organization:salafist

  • Salafists and Sectarianism: Twitter and Communal Conflict in the Middle East | Geneive Abdo
    http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/03/salafism-sectarianism-social-media

    Although actors on both sides are driving this conflict, it is today’s Salafists who are proving to be the dominant standard-bearers of anti-Shi‘a discourse—not taking into account the violent jihadists, whose popular appeal and staying power have yet to be demonstrated despite some spectacular and headline-grabbing territorial gains and terrorist acts. The Salafist movement has shown itself adroit at exploiting opportunities to advance its rhetorical and theological positions amid the religious re-examination and outright contestation among religious subgroups sparked by the recent Arab uprisings and their successful challenge to existing institutions of power in the region.

    […]

    In her new paper “Salafists and Sectarianism: Twitter and Communal Conflict in the Middle East,” Geneive Abdo shows that chief among the central threads of Salafist discourse in Arabic is an abiding belief that the Shi‘a are not real Muslims, and are out to extinguish Sunni believers who, in the Salafist view, are the only true Muslims. This paper will also suggest ways in which events on the ground, whether major battles in the Syrian war or the mere arrest of a Sunni leader, provide fodder for religious intolerance in the Twitter sphere, which then can exacerbate religious strife on the ground. Any doubts about the power of social media, including Twitter and YouTube, to engage and mobilize forces for religious struggle should have been dispelled by the recent recruitment and propaganda successes of the militant Sunnis of the Islamic State.

    Le document PDF:
    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Papers/2015/03/26-sectarianism-salafism-social-media-abdo/Abdo-Paper_Final_Web.pdf?la=en

    • Although much media focus and attention is devoted to the radical jihadists, those Salafists who do not condone violence also have an important role in the future of destabilizing the Middle East.

      In the case of some Salafists featured in this study, the government of Saudi Arabia provides them with a home and with relative security.

      Through Twitter feeds, the religious scholars fea- tured in this study attempt to influence events on the ground in real time by mobilizing their follow- ers and trying to spread intolerant and xenophobic rhetoric about the Shi’a, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Syrian regime. The success or failure of this effort is difficult to assess with any precision. However, a review of their impact within the social media uni- verse, as measured by such indicators as the num- ber of followers and the frequency of re-tweets, pro- vides evidence of their importance. And, like any form of media, it can be assumed that at least some of their followers were convinced by these messag- es. Twitter has become one of their preferred out- lets for disseminating their views, allowing them to reach audiences at unprecedented levels.


  • Army arrests son of Salafist leader in north Lebanon
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Dec-12/280805-shahal-says-army-arrested-his-son-in-tripoli.ashx

    The Lebanese Army arrested the son of prominent sheikh Dai al-Islam al-Shahal, the founder of the Salafist Movement in north Lebanon, a security source said Friday.

    The source told The Daily Star that an Army Intelligence patrol arrested Jaafar Shahal around midnight in the neighborhood of Zahrieh in the northern port city of Tripoli.

    The Tripoli-based Dai al-Shahal, himself wanted by authorities for weapons possession, has acknowledged the arrest.

    Shahal said in remarks published last month that the arrest warrant against him belittled the entire Sunni community and would have consequences.



  • Fears as Islamist fighters flock to Lebanon | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Mar-22/251028-fears-as-islamist-fighters-flock-to-lebanon.ashx#axzz2wiVCkdoS

    According to information from Salafist activist sources in north Lebanon, a large number of Lebanese fighters from #Jund_al-Sham and their families – believed to number around 1,000 – survived a secondary Syrian army ambush near the border area of Bqaiaa.

    Locals fear that the presence of Syrian fighters along with defeated Lebanese militants could stoke sectarian tensions at a time when the country’s northern capital, #Tripoli, is already the stage for heavy clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

    When contacted by The Daily Star, several residents said that they were very afraid of the possible consequences but were too scared to elaborate further.

    North Lebanon residents fear that fighters returning from Syria will have been imbued with radical, fundamentalist beliefs, gained extensive fighting experience in the field and will possess a readiness to both kill and die for their cause. Jund al-Sham is close to the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Nusra Front and looks down upon sheikhs who call for moderation.

    #Liban #al_qaida


  • Egyptians under pressure to vote ’yes’ in referendum on constitution | The Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/12/egyptians-pressure-vote-yes-referendum-constitution?CMP=twt_gu

    The yes campaign is backed by an unlikely coalition of secular parties, pro-army businessmen – and ultra-conservative Islamists from the Salafist al-Nour party, former allies of Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Supporters hope a yes vote will pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections – the first step in a plan that they say will re-establish economic and political stability.

    Sur Orient XXI
    http://orientxxi.info/magazine/la-constitution-egyptienne-est,0444
    http://orientxxi.info/magazine/batailles-autour-de-la,0423

    #Egypte #Constitution


  • Le parti salafiste Al Nour s’oppose à un article sur l’égalité entre hommes et femmes dans la Constitution égyptienne - Ahram Online

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/85660.aspx

    The Salafist Nour Party objects to an article in the draft constitution which defines equality between men and women. (...)
    However, Abdel-Maaboud said his party objected to the phrasing as it would open the door for a women’s quota in parliament, which it is against.
    “We cannot have a quota for every marginalised group,” he remarked.
    The party also believes women’s rights defined in the article should be restricted by Sharia law. Although Article Two of the constitution names the principles of Sharia as the main source of legislation, he said, Nour demands it is also added to Article 11 defining women’s rights so these rights are in accordance with Sharia law.

    #salafistes #AlNour


  • Egypt’s Main Salafist Party May Now Regret Supporting the Military
    http://world.time.com/2013/08/20/after-crackdown-on-islamists-egypts-salafists-may-now-regret-support-for

    A month ago, the Nour Party, the largest political group to emerge from the ultraconservative Salafist movement, was seen as Egypt’s kingmaker when it dramatically joined the military-led ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. They then proceeded to shape the interim government, vetoing a nominee for Prime Minister in the first week after Morsi was removed from power. Now, though, the party’s fortunes have reversed. With the body count hovering over 1,000 following the military-backed regime’s assault on Islamist protests last week, the Nour Party is fast losing its political relevance and could even end up a victim of the military coup it initially supported.

    “They gambled, and obviously they are losing,” says Khalil al-Anani, an expert on Islamist politics and a fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., referring to the Nour Party’s decision to back Morsi’s removal. “The military used them to pass the coup, and they aimed to achieve some political gains, but obviously they are not.” As for those Salafist organizations that sided with Morsi, al-Anani says, “if they not arrested, they will be marginalized and excluded.”



  • David Ignatius: Sorting out the rebel forces in Syria - The Washington Post
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-sorting-out-the-rebel-forces-in-syria/2013/04/02/aaaa0110-9bd3-11e2-9a79-eb5280c81c63_story.html

    The Free Syrian Army has developed a rough “order of battle” that describes these rebel groups, their ideology and sources of funding. This report was shared last week with the State Department.

    ...

    ... rebel sources say there are several [ islamist ] major factions.

    The biggest umbrella group is called the Jabhat al-Tahrir al-Souriya al-Islamiya. It has about 37,000 fighters, drawn from four main subgroups based in different parts of the country. These Saudi-backed groups are not hard-core Islamists but are more militant than the political coalition headed by Sheik Moaz al-Khatib, who last week claimed Syria’s seat in the Arab League.

    The second-largest rebel coalition is more extreme and is dominated by hard-core Salafist Muslims. Its official name — Jabhat al-Islamiya al-Tahrir al-Souriya — is almost identical to that of the Saudi-backed group. Rebel sources count 11 different brigades from around the country that have merged to form this second coalition. Financing comes from wealthy Saudi, Kuwaiti and other Gulf Arab individuals. Rebel sources estimate about 13,000 Salafist fighters are gathered under this second umbrella.

    A third rebel group, known as Ahfad al-Rasoul, is funded by Qatar. It has perhaps 15,000 fighters.

    The most dangerous group in the mix is the Jabhat al-Nusra, which is an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq. By one rebel estimate, it has grown to include perhaps 6,000 fighters. But this group, perhaps fearing that it will be targeted by Western counterterrorism forces, is said to be keeping its head down — and perhaps commingling with the Salafist umbrella group.

    Idriss and his Free Syrian Army command about 50,000 more fighters, rebel sources say.


  • Twelve men to be executed by Libyan militia for allegedly being gay « MasterAdrian’s Weblog
    http://masteradrian.com/2012/11/26/twelve-men-to-be-executed-by-libyan-militia-for-allegedly-being-gay

    Twelve men to be executed by Libyan militia for allegedly being gay
    An extremist Salafist militia in Libya captured twelve men promising to mutilate and kill them for allegedly being gay
    25 November 2012 | By Dan Littauer
    A Libyan militia threatens to mutilate and kill 12 allegedly gay men

    Twelve men face mutilation and execution for allegedly being gay after being captured by an extremist Libyan Islamist militia.

    The twelve men were, apparently, having a private party in Ain Zara, a suburb of Tripoli, the country’s capital, when the militia captured them, late on Thursday night (22 November).

    The group boasted by posting the pictures of the men on Facebook, describing them as the ‘third sex’ (a term used in the Arab Gulf area to denote ‘queers’) including one of the men who had a henna ‘tattoo’ on his back.

    One of the pictures was accompanied by the Quranic call ‘there is no power but the power of Allah!’

    At the time of writing, the picture of the men received 121 likes, 118 shares, and mainly violent comments such as ‘flog them hard!’, ‘let them see bullets!’, ‘free Libya! [I.e. From gays]’, ‘ride them like camels’ and so on.

    Human Rights Watch Libya left a comment saying the organization hopes the men will not be treated inhumanely and called upon the militia to hand the men to the civil authorities (the comment received no likes).

    The militia Facebook page entitled as the ‘special deterrence unit’ boasted that the men were captured doing the ‘practices of the people of Lot’ (I.e. Gay sex) and that they are to be mutilated and executed.

    The militia also claim they have now become a legal part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior.

    The group states its mission is to remove ‘corruption’, ‘vice’, alcoholic drinks and now gays from the streets of Libya.

    Human Rights Watch Libya identified the group as the Al-Nawasi militia, who are considered to be extreme Salafists.

    The militia has been previously been reported as being responsible for attacks against Sufi (moderate form of Islam) shrines and followers.

    Gay Star News has, so far, not been able to independently verify the reports.

    Speaking with Gay Star News, a Libyan LGBT activist nicknamed Khaleed stated: ‘We never had any gay nightclubs in Libya, so it is not uncommon for Libyans – straight, bisexual and gay men to party in a private space, drink, dance, have fun and sometimes even have sex.

    ‘That fact that they were captured by this extreme Salafist militia is very worrying.

    ‘The situation for LGBT people after the revolution generally improved, people can meet each other more easily than under the Qadaffi [Gadaffi] regime, although, of course we still have to be very discreet and careful.

    ‘Many of us fear that some of the militias [there are over 250 of them in the country], which are extreme Islamists who are very well armed and financed, will focus on the LGBT community and hunt us down.

    ‘The police is largely absent or powerless so Libyan civil society has a real problem; the militias often take the law onto their own hands.

    ‘That the Al Nawasi militia claims they are now part of the Ministry of Interior is very worrying; this move should be unacceptable to the public and to civil society groups.’


  • Twelve men to be executed by Libyan militia for allegedly being gay
    An extremist Salafist militia in Libya captured twelve men promising to mutilate and kill them for allegedly being gay
    25 November 2012 | By Dan Littauer
    A Libyan militia threatens to mutilate and kill 12 allegedly gay men

    Twelve men face mutilation and execution for allegedly being gay after being captured by an extremist Libyan Islamist militia.

    The twelve men were, apparently, having a private party in Ain Zara, a suburb of Tripoli, the country’s capital, when the militia captured them, late on Thursday night (22 November).

    The group boasted by posting the pictures of the men on Facebook, describing them as the ‘third sex’ (a term used in the Arab Gulf area to denote ‘queers’) including one of the men who had a henna ‘tattoo’ on his back.

    One of the pictures was accompanied by the Quranic call ’there is no power but the power of Allah!’

    At the time of writing, the picture of the men received 121 likes, 118 shares, and mainly violent comments such as ‘flog them hard!’, ‘let them see bullets!’, ‘free Libya! [I.e. From gays]’, ‘ride them like camels’ and so on.

    Human Rights Watch Libya left a comment saying the organization hopes the men will not be treated inhumanely and called upon the militia to hand the men to the civil authorities (the comment received no likes).

    The militia Facebook page entitled as the ‘special deterrence unit’ boasted that the men were captured doing the ‘practices of the people of Lot’ (I.e. Gay sex) and that they are to be mutilated and executed.

    The militia also claim they have now become a legal part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior.

    The group states its mission is to remove ‘corruption’, ‘vice’, alcoholic drinks and now gays from the streets of Libya.

    Human Rights Watch Libya identified the group as the Al-Nawasi militia, who are considered to be extreme Salafists.

    The militia has been previously been reported as being responsible for attacks against Sufi (moderate form of Islam) shrines and followers.

    Gay Star News has, so far, not been able to independently verify the reports.

    Speaking with Gay Star News, a Libyan LGBT activist nicknamed Khaleed stated: ‘We never had any gay nightclubs in Libya, so it is not uncommon for Libyans - straight, bisexual and gay men to party in a private space, drink, dance, have fun and sometimes even have sex.

    ‘That fact that they were captured by this extreme Salafist militia is very worrying.

    ‘The situation for LGBT people after the revolution generally improved, people can meet each other more easily than under the Qadaffi [Gadaffi] regime, although, of course we still have to be very discreet and careful.

    ‘Many of us fear that some of the militias [there are over 250 of them in the country], which are extreme Islamists who are very well armed and financed, will focus on the LGBT community and hunt us down.

    ‘The police is largely absent or powerless so Libyan civil society has a real problem; the militias often take the law onto their own hands.

    ‘That the Al Nawasi militia claims they are now part of the Ministry of Interior is very worrying; this move should be unacceptable to the public and to civil society groups.’


  • Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed? « MasterAdrian’s Weblog
    http://masteradrian.com/2012/11/24/could-egypts-pyramids-be-destroyed

    Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed?
    November 24, 2012

    Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed?

    by Kristina Chew
    November 23, 2012
    11:00 am

    Destroy the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx? Murgan Salem al-Gohary, a leader of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafist party, recently called on Muslims to do just this on Egyptian Dream TV. According to Gohary, Egypt’s iconic cultural treasures must be eliminated as a “religiously mandated act of iconoclasm,” for the same reasons as Mullah Omar and the Afghan Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in March of 2001.

    Claiming that he had indeed participated in blowing up the Buddhas, Gohary said:

    “The idols and statutes that fill Egypt must be destroyed. Muslims are tasked with applying the teachings of Islam and removing these idols, just like we did in Afghanistan when we smashed the Buddha statues.

    With the sight of the majestic Buddha statues being blasted with dynamite still fresh, the thought of a similar fate occurring to the pyramids is chilling. In Foreign Policy, Ian Straughn suggests that Gohary’s threat is certainly geared to grab media attention and all the more in today’s post-Arab Spring Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are in power and while debates about the status of women and of minorities and about Egypt’s relations with the West are ongoing.

    The Pyramids Have Faced Threats To Their Existence For Centuries

    The pyramids have faced numerous threats since they were erected by the pharaohs. In the ancient world alone, Egypt was under the rule of the Persians and the Romans. In medieval times, the pyramids’ limestone casement was pillaged to build cities (including Cairo).

    Starting in the 19th century, amateur archaeologists helped to awaken the world to the artifacts hidden in tombs in Egypt. But they also oversaw the transporting (some would say pillaging) of numerous archaeological finds into foreign museums, many of which are now in awkward disputes with Egypt’s government over repatriating objects. Today, pollution of a sort the ancients could never have fathomed threatens numerous ancient sites.

    Many of us in the West were riveted by the image of Egyptians guarding the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square during the protests that would lead to the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Those archaeological treasures, and the Sphinx and the pyramids, are part of the world’s cultural heritage and must be protected not only by Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities but also by international governments. This is common knowledge if not common sense to many of us.

    Reconciling the Pyramids and Muslim Beliefs

    As Straughn details, since the medieval age, Islamic scholars and others have sought to understand — to reconcile their religious beliefs to — the pyramids and other remains of Egypt’s long past. On seeing the destruction of antiquities, al-Masudi, a 10th century Muslim traveler in Egypt, argued that respecting these is “not incompatible with Islam.” Ancient structures and objects indeed “strengthen the Quranic injunction to search out and contemplate the lessons (‘ibar) which the divine has left for believers in the landscape.”

    Today, even while very much aware of “the role that these ruins play in the economy and various state efforts to represent Egypt as a modern-day heir to one of the world’s great civilizations,” Straughn notes that there is “a palpable discomfort with this promotion and glorification of a pre-Islamic past.” It could be said that, as in Italy, there is something of a “love-hate” push-and-pull with the country’s archaeological heritage, which engulfs tremendous amounts of resources “at the expense of the welfare of an Islamic past, present, and future.”

    Tourism accounts for more than 11 percent of Egypt’s economy, which has struggled in the post-Mubarak era; the importance of the pyramids and other ancient sites is certainly understood. The pyramids, in Straughn’s estimation, are not likely to suffer the fate of the Buddhas of Bamiyan; Gohary’s call to destroy the pyramids encapsulates “the broader debate within the religion [of Islam] over how to orient itself after the Arab Spring.”

    The recent collision of a schoolbus with a train — resulting in at least 50 dead, most young children — suggests that Egypt still falls short in addressing issues like safety on its roadways. The pyramids are likely to remain a point of debate and even contention so long as Egypt remains a place that many associate more with its past than the very real demands of its present.

    Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/egypts-pyramids.html#ixzz2D8nCbNSn