Durham University - al-Qaeda chiefs follow the dream

June 12, 2008

A study of the reported dreams of many of the best-known al-Qaeda and Taleban leaders carried out by Iain Edgar, a social anthropologist at Durham University, has found that many use the dreams they have to legitimise their actions. Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival last week on the cultural significance of sleeping and dreaming, Dr Edgar said: "Islam is probably the largest night-dream culture in the world today. The night dream is thought to offer a way to metaphysical and divinatory knowledge ... to offer clarity concerning action in this world." He interviewed individuals in the UK, Pakistan, northern Cyprus and Turkey to identify key features of the inspirational night dream.

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