If 80 percent of them were Ismailis then I’d say the world is now a much much better place – but if 80 percent were Wahhabi – well then I would legitimately worry about my fate.
He raises an interesting point: one which underscores the fact that various interpretations of Islam exist.
The Ismailis are non-violent and have been for a long time now. What is almost ironic is that the predecessors of the Nizari Ismailis were the dreaded Assassins of Alamut.
Live quietist Shiites (the Ismailis are, after all, Shiites), they await the arrival of a certain figure to deliver the world from its current state of sin and division. Until then, they blindly follow the teachings of their divinely-appointed hereditary leader (the Imam for the Nizari Ismailis, and the Da’i Mutlaq (Supreme Emissary or Supreme Missionary) for the Bohra Ismailis).
What is also interesting, if not a little sobering, is that whereas most Muslims don’t have anything against the Bohra Ismailis, many Muslims say they do not recognize the modernist Nizari Ismailis as Muslims. But Nizari Ismailism is the form of Islam that is most compatible with the modern world. Take that for what it’s worth.
An example of how modernist Nizari Ismailis are: the Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah (the imam before the current one) banned the hijab for Ismaili women.
It would be nice if Ismailism spread. It would go a long way in helping to ease the clash between Muslims and the West. Because the more fundamentalist Islam spreads, the more the West and modernist Muslims are threatened.