BRANDING THE ENEMY: THE “KHARIJITE” LABEL AND THE LEGITIMATION OF STATE POWER

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Penland, Jordan T.
Subjects
Kharijite
Islamic extremism
Political Islam
Islamic State
Muslim Brotherhood
Islam
Islamism
Weber
Egypt
Nasser
al-Hudaybi
Qutb
al-Qaradawi
Advisors
Hafez, Mohammed M.
Date of Issue
2021-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Within the Islamic world, the religious past often plays a formative role in our understanding of contemporary issues. One such rhetorical idiom from the past, the label “Kharijite,” has been, and is still, used as a pejorative by both state and non-state actors against myriad Islamist organizations and entities. Through an intensively researched description of historical, religious, and contemporary literature, this thesis examines the historical origins of the ancient Kharijite narrative and the manner in which the historical precedence of the term and its associated imagery have been applied to recent history. Research indicates that the Kharijite label has been used as and remains a legitimizing instrument with the power to imbue its user with Islamic credentials and authority while marginalizing opposition movements. As exemplified in post-colonial Egypt, states use the Kharijite epithet during periods of state formation or weak government rule to solidify the state’s monopoly of the use of violence within an Islamic context. Similarly, non-state actors use the charge to create political and religious legitimacy for their movement to the detriment of rival factions. This common utilization of the Kharijite epithet by both state and non-state actors demonstrates the political power of the Islamic lexicon and underscores the legitimacy crisis of nascent regimes and the potential risk for Western states that support regimes who employ the “Kharijite” epithet.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. distribution is unlimited
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Collections