New York University Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Professor Bernard Haykel, whose research explores Islamic law and political/social history, is available for comment on the significance of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq. Haykel’s Revival and Reform in Islam: The Legacy of Muhammad al-Shawkani (Cambridge University Press, 2003) is both an intellectual biography of Muhammad al-Shawkani (d. 1834) and a history of a vital transitional period in Yemeni history. Haykel is currently studying the history of the Salafi movement in Saudi Arabia (a.k.a. the Wahhabiyya), starting in the early 1960s, which is when the Saudi government established major Islamic institutions in the kingdom geared to disseminating Salafi teachings.
Reporters interested in speaking with him should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com.