There is continuing controversy over what has been called Islamism, the fundamentalist version of Islam that is both political and exclusivist in the extreme. The Islamist terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL) and Al Qaeda and its affiliates, believe that killing all kaffirs (infidels or non-believers) is a required tenet of their religion. But, many believe that Islamism is not Islam and many, including Pres. Obama, have stated that it is not and that Islam itself is a peaceful religion. This is the height of politically correct (PC) speech, that prevents such political leaders from dealing effectively with what they cannot name – Islamic terrorism.
Sunni Islamism derives from the austere Salafi form of Islam that is practised in Saudi Arabia, that is associated with the Wahhabi Sect and was adopted by the Saudi monarchy there. In fact Salafi Islam has been spread around the world by Saudi Arabia, mostly in the form of religious schools (madrassas) that teach basically the same system of beliefs as the Islamists. The development of Al Qaeda by Osama Bin Ladin was a natural outcome of his education in Saudi Arabia. But, he broke with the Saudis when they allowed American forces into (holy) Arabia to fight the Iraqis under Saddam Hussein after their occupation of Kuwait in 1990. Subsequently bin Ladin declared war on the US and this led to the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC on 9/11/2001.
In effect, we can consider Islamism, the modern political fundamentalist version of Islam, as a sect of Islam It has its historical roots in Egypt, in the writings of Hassan al Bana, which were explicitly anti-American and anti-Western, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, followed by his successor Sayyib Qutb. This coalesced with Salafi Islam in Saudi Arabia to produce the terrorist gangs of Muslims that have unleashed a unprecedented reign of terror throughout the world, from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia to the USA, UK, France, Germany, Nigeria (Boko Haram), Turkey, Iraq (against the Shia), Syria, etc.. There is no end in sight for this continuing terrorist war against the West and eventually the leaders of the Western world are going to have to get serious about destroying this scourge. Being able to understand the origins of Islamism and that it is in fact a sect of Islam may help these leaders to deal more effectively with it.