CHAPTER
 
Wahhabism
in Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, ed, Encyclopedia of Religion and War (New York: Berkshire/Routledge, 2003), pp 447-49
Wahhabism is the name given by outsiders (adherents call themselves nluwnlzlzidull, meaning "unitarians") to a radical Islamic reform movement in Sunni Islam (the branch of Islam followed by 90 percent of the world's Muslims) that began in mid-eighteenth-century Arabia. Today it forms the ideological basis of the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism denotes an ultraconservative brand of Islam that is literalist, rigid, and exclusivist. Since the 1970s, Wahhabism has not been confined to Saudi Arabia alone, as the Kingdom has exported it to the rest of the world, particularly the conflict-ridden Muslim regions of South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. A number of extremist Islamic movements and organizations, including al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, adhere to the puritanical Wahhabi doctrine. Full Text