What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?

What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?

Islam is held by Muslims to be the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times through earlier prophets and messengers, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muhammad was the last and greatest prophet, relegating Jesus to secondary status, denying the Christian witness that He was and is the Son of God. Muslims consider the Quran to be the verbatim word of God and the unaltered final revelation, thus denying the Bible’s validity.

Islam relegates and negates Judaism and Christianity. It does not fulfil them. It is an imposition over them. Islam replaces the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian New Testament. From its beginning, Islam was not a simple expression of spiritual faith. Unlike Judaism it sought world wide conversions. Unlike Christianity it began and spread using violence and conquering by military and political means. In Islam there is no division between church and state.

Islamism a religio-political ideology that seeks to revive Islam to its past assertiveness and glory, purify it of foreign elements, reassert its role into "social and political as well as personal life" where "government and society are ordered in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam" (Sharia). Violence is central to its ethos, strategy and practice. Thus faith and government are indivisible.

In the twentieth century, the Muslims seek to distinguish Islamism from Islam to facilitate public relations, to encourage conversions and to distinguish ordinary Muslims from those regarded as terrorists. Many Muslims do not practice violence against their neighbours but the claim that Islam is a religion of peace is spurious. It has never been and never will be a religion of peace. ‘According to The Union of Catholic Asian News, on 16 August 2023 over 80 Christian homes and 19 churches in Jaranwala, Pakistan, were reportedly vandalised by Muslim mobs. The charity 'Aid to the Church in Need' estimates that up to 24 churches, hundreds of Christian homes and a Christian cemetery were targeted.’

The murder of Asad Shah was the religiously motivated murder of an Ahmadiyya Muslim shopkeeper, in Glasgow on 24 March 2016. Ahmadiyya Muslims seek to express Islam’s true intent and pristine form, which they claim had been lost through the centuries. The murderer, a Sunni Muslim, Tanveer Ahmed, had driven from the English city of Bradford with the intent of confronting Shah about his claim to be a prophet. Sunnis are mainstream majority Muslims. This was an interpretation of faith murder by an ordinary Muslim.

Worldwide Muslim support for the Hamas invasion of Israel on 7 October 2023 clearly showed that there is no distinction between Islamism and Islam. There was uncontrolled rejoicing in the murder of Israeli men, women and children, the rape of women, and the taking of hostages. Most ordinary Palestinians in Gaza gave thanks to their Allah for the Hamas triumph. Doctrinally Islam does not make a distinction between civilians and the military when considering non-Muslims.

After October 7 at the Abdullah Quilliam Society in Liverpool, Haroon Hanif told worshippers that ‘any Muslim who thinks the Palestinians are terrorists... you need to question your Imam.’ He added: “We’re large in numbers right now, two billion. If the two billion just marched on Israel it’s all over, if they spat in the direction of Israel, it’s all over.” The charity’s stated purpose is “to promote correct knowledge and understanding of Islam and its true spirit faith for the benefit of all” and it has received £8,670 in government grants.

Journalists and writers continue to use the term Islamist. On 12 February 2024 The Telegraph published an article by Charles Moore entitled ‘The real reason for Labour’s Rochdale muddle over Islamists’. In Britain today the Problem is Islam, as it is in Europe and throughout the world. Politicians and writers just do not want to articulate this for fear of reprisals even though this reaction would continue to prove the point.

There is also a very great and cowardly dereliction of duty and calling by Britain’s Christian leaders, theologians, preachers and teachers to call out Islam for what it is and to assert the Christian Gospel and the Person of Jesus Christ in clear and unequivocal distinction.

Robert Anderson 2017

To contact Robert, please use this email address: replies@robertandersonchurch.org.uk