The Radical Application of the Islamist Concept of Takfir
Arab Law Quarterly 31 (2017) 132-160
19 Pages Posted: 23 May 2017
Date Written: May 21, 2017
The ideology and actions of certain militant groups in the Middle East are often condemned as a perversion of Islamic precepts. In order to achieve a theologically ideal society these groups espouse Takfirism, a minority ideology which endorses violence and in particular advocates the killing of other Muslims declared to be unbelievers. These groups justify their words and deeds with direct quotations from the Qur’an and the Sunna, which are the sources of Islamic law (Shari‘a), as well as by citing historical precedents such as the Khawarij movement and Ibn Taymiyya’s fatawa. This article aims to analyse how these groups (and in some cases state actors) defend their actions in legal terms and how mainstream Islamic scholars respond to what they consider to be doctrinal deviations.
Keywords: Takfir; ISIS; the Khawarij; Wahhabism; radical Islamist groups; hisba; fatwa; blasphemy; apostasy
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