Middle east Salafism's influence and the radicalization of Muslim communities in Europe

  • Salafism is first and foremost a method for the search of the religious truth; a desire to practice Islam exactly as it was revealed by the Prophet. It is a religious method whose influence has spread throughout the Arab world and also in Europe, thanks to the support received from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, which have helped expand this peculiar vision of Islam that is very close to Wahhabism. Its influence is on the rise and it has successfully impregnated several Islamist movements, including some sectors of the Muslim Brotherhoods. In Europe, it has become a powerful magnet for generations of young Muslims who suffer identity problems, reject European citizenship, and use their cultural alienation to justify the adoption of a form of universal Islam stripped of its heritage of traditions and adaptable to all societies. Although in principle Salafism is apolitical and opposes violence, it preaches an Islam that calls for cultural rupture with Europe. Moreover, its principles and textual references coincide with those of fighting Salafism and its followers have therefore become the preferred targets of jihadi recruiters. The fighting version of Salafism has also become the core ideology of the global jihadism sponsored by al-Qa'ida and the radical utopia of Abdallah Azzam. This ideology, aided by the proselytizing work of radical clerics, has led to the emergence in Europe of small groups with the capability to carry out independent terrorist strikes. Europe is no longer a mere logistics base for international jihadism, but a scenario for terrorist action. In the past, Islamist networks operating in Europe restricted their activities to providing logistical support for the cells that planned attacks in other parts of the world. The destruction of its operations base in Afghanistan has caused a transformation of the al-Qa'ida network, which is no longer an organized structure but a trademark or label conferring even greater impact on actions undertaken by local groups. Europe is facing a long term threat that will require not only measures to ensure appropriate integration of its Muslim communities, but also decisive action to confront an ideology that has declared a global war against the West.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Juan Jose Escobar Stemmann
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2009/05/11
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Contributing Corporation:The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM) Herzliya, Israel
Release Date:2009/05/11
Juan Jose Escobar Stemmann is a Diplomat. He is currently the Deputy Head of Mission in the Spanish Embassy in Jordan. He has previously served in Bulgaria, Nicaragua, and Morocco. He also was Head of Unit for Euro-Mediterranean Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. He was a lecturer on Islamic movements in North Africa in the Instituto Gutierrez Mellado for Defence Studies in Madrid. His publications include "Islamic Movements in the Muslim world" in Perspectivas Exteriores (2003), edited by FRIDE, Politica Exterior, and Instituto Elcano. He is a frequent collaborator of the magazine Politica Exterior, where he has written many articles about political Islam and the process of democratization in different Arab countries. He has also published several articles about the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in different publications such as Dialogo Mediterraneo. His main research interests are Islamism, democratization in the Arab world, and terrorism. He has participated in several seminars organized by the Center of Defence Studies in the Spanish Ministry of Defence and in different working groups in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He intends to publish a book next year on political Islam in the Arab world.
Source:MERIA Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, Sept. 2006, S. 1-14. - http://www.e-prism.org/aboutprism.html
Dewey Decimal Classification:2 Religion / 29 Andere Religionen / 290 Andere Religionen
Sammlungen:JudaicaDoc | J├╝dische Studien und Israel-Studien / Israel
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht