n Africa Insight - Islamism and social movement framework in global politics

Volume 49 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


With an interdisciplinary approach, this paper reviews Islamism within the social movement theoretical framework. The paper attempts a conceptual clarification of the concept of Islamism and uses it to interpret collective behaviour within Muslim groups. It argues that Islamism is a consciousness created by Islamic ideology and principles, used by Muslim adherents as an ‘identity’ under the pseudonym Ummah (community) for collective action. The paper finds that within the framework of the social movement, Islamism has been used to spread the religion of Islam across the globe, but it has also become the tool some Muslims use manipulatively to promote personal agendas that could undermine security. Drawing from observation of unfolding events within global politics, the paper suggests that Ummah should be quick to repudiate Muslims who cast the religion of Islam in a bad light in the eyes of the general public. The paper finally posits that media categorisation of Islamists as terrorists will continue to create grievances that will further lay the foundation for violent collective action across the world. The paper suggests that mainstream media must desist from categorising all Islamists as terrorists.

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