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general term describing former Muslims who, while initially supporting the authority of Ali ibn Abi Talib, then later rejected his leadership

Kharijites were a movement during the early years of Islam. This movement has no followers today. At first they accepted the rule of Ali, but rejected him to later support the view that Abu Bakr, and his successors were the rightful Caliphs. The only group of Kharijites that still exists are the Ibadi. The Ibadi do not consider themselves to be Kharijite. Most Ibadis live in Oman. Smaller numbers live in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Zanzibar.

Sometimes, the term Kharijite (or Neo-Kharijite) is also used for some Islamic terrorist groups. Examples of such groups are the Groupe islamique armé in Algeria, or the Takfir wal-Hijra in Egypt.