Egyptian Salafism in Revolution

Journal of Islamic Studies 25 (1):33-54 (2014)

The political breakthrough of Salafism during and after the revolts in the Arab world in 2011–12 has challenged established descriptions of Salafism as an apolitical form of Islamic activism. Nowhere is the political breakthrough clearer than in Egypt where, in 2011–12, three Salafi parties contested the first free elections in decades. This article charts the impact that entry into politics has had on Egyptian Salafism, and how it has related to other political actors. We conclude that despite homogeneity on the ideological and theological level, Salafism as a social movement in Egypt presents several different faces, and that it is just as prone to the influence of the political context as other social and religious movements. Salafism has proven remarkably flexible in its adaptation to the new political reality in Egypt—something that contradicts established accounts that categorize it as a rigid, theology-focused movement
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DOI 10.1093/jis/ett056
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