Thursday, June 19, 2008

Salafists Ascendant in the Arab World...

Khalil Al-Anani at Brookings, here
"....More alarming is the possibility that the ascendance of conservative Salafis would polarise the Arab world. Even if they don't pose an immediate threat to governments, Salafis are bound to alienate all other religious and political groups. Should this happen, violent conservatism, or jihad-based Salafism, may follow. The "literal" interpretations of religion, which Salafis seem quite skilled at, could combine with the militant zeal of well-organised jihad groups, and the mixture could be lethal. This may already be happening in countries such as Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where "conventional" Salafi groups are starting to dabble in political and controversial issues, including the hijab (veil), the mixing of sexes, and the rules of political succession. Salafis were also quite impressed by Hizbullah's recent show of force in Beirut..."

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