Largely because 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism is often cited as the fountainhead of violent jihadism, but that is to make too much of its significance compared to other Islamic movements, some of them little known in the West.
Owen Bennett Jones investigates the beliefs of an influential, global Islamic movement that was founded in a small Indian town.
The story of India’s Deobandi school of Islam, which has inspired both a peaceful global missionary movement and the Taliban.
Here’s a tale of two madressahs: one Deoband north of Delhi, the other in Akora Khattak, Pakistan.
The Deobandis are the largest Islamic group in the UK, running over 40% of mosques and a network of seminaries. Owen Bennett Jones investigates who they are and what they believe.
“BRING me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
For many decades, when immigrants to the US arrived by ship, that inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcomed them to their new home. And as soon as the newcomers docked in New York the process of assimilation began. Partly to make it easier for potential employers, Kohnavalsky became Cohen and Smillikov turned into Smiley. Europeans became Americans.