Sat. Jul 13th, 2024



  1. What is Islamic extremism?
  2. Is extremism part of Islam?
  3. Does Islam justify extremists’ views?
  4. How can extremism be defeated?

What is Islamic extremism? Islamic extremism in my opinion is a narrow interpretation of religious texts, devoid of reasoning, common sense, contextualized and changing of time and space.  According to Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, “Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed,”

Is extremism part of Islam? Yes, it is. Unfortunately it has always been a part of Islam. Among many, many atrocities committed by extremists in the name of Islam is the fact that 3 of the 4 Companions who led Muslims after the death of Prophet Muhammad were murdered by extremists. The Holy Quran (23:52-55) say: “And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me and no other. But people have cut off their affair (of unity), between them, into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself. But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.”

 The Prophet had said, “My ummah will be divided into seventy three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one.”

Does Islam justify extremists’ views? Far from it.  The Holy Quran (3:78: say. “There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!”

How can extremism be defeated? Extremism, whether we accept it or not, is a branch of Islam and can only be eradicated by Muslims and their unbiased allies.  Fighting extremism with military might or generalizing Muslims or blaming Islam for evil actions of terrorists only legitimized their causes and help them recruit likeminded criminals, globally.  To the agony of religious extremists, I managed an Islamic Center that houses a Mosque and a Synagogue under one roof, thereby creating one family out of two communities that extremists believe should forever be enemies and separated. This anti extremism act in my opinion is more powerful than any military force.  Since Islam only recognizes good versus evil, we must join force as a human family to put a spot light on evil individuals hiding behind Islam.

My response to extremists I deal with has always been from the Holy Quran. This is one of the quotes I frequently used.  “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God/Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” 

Respect Islam to defeat extremism!

Since Islam is the source and justification of extremists’ atrocious actions, only Islam can be used effectively to counter the rising global extremism, not the other way around.


Sheikh Moussa Drammeh


Islamic Cultural Center of North America


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