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View Diary: Losing allies in Iraq (156 comments)

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  •  A few problems... (none)
    The argument that Islam needs a good reformation is frequently made, but seems to overlook the fact that Islam has had a number of reformations in its history.

    Al-Qaeda is an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood founded in the 1920's -- and it adopted many of the ideas of Wahhbis (Arabia, late 1700's) and the Deobandis (N. India, mid 19th century -- after the 1857 Mutiney).  If you really need a Christian Parallel, it is more like the Catholic Counter Reformation and the anti-Modernism stance of the Vatican dating from the post French Revolution period.  I am not certain that comparative Islam/Christian studies get you very far here -- but Islamic history read on its own terms has lots of reformations.  

    Islam has within its own literature and history many examples of terrorist sects, perhaps the most important being the 12th century preacher, ibn Taymiyya.  Virtually all of the texts bin Laden and those around him produce give credit for the theology of Jihadist practice to ibn Tayniyya -- and while it has for 800 years been very much a minority idea within Islam, it is a root fundamental to contemporary movements.  Any good History of Islam will cover Taymiyya and his various incarnations over the years.  

    Personally, I think the more interesting question is why Jihadist sects appealed to many Muslims in recent decades?  

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