[...] Kharajites are Takfiris who believe that they alone are capable of distinguishing Islam from unbelief and that they have an obligation to kill unbelievers. Their view is that anyone who has committed a serious sin is a kafir and deserves death. This orientation is almost as old as Islam and is generally understood as heresy. Historically Kharajites have condemned as unbelievers almost all Muslim leaders, including the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law Ali, who is beloved by all other Muslims. The Kharajites killed him, a crime for which the Muslim community has never forgiven them. They are a tiny, but dangerous, minority of the world’s Muslims.This much makes sense, and it is not what many on the left believe.
The Saudi royal family and other Muslim elites fear Kharajites, and with good reason. Many Muslim scholars, Wahhabi and non-Wahhabi alike, have used this term to describe Usama bin-Laden and his supporters. This judgment is entirely reasonable because Al-Qaeda and associates denounce Muslim rulers as kafir and kill them whenever possible. The Saudis would like to believe, and would like others to believe, that Kharajite thinking is on the decline. This is wishful thinking. Public recantations by a handful of jailed and most likely tortured terrorists count for very little. Torture works. When it is severe and prolonged enough victims will say almost anything that perpetrators want them to. It makes for bad intelligence but good propaganda. On this point I agree with Scheuer.
There is little that Western governments can do the influence the war of ideas that rages in the Muslim World. It would be the height of absurdity to think that Muslim governments could influence the war of ideas raging within the Anglican Communion concerning homosexual bishops. It is equally absurd to entertain the notion that US public diplomacy can shape the direction of Muslim discourse. [...]
Friday, May 27, 2011
Interesting article on Salafism at Ikhwanweb
I'm a bit distrustful of this article, but it is certainly interesting, especially the following paragraphs: