The KKK was a terrorist group that formed after the South lost the civil war as a response to the freeing of slaves and desire to maintain a form of tyranny over the “other.” Like Islamic radicals they believed in their own superiority and the superiority of their “civilization” and furthermore they believed themselves to be moralistic “Knights” in the cause of their religion and that such a cause could be used to justify the targeting and murder of innocent civilians in the name of both religion and race.
We can see this in the policies and behavior that have informed both the Wahabbist Sunni movements, Iranian Shia and so called Islamist movements occurring in the various nations such as Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, the Pan Arab movements of the 20th century and the Pan Islamic movements that seem to have currency today. While American racism in the post-civil war period did directly aspire to move beyond US borders, it was informed by Manifest Destiny which is very similar to Arab/Islamic claim on the Middle East and other nations as well as justification for both ethnic suppression, genocide and terrorism. Add to this fire the particularly bloody nature of a Balkanization a process that began in post Ottoman Europe but continues in Central Asia and the Middle East today and stoked by European colonialism in The Middle East, Communist Empires in the Balkans and Central Asia and Military led democracy and strong man rule to perpetuate and support racism. While the Klan still exists, the Klan era was approximately a 100 years starting as a purely Southern Movement during reconstruction and becoming a national movement in the 1920s and marginalized by the end of the 1970s. However, the only indigenous movements in the Middle East have primarily been Jews in Israel, Kurds in Iran, Iran, Turkey and Syria and Shia/Sunni conflicts. Everyone else has found that propaganda against their ethnic identity, ethnic cleansing and genocide, linguistic domination and often systematic discrimination at home has either kept ethnic people too fearful, isolated or currying favor with strong man groups such as awful Assad Dynasty.
The good ole boys club of radical Islam and Islamism are pretty similar to the good ole boys of the American South which includes demanding women be modest, men claiming they are the protectors of women, men and women must not have relationships outside their groups and if they then they should be punished, murdered and or raped for doing so and similarly the women of outside ethnic religious groups are both considered dirty, immoral but can be violently used as sexual objects. Rape seems to be the primary attraction for many in joining ISIS.
Critical differences between American Terrorism via the KKK and Islamic and ethno-Islamic terrorism which is the success of ethnic cleansing where dominant Muslim and Arab groups have frequently been successful at ethnic cleansings since the end of World War II. The influence of the Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Hussein, the Nazi influence in Iran (Which convinced Persia to itself themselves Aryan or Iran!) and on Bathism in Syria and Iraq as well as on former Syrian groups such the Palestinians and Jordanians and finally Egypt. The influence is twofold, one is the idea of ethnocentric spheres, so there is an “Arab World”, an (Pan) Arab State, “Arab lands” but there is also either or communist fascistic dictatorship as modeled by both Hitler and Stalin but in either case the appeal is ethnocentric and or religious. The Bath party in Iraq could at various times be said to be communist but the cult of personality and the pronounced racism were clearly fascist. Middle Eastern States were able to force their domination by Linguistic oppression by propagandizing Christians into believing they are Arab and forcing them to the neglect their own languages and history often while ethnically cleaning them. The Islamic State has taken this further by pairing forced conversion with slavery and genocide but the idea is deeply rooted in Wahhabism and 20th century expressions of racism, a circumference of land must be held by single group (In this case the group if nominally Islamic but Arab is implied) and competition must literally be wiped out yet these same policies brought the House of Saud to power during the first world war. The same inspiration for “The Arab League” which is the supposed body of states that represent the Middle East with its Arabs despite the Copts, Berbers, Jews, Kurds and many, many other groups that live there.
Genocide and ethnic cleaning is not new. The genocidal attacks on Armenians by the Ottomans (during the Ottoman’s Turkish Nationalism phase or Young Turk movement) is the start but the 1929 Massacres. One could argue this had started with the Ottoman Conquest of Palestine with the 1517 attacks against Jews. Certainly the 1838 attack by Druze and Muslims on Safed for three days (by this time Jews were the majority in Jerusalem) and also during this time the Aleppo Massacre of 1850, the Druze Maronite Massacre of 1860, Huaran Massacre against Druze in in 1909 as well as the Armenian Genocide of 1915 all demonstrate why the KKK and Nazi movements would easily find a home amongst Sunnis and Shia. What is being preserved by all this murder? Entitlement, privilege, superiority and land. The natural question is why is there Islamic terrorism in the West? Besides Spain (formerly Andalusia) and Sicily there are no claims to Western European land but there is no lack of terrorism in France and Italy. The reason is primarily local, prejudice justifies tyranny at home.While racism may be compatible with both Islamic radicalism and strong man rule in the Middle East, while ethnocentrism and patriarchy remain deeply relevant to many people, the long term way forward is the confrontation and devaluation of racist beliefs by nations, NGOs and world organization that too frequently either support ethnocentrism or believe it is a necessary evil.