Splitting hairs over nuance.
The Baron’s answer to SC is the most plausible of rational actions to take. Read on.
Last weekend I posted about the refusal of scholars at Al-Azhar University to pronouncetakfir (the accusation aimed at a fellow Muslim or Muslim of kufr, or unbelief) against the Islamic State. In my introduction, I characterized Al-Azhar, as I often do, as “the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam.”
A commenter named SC took exception to that statement and other aspects of my post. His remarks are worth reproducing here in their entirety:
This article is one of the reasons I simply cringe at discussions of Islam by one-off references to Jewish or Christian institutions, terminology, and typology.
Although very powerful and influential, Al-Azhar is NOT the Sunni equivalent to the Vatican.
Takfirism is NOT Islamic anathema. The repeated use of the term anathema in the article is both disturbing and distorting.
Takfirism is NOT a recognized Sunni instrument outside of Taymiyyan Hanbalism — and within it Wahhabism. This is among the most central of friction points between Taymiyyans (100% of Wahhabis are Taymiyyan but only 85% of Taymiyyans are Wahhabi) and the broader Sunni Islam. Takfir can be traced to Ibn Taymiyyah. While Al-Azhar has been vulnerable to initiatives to mainstream takfirism from time to time, in the main, it has opposed the doctrine and been among the more pronounced centers of opposition.
Can anyone show Al-Azhar ever calling someone Takfir where it was not a Wahhabis who got on staff through Saudi (or other Persian Gulf Wahhabi state) influence?