The response must be 250 words and use at least 2 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include texts, articles, presentations, the Bible, blogs, videos, etc.
Textbook: Taylor, R. W., & Swanson, C. R. (2019). Terrorism, intelligence, and homeland security (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson. ISBN: 9780134818146.
Radical Islam, or Islamic Fundamentalism, can be defined as a group of Muslims who attempt to preserve their distinct identity as a person or group (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Radical Islamists uses the misinterpretation of symbolic words, uses God as a means to justify violence, and employs charismatic leaders as ways to deliver their message (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Taylor and Swanson (2019) discuss several different radical Islamic groups, all of whom want to preserve an Islamic state. Islamic fundamentalism is not a new movement. Opposition to state authority, sociocultural and economical pressure, and opposition to foreign occupation is deeply rooted in the Middle East (Taylor & Swanson, 2014). Following Sharia law, which is the moral and religious code authorized by the Prophet Muhammad, some Muslims believe that the influence of the West is decaying Islamic traditions. Fundamentalists believe that they must fight the root of this evil, the West, and terrorist organizations began to develop.
Al-Qaeda is a well-known terrorist organization that falls under the radical Islam category. Members of al-Qaeda follow jihadist salafism, which justifies them using violence to save Islam from Western ideologies and influence (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). Al-Qaeda does not only hate America for their influence, but they also hate America because of the support they give Muslim groups that al-Qaeda considers “betrayers” of Islamic traditions (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). One of the most prominent leaders of al-Qaeda, Usama Bin Laden, helped created this group in the 1980’s in response to the war against the Soviets. In 1989, al-Qaeda began to train recruits and were successful and recruiting United States citizens and legal residents. According to Caruso (2001) the acting assistant director of the counterterrorism division of the FBI in 2001, al-Qaeda opposes America because the manner in which we govern is different from traditional Islam, the US provided support to Muslim authorities who “betrayed” traditional Islam, and members believed that our involvement in the Gulf War was a way to occupy Islamic territories. While these distinctions were made in 2001 post the 9/11 attacks, they are still the base for al-Qaeda’s disgust with America in 2021.
The Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest Islamic/terrorist organizations, was founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. There was a huge British colonial presence in the Middle East during this time and al-Banna, a teacher, believed that the presence of the British would poison traditional Islamic values (Taylor & Swanson, 2019). The brotherhood quickly gained support amongst the lower-middle class, those most impacted by the British invasion, and performed a coup d’etat in 1952 that forced King Farouk out of power (Laub, 2019). However, the brotherhood then began to fight with the military force that took over after the fall of the British monarchy. The Brotherhood gained popularity and support by providing resources to those who needed it when the state failed to provide (Laub, 2019). In 2012’s parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won almost half of the seats in the lower house and 84% of the seats in the upper house. Furthermore, the Brotherhood’s party nominated Morsi for presidency in 2012, for which he won. In such a position of power, Morsi granted himself immune from judicial review and several liberal party members believed that Morsi would solidify the Brotherhood’s philosophies into law (Laub, 2019). Constant battles between Morsi, the brotherhood, and other aspects of the government, forced Morsi out of office and the Brotherhood retreated into the shadows (Laub, 2019).
Charismatic leadership is present in almost every terrorist organization or group, and this is not just in Islamic groups. When we look at Jesus, we see a charismatic leader. Jesus spoke and people listened. He walked and people followed. However, Jesus used his charism to teach people about God and promote loving and kind traditions. The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations use their charism for evil. “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12, English Standard Version).