Islamism– is the desire to impose any given versions of Islam on society.
Jihadism– is the means of the use of force to spread Islamism.
Thus Islamism is the ideology and jihadism is the forcible method used by Al-Qaeda or ISIS. But not every Islamist is a jihadist. It’s not that ISIS is Islam. But you can’t also say that its nothing to do with Islam. ISIS are the distorted mutation of a mix of Afghanistan jihadism and Egypt Islamisation.
Islamism is in essence a theocracy and theocracies can never be just in principle and will always be unjust. There’s no democracy in a theocracy. An Islamist form of Wahhabism has been adopted by Saudi Arabia since its independence from the Ottoman Empire after the first world war. Stemming from the Sunni sect, Wahhabism and its relation with the rulers of Saudi Arabia dates back to the 18th Century, when Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (the so called reformer Martin Luther of Islam) who went against the orthodox view of his time and instead tried to preach a more puritan rigid form of Islam, smashing religious artefacts, symbols, shrines of saints), entered in to a pact with the Saudi tribal leader Mohammed Bin Sad in 1744, offering him evidence of a righteous pure Islam that needs to be reinforced again by either using a peaceful approach or by other forceful means.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
Thus the term Wahhabism was coined after Abdul al Wahhab. The term Wahhabism stemming from the sunni sect of Islam is a very austere vacuous conservative literalist approach with many layers of outlook. We must not forget that 80 percent of muslims are Sunnis but all are not Wahhabis. But Saudi Arabia with its petro dollar has propped up and promoted Wahhabism since 1979, when Russia invaded Afghanistan. The wahhabis don’t see themselves as a new sect, instead they see themselves as the protectors of faith, protectors against innovation in the faith. 46% of mosques in the UK are headed by Deobandi sect. Indian deobandi are different to the Pakistani sect. With the Indian Deobandis they are more academic scholars who you can have a discourse with the Pakistani Deobandis with the influence of the afghan conflict became more Wahhabism. The teleban emerged from the Pakistanis Deobandi. Saudi Arabia controls 6% of the mosques in the UK.
The literal interpretation of the Quran lends itself to Wahhabism. There is a vacuous interpretation devoid of context, example; alcohol in arabic literally is pronounced as ‘Qhamar’ which means wine made from grapes, so it excludes from its original term Brandy, Voka, Gin…The Hanafi school (which was the first school of thought) which was the closest to the times of the prophet Mohammed, takes the view that this word ‘Qhamar’, prohibition of alcohol only literally applies to wine made from grapes. That’s a literal take on ‘Qhamar’. To go further, some would argue that literalism of the Quran lends to support the wahhabist view of Islam. Example, there is a phrase the Hadith ‘kill the person who has left the religion‘. This passage is problematic in modernity. However, this is vacuum. There’s another passage that contradicts this ‘there is no compulsion in religion’. There are so may passages in the Hadith that contradict each other, that in some aspect both have weight in their argument, which can be picked and chosen by the reader to be the authentic saying of the prophet, which can resort to violence, Example; where women are being enslaved in Syria, Boko Haram kidnapping children in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, Pakistan with its Teleban taking over countries and areas.
The spread of wahhabism can be pointed to a number of factors; the popularity of modernity and neo liberalism, the influence of Iran in the Middle East, after the 1979 Islamic revolution, and last but not least Saudi petrodollars, have all in some sense contributed to the global jihadist insurgency. Should the west impose more pressure on Saudi Arabia? Should western european countries ban Deobandi and Wahhabism being taught in mosques? Should the west do more to fund and support liberal groups in muslim countries? Questions like these and many others need to be looked at. Jihadism cannot be stooped without the cooperation between muslim countries and the west.