Two months ago, terrorists committed the worst terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history by detonating a bomb inside a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula and then sprayed gunfire on worshipers as they fled, killing 305.

The attack was a shocking catastrophe, not only because of the brutality and the high death toll but also because of the ambiguous twist in the Islamic State (ISIS) Ideology by attacking a Sunni mosque for the first time.

Rapidly, the reason was clarified. The Radwa mosque that was under attack is a Sufi mosque.

Why Sufism?

Although a lot of people misconceptualise Sufism as an Islamic organisation or ideology with a religious political perspective simply as Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism, however, Sufism is much deeper.

It is a form of Islamic philosophy based on mysticism that emphasises introspection and spiritual closeness with God.

Separately to Salafists, Sufis believe in inner peace more than the outer look, focus more on the core of self-discipline than reforming the society and its members. Both groups believe in Jihad as a core of belonging and an aim to achieve. however, Sufism does not delineate Jihad by fighting others and building the right Muslim society on the rubble of western civilisation, but by fighting and struggling with the inner-self and purifying it from the debauchery and blasphemy.

Attacking Muslims with similar faith school (Sunni) while praying is not an accessible matter to be justified ideologically by ISIS leaders.

ISIS is representing itself as the chosen army

#ISIS and other radicalised groups visualising of other Islamic groups and movements are always full of misperceptions.

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As the main identity of ISIS is representing itself as the chosen army to establish the caliphate and lead Muslims to the end times, it always highlights itself as the only representative Islamic group by questioning other groups’ religio-political legitimacy and launching fierce rhetorical campaigns against them.

ISIS considers all Muslims even Al-Qaeda and salifies (the mother sources of radicalisation) who don’t authorise and pledge it as the true and the only true leader as apostates who should be executed without mercy.

Moreover, Sufism is mostly defined like Shiaas (another Islamic branch) as infidels, lost their way and faith by their transgression devotional Sufi practices such as the act of grouping Remembrance (Zikr) and glorifying of their saints and visiting tombs. Therefore, according to the radicalised ISIS ideology, they deserve to die even while praying in their mosques.

Who are they really are:

Although #Sufis are often censured for approaching non-Muslim devotional practice close to ignorance, but not only is Sufism is a 1000 year spiritual dimension of Islam that created the core of Islamic philosophy and raised a religious campaign to think, meditate and debate, but also an artistic perspective that shaped the nature of Arabic and Iranian literature, discourse, and poem.

Sufism is a mirror to reflect the heart of Islam beyond Doctrines and ritual. It is the perception of building the right human interconnected with morals and ethics.

While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to Allah to achieve paradise, Sufis also believe that it is possible to draw closer to God and to more fully embrace the divine presence in this life. Their core of believing rise from the loving of God to seek his forgiveness, aid, and support.

The chief aim of all Sufis is to seek the pleasing of God by working to restore within themselves far away from others. They believe that enhancing and reforming humanity begins with reforming yourself and your spirit. furthermore, Sufism neglects hate, hostility, and animosity by raising love, peace, and tolerance.

Only diamond can cut Diamond

It is believed that facing radicalisation and terrorism begins by separating between fighting terrorists and terrorism. The solution is not with armed disputes but with declaring war on radicalisation and this would not happen without a method of purifying Islamic misconceptions.

Thus, Sufism is a long part of Islamic legacy that has survived in people’s hearts for centuries more than any other Islamic philosophy dimension. To cut diamonds we need diamonds, Jihadi Salafism is partly new and weakly fundamentalised.

if we really need to conquer radicalised minds we need to begin with their hearts by a religious philosophy that carries the real foundation of every spiritual belief, and a way of purifying the heart from gross manners. Or as Ibn Rumi, a famous Sufi sage says, “When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”