Extremism, Fundamentalism, Islamism and Jihadism – Understanding the Difference

Far right Christian extremism is no different from Islamic extremism. The religion used is merely a cultural vehicle used to push a harsh, authoritarian political agenda, which always dismisses or condemns education, art, and science, and subjugates or oppresses women, gays, and other vulnerable groups.   Inflicting a particular religious dogma on the population is intended to keep the people in line and suppress questioning and dissent.

Nothing good has ever resulted from the mixing of religion and politics. It has led to more wars, suffering and cruelty than anything else.
The separation of church and state does not seek to eliminate religion from people’s lives: it allows people the right to worship as they choose, and it prevents the inevitable political tyranny that results when one set of beliefs is forced on the people and informs the country’s constitution and laws, as it does in Muslim majority countries that practice Sharia Law and may do here in America if dominionists have their way and rewrite the constitution to suit their set of religious beliefs.

While reading this article, imagine replacing the words Islamism and Islamic extremism with far right Christian extremism or dominionism/reconstructionism and the article would be no less true.  The agenda, goals and methods are exactly the same.   Both believe that oppression and domination over others is God’s/Allah’s will  and that certain individuals have been chosen by God/Allah to carry out his will by any means necessary.  Both subscribe to a heirarchical, patriarchal view of humanity, in which certain men chosen by God must be obeyed without question.

There is no compromise or reasoning with extremists.  They are always right, because God/Allah has told them so.  If you disagree, you will be demonized as rebellious to God or an infidel.

disorderedworld

Although several Muslim countries are democracies – including most notably Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority nation – arguments about the incompatibility of Islam and democracy continue. On the one hand, research reveals a positive correlation between the proportion of a country’s population that is Muslim and its propensity toward authoritarianism. On the other hand, analysis of the World Values Survey, find that “surprisingly similar attitudes toward democracy are found in the West and the Islamic world.” While debates about the compatibility of Islam and democracy in general continue, the specific political ideology of islamism is an extreme, fundamentalist, political ideology that is vehemently opposed to the basic tenets of democracy.  

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My Fundamentalism of the 1960s Has Changed for the Worse—Considerably Worse

This article from one of my favorite bloggers is about how religious fundamentalism, like politics, has also moved so far to the “right” since the 1960s that these churches now resemble dangerous cults more than churches, and they seem preoccupied with control, a doctrine of hate and punishment, and make excuses for the abuse of women and children.

Jesus Without Baggage

We became fundamentalists in 1958 when I was 7, and I ate it up! We joined a Freewill Baptist Church and I was with those churches until 1970. However, I did not absorb fundamentalism only from FWB churches; my strongest influences were from the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) movement which was even more fundamentalist than the FWB churches.

We subscribed to John R. Rice’s influential paper The Sword of the Lord, which I read devotedly. I also read many of John Rice’s booklets, including Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers. In addition, I read articles and books by other IFB leaders such as Bob Jones, Jack Hyles, and Oliver Greene. I listened to Lester Roloff on the radio. Other fundamentalist influences were Carl McIntire and the Moody radio station. I was pretty much saturated with fundamentalism.

fundamentalism

Characteristics of Fundamentalism in the 1960s

Like evangelicals, fundamentalists subscribed to…

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