A derogatory name used in modern Muslim societies to designate a radical Islamist who attacks fellow Muslims, Khariji, along with terms such as jihadi and takfiri (one who excommunicates fellow Muslims), became part of the discourse associated with national and transnational Islamist violence and the global war on terror.

Khariji is the Arabic singular form of the plural Khawarij (typically rendered in English as Kharijites), the name of a seventh-century sectarian movement that defined itself over and against what became the two dominant sects in Islamic tradition, Sunnī and Shi'a. The Kharijites rebelled in 657 against the then leader of the nascent Islamic empire, Ali b. Abi Talib. They were infamous for judging fellow Muslims as nonbelievers (pronouncing the takfir on them), thus rendering them apostates ...

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