Muslim Sects

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 11: Islamic Sects and Splinters


  • Largest sect
  • Leader is a caliph elected from among the people
  • This group systematized Shari’a law
  • Maintains the relative uniformity of Muslim practice throughout the world


  • Leader is an imam who is direct descendant of Muhammed
  • Has a messianic figure of sorts, the twelfth imam
  • Shari’a law a governmental absolute–leading to harsh intolerances (even of Sunni’s) within Shi’ite governments


  • Mystic sect that draws from Buddhism
  • Believes in simplicity, meditation, denial of self
  • Pantheistic
  • Follow an allegorical or symbolic interpretation of the Qur’an

There are numerous other, smaller sects that make up about 2% of the worldwide Muslim population. Many of these sects are rejected by the larger sects as being cultish, not Orthodox Islam.

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

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