The Azami are an ethnoreligious group associated with the Draconis Combine. Descendants of North African Muslim tribes, including the Tuareg, Hausas and Fula peoples, the Azami trace their origin to the twenty-first century. A viral epidemic was ravaging the African continent, one capable of congealing all the blood in the human body into a thick, dry paste in under an hour, and a new wave of Shi'ite evangelism was spreading out from Iran. In the wake of the devastation, the survivors banded together, their tribal identities merging together and their newfound Shi'ism altered with the addition of a Khawarij tenet that the Iman az-Zaman could be any believer. In the twenty-fifth century, the Azami became the first Muslim people to leave Terra, settling on nearby worlds like Markab and Albalii.
Unfortunately, the Azami worlds lay within the growing reach of the Draconis Combine, and in the twenty-sixth century the ruling Von Rohrs family ordered military invasions to conquer their planets. Their plans were stymied however by the unexpected fierce resistance of the Azami and the even more unexpected reappearance of the Terran virus which had lain dormant in their blood. Though the Azami were immune to the plague which had once brought ruin onto the African continent centuries ago, the Kuritan invaders were not, and entire invasion forces succumbed to the bloody disease. Before additional forces or a cure to the disease could be manufactured to protect Kuritan troops, the Von Rohrses were overthrown in the McAlister Rebellion. Sensing an opportunity, the Azami sent a delegation to Luthien in 2516 to start negotiations for a more peaceful integration with the Dragon.
The Azami were granted full autonomy in exchange for granting the Draconis Combine mineral rights on their planets, serving as border guards in the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery and participating in cross-border raids against its enemies. Under the precept of taqiya, the Azami agreed to adopt the Dictum Honorium so long as the Combine's security services did not investigate their adherence to it too deeply. On worlds and in cities where the Azami hold sway, the Combine has allowed them to continue their religious practices, though elsewhere they will clamp down on such belief systems, while the Azami themselves are quick to root out other Islamic sects from their communities. The Azami were given training as MechWarriors and their own units within the DCMS, known as the Arkab Legions, which specialize in the lightning-quick style of fighting they famously employ. The Azami also have their own intelligence agency, independent from ISF, known as the Saurimat