Here Come The Salafis

Sep 12 2012 @ 6:12pm

Though it's not yet clear exactly who perpetrated the deadly attack in Libya, Christian Caryl notes a similarity between the anti-film protests in Libya and Egypt:

The rioters in both cases come from the region's burgeoning Salafi movement, and the Salafis have been in the headlines a lot lately. In Libya, over the past few months, they've been challenging the recently elected government by demolishing ancient Sufi shrines, which they deem to be insufficiently Islamic. In Tunisia, they've been attacking businesses that sell alcohol and instigating nasty social media campaigns about the country's female competitors in the Olympics. In Syria's civil war, there are increasing reports that the opposition's wealthy Gulf financiers have been channeling cash to Salafi groups, whose strict interpretation of Islam is considered close to the puritanical Wahhabism of the Saudis and others. Lately Salafi groups have been gaining fresh prominence in parts of the Islamic world — from Mali to Lebanon, from Kashmir to Russia's North Caucasus

Caryl goes on to explore some of the debate over what kind of influence they might play, cautioning that not all Salafis are created militant.