An Islamist is one who believes in a version of Islam which would impose a politicized interpretation of the faith over all of society by law. The concept is modernist and overturns more than a millennium of Islamic jurisprudence. Historically, Islam has had an ongoing debate over what powers should go to the Caliphs (political) and the Mullahs (religious).  For many, that debate has ended, and they believe Islam (or an Islamist view) should dominate all forms of social order.   The founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 represents a turning point in this argument.

ISIS, as it is currently operating, is a manifestation of the Islamist view that all powers, including the political, social, economic, and religious must fall under control of the Caliph. The Caliph must not only be Muslim, but he must maintain a purist and totalitarian form of order in his area of control.

Where does this Islamist ideology come from?  Why is it important to understand it?

This article was first published at the The Cipher Brief.  To see the original article click here.