Due to the differences between Sunni and Shia Islam, the movement of fundamentalism in Islam is two-fold at the very least; currently, we are going to focus on the Sunni Islamic movement, for the current events convey that I.S.I.S. identifies with the Sunni belief. Sunni fundamentalism has existed for a long time, however, some of its recent rise in the historic overview of it can be appreciated in the movement of the Islamic Brothers in Egypt, 1928. Egypt at this point in time was under British influence and the Islamic Brothers movement saw itself as the just portrayal of the Sunni tradition, which stressed the liberation of Egypt with the creation of an Islamic government; the Brothers’ concept of the Islamic state was primordially focused as one advanced by militant, armed strength. Sunni Islam, for this fundamentalist politic, was viewed by the former professor of Political Science at Tehran University, Hamid Enayat, as “the ultimate path of life, in all its spheres.” This was one of the main principles in this fundamentalist ideology, along with that there is the claim that “Islam emanates from two fundamental sources, the Qur'an and the Prophetic tradition” and that “Islam is applicable to all times and places”. The source of these quotes are Enayat’s essay “Fundamentalism”. But, this makes the case more evident that fundamentalism is a political movement that doesn’t concern itself with much beyond its fundamentals.
It is time to move on to al-Qaeda and its recent spawn, I.S.I.S., for these are the two most recent examples of Sunni fundamentalism. al-Qaeda’s worldly presence often gets associated with terrorism before its fundamentalist views and how it is a spawn of modernity as John Gray (author of “al-Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern”) would say. Gray writes, "Western societies are governed by the belief that modernity is a single condition, everywhere the same and always benign. As societies become more modern, so they become more alike. At the same time they become better. Being modern means realizing our values--the values of the Enlightenment, as we like to think of them." However, it would appear that the fundamentalism carried on by al-Qaeda and I.S.I.S. is as much of a spawn of modernity as the Western views of what we value are, for, again, the fundamentalist aims at responding the modern concern of the secularized world. However, al-Qaeda’s idealist views hold that true believers can create the a new world through violence, by deconstructing the structure of what the other claims to be their modernity in order to input the fundamentalist values; this sort of attitude can easily be associated with the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Nonetheless, one must acknowledge that the same is being done in return to some extent, regardless of whether the West is solely being reactionary or bringing this to be, for we are aiming at deconstructing the fundamentalist values in order to insert the West’s (but, much of this is up for debate). Now, shortly, I.S.I.S. is clearly aiming to insert its values by deconstructing the current society that is present; however, I.S.I.S. is a split from al-Qaeda’s ideology in the sense in which it aims for a more extremist approach to this. Due to the limitations of my word count, I shall stop here. Next time, we will dwell into details of I.S.I.S. and assessing actual news that are related.