During the period post the death of Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah bless him), the Kharijite elements in Iraq gathered and appointed al-Mustawrid ibn ‘Ullafa as their “Amir ul Mumineen”. With their gang of about 300 men they went about spreading their discord. At a critical point in the revolt, al-Mustawrid is supposed to have sent a letter to the opposing commander. This letter outlines the early Kharijite creed with perfect clarity:
We seek vengeance on behalf of our people for tyranny in judgement, failure to enforce the Qur’anic punishments [for wrongdoing] and monopolising the revenues [which belong to the Muslims as a whole]. I summon you to the Book of God, Almighty and Glorious, and the example (sunna) of His prophet and the government of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. I also call upon you to disavow ‘Uthman and ‘Ali for their innovations in religion and their abandonment of the judgement of the Book. If you accept, you will have come to your senses. If not, we will have run out of excuses for you; we will permit war against you and will reject you for your disgraceful acts.
[Tabari, XVIII, 46]
The remarkable aspect of this letter is the perfect word to word resemblance of this with the rhetoric of the modern day Takfiri Wahhabis (the terrorist sub-cult in specific, with their puberty hitting gang affiliates in different parts of the Muslim world electing their own “Amir ul Mumineen” for their little circle of members). Their rebellion and dissent, takfirism and sins being exaggerated and extended towards takfir of Muslims, their supposed fight against tyranny and victim hood rhetoric, their self righteous calls towards Quran and Sunnah, implemention of shariah, asceticism and piety-ness, their supposed opposition against innovations and their delusions of being the mujaheddin with all the fancy titles they label themselves with.
The common Muslims who do not have a deeper level of understanding and ability to distinguish rhetoric from reality, sometimes fall for these propaganda and outward show of piety. They must seek warning from the narrations on the traits of the khawarij and not fall for such elements:
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Some young and foolish people will come at the end of time who will speak from the best words of mankind, but their faith will not go beyond their throats“. [Sahih al-Bukhari]