When in the Middle East, speaking to the average citizen, you’ll hear them refer to groups like ISIL as takfiri. But it’s seldom mentioned here in the United States. Wikipedia defines takfiri as a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir, and is described as when “one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure.” Accusing other Muslims of being takfiris has become a sectarian slur, particularly since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.” 

Takfiri departures from its tradition and to accommodate extremists.

“In principle, the only group authorized to declare a member of an Abrahamic religion a kafir (unbeliever) is the ulama, and this is only done once all the prescribed legal precautions have been taken.[2] However, a growing number of splinter Wahhabist/Salafist groups, classified by some scholars as Salafi-Takfiris,[6] have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the Sharia. They have reserved to themselves the right to declare any Muslim an apostate, as well as any non-Muslim.” (Wikipedia)

Most Americans believe that these groups hate the West, and Americans, more than anyone else. But, the bulk of their violence is set against others in the region. Yes, it’s more geographically convenient. But also, and logically, a personal hate exists for those who were born and raised in Islam, but are infidels, in their eyes. If there’s a sense of urgency for what they may do to our own people. In reality, extremists groups are speedily doing worse than most westerners have witnessed to civilians in the region, right now.

History of Takfiri Violence

The website “onfaith.com” featured an article entitled, “Takfirism: The Key to Understanding ISIL.” In the article, the history of Takfirism turning violent in the past is detailed.

“Takfirism turned violent in the late seventh century with the Kharijites, an early extremist group that rejected Muslims who did not accept their political and religious views. Known for their puritanism and fanaticism, this group engaged in campaigns of harassment and terror. The Kharijites’ violent extremism didn’t last long, as it was quickly dismissed as antithetical to Islam by the independent and authoritative ulema (religious leaders and scholars) of the time.”

Gulf states give birth to Takfiri groups