People gather during a Lyon vigil for Charlie Hebdo victims. How about Mecca next? (AFP/Getty Images)

Can History Repeat Itself? Muslims Have Battled Extremists Before

Within Islam there is a long history of the mainstream subduing extremist forces. Hassan ibn Sabbah was an extremist who gathered followers and created a hit list and then assassinated all those with whom he disagreed. His followers were called “hashishin” because they smoked hash. But that did not prevent them from being highly capable hit men. Our English word assassin comes from Hassan Ibn Sabbah’s group.

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