Dervishes Pick Up the Gun in Somalia

Back in the early ’70s I spent a week at a Sufi-inspired music camp in Marin County, California. It was a typical New Age celebration of the inner spirit, in a setting inspired by the musical and whirling dance traditions of Sufism, the so-called mystical branch of Islam. Back then, the militant form of Islam was hardly a ripple on the water. More than 30 years have since passed, but it was all brought back this week by images in the New York Times showing Somali Sufis gathered around a campfire singing and chanting, much as we did in the […]

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