Muslim Rebels: Kharijites And The Politics Of Extremism In Egypt by Jeffrey T. KenneyMuslim Rebels: Kharijites And The Politics Of Extremism In Egypt by Jeffrey T. Kenney

Muslim Rebels: Kharijites And The Politics Of Extremism In Egypt

byJeffrey T. Kenney

Hardcover | October 5, 2006

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The Kharijites were the first sectarian movement in Islamic history, a rebellious splinter group that separated itself from mainstream Muslim society and set about creating, through violence, an ideal community of the saved. Their influence in the political and theological life of the nascentfaith has ensured their place in both critical and religious accounts of early Islamic history. Based on the image of sect fostered by the Islamic tradition, the name Kharijite defines a Muslim as an overly-pious zealot whose ideas and actions lie beyond the pale of normative Islam. After a brief look at Kharijite origins and the traditional image of these early rebels, this book focuses on references to the Kharijites in Egypt from the 1950s to the 1990s. Jeffrey T. Kenney shows how the traditional image of the Kharijites was reawakened to address the problem of radicalIslamist opposition movements. The Kharijites came to play a central role in the rhetoric of both religious authorities, whose official role it is to interpret Islam for the masses, and the secular state, which cynically turns to Islamic ideas and symbols to defend its legitimacy. Even thoseIslamists who defend militant tactics, and who are themselves tainted by the Kharijite label, become participants in the discourse surrounding Kharijism. Although all Egyptians agree that modern Kharijites represent a dangerous threat to society, serious debates have arisen about the underlyingsocial, political and economic problems that lead Muslims down this destructive path. Kenney examines these debates and what they reveal about Egyptian attitudes toward Islamist violence and its impact on their nation. Long before 9/11, Egyptians have been dealing with the problem of Islamist violence, frequently evoking the Kharijites. This book represents an important contribution to Islamic studies and Middle East studies, adding to our understanding of how the Islamic past shapes the present discoursesurrounding Islamist violence in one Muslim society.
Jeffrey T. Kenney is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePauw University
Title:Muslim Rebels: Kharijites And The Politics Of Extremism In EgyptFormat:HardcoverDimensions:234 pages, 6.3 × 9.41 × 1.1 inPublished:October 5, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019513169X

ISBN - 13:9780195131697

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Editorial Reviews

"Much of Middle Eastern politics in recent years has been shaped by the ascendance of militant Islamists, whose intellectual roots can be traced to the Kharijites of fourteen centuries ago. With Muslim Rebels/I, Kenny has skillfully captured the metamorphosis of contemporary strands ofmilitant Islam, one of which struck America and the world on 9-11. It is rare to find a complex phenomenon handled with such lucidity and nuance. Required reading for those of us attempting to understand the intersection of Islam and activism today." --Saad Eddin Ibrahim, author of Egypt Islam andDemocracy: Critical Essays