What the Heck is an “Islamist”?

You’ve seen it. We all have. The term “Islamist” being thrown around as soon as any Muslim with even a whiff of devotion comes into focus.

As soon as a Muslim who doesn’t pick and choose from his faith, nor tones it down to appease the bigot or the hedonist, mentions shari’ah (Islamic law) and the obligation of Muslims to govern their nations according to it, the vipers come out.

“Islamist”, “Wahhabi”, “Islamist extremist”…

What the heck is an “Islamist” exactly? Islam covers personal worship and daily, ethical conduct as well as economics, governance and war. To claim that you can have Islam without Islamic law is completely wrong. To attempt to remove any part of Islam is to attempt to deform the faith.

Yet here we have it. Any Muslim who doesn’t either stay mum on Islam’s requirements for governance or attempt to claim they’re superfluous is an “Islamist”.

This is nothing short of a deliberate tactic used to smear, defame and silence legitimate Muslim voices. Both by the media (both mainstream and “alternative”) and by governments that incessantly wage a military and ideological assault on us and then call us “terrorists” for defending ourselves.

Note that the hypocrites, i.e. those who have “Muslim” on their name tag yet do everything possible to defame Islam (think Maajid Nawaz) and constantly claim Islamic governance is irrelevant are referred to as “Muslims” in the media – in other words, they’re presented as being the acceptable norm. They are the “normal Muslims”.

Yet those who call for Islamic governance and don’t smear or defame their own faith to curry favour with governments or mindless mobs of social justice warriors are called “Islamists”.

To be blunt, it’s a sly way of claiming they’re not Muslims, that they’re an abnormality in the Muslim community when they’re actually the whole basis of the (actual) Muslim community! The hypocrites who don’t want to follow the whole Muslim faith? They’re normal “Muslims”. The Muslims that adhere to every aspect of it? They’re irrational “Islamists” that must be ignored, repressed or vilified.

This divide and conquer tactic has worked dividends. But it will never work against the sincere.

It’s sad that some impressionable and mindless youths, reared under the ever-aggressive defamation of Islam by their governments, the news media and even their own quisling community leaders have adopted this rhetoric out of ignorance. But the sincere believers will never do so, nor will they ever try to change Islam to appease the kuffar. They work diligently to fight this oppression and don’t care for the labels people slap on them. Their words are succinct and their deeds are great.

A Muslim talks about shari’ah? They call them an “Islamist” or, more odiously, a “Wahhabi”. What is a “Wahhabi”? In short, again, it’s a practising Muslim. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab was a Muslim revivalist who initiated a campaign in Arabia and surrounding regions to stop the rising tide of shirk (polytheism) such as the worship of trees and shrines, teach Muslims about their faith and re-implement the shari’ah. He even went to Shi’ite territories to spread Islam to Twelver Shi’ites at great personal risk.

This is why Iran apologists, Twelver Shi’ites, many contemporary Sufis & their anti-Muslim allies use the term “Wahhabi” – because ‘Abdul-Wahhab was a sincere, practising Muslim who put a stop to, or tried to stop, many of their polytheistic practices – from revering humans as divine to worshipping objects. It’s yet another a convenient byword for being an actual, practising Muslim that stands up for what’s right and forbids what’s wrong and doesn’t fear the blame of others in the process.

This is why Islam’s detractors want us to follow “moderate Islam”. What do you do when you moderate something? You water it down, you dilute it until it loses its original strength and becomes weak and dissipated.

This is the Islam its enemies want. An Islam devoid of dignity, that fawns upon tyrants. A quietist husk that raises no objections as its following are massacred and its lands pillaged. An Islam that relegates the Qur’an to a vague text to be selectively followed as the contemporary Bible has become for the majority of western Christians in the wake of liberalism and globalism.

“Moderate Islam” is in itself a sly insult; it implies that Islam is extreme or irrelevant and should be changed to suit its opponents. This is what they want, an Islam that bows to hedonism and thus becomes a hollow shell.

If adhering to our faith makes us “Wahhabis” or “Islamists”, then we are Islamist Wahhabis and perfectly proud of it. Let that always be our aim. To be proud of our faith and stick to it firmly.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Religion is easy; whoever overburdens himself in religion will be overpowered by it (i.e. he will not be able to continue in that way).

So pursue what is good moderately; try to be near to perfection (if you cannot attain it); and receive the good tidings (that you will be rewarded).

Gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the afternoons, and some part of the last hours of the nights.” (Al-Bukhari)