Hijacking Faith in the name of Power: a Taxonomic view of Terrorist and Kharijite movements


by Khaled Hamoud Alshareef

Kharijites were among the most reckless, impulsive and violent Islamist factions, and they also practiced the emphasis in worship.

It began with the Kharijites a group that came out at the end of the reign of the Caliph Othman bin Affan, they called themselves “People of Faith”, and they later were called the Kharijites after leaving Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, after the Battle of Sefeen in the year 37 Hijri.

The Kharijites rejected arbitration after it was presented to them in the effort to stop the dispute between Muslim leaders, the Kharijites were linked throughout their history with extreme views and actions in their religious beliefs resorting to violence and assassinations.

The first group of Kharijites consisted of Shagath Bin Qais Al-Kindi, Mas’ar Bin Fadaki Al-Tamimi and Zaid bin Husayn Al-Ta’i, while he came out on the day of the arbitration: “Abdullah bin Al-Kawa, Etab bin Al-Awar, Abdullah bin Wahb Al-Rasbi, and Erwa bin Jarir, Yazid bin Asim Al-Muharibi, and Harqus bin Zuhair known as Dhia. And these are the court, then they separated from him and labeled Imam Ali and Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan as heathens.

Kharijites were among the most reckless, impulsive and violent Islamist factions, and they also practiced the emphasis in worship. The group’s rebellion was crushed by the Omayeds and they were forced to go into hiding until the fall of the Omayeds dynasty.

The group’s attempt to make a comeback was met with Abu AlAbas brutal and bloody campaign wiping out their military arm and putting an end to the group militant activity for nearly 200 years.

Hashashins (Assassins)

The Assassin sect or Assassins is an Nizari Ismaili sect, separated from the Fatimids in the late fifth century A.H., eleventh century C.E. to call for the leadership of Nizar Al-Mustafa to the religion of God and whoever came from his bloodline.

As the book “Zero Point” by Narik Malian states, the Assassin sect is a Nizari Ismaili sect, popularized between the fifth and seventh centuries Hijri, and their main strongholds were in Persia and in the Levant.

The foundations of the Hassan ibn al-Sabah sect, which was launched from the fortress of Alamut as a center for spreading his vocation, took from fortified castles in the mountain peaks a stronghold for spreading a militant Nizari Ismaili calling in Persia and the Levant.

The extremist methods of the group earned it intense hostility from the Abbasid and Fatimid caliphate and major sultans such as the Seljuks, the Khwarizmites, the Zangids, the Ayyubids as well as the Salayis.

Their military strategy depended on assassinations carried out by deep cover agents who believe in the teachings of the group. “Fedayeen” shocked the rulers, royals, ministers and judges who posed a threat to the group’s goals.

The group were very resorsful in infiltration techniques, they managed to assassinate some important personalities such as the Seljuk minister Nizam al-Mulk, the Abbasid caliph, the guide, the Rashid, and the King of Jerusalem, Konrad.

Abbasid Caliph (Left)/Konrad – King of Jerusalem (Right)

The group’s strong hold was destroyed by the Mongols and they were eventually destroyed by the Mamlouks and the remnants of the group went to work for the highest bidder.


A group tied in relation to the Carmatian state, which split from the Fatimid state, and ruled after a social revolution and took on a religious character, and the headquarters of their state in the current Al-Ahsa city in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The book “History of the Fatimid State” by Dr. Inas Muhammad al-Bahiji mentioned, the Carmatians were a religious political sect that knew that name in relation to one of its da’is: Hamdan al-Shaath, nicknamed “Qarmat”, and they were part of the Fatimid state, they were closely associated with the Fatimids at first, but they turned to a bloody rivalry, the book states that the Qarmatians were originally dissidents from the Ismaili movement, and they believed the return of Imam Muhammad bin Ismail in their (Messiah) awaited Mahdi.

The group’s blood thirsty followers thought that Imam Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi deceived them, so they turned on him, and they opposed the issue of infallibility, and the Carmatians fanatics ruthless ways led to bloodshed of their opponents.

The group waged waves of acts of terror in Basra and Ahwaz during the Zinj revolution. The extremist ideology of the group remains to this day in groups like the IRGC, Extremist Iraqi Shiite components allied with Iran, the Houthis, Hezbollah and Twelvers Shiite extremist.

The Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwanul-Muslimeen

The most diverse and complex Islamist group of the twentieth century, it is considered the ideological source of extremism for most Islamist of the current and past centuries, many extremists offshoots branched out from the MB.

The Muslim Brotherhood founded by Hassan Al-Banna in Ismailia in 1928 its ethics and teachings are fruits of the evil doctrine of Sayed Qutb. Hassan al-Banna’s Kharijites and extreme Soufi teachings gave birth to extremist Islamist groups including ISIS, Al-Qaeda and others.

Terrorist Organization that hijack faith and engage in acts of violence must be stopped by any means necessary.

Khaled Homoud Alshareef holds PhD in Business and he earned Masters in Philosophy. He often writes about Islamism, Islamist factions and modern Terrorism. He tweets under @0khalodi0.

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