RECOMMENDED READING: “What Is The Salafist Ideology?”


The Israpundit blog has published an interview with scholar Mamoun Fandy titled “”What is the Salafist Ideology.” The interview deals extensively with the Muslim Brotherhood and begins:

Dr. Mamoun Fandy is a senior fellow at the Baker Institute and a specialist on Middle East politics, as well as a professor of Arab politics at the Near-East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. In this interview, he discusses the Salafist ideology and its more radical roots in the Muslim Brotherhood and teachings of Sayyid Qutb. Fandy explains how these extreme movements have become more mainstream over time. ‘If you look at Al Qaeda today in the Arab and Muslim world, it has moved from an extreme to mainstream,’ he says. ‘Most young people think being affiliated with Al Qaeda is cool. It is something to be proud of. They’re wearing T-shirts with pictures of Osama on it.’ This interview was conducted on Oct. 18, 2004.

What is Salafism?

The word salafi means the past, the previous generations, if you will. So Salafis are those people who believe in the teachings of Islam based on the dictates of the previous generation. And by the previous generations, they mean the generations of the followers of the prophet who came after him, in the eighth century. So that’s the literal translation of it; that those who subscribe to the notion of Salafism are those who are unhappy with the interpretation of Islam today, and they want to go to the origins of Islam and what was intended to be in the time of the prophet and his companions.

And the role that the seventh-century caliphate plays in Salafism — can you explain?

The main idea is that the world is divided into two places, and it occurs in even the speeches of bin Laden today. It is made of the world of Islam and the world of war, that of Islam or that of the house of Islam and the house of war.

So those within Islam are the ones within the world of peace, and the rest is in the world of war. So the caliphate means that all Muslims throughout the world are under one leader, the caliph — or the khalifa, in Arabic — who is the commander of the faithful. They refer to him as the commander of the faithful, whose word would go forth and influence the views of Muslims of the world around.

Read the rest here.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch wishes to remind readers that a posting of this type does not suggest that we endorse every viewpoint represented but rather that we feel the information is, by and large, worthy of note.

A post from May 15 recommended an article by scholar Dr. Daniel Pipes titled “Islam v. Islamism” that makes the critically important distinction between the religion of Islam and Islamism  which Dr. Pipes aptly defined in a 1998 article as ‘an effort to turn Islam, a religion and civilization, into an ideology.” 

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