The Ikhwanization of the Salafis: Piety in the Politics of Egypt and Kuwait
This article discusses how to make sense of the seeming paradox of the hitherto apolitical salafis forming parties and joining the competitive political scene.
This article discusses how to make sense of the seeming paradox of the hitherto apolitical salafis forming parties and joining the competitive political scene. A dominant salafi attitude has been that Islam dictates for the ordinary believer absolute obedience to the ruler, the wali al-amr, even when that ruler is a less-than-pious Muslim and may deviate from the word of God. At the outset of the movement that led to the fall of Husni Mubarak, this attitude led salafis openly to criticize the demonstrations as impious rebellion against the wali al-amr. Yet, as the new political set-up after the revolution took shape, large segments of the salafi movement exhibited a newfound belief in the legitimacy of competition for elected political power. The article argues that Salafism best can be seen as a movement for moral purity and individual piety in a rapidly changing society, much akin to the early Muslim Brothers and to the early beginnings of the Egyptian Islamic student movement of the 1970s. And once the step into active political engagement is taken, the salafis come to deal with strong forces pushing them along the path earlier traversed by the Muslim Brothers, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, leading to a more pragmatic understanding of what it means to further the cause of Islam.
Read the article here!
Published May 20, 2014 10:10 AM - Last modified Nov. 26, 2019 10:49 AM