Killing from Qur'anic Piety: Tamerlane's Living Legacy

Osama bin Laden was far from the first jihadist to kill infidels as an expression of religious piety. This years marks the 600th anniversary of the death of Tamerlane (Timur Lang; 'Timur the Lame', d. 1405), or Amir Timur  ('Timur' signifies 'Iron' in Turkish). Osama lacks both Tamerlane's sophisticated (for his time) military forces and his brilliance as a strategist. But both are or were pious Muslims who paid homage to religious leaders, and both had the goal of making jihad a global force. Santayana was correct when he told us that those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Tamerlane was born at Kash (Shahr—i—Sebz, the 'Green City') in Transoxiana (some 50 miles south of Samarkand, in modern Uzbekistan), on April 8 (or 11), 1336 C.E.  Amir Turghay, his father, was chief of the Gurgan or Chagtai branch of the Barlas Turks. By age 34 (1369/70), Timur had killed his major rival (Mir Husain), becoming the pre—eminent ruler of...(Read Full Article)

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