Thursday, July 29, 2010

Islam may not be a cult but cult-like Islam is flourishing
Writes Damian Thompson
My rough and ready definition of a typical cult involves a charismatic leader, radical teachings that tend to alienate adherents from their friends and families, and therefore a high degree of tension between the group and the surrounding environment.
Yes but be careful: Matthew 10.
But some of this applies to Benedictine monasteries and the Church of England’s Alpha Course, too, so let’s not get too holier-than-thou about cults. Also, cult-like behaviour needn’t be overtly religious at all: think of the gurning faces of the bedsit activists trying to sell you Trotskyist newspapers on Tottenham Court road, or the Buddha-like gaze of the woman from HR as she repeats the company mantras.

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