there is a pseudo-secular fantasy that 'sufis' are somehow superior mohammedans. according to the pseudo-secular propaganda industry, all the good stuff in hindu spirituality is in ahem... mystical sufism. so see, mohammedans have nothing to learn from hindus. besides, the absolute height of civilization in 'south asia' is the sufi qawwali. quick, nandita das, make a movie on this fellow!
in reality, sufis were bloodthirsty monsters who forced the killings and conversions of hindus in kashmir centuries ago. and since they are not considered heretics by any mohammedan, they are exactly as ahem... mystical as the average mohammedan.
the only difference is that sufis are the original whirling dervishes, who get into some kind of trance and swirl around, to the great mirth of the limeys who first observed them. i am sure the fact that afghanistan has always had poppies is somehow correlated to the whirling and swirling and trances.
and what's with 'spiritual leadership'? how can a guy who calls for war and killing be 'spiritual'? or is this another word like 'secular' which means the very opposite of what it says? like, shouldn't this sufi mohammed be called the 'imperial leader' or 'intolerant leader' or something? 'spiritual' hardly seems to describe this fellow.
btw, he is the guy who marched into afghanistan with 10,000 pakistani jihadis after the US invasion. soon thereafter he turned tail and ran back with barely a few hundred of them in tow. the others had been turned into hamburger by the americans.
and his friend the firebrand 'spiritual leader' of the red mosque tried to escape by wearing a burqa and running out with his wife and daughter during the successful siege! glad they think women are good for one thing at least -- that is to provide burqas.
yup, conquering heroes indeed.
incidentally, the one true certified military genius in the whole afpak region was the great tajik commander of afghanistan's Northern Alliance, ahmed shah massoud. what a guy! he held off the entire might of the soviet army from his perch in the panjshir valley. not surprisingly, he was not so ostentatiously religious, either. of course, the taliban bumped him off on 9/10 (yes, the day before 9/11/2001) by concealing a bomb in a TV camera. here's a photo of massoud.