Islamic terrorism

Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism is defined as any terrorist act, set of acts or campaign committed by groups or individuals who profess Islamic or Islamist motivations or goals.[1] Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through the interpretation of Quran and Hadith according to their own goals and intentions.[2][3] The idea of Islamic supremacy is encapsulated in the formula, "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."[4]

The highest numbers of incidents and fatalities caused by Islamic terrorism occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.[5] In 2015 four Islamic extremist groups were responsible for 74% of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2016.[6] In recent decades, such incidents have occurred on a global scale, affecting not only Muslim-majority states in Africa and Asia, but also several other countries, including those within the European Union, Russia, Australia, Canada, Israel, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Such attacks have targeted Muslims and non-Muslims.[7] In a number of the worst-affected Muslim-majority regions, these terrorists have been met by armed, independent resistance groups,[8] state actors and their proxies, and elsewhere by condemnation coming from prominent Islamic figures.[9][10][11]


The literal use of the phrase "Islamic terrorism" is disputed. Such use in Western political speech has variously been called "counter-productive", "highly politicized, intellectually contestable" and "damaging to community relations".[12]

However, others have referred to the refusal to use the term as an act of "self-deception", "full-blown censorship" and "intellectual dishonesty".[13][14][15][16]

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