Arab Spring as a Factor in the Emergence of Salafi Parties in the Middle East and North Africa


Тimur Khairullin


The article is devoted to the analysis of Salafi islamism. Conservative Salafi Islamism during the events of the Arab spring received a new development. In particular, the fall of authoritarian regimes and the beginning of the democratic process in the Middle East and North Africa led to the creation of Salafi political parties. Salafi Islamism used to reject the idea of creation of political parties to fight for power. It is known for its doctrinal intransigence and strong condemnation of any Islamist groups and movements that do not share its religious views. Salafists saw politics as a tool for splitting Muslims. However, in a favorable political environment, the Salafists believed that they would be able to defend their legal status and gain some privileges by participating in parliamentary elections. United with moderate Islamists, the Salafists managed to achieve the desired results at first. However, financial and diplomatic pressure from Saudi Arabia forced Salafi parties to withdraw support from moderate Islamists, which led to a weakening of Islamist movements in general. Moreover, the creation of parties has deepened internal divisions within the Salafi movements. In particular, there were supporters among the Salafists who defended the combination of student and political activities against those who considered participation in the political struggle as a temporary tactical action. The result of the disagreement was the emergence of young reformists, which began to see participation in politics as a tool for strengthening the position of the Salafi movement.


Salafism, Arab spring, Islamism, Saudi Arabia, Arab region, instability




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