How moderate Barelvis turned to radical Islam in Pakistan

I always leaned towards the Barelvi school of Sunni Islam for its moderate, less dogmatic and much more empathetic views. In comparison to Barelvism, the Deobandi School appeared rigid, more commanding and less compromising on daily rituals.

Barelvi Islam

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Tableeghi Jamaat, for instance, a Deobandi organisation, focused so much on the five daily prayers that I thought Islam was reduced to prayers in the mosque alone rather than a comprehensive way of life, a universal doctrine. Barelvis, on the other hand, zeroed in on Islamic mysticism and Sufi orders offering a personal and spiritual connection with the Creator. Dogma in their perspective had its own significance, no doubt, but the ideal of love superseded every other virtue. The theological differences between the two did not sway me one way or the other. I actually found them to be trivial and, in many ways, uncalled for.

I thought these divisions pervaded the entire Islamic world. However, a little research disclosed the two groups are limited to the Subcontinent alone.

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