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Origin of Islamic militancy and Jihad

The general meaning of the word "Jihad" is holy war, but Quran explains it as a military struggle on behalf of Islam or spiritual struggle to reform oneself. Based on present circumstances, the people who are fighting in the name of Islam are jihadists, eventhough several terrorist organizations had claimed that they are fighting a holy war.
Jihadi networks were originally the reform movements throughout the Islamic world. Some of the examples were the Wahabi Movement and the Muslim Brotherhood. The term today is closely identified with global terrorist networks. If some Islamist groups wanted to establish Islamic rule globally, another one wants to establish terror networks world wide against the west.

References: Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty First Century by Marc Sageman
From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism
By Adnan Musallam (Journal of Islamic Studies)
Steven Emerson, an expert on anti-terrorism has of the view that that there is a minority among Muslims who wants to pursue terrorist activities. He has of the view that the growing militant ideology among the Islamic fundamentalists against the west and United States should be countered from its roots. The Islamic terror networks are so vast that it spreads from grassroot level. These networks are engaged in recruiting people and financing the terrorists. The Muslim groups have infiltrated in political and social systems of United States to achieve their goal.

Reference: Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in US by Steven Emerson

Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic revivalist movement started in 1928 by Hassan Al Banna. It began soon after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. His idea about Islam was that it was not only a religious observance, but a comprehensive way of life. It became a popular political movement and had joined in its fight for Palestinian cause against Israel. Its indoctrinations have led many radical Muslims to take up jihad and they had active links to terrorist organizations throughout Middle East, Europe and America.

Reference: Muslim Brotherhood Conquest of Europe: Middle East Quarterly

Hezbollah means Party of God, is a radical Shiite militant group in Lebanon. It was formed in 1982 after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is taking inspiration from the Iranian political and spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini and Iranian Revolution. Hezbollah's primary focus is against Israel. It has attacked Israeli and American communities throughout the world. Hezbollah's violent activities including bombing in civilian areas of Israel, kidnapping and doing terrorist activities. Their last major attack on Israel was in 2006. During that period, Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers and fired rockets at the Israeli civilian areas.

Reference: Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism by Judith Palmer Harik
Sunnis are the followers of the Abu Bakr, the successor of Prophet Muhammad
while Shias are the followers of Ali, the cousin of Abu Bakr. The Sunnis are believed to have followed the customs of Prophet Muhammad. Sunnis are majority in number, while Shiites are minority. Most of the Shiites are located in countries like Iran, Iraq, and Yemen.

Reference: After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton
One of the root causes of terrorism in Africa is weakening states of the region. The unstable states like Sudan have become the breeding ground of terrorists. Religious and ethnic tension is another reason for terrorism. One of the best
example was the genocide in Rwanda during 1994. Lack of economic development has stranded many youngsters in Africa. Dissatisfied by economic deprivations, these people were attracted towards Islamic fundamentalism.

Ref: Africa and the war on terrorism, Edited by John Davis, Howard University.
One of the reasons for the terrorist activities in Asia is the dispute between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. The terrorists groups have exploited the issue with the help of Pakistan and it became leading cause of terrorist activities in South Asia. In addition to ethnic issues, criminal activities like drug trafficking is a major source of terrorism in Asia. Russia, Thailand, China and Philippines are the breeding ground for terrorists. Another root cause for terrorist activities in Asia is the rise of favorable atmosphere for terrorist activities after the Soviet War in Afghanistan. The Afghan experience has boosted the spirits of the terrorists in Central Asia. The advent of radical Islamists like Al-Qaeda and availability of ample of supply of weapons in the region also helped the growth of terrorism in Afghanistan and surrounding regions of Asia.

Ref: Terrorism and Militancy in South Asia by Niranjan Dass
There were many sources for conflicts in Iraq. Conflicts arose as a result of sectarian violence. The schism between Sunnis and Shias is one of the reasons for conflict. Another source of violence is among the minorities on the basis discriminatory political and religious views. Criminalization of politics and society is another source of violence in Iraq.

Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of Conflict
Markus E. Bouillon, David M. Malone, and Ben Rowswell editors

The most important source of conflict in Afghanistan is Taliban. They are
organized in military as well as political levels. At present Taliban has joined
hands with Al-Quaeda to fight against US forces in Afghanistan. Another source
of conflict intervention of Iran, Pakistan and Central Asian nations. The role
of Pakistan is much bigger than any other nation in Afghanistan. The roles played by
United States and United Kingdom cannot be forgotten as they are fighting a
war on terror.

Reference book: Enduring the Freedom; A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan by Sean M. Maloney.

One of the major event in Pakistan that helped the growth of terrorism was the Soviet-Afghan War. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan was filled with weapons. The Talibinization of Pakistan had changed the peaceful atmosphere in Pakistan. Another cause for the terrorism in Pakistan is the rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites. After the Iranian Revolution, there started enmity between two groups which resulted in clashes. The sectarian organizations were primarily responsible for converting Pakistan into a terrorist haven. Pakistan was forced to control terrorist groups in the Kashmir border with India after the attack on World Trade Center. These groups which were supported by Pakistan turned against them after the September 11 attacks.

Ref: The Making of Terrorism in Pakistan by Eamon Murphy

The Great danger faced by the newly independent breakaway states of Russia is
that they have elements of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The old Soviet
facilities have the capability to store and test nuclear and biological weapons.
There is a great danger that these fissile materials may fall into the hands of
terrorists. Some of these Central Asian states are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Reference: The Four Phases of Nuclear Terrorism by Charles D. Ferguson and William C.Potter

The fall of communism in Europe and counter-insurgency measures has literally
wiped out leftist terrorism from the European soil. These organizations have no
unified ideologies. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Arab world led to the demise of leftist terrorist activities in Europe.

Ref: Extreme Left Terrorism, Journal

Ethnic extremism is a radical act of particular ethnic groups in Europe to achieve certain goals. Ethnic extremism has no connection with the left or right groups. Nationalism in Europe played a prominent role in the rise of nationalist extremist ideologies. The fall of communism signaled the end of socialism and give rise to nationalism. Nationalism played powerful role in the inception of extremism in the countries of Eastern Europe in different ways.

Ref: Racist Extremism in Central and Eastern Europe by Casse Mudde

Radical Islam is spreading fast in Europe and using different techniques to spread terror. One such method is spreading terrorist ideologies among immigrants of the west. Jihadi networks have spread across Europe from Poland to Portugal. The emergence of terrorism in European soil has become a threat not only to Europe but also to United States.

Ref: The New Frontiers of Jihad: Radical Islam in Europe by Alison Pargeter.

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1. What are Jihadists and Jihadist networks?

The general meaning of the word "Jihad" is holy war, but Quran explains it as a military struggle on behalf of Islam or spiritual struggle to reform oneself.  Based on present circumstances, the people who are fighting in the name of Islam are jihadists, eventhough several terrorist organizations had claimed that they are fighting a holy war. 
Jihadi networks were originally the reform movements throughout the Islamic world.  Some of the examples were the Wahabi Movement and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The term today is closely identified with global terrorist networks.  If some Islamist groups wanted to establish Islamic rule globally, another one wants to establish terror networks world wide against the west.

References: Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty First Century by Marc Sageman
From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism
By Adnan Musallam (Journal of Islamic Studies)

2. What does Steven Emerson say about Islam and militancy?

Steven Emerson, an expert on anti-terrorism has of the view that that there is a
minority among Muslims who wants to pursue terrorist activities.  He has of the view that the growing militant ideology among the Islamic fundamentalists against the west and United States should be countered from its roots.  The Islamic terror networks are so vast that it spreads from grassroot level.  These networks are engaged in recruiting people and financing the terrorists.  The Muslim groups have infiltrated in political and social systems of United States to achieve their goal. 

Reference: Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in US by Steven Emerson

3. What is the Muslim Brotherhood and what does it have to do with jihadists?

Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic revivalist movement started in 1928 by Hassan Al Banna.  It began soon after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  His idea about Islam was that it was not only a religious observance, but a comprehensive way of life.  It became a popular political movement and had joined in its fight for Palestinian cause against Israel.  Its indoctrinations have led many radical Muslims to take up jihad and they had active links to terrorist organizations throughout Middle East, Europe and America. 

Reference:  Muslim Brotherhood Conquest of Europe: Middle East Quarterly

4. What does "Hezbollah" mean? From what did ...

Solution Summary

This is a solution about the origin of the Islamic militancy and explains how Islamic militancy spread throughout the globe. It also describes about the schisms among the Muslims and the dangers to the world as a result of Islamic terrorism

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