Despite their success, the Fatimids made for odd conquerers. Followers of an esoteric, revelation-centric branch of Islam analogous to modern Sufism, they were among the most tolerant military dictators the world has ever known. Although they vanquished their enemies, they never called themselves sultan or emir, sticking with the more benign “caliph”: successor, as in successor to Mohammed, or spiritual leader. And although they were – as you would expect – quite devout, they never had much success converting many of their subjects, nor did they ever really seem to try, allowing other religions to practise and flourish, particularly in Cairo.
Read at the source: The Globe and Mail / David Berry / March 22, 2018