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Listen: Hugh Kennedy—what is the caliphate?

The historian speaks to Prospect's Arts and Books Editor Sameer Rahim

By Sameer Rahim  

Two people appeal to a judge in an artwork set during the caliphate. The piece is by Yahyâ ibn Mahmûd al-Wâsitî

In 2014 Islamic State declared itself to be a caliphate. But what authority did they have? And what exactly is a caliphate? Hugh Kennedy—one of the leading historians of the Islamic world—has spent a lifetime studying the subject. He spoke to Prospect’s Arts and Books Editor Sameer Rahim about a form of government that…

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