There are hundreds of articles and videos about ISIS and opinions on how to stop them. If you do not understand their ideology, then there is no hope of putting a strategy together. This article will explain the ideology behind ISIS.


There is a massive ideological elephant in the room.   


Ideological Elephant in the room

Ideological Elephant in the room


There is no coincidence that Isis, Al Shebab, Boko Haram etc are Salafi in ideology. Most “experts” either choose to ignore this or are not even aware of what the ideology of these groups is. We can either pretend this isn’t the case or accept it and then try to deal with it.

There are those that will disagree, and say these groups are not salafi, and that Salafi’s are on the whole good people. They have a point, not every salafi is a problem etc, but if a salafi takes his books and ideas seriously then it is a significant risk factor for terrorism. 


The most famous scholar of the Salafi sect, without any doubt is Ibn Taymiyyah.  The Salafi’s refer to him as the “Sheikh of Islam”, meaning the teacher of Islam, they will teach the lay Muslims about how great he is and how many books he has written. They will teach the innocent lay Muslim about his ideas and positions on different issues, but they will not tell the lay Muslims everything. So a lay Muslim goes to the Mosque, thinks they are getting the true Islam, they come out thinking Ibn Taymiyyah is a great scholar, a true representative of Islam. The salafi mosque will not tell them the full story though, his rulings on the Druze for example, which ISIS quote in Dabiq, in fact ISIS quote him a lot.

Ibn Taymiyyah  on the Druze

Ibn Taymiyyah quoted by ISIS on the Druze

If a lay Muslim reads this quote from Ibn Taymiyyah, and they truly believe Ibn Taymiyyah was a great scholar, they will be at risk of joining ISIS or following their behavior. This is the tip of the Ice Berg, the Salafi books are packed full of this kind of hatred against other Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists etc. This is absolute contradiction to the values of Islam, but the lay Muslim will not be shown these values, instead they are being taught the Salafi values.


No, ISIS are not Salafi, they are Khawarij !

This is often the cry of the confused innocent Salafi who is passing on the headline from the lecture in the Salafi center. They will go on to explain that ISIS et al are not Salafi at all, but in fact Khawarij. If we review the beliefs of the Khawarij, we will find that they put their opinion of Islam above anyone else and label all other groups as non Muslim and must be fought and slaughtered. Sound familiar? There belief are identical to the Salafi doctrines. They behead their critics and those who disagree, just as ISIS does today, just as Ibn Taymiyyah recommends in his books.
Dabiq Issue 10 page 63

Dabiq Issue 10 page 63 : Ibn Taymiyyah recommends fighting anyone who disagrees with him, just like the Khawarij.

The lay Muslims often think that because the word “Salafi” is different to that of “Khawarij”, the groups must be different. Its worth remembering that the word Khawarij was a label given to them, they themselves did not call them that at all. They actually called themselves “Shurah”,  meaning “buyers” and understood within the context of Islamic scripture (Quran 2:207) and philosophy to mean “those who have traded the mortal life (al-Dunya) for the other life [with God] (al-Aakhirah)” . So they way to identify the real khawarij is by their actions, and the main tenet of being is a khawarij is takfir, then after that is the policy of killing who they label as kafir or murtad. 
Sound familiar?
Dabiq p43 issue 12 anti shia

Dabiq p43 issue 12 Anti Shia statements.

Have a look at Ibn Taymiyyah quote above again.
There are so many Muslim groups that are spreading Ibn Taymiyyah ideology luring in the innocent lay people, then when they read the reality of what Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers believe, they face a dilemma. They either choose to be a “bad” Muslim and reject his ideology, or be a “good” Muslim and follow his ideology and that person is then in danger of starting on a journey to ISIS.
Muslim Matters : peddling Ibn Taymiyyah

Muslim Matters website : peddling Ibn Taymiyyah to the masses

So the point is that within any sect or school there may be issues, and we need to first admit there are issues, then look at correcting them. So far we haven’t even got to step 1, which is admitting there is a problem. The vast majority of Muslims still seem to think ISIS and the others are CIA agents or its all made up or a mythical group called the “Khawarij” which is “nothing to do with Salafism” etc.

If your still not convinced, the Salafi now admit that they have a problem, click here to read and watch the video. In this article the Salafi scholar explains ISIS is a result of Salafi teachings.
This is just a snap shot of the impact Ibn Taymiyyah and Salafism has had on the terrorist groups of the world, and due to this impact, Egypt, France,JordanTajikistanAlgeria have either banned or considering to ban all works from the Salafi sect. If the West is serious about stopping terror, they need to stop the Salafi books from being taught in Mosques.