In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the events of 9/11, 7/7, the War on Terror and the Caliphate and atrocities of the so-called Islamic State have dominated Western consciousness and wreaked havoc in parts of the Muslim-majority world. In their wake, a spate of books has been written explaining the phenomenon of Islamist radicalisation and Jihadism. Nevertheless, for normal citizens, as well as scholars of religion and legal professionals, the crucial question remains unanswered: how is mainstream Islam different from both Islamism and the Islamist Extremism that is used to justify terrorist violence? In this highly original book, which draws upon the author's experience as an expert witness in Islamic theology in 27 counter-terrorism trials, the author uses the idea of the Worldview, as well as traditional Islamic theology, to answer this question. The book explains not only what Mainstream Islam, Ideological Islamism and Islamist Extremism are in their broad philosophical characteristics and theological particulars, but also explains comprehensively how and why they are both superficially related and yet essentially and fundamentally different. In so doing, the book also illuminates the cast of characters and the development of their ideas that constitute Mainstream Islam, Ideological Islamism and the Non-Violent and Violent Islamist Extremists who constitute the Genealogy of Terror.
Literalist intellectual tension Chapter 3: The Worldviews of Islam, Islamism and Islamist Extremism -Islam, Islamism and Islamist Extremism are all internally-coherent, self-contained Worldviews -The idea of a Worldview -Islam, Islamism and Islamist Extremism as Worldviews -The Worldview of Traditional Islam: unity-in-diversity -The Worldview of Activist Islam: diversity-in-unity -The Worldview of Islamism: contingent separation and exaggerated difference -The Worldview of Non-Violent Islamist Extremism: absolute Manichean separation -The Worldview of Violent Islamist Extremism: absolute, eternal difference and separation with lethal consequences for the non-Muslim and Wrong-Muslim outgroups Chapter 4: Basic Beliefs, Practices and Characteristic Themes of Islam, Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) -The Wahhabi Reformation: The Book of Divine Unity (Kitab al-Tawhid) -To philosophise or not to philosophise? Al-Ghazali vs. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani Chapter 8: A Second Age of Extremes or a Second Age of Enlightenment? -Summary -The Political Conditions of Extremism -Why? The Root Causes of Islamist Extremism
Formatted Contents Note
Chapter 1: Why this book is needed -A global crisis of misunderstanding: why this book is needed; who its author is; what this book will accomplish -Why? How? What? -My Story and Credentials -The Structure and Substance of this Book Chapter 2: The Roots of Islam, Islamism and Islamist Extremism: the historical fault-lines of Islam -Introduction: Islam is shaped by the presence and absence of Muhammad -Political-theological Hiatus and Split: the Sunni-Shia Divide -Institutional Hiatus and Split: the division of powers between the Muslim Executive and the Religious Judiciary -Intellectual Hiatus and Split: Rationalist vs. Islamism and Islamist Extremism -The sources of the Worldview of Islam: the Qur'an and the Sunna -The themes and ethical praxis of Mainstream Islam -The themes and ethical praxis of Activist Islam -The themes and ethical praxis of Ideological Islamism -The themes and ethical praxis of Non-Violent Islamist Extremism -The themes and ethical praxis of Violent Islamist Extremism Chapter 5: The People, Texts and Contexts of Mainstream Islam -Hermeneutical Health-Warning: people and their ideas are 'shifters' -Mainstream Islam: the people and the texts -The Book of God Al-Qur'an (The Recitation) -The Opening Chapter (Al-Fatiha) -Other Seminal Chapters -Commentaries on the Qur'an -The Canonical Books of Hadith -The Great Works of, Law (Fiqh), Ibn Rushd -Mainstream Islam in the modern and contemporary period Chapter 6: The People, Texts and Contexts of Ideological Islamism -Maududi, Al-Banna and Khomeini: The Ideological Islamist Shift from Agency to Structure -The Second Phase Islamism: Sayyid Qutb and the birth of Non-violent Islamist Extremism -Milestones (1964) the 'Ur' text of Islamist Extremism -Ayatollah Khomeini: Shia Islamism succeeds where Sunni Islamism fails Chapter 7: The Genealogy of Terror: the People, Texts and Contexts of Violent Islamist Extremism -Violent Islamist Extremism's 'pioneers': Abdullah Azzam and Muhammad Abd as-Salam Faraj -The ideologues of Al-Qaeda: bin Laden, Al-Awlaki, Al-Zawahiri and As-Suri -The Ideologues of the Islamic State: Abu Musab Az-Zarqawi, An-Naji,
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