadism (2008) concedes that the term is "clumsy and controversial".
The term "Jihadist Globalism" is also often used in relation to Jihadism; according to Manfred Steger of RMIT University, the term "Jihadist Globalism" can apply to all extremely violent strains of religiously influenced ideologies that articulate the global imaginary into concrete political agendas and terrorist strategies. The term does not have to be specific to the Muslim society. Thus, the label could also apply to violent Christians in the West that strive to make a Christian Empire.[clarification needed]
Jihad fi sabilillah
In Islam, the phrase al-jihad fi sabilillah is the equivalent of the western notion of bellum justum or just war. Such a "just war" or "war in the cause of Allah" has been propagated in modern fundamentalism beginning in the late 19th century, an ideology that arose in context of struggles against colonial powers in North Africa in the late 19th century, as in the Mahdist War in Sudan, and notably in the mid-20th century by Islamic revivalist authors such as Sayyid Qutb and Abul Ala Maududi.
Based on this, the phrase is used in modern jihadism. Thus, "Fi Sabilillah" armbands were worn by rebels in Xinjiang when battling Soviet forces, and the phrase has been spotted on flags used by jihadists in Caucasia in the 2000s.
A rebel camp was set up in the early 19th century by Sayyid Ahmed Barelvi after leaving India for Afghanistan. There he set up a rebel camp to launch attacks against the Sikh power which was centered in the Punjab before focusing his attention of the British. Waliullah's teachings directly inspired jihad against Sikhs between 1826 and 1831.
The Hindu Kush refers to a region in Northwest India and translates as the slaughter of the Hindus. It refers to an incident when Hindus were transported to Muslim courts.
In 1532, Sultan, Sa'd Khan launched a jihad against Tibetan Buddhists. He thought that Lasa was a direction of prayer for all the Chinese and therefore sought to destroy its main temple.
There are references in some hadiths to jihad being launched against Jews. Ayman al-Zawahiri declared a fatwa of jihad against Jews in 1998. One of the earliest Jihads against Jews occurred in 627 AD against the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe.
During prophet Muhammads lifetime, there were many jihads launched against pagans including inside Mecca. Examples of jihad against pagans where prophet Muhammad participated include the Battle of Badr and Battle of the Trench.
During the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s, many Muslims received calls for a jihad against atheists. Mujahideen were recruited from various countries including Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The conflict gradually turned from one against occupation to one seen as a jihad.
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When jihadism is specifically motivated by Pan-Islamism, i.e. the ultimate aim of spreading Islam worldwide under a restored Caliphate, it is often called "Global Jihadism". But jihadism can also be motivated regionally, in an attempt to establish an Islamic state in a specific homeland. Global Jihadism is usually involved with international Islamic terrorism, while regional jihadism takes the form of guerrilla warfare, possibly also paired with terrorist attacks.
While the western term and concept of "jihadism" developed during the later half of the 20th century, this type of Islamist armed uprising against a secular government goes back to the early 19th century. The transition of this form of guerilla warfare was the decline of the great Muslim empires of the Early Modern period which could wage war on the scale of a great power and did not need to rely on asymmetric warfare (see Ottoman wars in Europe, Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire). Early jihadist conflicts include:
- Fulani War (1804–1810)
- Padri War (1821–1838)
- Java War (1825–1830)
- Caucasus War (1828–1859)
- Algerian resistance movement (1832 - 1847)
- Mahdist War (1881–1899)
- Somali Dervishes (1896–1920)
- Moro Rebellion (1899–1913)
- Aceh War (1873–1913)
- Basmachi Movement (1916–1934)
- Libyan resistance movement (1911–1943)
Modern Islamism developed in the 1920s, and there have been a number of armed "jihads" informed by this movement since then.
- Kumul Rebellion (1931–1934)
- Islamic rebellion in Xinjiang (1937)
- Insurgency in the Philippines (1969–present)
- Arakan rebellion (1978)
While the "jihads" waged in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th century occasionally did involve western colonial powers, the phenomenon did remain mostly limited to the Middle East and the wider Muslim World. This changed significantly with the foundation of the state of Israel and the beginning of the Arab–Israeli conflict after the end of World War II. This sparked the beginning of international Islamic terrorism (Munich massacre 1973) and put "jihadism" on the golbal agenda. This, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) served to produce the leadership and organization which held sway in jihadism and Islamic terrorism well into the 21st century. (Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine 1981–present, Islamic Jihad Organization 1982-1993, Hamas 1987–present). The "modern" phase of Jihadism can be taken to begin with the conclusion of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, spanning of the 1990s to present.
- Kashmir conflict (Lashkar-e-Taiba, 1990–present)
- Somali Civil War (1991–present)
- Bosnian war (Bosnian mujahideen, 1992–1995)
- Afghan civil war (Taliban 1994–present)
- East Turkestan irredentism (East Turkestan Islamic Movement, 1997–present)
- Chechen war and Insurgency in the North Caucasus (Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya, 1994–present)
- Nigerian Sharia conflict (Boko Haram 2001–present)
- Iraqi insurgency (Islamic State of Iraq, 2003–present)
- Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen (Abyan Governorate, 2010–present)
- Syrian civil war (Al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant 2011–present)
- Islam and war
- Black flag of jihad
- Defensive jihad
- Hezbollah, a Shi'ite armed movement not involved in the jihadism as defined.
- Islamic fundamentalism
- Islamic terrorism
- Offensive jihad
- Salafist jihadism
- Sex Jihad
- Martin Kramer (Spring 2003). "Coming to Terms: Fundamentalists or Islamists?". Middle East Quarterly X (2): 65–77.
- Brachman 2008, p. 4: "Jihadism is a clumsy and controversial term."
- Steger, Manfred B. Globalization: A Short Introduction. 2009. Oxford University Publishing
- Rudolph Peters, Jihad in modern terms: a reader 2005, p. 120.
- Rudolph Peters, Jihad in modern terms: a reader 2005, p. 107 and note p. 197. John Ralph Willis, "Jihad Fi Sabil Allah", in: In the path of Allah: the passion of al-Hajj ʻUmar : an essay into the nature of charisma in Islam, Routledge, 1989, ISBN 978-0-7146-3252-0, 29-57. "Gibb [Mohammedanism, 2nd ed. 1953] rightly could conclude that one effect of the renewed emphasis in the nineteenth century on the Qur'an and Sunna in Muslim fundamentalism was to restore to jihad fi sabilillah much of the prominence it held in the early days of Islam. Yet Gibb, for all his perception, did not consider jihad within the context of its alliance to ascetic and revivalist sentiments, nor from the perspectives which left it open to diverse interpretations." (p. 31)
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- Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing, p. 132.
- The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global - Page 68, Fawaz A. Gerges - 2009 -
- Aging Early: Collapse of the Oasis of Liberties - Page 47, Mirza Aman - 2009
- Withdrawing Under Fire, Joshua L. Gleis - 2011
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