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Dr. Timothy R. Furnish

March 4, 2013


Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic, African and World history from Ohio State University. He currently works as a consultant to the US military and government on Islamic issues, often focusing on Africa. In the past he has been a college professor, acquisitions editor and member of the US Army (both enlisted and commissioned). He has published a number of articles in both scholarly and popular venues, and the book Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, their Jihads and Osama bin Laden. His areas of specialization include Mahdism, transnational Islamic ideologies, Sufism and Islamic sects.

In the framework of RIMA, Dr. Furnish will be mainly dealing with Sufism and Sufi orders in Africa; Mahdism and Mahdist movements in Africa; Transnational Islamic movements, especially in Africa; and
Islamic imperialism, imperial polities and ideologies.

One Comment
  1. The paper on Sufis and Salafis I have to say is very poorly researched and full of a plethora of erroneous aspersions about the Salafi tradition in Islam. Not only was there gross conflation of Salafiyyah al-Qaeda, which is a horrendous analogy to make, but the paper included within Salafiyyah those who neither self-identify with it nor profess it.

    The author of that paper Dr Furnish, should review what he has written and refer to more detailed studies conducted prior and also refer to research on Takfiri movements which have been conducted by Salafi scholars within the Muslim world over the last 15 years or so and also by researchers such as Kamolnick (2012), Baker (2010), Lambert (2010), Githens-Mazer (2010), Speckhard (2013) and others.

    There are material on the website which will shed much more light on that, for example:

    The paper also made inconsistencies and errors in the section on ‘Relevant Historical Background’ and conflated Salafiyyah with the Zahiri [sic] legal theoretical approach. Again, totally inaccurate.

    There is much more which could be said, suffice it to say that an entire critique of that whole article is probably needed.

    AbdulHaq Ashanti

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