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Jihadist Ideologies


An ideology refers to a set of various beliefs and thoughts which may be conscious or unconscious that composes an individual’s actions, goals as well as expectations. Generally, an ideology may be taken to mean a perspective in which various individual have about various aspects of life. Although ideologies are mere abstract thoughts, they are relevance for the study as these thoughts are made practical in a real life situation and the impact of their application may either be positive or negative. In a move to demonstrate how some dominant societal groups may apply their ideologies to manipulate the society, this paper will present a case study in regards to jihadist ideologies (Lee, 2009).

Background Information

Jihadism is a lobby group that encompasses Islamic fundamentalism, which have been in existence since early 1800. In this context, the key focus is on both Mujahideen warfare and Islamic terrorism with a global scope over the years up to the formation of al-Qaeda network. Jihadism has its origin in the late nineteenth century, where by it sprout out from Islamic revivalism ideologies which later resulted into Qutbism. The rise of Jihadism was aggravated by the invasions of Afghanistan by the Soviet in 1979 and has ever since been disseminated through armed conflicts up to date, across the world (Sageman, & Muse, 2008).

Jihadist Ideologies and Terrorism

Most of the Islamic terrorism activities that occur are based on the tenet of jihad. Jihad refers to a form strive aimed at liberating one from a sort oppression. Islamic terrorists thus use Jihad to justify their attacks as a means retaliatory warfare towards the harm allegedly done on Muslims across the world. Militant Islamist term most of the western policies as well as United States policies as anti-Islamic. The struggle between Christians and Muslims is known to exist since the Crusades and other historical religious conflicts. The ancient rivalry between the Hindus and the Muslims is also believed to be the main reason as to why Indian was one of the worst hit nations by terrorists. The late Osama was the leader of a terrorist network that justified its attacks as defensive against their religious enemies. Consequently, his group would appear as the victim instead of the aggressors they were, as a result, most Muslim sympathizers and other religious activists would join in the ‘good fight’ against the common enemy.

In their teachings, these Muslim terrorists ascribe to the principles of Qutbism which can be summarized into two tenets. Muslims have forsaken the pure Islam practiced by Mohammed, their prophet and ought to return to it and that both Quran and Hadith should be strictly interpreted and the prophet’s commands be obeyed to the letter. Jihadists are thus able to convince their fellow Muslim believers that they are practicing their true religion and should be at the forefront in defending their religion. Islamist militants regard most of the Western societies as immoral and secularism associating them with pornography, usury, feminism and other evils condemned by the Islamic teachings. Although Osama seemed to emphasize an alleged oppression of Muslims by the U.S and the Jews in general, in his open letter to America, he criticized the Americans as lacking dignity, manners and purity and urged them to shun all acts of immoralities(Sageman, & Muse, 2008)..

According to this case study, Muslim terrorists are the dominant group and use their religious ideologies to justify their barbaric attacks as a defensive response against their oppressors. In their defence, they term various governments those that fight them as the evil ones. In so doing, they manipulate the society into believing that they are the victims fighting for their rights, whereas in the real sense they are the real aggressors.


Lee, F. E. (2009). Beyond ideology: Politics, principles, and partisanship in the U.S. Senate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sageman, M., & Project Muse. (2008). Leaderless jihad: Terror networks in the twenty-first century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press