Ideology that calls for 1) the practice of Islam to be returned to its sources (salaf) in the "true religion," and 2) the organization and regulation of society and the state by Qurʾan and shariʿa. In many Arab countries, where political expression is often heavily repressed by the state, Islamism is a way of challenging social or political power. This current surfaced at the end of the nineteenth century, at a time when most Muslim countries were controlled by European powers. Consequently "Islamic reformism," initiated by Jamal al-din al-Afghani, was having a significant impact by the beginning of the twentieth century. The first modern Islamist movement was the Muslim Brotherhood, which began in Egypt in 1928.
SEE ALSO Muslim Brotherhood.