Is Sufism any different from fundamentalist Islam?

“No”, avers David Frawly in his book, Awaken Bharatha : A call for India’s rebirth.

He dispels many myths and misconceptions about Sufism in his well-written book. The gullible Hindus of India tend to be too credulous about the bona-fides of Sufi mystics as moderating influence on Islam. But unfortunately this is not true. Islamists of any hue cannot change their basic tenets like annihilation of infidels and spreading of pan-Islamism.

You may read excerpts from his book in this web site.

The following excerpt from Wikipedia page on Sufism vividly exposes the real colour of Sufism!

Sufism’s role in the expansion of Islam

Sufism has an important historical role in the expansion of Islam and the conversion of Christians in particular. Sufism has underpinned the majority of conversions to Islam since the 10th century. The most striking examples are to be found on the borders of the ottoman empire.

The Devshirme system, where Christian children were confiscated from the western edges of the ottoman empire, and raised as Janissary Soldiers (the Guard element or “core” of the ottoman army, which progressively became a sort of Foreign Legion ), was underpinned by the adherence of the Janissary corps to Sufi Islam. This more flexible form of Islam was well suited to the first generation muslims of the Janissaries. Several hundred thousand converts to Islam passed through this system.

Another striking and more direct Sufic impact was on Chechnya and Daghestan. Primarily Animist but also Christian at the beginning of the 18th century, Chechnya and Daghestan were converted to Naqshbandi Sufi Islam and by the middle of the 19th century were fighting their annexation into the Russian Empire (that wanted to link up its two territories of Russia and Georgia) under the banner of a holy islamic war. Imam Shamil, along with all the other of their leaders at this time, was Supreme Naqshbandi Imam of Chechnya and Daghestan.

In these contexts, Sufism often acts as a longterm gateway to more literal forms of Islam. Chechnya for example is now edging towards Wahhibite Islam.

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