Islam is an age old religion that espouses spirituality, and calls for a life of worship, faith work and submission to the will of a supreme being called Allah by following rules, set forth in the pillars of the Islamic faith, in the teaching found in the holy book the Koran and teachings of prophets of the faith. How then can a religion that professes such benevolence and deep spirituality and obedience be linked to acts of terrorism?
Perhaps, the most common connection is found in the first pillar of Islam faith, which is; to bear witness that there is no entity worthy of worship except Allah alone, and that Muhammad was his messenger. Taken out of context and blown out of proportions perhaps, to this effect, is the concept of Jihad or a holy war (Pipes, 2002).
There is no straight-out definition of what a jihad is, one holds it to be holy war waged against other Muslims who are said to be infidels due to a difference in their interpretation of the fait. On the other hand, another definition of jihad is the call for Muslims to reject the legal armed conflict in order to attain deeper spiritual state of enlightenment. Why then does this “militant” brand of Islam thrive?
Warner (2001), an American writer, columnist who focuses on Islam posits that it is due to the victories that these militant groups have achieved, that is why this radical ideology thrives. He further said that in 2004, Muslims were on top of the heap, better off that most of their world contemporaries (Warner, 2001). He also said that some Muslims feel the need to be on top again; hence this implies hostile relations with the Western world, as this is seen as the source of their problems (Warner, 2001).
While there are only 10 to 15 percent of the Muslim world currently espousing this belief, with approximately one billion Muslims in the world, there are easily 100 million to 150 million of them. Coupled with misinformation, and lack of understanding of the Islamic faith, this is the reason for such ideology to thrive among Muslims or otherwise.
Arave, L. (n.d.). Militant Islam thrives on its success. Retrieved February 18, 2009, from