Research Papers

Beyond extremism: A promising approach to reducing Salafi influence

Salafism, a Sunni interpretation of Islam, which is often associated with extremism, also presents challenges to social development goals. Salafism’s enduring appeal remains enigmatic; its perceived authenticity seems to contribute to its popularity. This warrants a nuanced understanding of its theology. Our paper looks at globalization’s role and compares Salafism with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Well-funded Salafis can offer religious services effectively, and this increases their influence. We propose reducing adherence to their theology by promoting non-Salafi study circles and endorsing denominationalization. Treating Salafis just as another Sunni group could prove effective in curbing their influence, without directly confronting them.

Read time: 25 MIN.
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27.11.2023

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Beyond extremism:

A promising approach to reducing Salafi influence

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