Les Annales de l'Autre Islam, n° 5: Islam des Kurdes
Martin van Bruinessen
Inalco – Erism
The islamisation of Kurdistan began early, and such urban centres as Cizre, Erbil and Amid (Diyarbakir) soon were integrated into the world of Islande civilisation. Most of Kurdistan, however, being mountainous, always remained peripheral and maintained an ambivalent relationship with orthodox Islam. On the one hand, some centres of orthodox Islande learning emerged in even the most isolated places. On the other hand, it was in this physical environment that heterodox religious communities could survive longest and that groups and individuals that were persecuted for political or religious reasons sought refuge. (And, as elsewhere, political dissent and religious heterodoxy often went hand in hand).
Thus Kurdistan paradoxically became at once a centre of strict Sunni orthodoxy (adhering to the Shafici school of law rather than the more flexible Hanefi school that was adopted by most ...