Today respected clerics exist here and there, but many Muslims see the absence of a single authority as one source of the weakness and paucity of Islamic vision in the Muslim world today. In an era when the West has repeatedly invaded Muslim countries, overthrown their leaderships, and commandeered their economic and energy sources over much of the 20th century, the weakness and lack of leadership in the Muslim world remains a vivid concern to Muslims. Thus when the term "caliphate" is invoked, it touches a chord in the historical sensibilities of many.
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