Islamism  is a set of ideologies holding that Islam is "as much a political ideology as a religion".  Islamism is a controversial neologism, and definitions of it sometimes vary (see below). Leading Islamist thinkers emphasize the enforcement of Sharia (Islamic law); of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the elimination of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world, which they believe to be incompatible with Islam. Some observers suggest Islamism's tenets are less strict, and can be defined as a form of identity politics or "support for [Muslim] identity, authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, [and] revitalization of the community". Many of those described as "Islamists" oppose the use of the term, and claim that their political beliefs and goals are simply an expression of Islamic religious belief. Similarly, some experts favor the term activist Islam,  or militant Islam,  instead. Also sometimes the term political Islam is equated with the term Islamism. Following the Arab Spring professor Olivier Roy of the European University Institute in an article in Foreign Policy has described political Islam as "increasingly interdependent" with democracy, such that "neither can now survive without the other". Central figures of modern Islamism include Sayyid Qutb, Hasan al-Banna, Abul Ala Maududi,[9] Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,  andNavvab Safavi.
Islamism has been defined as:"the belief that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life",[11]"the [Islamic] ideology that guides society as a whole and that [teaches] law must be in conformity with the Islamic sharia", an unsustainably flexible movement of ... everything to everyone: an alternative social provider to the poor masses; an angry platform for the disillusioned young; a loud trumpet-call announcing `a return to the pure religion` to those seeking an identity; a "progressive, moderate religious platform` for the affluent and liberal; ... and at the extremes, a violent vehicle for rejectionists and radicals. an Islamic "movement that seeks cultural differentiation from the West and reconnection with the pre-colonial symbolic universe", "the organised political trend, owing its modern origin to the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, that seeks to solve modern political problems by reference to Muslim texts", "the whole body of thought which seeks to invest society with Islam which may be integrationist, but may also be traditionalist, reform-minded or even revolutionary", "the active assertion and promotion of beliefs, prescriptions, laws or policies that are held to be Islamic in character," a movement of "Muslims who draw upon the belief, symbols, and language of Islam to inspire, shape, and animate political activity;" which may contain moderate, tolerant, peaceful activists, and/or those who "preach intolerance and espouse violence." a term "used by outsiders to denote a strand of activity which they think justifies their misconception of Islam as something rigid and immobile, a mere tribal affiliation." Islamism takes different forms and spans a wide range of strategies and tactics, and thus is not a united movement.Moderate reformists who accept and work within the democratic process include the Justice and Development Party of Turkey, Tunisian author and reformer Rashid Al-Ghannouchi and Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. The Islamist group Hezbollah in Lebanon participates in both elections and armed attacks, seeking to abolish the state of Israel.Groups such as the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan and the Sudanese Brotherhood favored a top-down road to power by military coup d'état.[18] The radical Islamists al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad reject entirely democracy and self-proclaimed Muslims they find overly moderate, and preach violent jihad, urging and conducting attacks on a religious basis.Another major division within Islamism is between the fundamentalist "guardians of the tradition" of the Salafism or Wahhabi movement, and the "vanguard of change" centered on the Muslim Brotherhood.  Olivier Roy argues that "Sunni pan-Islamism underwent a remarkable shift in the second half of the 20th century" when the Muslim Brotherhood movement and focus on Islamistation of pan-Arabism was eclipsed by the Salafi movement with its emphasis on "sharia rather than the building of Islamic institutions," and rejection of Shia Islam. Following the Arab Spring, scholar Oliver Roy has described Islamism, or political Islam, as "increasingly interdependent" with democracy in much of the Arab Muslim world, such that "neither can now survive without the other." While Islamist political culture itself may not be democratic, Islamists need democratic elections to maintain their legitimacy. At the same times, their popularity is such that no government can call itself democratic that excludes mainstream Islamist groups.  The term Islamism was coined in eighteenth-century France as a way of referring to Islam. Earliest known use of the term identified by the Oxford English Dictionary is 1747.  By the turn of the twentieth century it had begun to be displaced by the shorter and purely Arabic term Islam and by 1938, when Orientalist scholars completed The Encyclopaedia of Islam, seems to have virtually disappeared from the English language. The term Islamism is considered to have first begun to acquire its contemporary connotations in French academia between the late 1970s and late 1980s. From French, it began to migrate to the English language in the mid-1980s, and in recent years has largely displaced the term Islamic fundamentalism in academic circles. The use of the term Islamism was at first "a marker for scholars more likely to sympathize" with new Islamic movements; however, as the term gained popularity it became more specifically associated with political groups such as the Taliban or the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, as well as with highly publicized acts of violence. "Islamists" who have spoken out against the use of the term insisting they are merely "Muslims", include Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, the spiritual mentor of Hizbullah, and Abbassi Madani, leader of the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front. A 2003 article in Middle East Quarterly states:In summation, the term Islamism enjoyed its first run, lasting from Voltaire to the First World War, as a synonym for Islam. Enlightened scholars and writers generally preferred it toMohammedanism. Eventually both terms yielded to Islam, the Arabic name of the faith, and a word free of either pejorative or comparative associations. There was no need for any other term, until the rise of an ideological and political interpretation of Islam challenged scholars and commentators to come up with an alternative, to distinguish Islam as modern ideology from Islam as a faith.The concept Islamism is controversial, not just because it posits a political role for Islam, but also because its supporters believe their views merely reflect Islam, while the contrary idea that Islam is, or can be, apolitical is an error. Scholars and observers who do not believe that Islam is a political ideology include Fred Halliday, John Esposito and Muslim intellectuals like Javed Ahmad Ghamidi.Islamists have asked the question, "If Islam is a way of life, how can we say that those who want to live by its principles in legal, social, political, economic, and political spheres of life are not Muslims, but Islamists and believe in Islamism, not [just] Islam?"  Similarly, a writer for theInternational Crisis Group maintains that "the conception of 'political Islam'" is a creation of Americans to explain the Iranian Islamic Revolution. In reality, apolitical Islam was an historical fluke of the "shortlived heyday of secular Arab nationalism between 1945 and 1970," and it is quietist/non-political Islam, not Islamism, that requires explanation. On the other hand, Muslim-owned and run media (not just Western media) have used the terms "Islamist" and "Islamism" — as distinguished from Muslim and Islam — to distinguish groups such as the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria  or Jamaa Islamiya in Egypt, which actively seek to implement Islamic law, from mainstream Muslim groups.Another source distinguishes Islamist from Islamic "by the fact that the latter refers to a religion and culture in existence over a millennium, whereas the first is a political/religious phenomenon linked to the great events of the 20th century". Islamists have, at least at times, defined themselves as "Islamiyyoun/Islamists" to differentiate themselves from "Muslimun/Muslims". According to historian Bernard Lewis, Islamism, (or as he terms it "activist" Islam), along with "quietism," form two "particular ... political traditions" in Islam.The arguments in favor of both are based, as are most early Islamic arguments, on the Holy Book and on the actions and sayings of theProphet.
The quietist tradition obviously rests on the Prophet as sovereign, as judge and statesman. But before the Prophet became a head of state, he was a rebel. Before he travelled from Mecca to Medina, where he became sovereign, he was an opponent of the existing order. He led an opposition against the pagan oligarchy of Mecca and at a certain point went into exile and formed what in modern language might be called a "government in exile," with which finally he was able to return in triumph to his birthplace and establish the Islamic state in Mecca.
The Prophet as rebel has provided a sort of paradigm of revolution—opposition and rejection, withdrawal and departure, exile and return. Time and time again movements of opposition in Islamic history tried to repeat this pattern, a few of them successfully.—Bernard Lewis, Islamic RevolutionFew observers contest the influence of Islamism. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, political movements based on the liberal ideology of free expression and democratic rule have led the opposition in other parts of the world such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and many parts of Asia; however "the simple fact is that political Islam currently reigns as the most powerful ideological force across the Muslim world today". Even some of those who see Islamism as fraught with contradictions believe "the socioeconomic realities that sustained the Islamist wave are still here and are not going to change: poverty, uprootedness, crises in values and identities, the decay of the educational systems, the North-South opposition, and the problem of immigrant integration into the host societies". The strength of Islamism draws from the strength of religiosity in general in the Muslim world. Compared to Western societies, "[w]hat is striking about the Islamic world is that ... it seems to have been the least penetrated by irreligion". Where other peoples may look to the physical or social sciences for answers in areas which their ancestors regarded as best left to scripture, in the Muslim world, religion has become more encompassing, not less, as "in the last few decades, it has been the fundamentalists who have increasingly represented the cutting edge of the culture". In Egypt and the rest of the Muslim world "the word secular, a label proudly worn 30 years ago, is shunned" and "used to besmirch" political foes. The small secular opposition parties "cannot compare" with Islamists in terms of "doggedness, courage," "risk-taking" or "organizational skills". In the Middle East and Pakistan, religious discourse dominates societies, the airwaves, and thinking about the world. Radical mosques have proliferated throughout Egypt. Book stores are dominated by works with religious themes ... The demand for sharia, the belief that their governments are unfaithful to Islam and that Islam is the answer to all problems, and the certainty that the West has declared war on Islam; these are the themes that dominate public discussion. Islamists may not control parliaments or government palaces, but they have occupied the popular imagination.Moderate strains of Islamism have been described as "competing in the democratic public square in places like Turkey and Indonesia.  In Morocco, the Islamist Justice and Development Party(PJD) supported King Muhammad VI's "Mudawana", a "startlingly progressive family law" which grants women the right to a divorce, raises the minimum age for marriage to 18, and, in the event of separation, stipulates equal distribution of property. Islamists in Egypt and other Muslim countries have been described as "not politically dominant today, but ... extremely influential. ... They determine how one dresses, what one eats. In these areas, they are incredibly successful. ... Even if the Islamists never come to power, they have transformed their countries."Amongst the various reasons for the global strength of Islamism are: Muslim alienation from Western ways, including its political ways.  The memory in Muslim societies of the many centuries of "cultural and institutional success" of Islamic civilization that have created an "intense resistance to an alternative 'civilizational order'", such as Western civilization, Outside Islamdom, Christian missionaries from Europe usually succeeded in making converts. Whether for spiritual reasons or for material ones, substantial numbers of Native American, Africans, Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians accepted the Gospels. But Muslims did not." The proximity of the core of the Muslim world to Europe and Christendom where it first conquered and then was conquered. Iberia in the seventh century, the Crusades which began in the eleventh century, then for centuries the Ottoman Empire, were all fields of war between Europe and Islam. The Islamic world was aware of European fear and hatred:For almost a thousand years, from the first Moorish landing in Spain to the second Turkish siege of Vienna, Europe was under constant threat from Islam. In the early centuries it was a double threat — not only of invasion and conquest, but also of conversion and assimilation. All but the easternmost provinces of the Islamic realm had been taken from Christian rulers, and the vast majority of the first Muslims west of Iran and Arabia were converts from Christianity ... Their loss was sorely felt and it heightened the fear that a similar fate was in store for Europe. and also felt its own anger and resentment at the much more recent technological superiority of westerners who,are the perpetual teachers; we, the perpetual students. Generation after generation, this asymmetry has generated an inferiority complex, forever exacerbated by the fact that their innovations progress at a faster pace than we can absorb them. ... The best tool to reverse the inferiority complex to a superiority complex ... Islam would give the whole culture a sense of dignity. For Islamists, the primary threat of the West is cultural rather than political or economic. Cultural dependency robs one of faith and identity and thus destroys Islam and the Islamic community (ummah) far more effectively than political rule. The end of the Cold War and Soviet occupation of Afghanistan has eliminated the common atheist Communist enemy uniting some religious Muslims and the capitalist west. During the 1970s and sometimes later, Western and pro-Western governments often supported sometimes fledgling Islamists and Islamist groups that later came to be seen as dangerous enemies.  Islamists were considered bulwarks against—what were thought to be at the time—more dangerous leftist/communist/nationalist insurgents/opposition, which Islamists were correctly seen as opposing. The US spent billions of dollars to aid the mujahideen Muslim Afghanistan enemies of the Soviet Union, and non-Afghan veteran of the war returned home with their prestige, "experience, ideology, and weapons", and had considerable impact.  Although now a strong opponent of Israel's existence, Hamas has been called "Israel's creation." In the 1970s and 1980s Israel tolerated and supported the group as preferable to the secular and then more powerful al-Fatah and the PLO. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat — whose policies included opening Egypt to Western investment (Infitah), breaking with Soviet Union to make Egypt an ally of the United States, and making peace with Israel — released Islamists from prison and welcomed home exiles in tacit exchange for political support in his struggle against leftists. His "encouraging of the emergence of the Islamist movement" was said to have been "imitated by many other Muslim leaders in the years that followed."   This "gentlemen's agreement" between Sadat and Islamists broke down in 1975 but not before Islamists came to completely dominate university student unions. Islamists later assassinated Sadat and went on to form a formidable insurgency in Egypt in the 1990.) The French government has also been reported to have promoted Islamist preachers "in the hope of channeling Muslim energies into zones of piety and charity." 
The resurgence of Islamic devotion and the attraction to things Islamic can be traced to several events. A tenet of the Quran is that Islam will deliver victory and success. For example 23:1: "Successful indeed are the believers"; Sura 9:14 "Fight them and God will punish them at your hands ... God will make you victorious over them";22:40: "God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause): for verily God is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might."By the end of World War I, most Muslim states were seen to be dominated by the Christian-leaning Western states. It is argued that either the claims of Islam were false and the Christian or post-Christian West had finally come up with another system that was superior, or Islam had failed through not being true to itself. Thus, a redoubling of faith and devotion by Muslims was called for to reverse this tide. The connection between the lack of an Islamic spirit and the lack of victory was underscored by the disastrous defeat of Arab nationalist-led armies fighting under the slogan "Land, Sea and Air" in the 1967 Six Day War, compared to the (perceived) near-victory of the Yom Kippur War six years later. In that war the military's slogan was "God is Great". Along with the Yom Kippur War came the Arab oil embargo where the (Muslim) Persian Gulf oil-producing states' dramatic decision to cut back on production and quadruple the price of oil, made the terms oil, Arabs and Islam synonymous – with power – in the world, and especially in the Muslim world's public imagination.  Many Muslims believe as Saudi Prince Saud al Faisal did that the hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth obtained from the Persian Gulf's huge oil deposits were nothing less than a gift from God to the Islamic faithful. As the Islamic revival gained momentum, governments such as Egypt's, which had previously repressed (and was still continuing to repress) Islamists, joined the bandwagon. They banned alcohol and flooded the airwaves with religious programming,  giving the movement even more exposure.Starting in the mid-1970s the Islamic resurgence was funded by an abundance of money from Saudi Arabian oil exports.  The tens of billions of dollars in "petro-Islam" largess obtained from the recently heightened price of oil funded an estimated "90% of the expenses of the entire faith." Throughout the Muslim world, religious institutions for people both young and old, from children's maddrassas to high-level scholarships received Saudi funding,  "books, scholarships, fellowships, and mosques" (for example, "more than 1500 mosques were built and paid for with money obtained from public Saudi funds over the last 50 years"), along with training in the Kingdom for the preachers and teachers who went on to teach and work at these universities, schools, mosques, etc. The funding was also used to reward journalists and academics who followed the Saudis' strict interpretation of Islam; and satellite campuses were built around Egypt for Al Azhar, the world's oldest and most influential Islamic university. The interpretation of Islam promoted by this funding was the strict, conservative Saudi-based Wahhabism or Salafism. In its harshest form it preached that Muslims should not only "always oppose" infidels "in every way," but "hate them for their religion ... for Allah's sake," that democracy "is responsible for all the horrible wars of the 20th century," that Shia and other non-Wahhabi Muslims were infidels, etc. While this effort has by no means converted all, or even most, Muslims to the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam, it has done much to overwhelm more moderate local interpretations, and has set the Saudi-interpretation of Islam as the "gold standard" of religion in Muslims' mindsThe strength of the Islamist movement was manifest in an event which might have seemed sure to turn Muslim public opinion against fundamentalism, but did just the opposite. In 1979 the Grand Mosque in Mecca Saudi Arabia was seized by an armed fundamentalist group and held for over a week. Scores were killed, including many pilgrim bystanders  in a gross violation of one of the most holy sites in Islam (and one where arms and violence are strictly forbidden). Instead of prompting a backlash against the movement from which the attackers originated, however, Saudi Arabia, already very conservative, responded by shoring up its fundamentalist credentials with even more Islamic restrictions. Crackdowns followed on everything from shopkeepers who did not close for salah and newspapers that published pictures of women, to the selling of dolls, teddy bears (images of animate objects are considered haraam), and dog food (dogs are considered unclean). In other Muslim countries, blame for and wrath against the seizure was directed not against fundamentalists, but against Islamic fundamentalism's foremost geopolitical enemy – the United States. Ayatollah Khomeini sparked attacks on American embassies when he announced:It is not beyond guessing that this is the work of criminal American imperialism and international Zionismdespite the fact that the object of the fundamentalists' revolt was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, America's major ally in the region. Anti-American demonstrations followed in the Philippines,Turkey, Bangladesh, India, the UAE, Pakistan, and Kuwait. The US Embassy in Libya was burned by protesters chanting pro-Khomeini slogans and the embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan was burned to the ground.  The original heart of the Muslim world – the Arab world – has been afflicted with economic stagnation. For example it has been estimated that the exports of Finland, a European country of five million, exceeded those of the entire 260 million-strong Arab world, excluding oil revenue.  This economic stagnation is argued to have commenced with the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, with trade networks being disrupted and societies torn apart with the creation of new nation states; prior to this, the Middle East had a diverse and growing economy and more general prosperity. Strong population growth combined with economic stagnation has created urban conglomerations in Cairo, Istanbul, Tehran, Karachi, Dhaka, and Jakarta each with well over 12 million citizens, millions of them young and unemployed or underemployed. Such a demographic, alienated from the westernized ways of the urban elite, but uprooted from the comforts and more passive traditions of the villages they came from, is understandably favourably disposed to an Islamic system promising a better world – an ideology providing an "emotionally familiar basis for group identity, solidarity, and exclusion; an acceptable basis for legitimacy and authority; an immediately intelligible formulation of principles for both a critique of the present and a program for the future."  While dictatorial regimes can preempt opposition nationalist or socialist campaigns by closing down their networks and headquarters, the centre for Islamist political organizing is the mosque. It is exempt from government crackdowns in the Muslim world (and often in the non-Muslim world) by virtue of its sacredness. "It is in the mosque where [Islamists] canvas neighbourhoods in the course of providing social services, spread their political messages and campaign for votes where permitted to participate." Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood, "are well known for providing shelters, educational assistance, free or low cost medical clinics, housing assistance to students from out of town, student advisory groups, facilitation of inexpensive mass marriage ceremonies to avoid prohibitively costly dowry demands, legal assistance, sports facilities, and women's groups." All this compares very favourably against incompetent, inefficient, or neglectful governments whose commitment to social justice is limited to rhetoric. Islamism can also be described as part of identity politics, specifically the religiously-oriented nationalism that emerged in the Third World in the 1970s: "resurgent Hinduism in India, ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel, militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka, resurgent Sikh nationalism in the Punjab, 'Liberation Theology' of Catholicism in Latin America, and of course, Islamism in the Muslim world."  (This is distinguished from ethnic or linguistic-based nationalism which Islamism opposes.) These all challenged Westernized ruling elites on behalf of 'authenticity' and tradition.Islamism, or elements of Islamism, have been criticised for: repression of free expression and individual rights, rigidity, hypocrisy, lack of true understanding of Islam, misinterpreting the Quranand Sunnah, and for innovations to Islam (bid‘ah), notwithstanding Islamists' proclaimed opposition to any such innovation.Some Islamic revivalist movements and leaders pre-dating Islamism includeShaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (~1564–1624) was part of "a reassertion of orthodoxy within Sufism" and was known to his followers as the 'renovator of the second millennium'. It has been said of Sirhindi that he 'gave to Indian Islam the rigid and conservative stamp it bears today.' Ibn Taymiyyah, a Syrian Islamic jurist during the 13th and 14th centuries who is often quoted by contemporary Islamists. Ibn Taymiyya argued against the shirking of Sharia law, and against practices such as the celebration of Muhammad's birthday or the construction of mosques around the tombs of Sufi sheikhs, believing that these were unacceptable borrowings from Christianity: Many Muslims 'do not even know of the Christian origins of these practices.' Shah Waliullah of India and Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab of Arabia were contemporaries who met each other while studying in Mecca. Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab advocated doing away with the later accretions like grave worship and getting back to the letter and the spirit of Islam as preached and practiced by Muhammad. He went on to found Wahhabism. Shah Waliullah was a forerunner of reformists like Muhammad Abduh in his belief that there was "a constant need for new ijtihad as the Muslim community progressed and expanded and new generations had to cope with new problems" and in his interest in the social and economic problems of the poor. Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi was a disciple and successor of Shah Waliullah's son and emphasized the 'purification' of Islam from un-Islamic beliefs and practices. He anticipated modern Islamists by leading a jihad movement and attempted to create an Islamic state with strict enforcement of Islamic law. While he waged jihad against Sikhs in North-Western India, his followers fought the British after his death and allied itself with the Indian Mutiny. After the failure of the Indian Mutiny some of Shah Waliullah's followers turned to more peaceful methods of preserving the Islamic heritage and founded the Dar al-Ulum seminary in 1867 in the town of Deoband. From the school developed the Deobandi movement which became the largest philosophical movement of traditional Islamic thought in the subcontinent and led to the establishment of thousands of madrasahs throughout modern-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today, Deobandism is represented in Pakistan by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islamorganization/political party and its splinter groups. The end of the 19th century saw the dismemberment of most of the Muslim Ottoman Empire by non-Muslim European colonial powers.  The empire spent massive sums on Western civilian and military technology to try to modernize and compete with the encroaching European powers, and in the process went deep into debt to these powers. In this context, the publications of Jamal ad-din al-Afghani (1837–97), Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905) and Rashid Rida (1865–1935) preached Islamic alternatives to the political, economic, and cultural decline of the empire. Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida formed the beginning of the Salafistmovement,  as well as the Islamic modernist/secularist movement. Their ideas included the creation of a truly Islamic society under sharia law, and the rejection of taqlid, the blind imitation of earlier authorities, which they believed deviated from the true messages of Islam.  Unlike some later Islamists, Salafists strongly emphasized the restoration of theCaliphate. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi was a "alumni"  and an important early twentieth-century figure in the Islamic revival in India, and then after independence from Britain, in Pakistan. Trained as a lawyer he chose the profession of journalism, and wrote about contemporary issues and most importantly about Islam and Islamic law.In the struggle for the creation of a separate Muslim state in South Asia Maudidi and his party opposed the establishment of the state of Pakistan. He was an inspirational figure for modern Islamist groups in South Asia and elsewhere.Maududi founded the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1941 and remained its leader until 1972. Although Maududi was educated at Deobandi institution(s)  his party is a long-time rival of the Deobandi party/group Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. Maududi had much more impact through his writing than through his political organising. His extremely influential book,Towards Understanding Islam(Risalat Diniyat in Arabic), placed Islam in a modern context and influenced not only conservative ulema but liberal modernisers such as al-Faruqi, whose "Islamisation of Knowledge" carried forward some of Maududi's key principles. Maududi believed that Islam was all emcompassing "Everything in the universe is 'Muslim' for it obeys God by submission to His laws... The man who denies God is called Kafir (concealer) because he conceals by his disbelief what is inherent in his nature and embalmed in his own soul." Maududi also believed that Muslim society could not be Islamic without Sharia, and Islam required the establishment of an Islamic state. This state should be a "theo-democracy,"  based on the principles of: tawhid (unity of God), risala (prophethood) and khilafa (caliphate). Although Maududi talked about Islamic revolution,  he was both less revolutionary and less politically/economically populist than later Islamists like Qutb. Roughly contemporaneous with Maududi was the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Ismailiyah, Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna. His was arguably the first, largest and most influential modern Islamic political/religious organization. Under the motto "the Qur'an is our constitution,  it sought Islamic revival through preaching and also by providing basic community services including schools, mosques, and workshops.Like Maududi, Al Banna believed in the necessity of government rule based on Shariah law implemented gradually and by persuasion, and of eliminating all non-Muslim imperialist influence in the Muslim world. Jihad was declared against European colonial powers. Some elements of the Brotherhood, though perhaps against orders, did engage in violence against the government, and its founder Al-Banna was assassinated in 1949 in retaliation for the assassination of Egypt's premier Mahmud Fami Naqrashi three months earlier.  The Brotherhood has suffered periodic repression in Egypt and has been banned several times, in 1948 and several years later following confrontations with Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser, who jailed thousands of members for several years.Despite periodic repression, the Brotherhood has become one of the most influential movements in the Islamic world,  particularly in the Arab world. For many years it was described as "semi-legal"  and was the only opposition group in Egypt able to field candidates during elections.  In the Egyptian parliamentary election, 2011–2012, the political parties identified as "Islamist" (the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Al-Nour Party) won 70% of the total seats.Maududi's political ideas influenced Sayyid Qutb, one of the key philosophers of Islamism, and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhoodmovement. Qutb believed things had reached such a state that the Muslim community had literally ceased to exist. It "has been extinct for a few centuries,"  having reverted to Godless ignorance (Jahiliyya).To eliminate jahiliyya, Qutb argued Sharia, or Islamic law, must be established. Sharia law was not only accessible to humans and essential to the existence of Islam, but also all-encompassing, precluding "evil and corrupt" non-Islamic ideologies like socialism, nationalism, or liberal democracy.Qutb preached that Muslims must engage in a two-pronged attack of converting individuals while also waging jihad to forcibly eliminate the "structures" of Jahiliyya – not only from the Islamic homeland but from the face of the earth.Qutb was both a member of the brotherhood and enormously influential in the Muslim world at large. Qutb is considered by some to be "the founding father and leading theoretician" of modern jihadis, such as Osama bin Laden. Ironically, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and in Europe has not embraced his vision of armed jihad, something for which they have been denounced by more radical Islamists. The quick and decisive defeat of the Arab troops during the Six-Day War by Israeli troops constituted a pivotal event in the Arab Muslim world. The defeat along with economic stagnation in the defeated countries, was blamed on the Arab nationalism of the ruling regimes.A steep and steady decline in the popularity and credibility of both secular and nationalist politics ensued. Ba'athism, Arab Socialism, and Arab Nationalism suffered, and Islamist movements inspired by Mawlana Maududi, and Sayyid Qutb gained ground.The first Modern Islamic state (with the possible exception of Zia's Pakistan ) was established among the Shia of Iran. In a major shock to the rest of the world, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the Iranian Revolution of 1979 to overthrow the oil-rich, well-armed, Westernized and pro-American secular monarchy ruled by Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. Khomeini's beliefs were similar to Sunni Islamic thinkers like Mawdudi and Qutb: He believed that imitation of the early Muslims and the restoration ofSharia law were essential to Islam, that secular, Westernizing Muslims were actually agents of the West serving Western interests, and that the "plundering" of Muslim lands was part of a long-term conspiracy against Islam by the Christian West. But they also differed:As a Shia, the early Muslims whom Khomeini looked to were Ali ibn Abī Tālib and Husayn ibn Ali, not Caliphs Abu Bakr, Omar or Uthman.Khomeini talked not about restoring the Caliphate, but about establishing an Islamic state where the leading role was taken by Islamic jurists (ulama) as the successors of Shia Imams until the Mahdi returned from occultation. His concept of velayat-e-faqih ("guardianship of the [Islamic] jurist"), held that the leading Shia Muslim cleric in society – which Khomeini and his followers believed to be himself – should serve as head of state in order to protect or "guard" Islam and Sharia law from "innovation" and "anti-Islamic laws" passed "by sham parliaments." The revolution was influenced by Marxism through Islamist thought and also by writings that sought either to counter Marxism (Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's work) or to integrate socialism and Islamism (Ali Shariati's work). A strong wing of the revolutionary leadership was made up of leftists or "radical populists", such as Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pur. While initial enthusiasm for the Iranian revolution in the Muslim world was intense, it has waned as "purges, executions, and atrocities tarnished its image". The Islamic Republic has also maintained its hold on power in Iran in spite of the US economic sanctions, and has created or assisted like-minded Shia Islamist groups in Iraq (SCIRI) and Lebanon (Hezbollah),  (two Muslim countries that also have large Shiite populations). During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, the Iranian government enjoyed something of a resurgence in popularity amongst the predominantly Sunni "Arab street,"  due to its support for Hezbollah and to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vehement opposition to the United States and his call that Israel shall vanish. Early in the history of the state of Pakistan, a resolution (the Objectives Resolution) was adopted proclaiming"Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust" (12 March 1949)In July 1977 General Zia-ul-Haq overthrew Prime Minister Ali Bhutto's regime in Pakistan. Ali Bhutto, a leftist in political competition with Islamists, had banned alcohol, horse-racing, and nightclubs, and announced that the "sharia would be fully applied" within six months, shortly before he was overthrown.  Ul-Haq was much more committed to Islamism, and "Islamization" or implementation of Islamic law (AKA sharia), became a cornerstone of his eleven-year military dictatorship and Islamism became his "official state ideology". An admirer of Mawdudi, Mawdudi's party Jamaat-e-Islami became the "regime's ideological arm", and its members prospered under ul-Haq. Under his rule the Ahmadi Community was severely persecuted by various Islamist movements, who grew in numbers and influence.In Pakistan this Islamization from above was "probably" more complete "than under any other regime except those in Iran and Sudan," but Ul-Haq was also criticized by some Islamists for imposing "symbols" rather than substance, and using Islamization to legitimize his means of seizing power.[128] The program was a dramatic reversal of the traditional secularism of Pakistan's founding Muslim League and its leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah, but unlike neighboring Iran, Zia-ul-Haq's policies were intended to "avoid revolutionary excess", and not to strain relations with his American and Persian Gulf state allies. Zia-ul-Haq was killed in 1988 but Islamization remains an important element in Pakistani politics and society.[130]Recently, Dr. Israr Ahmed's Tanzeem-e-Islami has come to the forefront as a major Islamic party promoting the revival of Caliphate in the world.In 1979 the Soviet Union deployed its 40th Army into Afghanistan, attempting to suppress an Islamic rebellion against an allied Marxist regime in the Afghan Civil War. The conflict, pitting indigenous impoverished Muslims (mujahideen) against an anti-religious superpower, galvanized thousands of Muslims around the world to send aid and sometimes to go themselves to fightjihad. Leading this pan-Islamic effort was Palestinian sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. While the military effectiveness of these "Afghan Arabs" was marginal, Azzam's group is said to have organized paramilitary training for more than 20,000 Muslim recruits, from about 20 countries around the world. When the Soviet Union abandoned the Marxist Najibullah regime and withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 (the regime finally fell in 1992), the victory was seen by many Muslims as the triumph of Islamic faith over superior military power and technology that could be duplicated elsewhere. The jihadists gained legitimacy and prestige from their triumph both within the militant community and among ordinary Muslims, as well as the confidence to carry their jihad to other countries where they believed Muslims required assistance. The "veterans of the guerrilla campaign" returning home to Algeria, Egypt and other countries "with their experience, ideology, and weapons," were often eager to continue armed jihad. The collapse of the Soviet Union itself in 1991, was seen by many Islamists, including Bin Laden, as the defeat of a superpower at the hands of Islam, the $6 billion in aid given by the US to the mujahideen having nothing to do with the victory. As bin Laden opined:  " The US has no mentionable role" in "the collapse of the Soviet Union ... rather the credit goes to God and the mujahidin" of Afghanistan. Another factor in the early 1990s that worked to radicalize the Islamist movement was the Gulf War, which brought several hundred thousand US and allied non-Muslim military personnel to Saudi Arabian soil to put an end to Saddam Hussein's occupation of Kuwait. Prior to 1990 Saudi Arabia played an important role in restraining the many Islamist groups that received its aid. But Saddam embraced Islamic rhetoric and attacked Saudi Arabia, his enemy in the war, for violating Islamic unity and its role as custodian of the two holy cities by allowing non-Muslims on its soil (traditional Muslim belief holds that non-Muslims must not be allowed on the Arabian peninsula), and he also accused the Kingdom of being a puppet of the west. These attacks resonated with conservative Muslims and the problem did not go away with Saddam's defeat either, since American troops remained stationed in the kingdom, and a defacto cooperation with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process developed. Saudi Arabia attempted to compensate for its loss of prestige among these groups by repressing those domestic Islamists who attacked it (bin Laden being a prime example), and increasing aid to Islamic groups (Islamist madrassas around the world and even aiding some violent Islamist groups) that did not, but its pre-war influence on behalf of moderation was greatly reduced.  One result of this was a campaign of attacks on government officials and tourists in Egypt, a bloody civil war in Algeria and Osama bin Laden's terror attacks climaxing in 9/11 attack. While Qutb's ideas became increasingly radical during his imprisonment prior to his execution in 1966, the leadership of the Brotherhood, led by Hasan al-Hudaybi, remained moderate and interested in political negotiation and activism. Fringe or splinter movements inspired by the final writings of Qutb in the mid-1960s (particularly the manifesto "Milestones," aka Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq) did, however, develop and they pursued a more radical direction.  By the 1970s, the Brotherhood had renounced violence as a means of achieving its goals. The path of violence and military struggle was then taken up by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. Unlike earlier anti-colonial movements, Islamic Jihad directed its attacks against what it believed were "apostate" leaders of Muslim states, leaders who held secular leanings or who had introduced or promoted Western/foreign ideas and practices into Islamic societies. Its views were outlined in a pamphlet written by Muhammad Abd al-Salaam Farag, in which he states:...there is no doubt that the first battlefield for jihad is the extermination of these infidel leaders and to replace them by a complete Islamic Order...Another of the Egyptian groups which employed violence in their struggle for Islamic order was al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group). Victims of their campaign against the Egyptian state in the 1990s included the head of the counter-terrorism police (Major General Raouf Khayrat), a parliamentary speaker (Rifaat al-Mahgoub), dozens of European tourists and Egyptian bystanders, and over 100 Egyptian police.  Ultimately the campaign to overthrow the government was unsuccessful, and the major jihadi group, Jamaa Islamiya (or al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya), renounced violence in 2003. Other lesser known groups include the Islamic Liberation Party, Al-Najun min al-nar and Al-Takfir wa al-Hijra and these groups have variously been involved in activities such as attempted assassinations of political figures, arson of video shops and attempted takeovers of government buildings. Sudan had an Islamist regime under the leadership of Hassan al-Turabi. His National Islamic Front first gained influence when strongman General Gaafar al-Nimeiry invited members to serve in his government in 1979. Turabi built a powerful economic base with money from foreign Islamist banking systems, especially those linked with Saudi Arabia. He also recruited and built a cadre of influential loyalists by placing sympathetic students in the university and military academy while serving as minister of education. After al-Nimeiry was overthrown in 1985 the party did poorly in national elections but in 1989 it was able to overthrow the elected post-al-Nimeiry government with the help of the military. Turabi was noted for his commitment to the democratic process and a liberal government before coming to power, but strict application of sharia law, and an intensification of the long-running war in southern Sudan,  human rights abuses, once in power. The NIF regime also harbored Osama bin Laden for a time (before 9/11), and worked to unify Islamist opposition to the American attack on Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War. After Sudanese intelligence services were implicated in an assassination attempt on the President of Egypt, UN economic sanctions were imposed on Sudan, a very poor country, and Turabi fell from favor. He was imprisoned for a time in 2004-5. Some of the NIF policies, such as the war with the non-Muslim south, have been reversed, though the National Islamic Front (now named the National Congress Party) still holds considerable power in the Sudanese government.An Islamist movement influenced by Salafism and the jihad in Afghanistan, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, was the FIS or Front Islamique de Salut (theIslamic Salvation Front) in Algeria. Founded as a broad Islamist coalition in 1989 it was led by Abbassi Madani, and a charismatic radical young preacher, Ali Belhadj. Taking advantage of liberalization by the unpopular ruling leftist/nationalist FLN regime, it used its preaching to advocate the establishment of a legal system following Sharia law, education in Arabic rather than French, and gender segregation, with women staying home to alleviate the high rate of unemployment among young Algerian men. The FIS won sweeping victories in local elections and it was going to win national elections in 1991 when voting was canceled by a military coup d'état. As Islamists took up arms to overthrow the regime, the FIS's leaders were arrested and it became overshadowed by Islamist guerilla groups particularly theIslamic Salvation Army, MIA and Armed Islamic Group (or GIA). A bloody and devastating civil war ensued in which between 150,000 and 200,000 people were killed over the next decade. Civilians – including foreigners, University academics, intellectuals, writers, journalists, and medical doctors – were targeted by Islamist extremists. although government forces were also accused of killing civilians and of manipulating the brutal takfiriGIA The civil war was not a victory for Islamism. By 2002 the main guerrilla groups had either been destroyed or had surrendered. The popularity of Islamist parties has declined to the point that "the Islamist candidate, Abdallah Jaballah, came a distant third with 5% of the vote" in the 2004 presidential election.In Afghanistan the mujahideen's victory did not lead to justice and prosperity but to a vicious and destructive civil war between warlords, making Afghanistan one of the poorest countries on earth. In 1996, a new movement known as the Taliban, rose to power, defeated most of the warlords and took over roughly 80% of Afghanistan. The Taliban were spawned by the thousands of madrasahs the Deobandi movement established for impoverished Afghan refugees and supported by governmental and religious groups in neighboring Pakistan. The Taliban differed from other Islamist movements to the point where they might be more properly described as Islamic fundamentalist or neofundamentalist, interested in spreading "an idealized and systematized version of village customs to an entire country." Despite Afghanistan's great poverty, they had little interest in social, economic and technological development – at one time explaining that "we Muslims believe God the Almighty will feed everybody one way or another." Their ideology was also described as being influenced by Pashtunwali tribal law, Wahhabism, and the jihadism pan-Islamism of their guest Osama bin Laden. The Taliban considered "politics" to be against Sharia and thus did not hold elections. They were led by Mullah Mohammed Omar who was given the title "Amir al-Mu'minin" or Commander of the Faithful, and a pledge of loyalty by several hundred Taliban-selected Pashtun clergy in April 1996. Like most Islamists, the Taliban enforced strict prohibitions on women, but these were so severe – for example effectively forbidding most employment and schooling – that they created an international outcry. The Taliban also banned other activities – music, TV, videos, photographs, pigeons, kite-flying, beard-trimming, etc. – and for the energy and the resources which they used to enforce the bans, including hundreds perhaps thousands of religious police officers armed with "whips, long sticks and Kalashnikovs." The Taliban also opposed Shi'ism and have been accused by human rights groups of indiscriminately killing thousands of Shia.  They were also overwhelmingly Pashtun and were accused of not sharing power with the approximately 60% of Afghans who belonged to other ethnic groups.  The Taliban's hosting of Osama bin Laden, despite the attacks he organized against the United States, led to an American-organized attack against which drove them from power following the9/11 attacks. Taliban are still very much alive and fighting a vigorous insurgency from bases in the frontier regions of Pakistan with suicide bombings and armed attacks being launched against NATO, Afghan government targets and civilians. Some Islamist groups call for and/or engage in attacks on not only police/military enemies, but non-combatants as well. These groups include several mentioned above: al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya(Islamic Group) of Egypt, Islamist groups in Algeria, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the West Bank, and Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda group.Both Muslims and non-Muslims have been among the targets and victims. Some of the groups have proudly proclaimed the attacks, others have been silent or denied involvement.  Justification for attacks on Muslims often comes as takfir, an implicit death threat since under traditional Sharia law the punishment for apostasy in Islam is death. Justification for attacks on non-Muslims is often the allegation that the targets had "waged war against God," are occupiers of Muslim land, or tourists unwelcome on Muslim land.Suicide or "martyrdom operations" are a lethal technique among radical Islamists, sometimes motivated by the much disputed explanation that "God will give" those who kill themselves in the path of jihad 70 or 72 female "virgins" and "everlasting happiness." Religious or sectarian attacks in situations where Islamists are active have been particularly serious following 2004. In Iraq, 8,262 people were killed in terror attacks in 2005 and 13,340 in 2006, although not all of theses casualties came from attacks by Islamist groups. Islamist or fundamentalist attacks are also on the increase in Afghanistan  and in Pakistan, where hundreds have been killed in 2006 and 2007, although in both countries not all of the attacks have been on civilians.An influential international Islamist movement is the 'party' Hizb ut-Tahrir, founded in 1953 by an Islamic Qadi (judge) Taqiuddin al-Nabhani. HT is unique from most other Islamist movements in that the party focuses not on local issues or on providing social services, but on unifying the Muslim world under its vision of a new Islamic caliphate spanning from North Africa and the Middle East to much of central and South Asia.To this end it has drawn up and published a constitution for its proposed caliphate state. The constitution's 187 articles specify specific policies such as sharia law, a "unitary ruling system" headed by a caliph elected by Muslims, an economy based on the gold standard, public ownership of utilities, public transport, and energy resources, and Arabic as the "sole language of the State." In its focus on the Caliphate, HT takes a different view of Muslim history than some other Islamists such as Muhammad Qutb. HT sees Islam's pivotal turning point as occurring not with the death of Ali, or one of the other four rightly guided Caliphs in the 7th century, but with the 1918 or 1922 abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate.This is believed to have ended the true Islamic system, something for which it blames "the disbelieving (Kafir) colonial powers" working through Turkish modernist Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. HT does not engage in armed jihad or vote-getting, but works to take power through "ideological struggle" to change Muslim public opinion, and in particular through elites who will "facilitate" a "change of the government," i.e. launch a bloodless coup. It allegedly attempted and failed such coups in 1968 and 1969 in Jordan, and in 1974 in Egypt, and is now banned in both countries. But many HT members have gone on to join terrorist groups and many Jihadi terrorists have cited HT as their key influence. The party is sometimes described as "Leninist" and "rigidly controlled by its central leadership," with its estimated one million members required to spend "at least two years studying party literature under the guidance of mentors (Murshid)" before taking "the party oath." HT is particularly active in the ex-soviet republics of Central Asia and in Europe.In the UK its rallies have drawn thousands of Muslims,  and the party is said to have outpaced the Muslim Brotherhood in both membership and radicalism.The Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) (AKP) headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held power in Turkey since 2002. It has been successful enough to prompt talk of a Turkish model, "an example of a modern, moderate Muslim state that works." In Turkey, there is a strong Islamist tradition among political parties. Necmettin Erbakan was the leader of the Islamist parties, National Order Party(Milli Nizam Partisi), National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi), Welfare Party (Refah Partisi) which all have been banned by the constitutional court for its anti-secular activities, he is also a member of the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi).Ismet Özel, an ex-Marxist convert and the most prominent Islamist intellectual, argued that it was Atatürk's reforms that, ironically Islamicized Turkey by forcing people to internalize and value their religious identity and not simply take it for granted as in the past. He has drawn upon his knowledge of Western philosophy, Marxist sociology, and radical Islamist political theory to advocate a modern Islamic perspective that does not hesitate to criticize genuine societal ills while simultaneously remaining faithful to the ethical values and spiritual dimensions of religion. He says "As a political system in Turkey, socialism is possible, Turkism is probable, Islam is certain." Greater London has over 600,000 Muslims, (most of South Asian origins and concentrated in the East London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest), and among them are some Muslims with a strong Islamist outlook. Their presence, combined with a perceived British policy of allowing them free rein, heightened by exposés such as the 2007 Channel 4 documentary programme Undercover Mosque, has given rise to the term Londonistan. Following the 9/11 attacks, however, Abu Hamza al-Masri, the imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque, was arrested and charged with incitement to terrorism which has caused many Islamists to leave the UK to avoid internment. A February 2006 demonstration in London protesting the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, featured banners calling for Muslims to "Behead those who insult Islam." Five of the protesters were later arrested. Among the proportion of Muslims who hold the position that Western military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq justifies attacks on civilians in Western countries (often considered to beterrorism), include the perpetrators of several bombing and planned bombing, the most deadly being the 7 July 2005 London bombings.The U.S. government have engaged in efforts to counter Islamism, or violent Islamism, since 2001. These efforts were centred in the U.S. around public diplomacy programmes conducted by the State Department. There have been calls to create an independent agency in the U.S. with a specific mission of undermining Islamism and jihadism. Christian Whiton, an official in the George W. Bush administration, called for a new agency focused on the nonviolent practice of "political warfare" aimed at undermining the ideology.[172] U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for establishing something similar to the defunct U.S. Information Agency, which was charged with undermining the communist ideology during the Cold War....