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Islamism /
Takfir wa-l-Hijra
Arabic: takfīr wa-l-hijra
Other spellings: Takfir wal-Hijra; Takfir Wal Hijra

Originating in Egypt, a violent Islamist organization, today operating in several countries. Takfir wa-l-Hijra is linked with al-Qa'ida, representing its most gruesome aspects.
Takfir wa-l-Hijra is often defined as an extreme Salafist group, but "Salafism" is ambiguous term, and it suffices to describe Takfir wa-l-Hijra as "extremist Islamists". Their views have even equated with Kharijism, the earliest sect of Islam, although they deviate in one important sense; Takfir wa-l-Hijra calls for a society ruled by a Caliph.
Takfir wa-l-Hijra is made up of two Arabic words, the first is the rather uncommon "takfir", meaning to declare other Muslims as infidels, hence being individuals that were permitted to kill. The other word is "hijra" which is the word used for Muhammad flight to Yathrib in 622 (Yathrib would after Muhammad had its Jewish majority killed or enslaved be called Madina ar-Rasul, or Madina).
The organizational structure of Takfir wa-l-Hijra is not known, since the late 1970's they have been a situation of obscurity, only appearing when violent attacks are performed. It may well be a loose network, and it may well be a secret and strictly organized group. It may even be several groups, each fully independent from the other, using the same name. Takfir wa-l-Hijra has no headquarters and no profiled leader, although it is often said that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the supposed number 2 in al-Qa'ida is central in Takfir wa-l-Hijra.
It is not so much their definition of the ideal society that differ Takfir wa-l-Hijra from other Islamist groups, rather it is their means of achieving their goals. They have adopted a technique that for centuries was without any practical importance in Sunni Islam, though surviving in Shi'i Islam and with Taqiyya religions: Taqiyya, the concealment of one's faith.
With the basis of the ideology of Takfir wa-l-Hijra, the followers do things strictly prohibited by Islam, things they do to blend in with the societies they fight. A follower of Takfir wa-l-Hijra willingly take the shape and life of the most secular Muslims, all in order to deceive his or her enemies: Shave the beard, wear a tie, have non-Muslim friends, drink alcohol, eat pork, have open sexual relations etc. These acts have no value in itself, the activist will only do as much as necessary to blend in.
The understanding of taqiyya and takfir involves full freedom to deceive other Muslims, and even kill them, it all being part of a larger plan. If they die in their acts, the reward is the highest a Muslim can hope for; becoming a martyr in Paradise.
In the 1970's the Takfir wa-l-Hijra chose another form of protesting against what they consider infidelity, then especially in Egyptian society. Shukri Mustafa was much inspired by the ideals of hippies and socialists around the world in the same period of time. He called for a total break from the Muslim society, motivating his followers to form isolated, alternative communities, he even promoted living in caves in southern Egypt. This call got many followers, among them a surprisingly high number of women. In order to legitimize their presence, he performed takfir on their families; calling their families kafirs. The families of the women took their case to the courts, and would with that bring an end to his experiment.

1960's: Takfir wa-l-Hijra is founded, exact year is not known.
1977: (eller 1971) Shukri Mustafa becomes leader of Takfir wa-l-Hijra, and declares the need to break totally free from the established, secularized Muslim society.
1978: Shukri Mustafa is captured, tried in front of a court and executed.
1981 October 6: Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, is assassinated. The killing is linked to former members of Takfir wa-l-Hijra.
1991 November: Islamists with alleged links to Takfir wa-l-Hijra attacks the Algerian border post of Guemmar. This was a part of the build-up to the Algerian Civil War.
1996: Allegedly, Osama bin Laden is planned killed by Takfir wa-l-Hijra, because of him being accused of liberal views.
2000: 20 people killed while performing prayer in a mosque in Sudan.
2004: Unveiling of a terrorist network in Spain, which planned to blow up a court of law.

By Tore Kjeilen