Current Islam

10 December 2011

Whence the Salafis?

Written by
As you read the papers these days, you hear that “the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis” are the parties most standing to gain from the elections taking place in Egypt. We’ve covered the Muslim Brotherhood, but who are the Salafis? Salafism is about a new, international and self-absorbed subculture that is completely obsessed with legal norms and rules that are…
Written by
A reader of my previous blog, “McCarthyism Returns in the 2010s,” asked a very reasonable question [when it was first posted on the Peace Catalyst website]. He or she had wondered how accurate my placing Robert Spencer among the “purveyors of hate and misinformation” actually was. I like this. I want feedback and the opportunity to promote an honest and…
Written by
[I begin a series of four blogs introducing readers to important developments in the sociology of religion – and Islam in particular. The next ones are respectively, “Is Fundamentalism Still Relevant?”, "Whence the Salafis?" and "The Global Salafi Phenomenon"]. Roughly after the “Six-Day War” of 1967 and the passing of Egypt’s socialist president Gamal Abd al-Nasser in 1970, social scientists…
12 May 2011

Jihad Revisited

Written by
I ended the first half of this blog arguing that Sayyid Qutb’s (executed in Egypt in 1966) view of total and permanent war until Islam reigns supreme in the world was: 1) a throwback to the scholarly consensus of Muslim jurists and theologians in the classical period; 2) vigorous push back against the modern Islamic consensus since at least the…
Written by
King David wanted to build a temple for God, but the prophet Nathan told him that God had designated his son to carry out that task (II Samuel 7). Years later he recounts to his son Solomon that the reason God did not grant him that privilege was that “he had killed many men in battles . . . and…
Written by
I was teaching a seminar course on intra-Muslim debates on human rights at Yale University and we had just covered a variety of Muslim "fundamentalist" views. Out of fifteen students I had four Jews, four Christians, and seven Muslims. One Orthodox Jewish student (actually the president of the Yale Friends of Israel that year) raised his hand to comment, "I…
Page 4 of 5