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The Taliban and the Maturidite School

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Abstract

Few places in the Islamic world have seen as much Islamist activity in recent years as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus no analysis of Islamism and its important ties to Athari thought is complete without some discussion of the region and its most well-known movement, the Taliban. The origins of the Taliban are complex and interwoven with an elaborate web of ethnic conflict, political ambition, ideological warfare, and economic interests. But at its root, the story of the Taliban begins with the madrasas of western Pakistan and the interference of foreign powers in the affairs of South Asia. The dominant Sunni school of law in South Asia is the Hanafi maddhab. This would suggest that the Sunni Muslims of Pakistan and their institutions of religious learning are also associated with the Maturidite school of theology, or at least its creedal manifestation. That would include the Sunni Muslims of the modern reformminded Deobandi madrasa movement. But the turbulent events of the last forty years dramatically changed the religious landscape of the region and displaced the normative Hanafi Sunnism that had been dominant there for centuries. This chapter explores those events and demonstrates that the Taliban movement is the product of distinctly Athari madrasas, funded and mobilized by Wahhabite-Atharis in the Persian Gulf and their Pakistani allies for the sake of political and economic interests.

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Notes

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© 2010 Jeffry R. Halverson

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Halverson, J.R. (2010). The Taliban and the Maturidite School. In: Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230106581_6

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