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The Khawarij Paradigm: Takfirism as Expression of Unconstrained Islamism

Summery: The evolution of the ‘Islamic State’ from an integrated to a fragmented group is now close to becoming an irreversible process. Senior figures of internal competing factions are striving to de-legitimize one another by authoring contradicting publications. These, it seems, serve a two-fold purpose: to strengthen respective claims over central institutions; and to fight for the support of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the organisation. The primary causes of this internal conflict appear to be the dispute over specific theological issues, such as differing interpretations of the concept of apostasy – takfir, as well as a more generalized criticism of the group’s attitude towards its territorial demise. Focusing on the former issue, this article strives to examine the existing relation between the ‘Islamic State’, through its systematic abuse of the doctrine of takfir, and the ancient Islamic sect of the Kharijites, which are considered by many to be the…

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Terrorist & Extremist Networks

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