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It’s time to wake up

Islamism is the ultimate threat to the West

A counter-protester holds a sign saying "Give Islamism No Chance" during a demonstration in Hamburg, Germany, on May 4. Photo by Majid Jahanbakhsh /Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

It’s time to wake up
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In an alarming Islamist demonstration that took place in Hamburg, Germany, over 1,000 Muslim zealots took to the streets, under the radical fundamentalist group Muslim Interactive. This group, according to the German media outlet DW, is “classified as extremist by German security authorities” and has recently called for “a caliphate for Germany,” displaying signs, “the caliphate is the solution.”

Although the group is classified as extremist, German authorities allowed the demonstration.

How much should the West be concerned about Islamism?

Islamism, advocating the imposition of Islamic rule, is one of the greatest threats to Western democracy in this generation, yet many in the West seem to be oblivious about this fact. Not surprisingly, many Arab Muslim countries—including Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia—have harshly cracked down on Islamists and Islamism in recent years, but many Western nations have naïvely welcomed, reared, and nurtured Islamist movements, preachers, and organizations. They did so for reasons largely revolving around freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

While the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR have been identified as extremist and terrorists by various Muslim nations, these groups and the like find havens and money in Western nations. When Germany allowed more than one million refugees from Arab Muslim countries, no one should have anticipated a utopia as an outcome. While many cultural Muslims would hope to live and let others live and enjoy the West and what it has to offer, Islamists are never satisfied with assimilating into Western societies nor integrating in contexts they deem infidel.

But why is Islamism a particular threat to the West? What should the West do about it while maintaining the values of freedoms of speech and religion?

Islamism is an Islamic political ideology, built on the Quran and the teaching of Muhammad, that views Islam as a religious and political ruling force that manifests itself in an Islamic state known as the caliphate. Islamists seek to elevate and implement Islamic sharia, mimicking the days of Muhammad and his immediate followers. For Islamists, their interpretations aren’t radical nor extreme—it’s the true Islam.

Islamism is a threat to the West because it completely and viciously undermines the liberty and values upon which the West is built. For Islamists, Western democracies and policies are against superior Islamic values and pure interests. This is why Islamists oppose concepts of democracy, women’s rights, and gender equality, as they literally follow the Quran and Muhammad’s statements. In Islamism, the rights of religious and ethnic minorities are nonexistent, because Islam is superior over all other religions and authorities.

The rise of the number of Islamist groups in the West should be alarming to policy makers. If it grows unchecked and unchallenged, it will come back to cripple societies we love and cherish.

As long as Islamists are weak, vulnerable, and inferior in the land, they seek to destabilize societies through creating social chaos and political instability, and sometimes inciting terrorist attacks. Once Islamists obtain means and gain power, they often resort to outright violence to intimidate the masses, by promoting terrorism as a means to achieve their goals. This is one reason why Islamists view the attacking of Western targets as service to Allah and following the footsteps of Muhammad.

The rise of the number of Islamist groups in the West should be alarming to policy makers. If it grows unchecked and unchallenged, it will come back to cripple societies we love and cherish.

The West seems to have lost confidence in the values that brought about its advancement, and it seems unable to fight competing ideologies that seek to harm it.

This is wrong, and it’s dangerous. You should know your enemy and oppose ideologies that seek to uproot your achievements and cripple your success. The threat of Islamism is vicious as it’s driven by a strong, prideful, assertive, and confident ideology that largely utilizes Western values against Western advancement.

Give Islamists an inch, and they’ll take a mile.

Freedom of religion doesn’t mean allowing poisonous ideologies to grow unchecked. Freedom of speech doesn’t include allowing the exploitation of the West’s moral vulnerability and confusion to assert Islam’s hegemony.

Have you ever thought about why there are hardly any terrorist attacks in the West led by Chinese, Indians, or Koreans? Why is terrorism often associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, and the like?

Simple answer: It’s the Islamist worldview.

Unless the West recognizes Islamism as a threat, the poisonous ideology will only grow. Unless the West identifies how Islamism—as built on the Quran and Muhammad’s statements—is incompatible with Western democracies, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, it will keep growing until it can’t be controlled anymore.

Western thinkers and politician must identify Islamism as a threat and seek policies which simultaneously preserve freedom of speech while protecting their societies from destructive Islamist ideologies. Ideologies that hurt and wound the fabric of Western democracies must be exposed, opposed, and shunned.

It’s a matter of survival for the West. Don’t celebrate ideologies that seek your demise but fight them in every corner. Expose them intellectually and prevent their advancement through decisive policies. Wake up and protect Western civilization from Islamism.

A.S. Ibrahim

A.S. Ibrahim, born and raised in Egypt, holds two PhDs with an emphasis on Islam and its history. He is a professor of Islamic studies and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has taught at several schools in the United States and the Middle East, and authored A Concise Guide to the Life of Muhammad (Baker Academic, 2022), Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 2021), Basics of Arabic (Zondervan 2021), A Concise Guide to the Quran (Baker Academic, 2020), and The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion (Peter Lang, 2018), among others.

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