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Salafism: The Greatest Weapon Against Extremism and Terrorism

It is nearly absolute conventional wisdom which has been promoted from the very top of political leadership, policy makers, and strategists of think tanks and their unholy alliance with tabloid journalists throughout the media that the engine for modern day terrorism and the ideological fuel of extremism is the commonly deemed “most radical version” of Islam i.e. wahhabism ( a name that was politically invented by the british in order to label anyone who challanged the moral corruption of their colonial occupation by means of terrorism, genocide, etc).

What we have cited below will not only repel this academic dishonesty at the very least but will as well repell one of the most common, defunct, and akward views about the adherents to Salafism that is voiced among Islam’s antagonists  like

“The primary audience of such projects (meaning disseminating salafi thought) is undoubtedly young and educated Muslims

and

“But while the oratory of the Salafis might not attract many people to their world view it is enough to energise young Sunni Iraqis to derail efforts to fostering .”

What is stated below clearly lays the above two views about salafism into the pits of academic dishonesty and most likely, pure political deception.

Adds Gilles Kepel, author of The for Muslim Minds: and the West, about Zarqawi: “The pamphlets of Abu Musab al–Zarqawi, now circulating in , similarly view the Ottoman failure to capture Vienna in the siege of 1683 as a crucial setback in the Muslim effort to Islamicise Europe – one they attribute to contemporaneous Shi’a of the Ottomans in . For such people, the reconquest of Europe is the completion of a centuries–long task.”

But it’s not as if all is lost. There are many positives. The strongest, according to some, coming from the very fact that in a strict religious interpretation religious Salafism itself might be the biggest bulwark against .

According to a recent report issued by the International Crisis Group (ICG) titled “Why Salafism and Terrorsim mostly do not mix”, the strictest Salafis in Indonesia are religious and not political activists. The report lists several Indonesian Salafi organizations like the at-Turath network, the Indonesian Council of Propagation, the Institute for Islamic Sciences and Arabic etc

It also goes onto say that for genuine Salafis it is not allowable to organize a rebellion against a Muslim state, no matter how dictatorial or unjust it may be. It’s because of this that the traditional Salafis are opposed to the so called Salafi movements like the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Darul movement because they split Muslim societies by promoting rebellion against the Indonesian state. They also deflect attention from the actual study of the besides indulging in innovative practices like oath-taking to a leader (a practice indulged in by Osama Bin Laden as well) which is considered un-Salafi.

The ICG report says that whereas people like Muklas, one of the Bali bombers, claim to be salafi they don’t belong to a broad based movement and therefore don’t pose the same security risk as they are sometimes said to be.

The ICG goes on to argue: “Pure Salafis are a more potent barrier against jihadis like the JI than pluralist or moderate muslims. If Salafi jihadis believe they are making bombs to destroy the enemies of , strict Salafis may have more success in convincing them, using the same texts, that their interpretation is wrong.”

What a profound and stark reality that is inevitably the case and situation of salafiyyah (aka salafism, wahhabism). Among other reflections that we have pertaining to this tabloid journalism of marketing salafism as extremism and only bears root in the young and the lame are the following comments.

  • Among the Muslims, we have found in the literary works of people who are salafis to be the most contemplative, far reaching, and provide in-depth analysis of any subject that salafis expound upon as well as providing more than necessary ample evidences of a corpus of classical scholars of the various madhaabs (schools of thought) before and after the codification of the final four (of the existing madhaabs) as opposed to those who speak about the same topic who are not salafi. And example of this is the concept of extremism. A scholar of Kuwait has mentioend in his master thesis that regarding the topic of extremism and takfeer, he found that virtually all of those who speak on the topic of extremism spoke of it from the avenue of one’s emotional link to the matter or their personal constitutions and of the vast material that he found on the subject, virtually nothing was given regarding the knowledge based aspects of extremism, like what is extremism, how it is viewed by certain people, what constitutes extremism to certain people, how is it defined in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, etc.
  •  When after dealing with salafis for years, we have found that most of them are more older as well as genuinely educated.
  •  Excluding personal experience to the side, why is it that from the statements of the general and average lay person that when they have come across articles refuting extremism and terrorism, they have found the literature of the salafis on this topic to be the most effective, providing the most insight, and details in a scholastic way the phenomenon, history, atrociousness of terrorism and extremism. For example, check this link

http://www.pro-pakistan.com/2008/07/07/refuting-terrorism-zaid-hamid/

to see how someone who is not salafi refutes terrorism. As for those who are salafi, then one can simply refer to this site and the site recommendations in the blogroll for a refutation of terrorism provided for by salafis.

As for all of those Muslims who deem themselves to be “moderate” and “modernists” and “pluaralists” and “secularists” and whatever label of appeasement they wish to ascribe themselves with, such people hve not, cannot, and will not be able to address the phenomenon of extremism and terrorism. These adherents to these strange pseudo humanistic philosophies are virtually intellectually indept to say the least regarding the subject. This of course comes as no surprise for these heretical groups cannot even grasp the fundamentals of the religion they claim to profess (Islam) much less tackle the basis of what is deemed as “Islamofascism” or “Islamic fundamentalism”.