The not-so-strange resilience of Takfarism

Check out the article by Sheikh Habib Ali Al Jifri, "Why is there no serious effort to counter takfir ideology?"I'm glad to see this article being run in a prominent Emirati newspaper, as the Gulf is at the heart of this problem. One hopes that's a sign of some sympathy for real reform, as opposed to shrewd geopolitical optics.Unlike in the case of most thorny social or political problems, I think this question can be answered very simply, for it stares us in the face: The reason … [Read more...]

Saints of clay

There's an intriguing report on the website of the Chabad-Lubavitch, the most prominent branch of Hasidism (a Jewish mystical movement with much in common with Sufism). A stop-motion animated film has been made for kids telling the story of Israel ben Eliezier (often called the Baal Shem Tov, or "Master of the Good Name"), the Lubavitch movement's founder who lived in 18th century Poland. One of the most unhealthy developments in modern Western … [Read more...]

The MSM’s new “Jihadism vs. McSufism” narrative

Br. Yahya Birtfrom across the pond was so kind as to inform me of a much better and more thought-provoking link regarding the place of Sufism in the GWOT than the article in Time magazine that I shared earlier, so I'm passing it on. I explained  in the post's comments (reproduced below) why, despite my agreement with some of the Times article's underlying premises, I didn't like the piece much. As usual in MSM discussions of Sufism, the article … [Read more...]