The History and Legacy of the Conservative Salafi Branch within Sunni Islam
(Kindle Edition)

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*Includes pictures
*Includes quotes from the Koran and Hadith
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

“It's very simple. We want sharia. Sharia in economy, in politics, in judiciary, in our borders and our foreign relations.” - Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, the son of Omar Abdel-Rahman, Time. October 8, 2012[

Beginning in 2010, much of the Middle East, including Egypt, was swept up by a series of revolutions later referred to as the Arab Spring. The wave of riots and demonstrations – some violent, some not, but all impactful and sizeable – began in Tunisia before spreading like wildfire to neighboring countries in Northern Africa and eventually into the Arabian Peninsula, including Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain. Though it eventually petered out by mid-2012, the Arab Spring led to the toppling of long-reigning monarchs and regimes, free elections, and attempts to build republics based on democratic principles.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests of 2010 and 2011, the world witnessed the rise of political groups in the Middle East who associated themselves with a movement called Salafism, such as the Nour (“Light”) Party in Egypt. Prior to these popular uprisings, the Salafis were rather marginalized groups within the spectrum of Islam and, in many cases, did not share a cohesive and agreed upon set of beliefs that clearly differed from what many call “mainstream Islam.” Prior to the Arab Spring, different Muslim religious scholars and leaders had emerged and led what they believed to be Salafi movements to return Muslims back to the origins of the religion. The Arab Spring protests did fuel the overthrow of some long-term dictators, start civil war in other nations, and impress upon the world the power of digital communications. Another important outcome of these events was the opening of a space for religiously motivated social and political movements that had been feared and repressed for many years in the Middle East, particularly by autocratic rulers that arose during the post-colonialism fallout in the region.

The term “Salaf’ or “Salafism” is becoming more mainstream and associated with many unfortunate events, such as the spread of a violent ideology in the Middle East, South Central Asia, Europe, and North America because the perpetrators of violence claim to have some wholly different understanding of Islam than the rest of the world’s Muslims. As such, the media and its consumers have begun to conflate and confuse the term Salafism with extremist or radical Islam, terrorism, Islamist, and a whole slate of other terms used to negatively label the entire religion. The problem is that the users of these terms in the media and beyond generally do not bother defining what it means to be a “Salafi” and how its many manifestations differ country to country and person to person within a given time and context. This is true for nearly all religions in most regards, because to believe something about a religion is to hold a subjective perspective: the religion is what you make of it or what others tell you to make of it.

So what is Salafism? “The word salaf means predecessors, and in the Islamic context, it usually refers to the period of the Prophet, his Companions, and their successors.” In general, a Salafi refers to someone who claims to follow a particular understanding of the Salaf and claims to comprehend an authoritative sense of Islam — one that espouses a belief that their Islam is the original Islam in the way it was practiced and meant to be practiced at the beginning of the religion. Most Salafis claim to focus their religious interpretation on the Qur’an’s words and vary on the level of importance given to the Hadith. Whether their claim to boast a more accurate and traditional belief in the religion is true or not is debated among believers, but the fact remains that the term’s usage is on the rise.

AuthorCharles River Editors
BindingKindle Edition
FormatKindle eBook
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages62
Product GroupeBooks
Publication Date2017-04-30
PublisherCharles River Editors
Release Date2017-04-30
StudioCharles River Editors
Sales Rank230631

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