Monday, May 14, 2007

Jihad deja vu

From William Dalrymple at the LA Times

The tracts of the Christian missionaries in India during the 1840s and 1850s reinforced Muslim fears -- at the same time, the existence of such "Wahhabi conspiracies" to resist the Christians strengthened the conviction of the evangelicals. The reaction to this steady crescendo of insensitivity came in 1857 with the Great Mutiny ... there is a direct link between the jihadis of 1857 and those we face today. The reaction of some of the Islamic scholars after 1857 was to reject the West in favor of a return to pure Islamic roots. A Wahhabi-like madrasa was founded at Deoband in India that went back to Koranic basics. One hundred and forty years later, the movement has spread, and it was out of Deobandi madrasas in Pakistan that the Taliban emerged to create the most retrograde Islamic regime in modern history, a regime that in turn provided the crucible out of which emerged Al Qaeda.

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