Jihadi Salafism – Criminology Research Paper


The increased attack by Islamic extremists has increased a concern into the study of the Islamic brotherhood ideologies (Wimhurst, 2016). However, there exist numerous Islamic groups that subscribe into the Islamic brotherhood, yet their strategies and ideologies differ. For instance, the ideologies of ISIS, Islamism and Salafism all differ, yet all subscribe to the Salafism ideologies. Salafism is considered as a revivalist Sunni Muslim group which believes that Muslims should shed their traditional theological believes and adopt their religious guidance from sources (Maher, 2016). According to this movement, their theological guidance should come from the last words of Prophet Mohammad, who said, “the best way of His community was His generation, then those who followed them”.

Brief History

The history of Salafism dates back to the 8th century before it collapsed and later revived again in the 14th century by Taqi ad-Din Ibn Taymiyyah. Initially, the Salafis, who believe in the original teachings of Prophet Mohammad, were apolitical up to 1980s (Maher, 2016). However, the Salafis integrated with Islamism over the years in order to realize their political ambitions of changing the ways of governance. The group has since employed the tactics of Jihadi and Islamism into a new Jihadi Salafism ideology. The major focus of Salafism was to reintroduce the initial teachings of Prophet Mohammad.

The Jihadi Salafism is similar to an ideology rather than a religion, because just like other ideologies it is a result of industrialization that occurred across Europe in the 19th century, to the growth of modernity (Kriebel, 2011). According to the author, Jihadi Salafism is linked to the dislocation and turbulence that resulted from globalization, which introduced great changes in the political, economic and social aspects of life. For example, the forced civilization in the British India, this altered the way in which the Islamic teachings were interpreted.

In agreement with Kriebel (2011), Maher (2016) believes that though the events of Jihadi Salafism date back to the theologian Ibn Taymiyya (1328 A.D revival of Salafism), in the medieval era, it is a modern ideology. According to the author, the Jihadi Salafism is a current phenomenon developed in response to the modern developments that have occurred over the past 150 years. Though there have been other quiet and activist strains of extremism, the Jihadi Salafism rose in the 1990s and this coincided with the decline in the other strains of extremism. The movement was sparked by the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, the suspension of the democracy in Algeria, the Iraq wars and the current conflicts being witnessed in Syria.

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