The Saudi Mufti (Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh ) condemned ISIS as a the number one threat to Islam. I find it somewhat ironic that this condemnation comes from a leading authority of the state sponsored Wahabi school that shares many doctrinal similarities with ISIS. For sure, the state sponsored religious institutions and authorities do not […]

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Gilbert Achcar, author of “The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprisings” and Professor of Development and International Relations at SOAS, sat down with Danny Postel, Associate Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver for a discussion of the Syrian Civil War in the context of the […]

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I wish to comment on this article on Salafism in Kuwait. This post is not concerned with the details of Salafism in Kuwait but the typology of Salafism noted in the article. The article makes the point that ‘purists’ are more inclined to some sort of outreach to other Muslims, while harakis (activists) are prone […]

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This is statement by the ISIL spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-’Adnani, seeks to affirm the Salafi Jihadi credentials of the ISIL and reasons for their differences with Al-Qaeda and their official affiliate Jabhat al-Nosra (the latter accused of deviating from the Salafi methodology): So what has changed to cause the leadership of Al-Qāʿidah to cause us […]

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ISIL when amputating the hand of a man it claims confessed and voluntarily submitted to the ascribed punishment, commented that the punishment given would be a purification for his sin. The view that penal punishments are an atonement for sins and so lift any possible punishment in the hereafter, is with precedence in the Islamic tradition. There are […]

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Often different Salafi armed groups focus on a perceived sectarian identity of their enemy, however absurd the construal of this identity may be. Regardless, why would many of these armed groups identify their struggles in this sense? I believe this is partly due to an uncritical application of what is largely medieval Islamic juristic tradition […]

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The ISIL are not the Khawarij documented by medieval Muslim heresiologists in their encyclopaedias of sects and religions; historically the Khawarij, as a sect, were not uniform but are now largely extinct. Nevertheless there remains the ‘Ibadia‘ that exists in Oman as a state sponsored form of Islam and also, as a lesser presence, followers of […]

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I will be posting on the theological and religious complexities of Syria’s different armed groups. I think this is important, as there is a lot of inaccuracies and general judgements regarding the nature of differences between Islamist armed factions. For now, I just wish to observe that ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) […]

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A lesson can be learnt from Egypt, with the tribalism and ideological posturing of its political terrain. The equation of the Muslim Brotherhood to a neo-fascist group, as government officials have done, or the demonisation of its policies as ‘Islamist’ and worthy of banning or ostracisation is damaging and already the bitter harvest of these […]

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We forget but it is important to return the conflict to the early uprising in Darʿā. This is an account provided by a now defected officer on the extreme brutality utilised to put down non-violent protests. His witness also provides the earliest account of militarisation of the uprising with the ad-hoc use of RPGs and […]

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