Islamism is not Islam in arms, it is a political creed which perverts Islam, just as fascism degraded nationalism and Communism betrayed socialism. Its animating spirit is not the pious devotion of the believer who finds in contemplation, charity and prayer both fulfilment and inspiration. Islamism appeals to that part of the human soul which has always been capable of being drawn to revolution, violence and the exaltation of the self through membership of the elect. There are aspects to Islamism which lend it the same appeal which seduced young men into the Red Guards or the Waffen SS, but there are also specific aspects to the ideology which attune it to the discontents and yearnings of young men in our time.Would that we could imprint the above on all of our politicians...
Rather than thinking of Islamism as a variant of a great and ancient faith it is better to view it in the terms defined by the Italian historian of fascism, Emilio Gentile, who explained that totalitarianism is "an experiment in political domination undertaken by a revolutionary movement that aspires towards a monopoly of power.
There's lots more. Go and read it.
(h/t L&J and USS Neverdock)