New and Old Perspectives in the Study of Modern Salafism

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Arts/Article reviewpeer-review


This review article attempts to assess the contribution of Henri Lauzière's recently published The Making of Salafism to the ongoing scholarly debate in the light of the extant literature. It examines his treatment of the three major issues that at present preoccupy the students of Salafism. The most urgent issue touches on the sources of friction between the various contemporary trends within the overall Salafi framework, and especially the causes of the drift of some Salafis to violence. This is associated with the issue of the various components that combine to constitute today's Salafi “movement,” most notably the relationship between Salafism and Saudi Arabia's Wahhabism. Finally, and most pertinently to Lauzière's book, is the issue of the Salafiyya's modern trajectory, which is itself divided into two questions. One is the affinity of the modern Salafiyya to the medieval Hanbali heritage of Ibn Taymiyya and the historic Wahhabiyya; the other refers to the role of the late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century Islamic reformers in the formation of modern Salafism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalBustan: The Middle East Book Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


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