Rethinking Salafism – Shifting Trends & Changing Typologies Post Arab Spring
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 39.07MB
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi ponders on the typology of Salafism pre and post Arab Spring whilst demonstrating historic trends. We are also acquainted with a unique critique of contemporary theological categorization practices related to Salafism.
Listen intently to drive some sense into the happenings in the Muslim world of late and what is the role and magnitude of Salafism with regards to this aspect.
hamdulillah Isla is niram
Al Hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah, Camden, Kathy
Urbana Masada to see him Allah nebby, Karim, everybody
are very lucky.
I always say that it's always true. But just in terms of,
let's say like you can have sizes of a lot, this is a larger size block in the sense that it's very hard to
significantly advance. So, because he's extremely busy, and you know, I'm busy, but he's really busy. Our guest is Dr. yasir Qadhi
many of you are, this is he has the shortest bio, I've actually ever been handed on this.
Which is interesting. Because
I mean, his description is probably just in terms of
media and global significance more than most professors Can, can hope for. And he is very well known around the world as a Muslim scholar.
You like mentioning the native institutions,
doesn't matter. But he was one of the founders of the immigrant Institute. Right? And which
teaches classes around the world and he was the academic dean for there for a while I'm not sure if there's still involvement Not anymore. And so he's you know, you could find videos who speak in Singapore or Malaysia or England or wherever.
It's extremely large following among Muslim youth or monks Muslims generally in the world. And
his regular job however, he's a professor, of course, the most noble professions.
He has a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Houston, I guess you didn't follow up on that.
No doubt chemical for sure. You don't like mix stuff in your sink or, you know,
I joke that's a very explosive combination to have a chemical engineering degree in a
So, um, and he has a BA in heavy studies and MA in Islamic theology from Islamic University of Medina. And he's a PhD in Islamic studies from Yale University. In fact, your advisor was here just a few weeks ago. Oh, okay. Down here visiting.
He's currently a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Tennessee. And he's the Dean of Islamic seminary of America, which is based in Dallas, Dallas. So I, you know,
a well known for lots of things, but I don't think people appreciate his his sort of academic inclination. And we have lots of great discussions on issues of
Islamic law theology, and he's the only person I know, at least I know whose voice WhatsApp messages I've saved in my research folder. Because of these discussions. He has excellent information. So we're really happy to have him to come talk about we think he's elitism shifting trends and changing type ologies. Post Arab Spring. Thank you. The floor is yours. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Well, good morning. Firstly, I apologize about my voice. I just came back from England and haven't quite recovered from that journey. Let me go back around
almost 30 years, 26 years ago, when I was a freshman or a sophomore in the IRS to Medina and Saudi Arabia a long, long time ago. I believe it was 96 or 97, long time ago. And I remember, there are some Idina if you don't know is one of the premier institutions of academic learning of Islamic world. And of course, it has a setup fee understanding and underpinnings one of the most prestigious, the most prestigious Southern University in the world, and I studied there for 10 years. So I was a freshman or a sophomore. And I remember that lots and lots of books were being distributed for free at a particular date. And obviously a students you know, free books like wow,
that's like free candy. So we all lined up, and we got, you know, the free book that was being distributed. At the time, you're assuming that it was 80%. Non Saudi, that's changed completely supposed to be a majority Saudi now, but when I was studying, it was a majority non Saudi institution. So 80% of the students are non Saudi, at that point in mind, what was the book that was being distributed for free? I still have it in my library along with the other 2000s of habits It was called, would you apply 20 and the obligation of
Be the ruler. And it was a small treaties that essentially commanded the students are taught the students as distributed for free to basically believe that obeying the ruler is a part and parcel of the religion of Islam. It is wajib it is God's obligation on you to obey the ruler. And of course, that was a theme that was taught over the end. COVID was a very clear part of our agenda. Our remember when the Mufti came to our university, the current Mufti of the Aziz, the ship when it came to our university, the talk that he gave was essentially the exact same, which is the obligation of obeying the ruler. And I want to say on a personal note, even though I was only what 2122 at the
time, and obviously times have changed, and my views have changed, I wasn't naive to the fact that this is propaganda, I understood fully that the universities or the the government is handing out free booklets for self serving interests, but I'll be honest with you, I bought it at the time, not the book, it was free. I bought the idea at the time. Why? Because frankly, it was theologically convincing. The setup of the book, the agenda of the book, the quotes from the book, I fully understood that the government has an agenda for distributing this book free of charge. But that agenda to me was irrelevant to the content, because the content seemed solid and academic, the
quotations from even taymiyah, the famous heavy that are found in Bukhari and Muslim you know, some are far these are well known traditions in our heavy canonical literature. And of course, it takes a lot of research and a lot of contemplation to understand that. Well, that is one interpretation. And there are other interpretations, even within this big tradition. And my quote for starting off with this anecdote is, of course, it's directly related to what we're going to be doing here because what we're talking about is, of course, Salafism, post Arab Spring, and the one thing that has really that this has really demonstrated for us is how vast and how varied the Salafi trend is. So let us
begin from the beginning. Very quickly, what exactly is Salafism? Of course, by now, I hope all of you all of us understand that. All series academics make a distinction between what is called enlightenment Salafism, which is a shoot of the dribble and avanti and Abdo, which has very little to do with the actual movement that is called the Salafi movement. And I've defined Sufism and currently writing a book on it. I'm defining Salafism as a strand of Sunni Islam that originated in the classical Island headed School of classical timeframes, and which considers as authoritative and divine the two sources the poorer and authentic heavy, historically set of fees or attendees
prioritize the importance of creed, and its conception of all of God's attributes as being literally true without resembling the creation remains unique amongst all other strands of Islam. That is really what separates other fees from all other strands. It is an aspect of obscure theology that most people really don't care about. Unless you're part and parcel of the whole debate of God's attributes. Some of us aspire to emulate what they view as the perfect understanding of the two sources, the Quran and Sunnah, via the theology and the practices of the earliest generations of Islam. Here. The symbol here is, of course, said if you want to go back to the past, the purity,
they view Islam as having been corrupted, they view Islam as having left the plot over the last 14 centuries, and the original Islam is the pure Islam. So they want to go back and rediscover the purity, the way that it used to be practicing the first three centuries in particular, the first three generations, hence the term selfie, going back to the setup, going back to the earliest generations, and of course, as we all hopefully know, you're all graduate students or or professors or specialists in the field. Of course, when they say going back to the first three generations, they don't mean socially and technologically, they mean ritually, theologically, selfies are not
Amish so that these are very technically savvy, they're not living in a bubble apart from society. They're talking about going back to the rituals and the culture, the rituals and the theological and legal understandings of the setup, not the cultural, not the technological issues. Now, that's one definition of Salafism. Where do center fees differ amongst themselves? There are many aspects of disagreement amongst set of fees.
There are some finer issues of theology that are written about and not really relevant to ours, which surfeys do differ about there also a spectrum of opinion about Islamic law, not all seven of us follow the same understanding of law. But most importantly for Western analysts for those outside of the Salafi trend, what has brought their attention to the differences between selfies, is how selfies deal with the rulers, politics, how they deal with the concept of jihad, how what is their relationship with the political systems of their region?
That they are living in. And if you look at this area, you find that there has never been a nor shall there ever be any unified understanding of how to deal with politics, how to deal with jihad, what you find actually is very, very diverse, contradictory and competing claims of truth within the movement. To the extent that at times what separates these strands within Sufism is more significant than what unites them. And sedative ism has always been historically and up until now always been marred with controversies of legitimacy with authenticity, which selfie strand is the most authentic, and it is a hallmark of set of ism to accuse other strands of being deviant or being, you
know, macdaddy or whatever. They're not fully following the proper methodology. This is something that every set of feet researcher knows and what the Arab Spring did. It was, in my humble opinion, the single greatest catalyst in the last century to demonstrate how varied the set of key positions work. Also, the Arab Spring had a pretty interesting effect on large segments of selfies in that it transformed a very quiet just a political strand of Sufism to become extremely politicized the Arab Spring acted as a catalyst to politicize some of the largest strands of a political quietest set of Islam, as we will discuss, but before we get there, very briefly, what are some of the the
categorizations that have been given a set of keys up until our times, perhaps the most famous what is considered to be the Hallmark what is considered to be the the definitive or used to be considered definitive was Quintin with tonewoods his paper back in 2005, he released a paper called the anatomy of the Salafi movements, and he was one of the first to academically tried to dissect the various strands of Southern Islam. And in that paper, he argued that setup fees are united in their belief, but divided in political methodology. And with Toro, it's defined set of these as those who share three primary beliefs number one, a strict understanding of monotheism to hate.
Number two, the Quran and Sunnah are sufficient for human guidance. And number three, a dislike for logic and reason. I strongly disagree with all three of those. But that's a separate point altogether. What Tor was argues that these shared beliefs are common amongst all set of fees would not not true But anyway, he argued they're common amongst also the fees, but they are divided in their approach to politics, and he divided set of fees into three categories. purists, these are all his terminologies, purists, politicals, and jihadist purists, Politico's and jihadis. According to Victoria woods, purists are those who avoid politics, and who focus on education and our preaching
and proselytization. Okay, and he gave examples of the three big names of Salafi Islam back in the 90s, the three giants of Salafi Islam, and then body of Jordan event or famy, of Rene's of Arabia, and they've been biased. The Grand Mufti, these three are considered University by almost all strands to really be the most significant are the most important. Selfie clerics. They're all passed away, obviously, in our time, but in the 90s, they were considered to be the big three. So he says all three of them were basically in the purest abstract. He then said, there's another strand called the politicals. And the political is are those who engage in politics through activism.
And through discussion and dialogue, they want to use the system. They're operating from within the systems. And they're not calling for open rebellion. And of course, the main example given a political, we're suffering, how are they and Mather out of the picture. So this is the Grand Mufti currently of the disease. And that is a story that is semi that was currently in jail because of a tweet that he made last year. So that's, that's an example of a political that somebody who's trying to change the system from within the system very actively engaged in, in politics. And then of course, the final strand was that of the jihadist strategy. And of course, the article came out
2005. So obviously, the obvious example was Elijah and Osama bin Laden. So wiktoria wiktoria, which says, categorization became and to a large extent remains the industry standard within the Salafi academic, Western academic world, it is still quoted to this day and there you will find people still mentioning purist political isms you have this as if Wintour was is basically still the given. However, of course, there have been other attempts as well. I'll just briefly mention two of them. Zoltan Paul, back in 2013, he wrote
as well about selfies, and he attempted to categorize selfies into two main categories. Under each of the two main there were two subdivisions. So you have four categories to make. Under each one there was choose a one, a one, B two, a two B. And he categorized selfies once again, very similar to a tourist is as it's as if we tour which was the first domino and everybody else that came is all is kind of sort of stuck in wed to that paradigm. So Zoltan Paul, categorize selfies into two. And as I say each two is further subdivided into two. The two main ones were purists and hierarchies are activist tourists straightforward. And how to keys are activists which is basically Politico's,
however, he said purists are divided into two categories. This is not majority says Paul.
purists are divided into two categories who said, The first of them. The first of them, he said, were those who are rejectionists to the political system. And he gave the example of an advantage in Jordan. He's not participating in the political system. And the others he said, are this his term, political purist, he kind of words these two together because political purists, these are those who use the political system, but to support the ruler such as the clergy of Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. So they're not aloof like Abadi, they're not out of the system. They're using the system to buttress the system. So they're supporting the rulers who these are political purists.
They're purists in the sense that they are overall, supportive of the regimes that they're a member of. So he said, there's purists of one side, and there's purists of the political side. And then he said, The hierarchies are the activists are also too. And so the first art the activists through social media, through Parliament's and quite others, such as sunlight or other stuff from Hawaii. And so these are through political activism. And then there are the political jihadists such as bin Laden. Frankly, he took the same three, he made them into four if you understand what I'm saying, he just thought you're doing something you but he's not, it's really the same thing with tonewoods,
essentially, is reading from Paul, in an article in 2006. us walga mocker expands upon this topology of Victoria woods. And the title of the article is revisiting with total Woods is probably one of the better articles even though obviously, maybe why am I don't agree with pretty much anything written about so other fees, but that's a separate point altogether. But nonetheless, it was definitely much better than anything previous to this. And his basic premise was that he's going to agree on the general definitions of weak toilets. But he argues that these categories are way too broad. And he then goes into detail about how each one should further be sub divided into many. And
I'm not going to go into all of that. I'm just going to make you one example. give you one example so that you understand what amacher firstly doesn't like the term purists because he says they're not pure as their quietest. In fact, all selfies view themselves as being purists. That's what's said if he means to go back to the pure understanding, so the term he said is not correct to be used here. Also, he says that quietist cannot be put into one category, because there are many different types of quietus. And he in his article, actually subdivides quietist. quietus is with Taurus purists. Right? So that's his understanding. He divides quietus into three categories. Number one,
he calls them the aloof fists. All of these are interesting terminologies coming from these article, right? So the first are aloof is who avoid politics all together, they just don't get involved. They don't talk about politics at all. Number two are loyalists, those who support the Muslim rulers passively. And the classic example is the Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and the senior clergy of Saudi Arabia. And then number three are propagandists, those who are actively supporting the Muslim rulers, most prominent is of course, it'll be medically or the middle east of Steffi Islam if you're aware of that. So he divides the quietest into three and simulated politicals into a number. And she
had this into a number. And his article is definitely a refined version of victorious and definitely much better. Nonetheless, he as well, Mrs. A very critical point, which is, of course, quite problematic.
And yet, it is something that I think is very important to mention, and that is that within this quietest trend, there is a very, very much more nuanced spectrum that we need to be clear about, especially when it comes to the post Arab Spring. If one lumps all quietist based upon how they're acting, I think that misses the point. One needs to go back and understand theologically Why are they quietist which nobody has actually done or the watchmaker no watchmaker or mentor was they've never done that they've never gone in understood. Why are these particular people quiet is from a theological perspective. And that is why in my humble opinion, all of these are very, very flawed.
categorizations of selfies, and that is because just to give you a good a simple example, that quiet artists themselves are a very, very interesting spectrum. And I'll give you only three examples amongst them. Some quietus interpret the text to indicate that supporting the ruler is an act of faith, and a fundamental pillar of the religion. So if you do not support the ruler, you are a mere rhetoric. And of course, the primary example of this is the studies. They make it a theological point of faith that you must support the ruler out of all of the quietest, whatever my personal position might be about them, they are the most consistent, they will support the ruler regardless,
and they will need ruler or just any ruler as long as there's no poofer by law, and we haven't seen them pronounceable for bow on any ruler, including robotic and CC. So essentially, it translates as anyone. Yes. Okay. Super Bowl is blatant apostasy as one phrase of the head, he says, but there's a second strand of quiet tests. And these I call them theological pragmatists. And these people, what they argue is that the current rule, and this is especially the case back in the 90s, when I was a student there, and I know this, because many of them were my teachers, almost all the people that we're going to be talking about, I've met personally, except that got to the far right, I have never
met him. Just disclaimer, never make sure everybody makes it out with everybody else. I have missed it and know personally, from my studies and whatnot. So a was the same. So they're theological pragmatists. And what they argue is that we're not saying that the ruler is an angel, that ruler has to be supported. But at least the ruler is allowing us to preach the doctrine to teach the people the right way of Islam. And because he's allowing us to do that we'll turn a blind eye to many of the other issues, because what's important for us, this is what the senior clergy would argue. It's not as if they love the rule of Timothy. So it's not as if they're wanting to support the ruler
there seeing him as well. You know what, he might have a lot of bad things, but the perp that he's giving us, and allowing us to preach, our version of Islam is worth the negatives. Now, this is important, because if the tide is going to shift, such as right now with MBs, because this is back in the 90s, when father was in charge came out of the Detroit, if the tide is going to shift, these theological pragmatists might shift as well. And we're seeing this post Arab Spring, you have to go back and understand why are they quiet is there is yet another strand of quietism. And these I call them political pragmatist, not theological. What they argue is that the political engagement of the
ruler potentially might lead to a worse situation, they point to Iraq, they point to Syria. So status quo is bashed, we don't like it. We wish we could change it. We'd love to change it. It's allowed to change, but only if we feel confident enough that the change is going to be tangible. We don't want another Iraq, another Syria. These aren't theological parameters. These are political pragmatists. And a lot of the politicals are actually political pragmatist. They're a type of quiet just I don't agree with the categorization here. But that's besides the point as well. Also, there's yet another major problem with all of these categorizations aptly illustrated in your diagram over
here. What the heck is a duck doing in a Salafi presentation at Georgetown, I wanted to make the challenge that I'm going to put a duck and put it up in my picture here. What what, in all honesty, what is this picture doing? If I were to ask how many of you in this room 50? If I were to ask all of you, what's the first thing that strikes you? I wouldn't get a common answer. Every one of you would find something bizarre, interesting. And what you found interesting would be more indicative of you then have the picture. Basically what I'm trying to say, when Western academics look at Salafism, they're coming with their own psyche, D and Orientalism. And they're trying to fit their
models on to the selfie strands, not looking at how selfies themselves view their tradition, what they find bizarre what they find. quantifiable, what they find worthy of demarcation might not be how selfies themselves view their own trends. And I think that's one of the biggest problems of all of these outsider academics is that they don't quite understand from within what is important. Hence, for example, to this day, it's so frustrating like 95% of the articles in the books that are into asceticism. The adjectives that are used in the examples given are not unique to set up the Islam whatsoever. And yet, that's what academic Oh, some of us are a very ultra conservative brand
of Islam who think that Valentine's Day is how long let me let me share you with you something it's not only the sender fees, the thing Valentine's Day is how Southern fees think music and dancing should not be
Done. There are Shiites in Canada that don't dance with music as well. That's not what is definitive about Salafi Islam. And that's the problem. When you're an outsider, what you find bizarre, what you find weird might not necessarily be what they themselves are interested in. And that's, I think one of the biggest problems of any categorization scheme that is done by those who have vested interests. And of course, as Foucault says, We all have our vested interest as we approach knowledge, we all have a preconceived notions of what we want to do. And the reason why, let's be honest, you Why is Sen ism so hot and sexy these days? It's because it's linked to jihadism. It's
because that's what people are interested in. And that's why people are spending so if you so it's understood, understandable that they're trying to categorize set of fees based upon politics and based upon dealings with the rulers. But the fact of the matter is, that's not how most of the fees themselves with what they're concerned about primarily. And that's not how they would view themselves. So I will propose an alternative categorization at the end, when that does not involve the duck, don't worry, but that's going to be at the end of the lecture. So now, let us jump into our
little bit of our actual talk and that is post Arab Spring, and I wanted to take Egypt does one simple case study. Egyptian Salafism, of course, is a well studied phenomenon. It began officially back in 1926, with the unsought of pseudo mohammedia. But it always remained a very, very small academic strand limited to elite intellectual clerics and circles. However, Salafism, Egypt changed radically from the late 70s, and especially in the 80s. And it became a tidal wave in the 90s. Why, what changed two major factors more than two, but for our purposes, number one, the rise of a new breed of clerics, most of whom were trained in Saudi Arabia, such as Mohammed Hassan, such as
chemists, many of them will put them some in Jordan, such as a witness hop on Hawaii. And number two, I think, more important than number one.
The fact that the Egyptian security apparatus made an unofficial wedding with the set of fees back in the 80s and 90s, they made an alliance and that Alliance was, will allow you, the platform of the media, of satellite channels, will allow your preachers to preach, go ahead, we're not really going to bother you too much. They didn't give a full green light, but by and large, so that these were given a free pass to do everything they wanted, by and large, there are some exceptions to this. And most importantly, massive satellite channels in the 90s opened up and said, a few preachers would be preaching to not only Egypt, but the entire world, most prominent amongst them as planets and us on
the right hand side, we can understand your hope. And of course, Mohammed has said the two of them were the main figures of the financial analysis, which was one of the most well watched channels of the time. Now, it seems that, you know, for the timeframe, you know, there was a lot of disinterested disenfranchisement with the institutional clerics. There's a vacuum of other, you know, preachers. And so some of these clerics became international superstars, the 90s also witnessed the rise of what are called Islamic televangelism. Such as you know, Mohammed Hassan is definitely one of the first, you know, Muslim televangelists in the world. And planets in us is one
of the main, you know, mediums where that has happened. And the security apparatus, why would they do this? Why would Egypt security, why would the Mahabharata why would the government want or tacitly allow the set of fees to have free reign, I think is obvious. And that is that they felt that quietest, pacifist Salafism, which was and remains the mainstream setup ism would be an innocuous innocent method to allow religious people to express their religious tendencies without getting involved in the politics. So they felt that if we allow the selfies free reign, we're gonna get these religious Muslim Brotherhood folks to become more stuffy and they'll become quiet as a
political because that was a nuts and nuts that was more than what they're setting up. I forgot to mention Mohammed has done these guys were basically a political they were the type of selfies, not even criticizing Movado having nothing to do with politics. It's just about doctrines and rituals and prayer and how to pray and where to place the hands and how loud to say Amen. And where to put the pads all of this stuff the government didn't care about. So the government gave them free pass as these people became more and more popular, and it seems to have worked for that timeframe. That is because selfies generally speaking throughout the 90s in Egypt were really apolitical and
quietest. However, with the start of the protests in the street at the start of the Arab Spring, that's when things began to change. Now, interestingly enough, at the very beginning of the protests, the senior Salafi clerics across Egypt, not a single voice amongst them supported the protesters in the beginning. That was the training they had done. Would you have thought? What do you think?
To obey the ruler, that was the training, that was the theology, you don't oppose the ruler. And some of the most senior clerics such as this manual, fundament, others they gave touch was to their followers do not go out in the streets do not protest against the government. Just they followed the French words from the Saudi scholars who said that this is Oh Ha, this is rebel rebel. This is rough. This is like, you know, the mob mentality. They called street protesters mob mentality. So they gave it to us, for their followers don't do that. However, and this is where it all begins to change, as the tidal wave of public support changed, as people began to rally, and the enthusiasm
became really toxic, or, you know, just throughout the entire country. We saw for the first time these pacifist quiet as a political setup ease, start rethinking through their quietism. And slowly but surely the main televangelists Mohammed has done you know, who initially was kind of verging towards the protesters, he made a point to appear in the streets, he gave a very strategic interview with the protesters, not quite 100%, pulling his weight and pushing his weight but at the same time not pushing his weight on you wanted to have with put in both just in case something happens. But the fact that he was on the streets, and he made a point to be interviewed on the streets of a
marriage shop, I went to people here and I'm chatting as their time. He's showing himself with them, even if he's not being one of their leaders. That was kind of sort of the the the the the beginning of the tidal wave of change that took place. And then slowly but surely, with the displacement of Mubarak and the open call for for elections, essentially almost all set of fees, except for the monthly brunch, they have been always the most consistent, almost all set of fees overnight. And this is what's most amazing. Went from purist apolitical, quietest to hacky activists almost overnight within the span of less than a week or two, this same scholars a few weeks ago that have
been saying, Don't protest don't go out. All of a sudden, they're saying we need to stand for election, we need to take charge of our country, if we don't do something the secular as the liberals are going to come. So they started giving flat tours, one of the most famous one amongst them said, I used to say that democracy is how long now I say participation and democracy is our jihad. That's our jihad. Jihad here means obviously the struggle we're going to go and struggle through democracy, we're going to fight not through the bullets, but to balance he literally made that phrase in Arabic, that's going to be our jihad, going to the, the the polls, and making sure
that we win. And of course, we all know what happened in 2011, in the first round of elections, set of fees one an astonishing 25% of the popular vote. I mean, even I know my setup fees inside out, it was shocking. 25% Where did that come from? In just 10 years. That's what happened in 10 years of preaching and teaching 25% of the Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood has been operating for 80 plus years. And they got 70% of the Islamic vote. 25% is going to the side of the parties. This seems to have emboldened the set of fees even more, if they could win one fourth of the seats with just the quickest of campaigns the most, you know, the most rudimentary campaigns, what could happen if they
actually took charge of the system, and that is when a number of interesting changes happen. Most importantly, Yasuo or Hameed? This person over here has Abrahamic, same name, but absolutely nothing to do with the methodology or tactic. They just have this first same name. That's it, nothing else shared with him. Yes. And we're how many was one of the main founders are the main guy, but he is now the main guy of the husband node, which was a political party from the Dow was set up via that us to give it to us that political parties are held on the same group that was set up, which was the mainstream scientific group that used to say political parties are held on one of their main
clerics, after Arab Spring founded has been known, which becomes the main set of the party that's going to run in the elections. They run they ran. And of course, as we all know, mercy, you know, became the president and they grudgingly gave their support to mercy. Long story short, they fell out with each other for hobby and mercy fell out with each other and then eventually bought hobby with his husband Nord and the seller fees became the main opposition or one of the main opposition's to President Morsi and they sided with cc in the coup, and they then supported CC and they gave fetch quest to their followers, that cc is a better you know, a candidate and mercy and after the
revolution or after the the impeachment of mercy and the coming to power of cc has been known, publicly allied with CCS regime and to this
They are you know, cozy with cc's regime and they felt that that aligned with the with the ruler, it will ensure that they will have the necessary freedom and the perks. However, what has happened is that popular so
tragically as well, I mean, my personal bias is being revealed here, but Bombay and others turned a blind eye to the massacre of arrabiata as well, they did not criticize CC and they didn't publicly support like runbook diva, but they basically Well, they had to do what they had to do was forced, etc, that that type of grudging type of they weren't they didn't proclaim they're happy, but they definitely did not criticize. Now what happened is that of course within the Salafi movement, plenty of splinter groups formed, you know, some amongst them such as I give an example here there's actually a dozen or so but one of the more prominent was Dr. I think, formed the Islamic Party and
the Islamic party, basically and you can even tell even by the even though he's coming from a sedentary background, you know, trim beard, you know, the suit and tie. Already the Muslim Brotherhood look is there typically instead of these are, you know, the Philbin, the beers and the capsular more puritanical in their dress code, but I'll tell you I've learned is that strand of how Lucky's that is now going towards the Muslim Brotherhood, so much so that essentially he ran on a Muslim Brotherhood platform, even though his theology and his legal school is set up. Right. So that's what a number of things happen, post every revolution that are upstream that demonstrated
that if he splintered into many groups, the only person who actually remained consistent was the small, you know, strand and monthly Salafism. Most Famous amongst them is Mohammed, Aslan, who basically whoever was the ruler at the time, we have to obey the ruler, whether it was mostly or CC or whatnot. That's what the ology teaches. And even though he has a very small following, and even though generally speaking, he's not respected Still, he remained consistent, whatever principles that he had. Now, what we saw, therefore, is that the Arab Spring came along, and these clear demarcations that everybody thought they're talking about, you know, walk mocker, or Taurus or a
completely convoluted everything. And that demonstrated that these clear, you know, daikon, these clear demarcations, this clear pigeonhole boxes, it doesn't make sense. And it's not going to make sense unless you understand the theological underpinnings of why they feel the way that they did. What is the reason that they that they felt the way they did, and what the Arab Spring did, it really acted like a catalyst to demonstrate that he's themselves either they didn't think things through, which is also true, or that this notion of quietism pacifism, political activism, jihadism, it was just a strategic move, not a theological one. And when the situation changed, they changed.
And that's what we saw with the Arab Spring. Now, of course, the fact of the matter is, we can give a lecture about every single, you know, country in the Arab world, and there is no question that the Arab Spring affected Egypt probably more probably more than any other country. But the same cannot be said of other lands. And I'm not going to give a lecture with every single country, obviously, but the fact of the matter is that each country is reacted differently for the our, for the for the Arab Spring, for example, Lebanon, for example, there was a very, very minimal impact of the Arab Spring. Almost indiscernible Yes, there was a small influx of jihadi selfies but that was because of
Syria, not actually local. They didn't really impact the local selfies that much in Kuwait. A very interesting scenario emerges. Kuwaiti Salafism because of the figure of after the run out of the hot different back in the 80s. Kuwaiti Salafism has always been the most quote unquote political the most How lucky from back in the 80s, especially under the banner of the Germany at the head of the hill to it off the revival of the Islamic heritage or IHS society, and it was one of the main opposition parties of the government. The Arab Spring didn't change the strength the strands of Salafism in Kuwait, but what it did do, it exacerbated the tensions between the pre existing stress
these pre existing strands the LED Cadiz the quietest the hierarchies, they did not change. There was no shifting of loyalties interesting by and large. There was no shifting of loyalties. Kuwaiti Salafism remained as is, but these strands just diverged even more. And the acrimony the animosity between them was exacerbated by the Arab Spring. And of course, one of the most prominent figures of way to habaki Salafism is Dr. haccombe animals lady who is the founder of his own party, which is one of the most interesting parties to study, Dr. Hacker, plenty has over a million followers on Twitter. And if you just log on to his Facebook and Twitter He is a
professor of Islamic studies of photo Hadith and tafsir. And he is a political analyst you know, par excellence in the sense for his people. Whether I agree or disagree is besides the boy always talking about politics, always analyzing what's going on in the world. And his party has been oma is attracting more and more attention and more and more followers.
But he started his party way before the Arab Spring. Only thing the Arab Spring did was that it boosted his credibility. It boosted his acceptance. He didn't change his methodology. Kuwaiti Salafism by and large remained as it is, but it's simply the Arab Spring acted as a catalyst to some strengths. The same can be said of other countries as well. I don't want to go into Tunisia. I'm definitely not going to Syria over here. Not at all. That's a whole different lecture not related to this talk about instead of beast because that's a speciality in and of itself, Saudi Arabia. Just a brief point before I move on to the final few slides, Saudi Arabia, even though I am the most aware
of Saudi selfies, having lived there for almost two decades of my life, I think that it is too premature to talk about the effects of the Arab Spring, because the Arab Spring was very quickly followed by the coming to power of this new MBs. You know, it was now in charge. And I think that the shock at all of what MBs is doing, I think that many clerics are genuinely confused as to what to do. And we haven't quite seen the impact of not just the Arab Spring, but more so the impact of MBs on modern Saudi selfies, Never before has any ruler of Saudi Arabia since the time of the disease, flouted so many of the laws that were considered to be islamically sacrosanct with such
impunity. Never before have so many scholars been rounded, up, jailed, tortured or killed for the flimsiest of reasons. And the clergy of Saudi Arabia, frankly, don't even know how to react yet. There's still a bit of a shock, however, from my anecdotal sources, and then, you know, my context that I have from just because I lived there for so many years, I really don't have direct contact with any of the big players anymore. But just because of my context, I can tell you anecdotally, this isn't academic stuff that more and more clerics seem to be sympathizing with how turkey activist political set of Islam Even though 20 years ago, mainstream Saudi Salafism was a political,
but because of what MBs was doing, and especially because of the crackdown against many of the respected clergy. And not to mention so many of the laws are changing, there is now much more sympathy with the political strategy. Having said that, there is also a much more digging deeper of the quietest a political branch, and, most importantly, one of the most senior figures probably more senior in terms of respect and even the Grand Mufti as saw the headphones on so I suppose I was considered to be he's still alive, he's considered to be of the same circle has been boughs and others in the same age group is that saw the headphones on whose nephew that as he's infozone, a
friend of mine is in jail and very different methodology of his father, as he as opposed is more How lucky he is uncle is solid and frozen, the elder cleric signed the headphones on is not liked by MBs. This is again, the key is really interesting here, there was a famous video of the king disrespecting a frozen and not shaking, the king said about that is like an insult to the Saudi clergy. So Roseanne was insulted publicly, because he publicly said that you shouldn't be having these intermixed parties or whatever is going on. So he had a federal law. And the king basically did not put him in jail. He was too powerful for that. But basically, you know, was rude to him and
whatnot. Still fosun is a supporter of the king. Why? Because his theology is not materialism, his theology is not waving the flag of the throne. His point is, look at Syria, look at Iraq, look at Libya, do you want that for our country, an evil ruler is better than Civil War. That's his line. He's not a flag waver and you know, just a person who's just supporting the royal family. His point is, our religion teaches us that some sort of civil society is better than chaos, as the Quran says would fit in that direction. So that's his main line here. And ironically, he becomes a supporter of the US or even as the answer would marginalizes him, those are the types of you know, interesting
dynamics that takes place. final points here, what what the what the Arab Spring has also demonstrated? Very interestingly, my this probably the most significant in my humble opinion of the spring development is shifting loyalties between the various scholars in the 80s and 90s. It was unheard of, for mainstream set of fees and mainstream CEU fees to break bread tickler or allegorically, the theological differences went back to 1400 years or 1200 years. They're not going to ignore those differences that if he's called Sufi grave worshipers, that if you call Shiites this and that, what we see post Arab Spring is all of a sudden, people's loyalties are shifting from
abstract theology, from abstruse points of law to on the ground politics, and I'll give you the most obvious example and the most important example and that is the International Union of Muslim scholars and they had an atom Islamic Muslim founded in 2014.
By obviously, Chicago Dali. And at the time it was meant to be basically a conglomeration of all of the senior scholars of the world. And of course, you have kind of always, of course, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. And his vision was to encompass all of the main schools of Islamic law. So he invited selfies Sophie's she it invited she is there she is there as well, if all these ladies all strands of Islam were represented, currently, at one point in time, there were over 100,000
members of the members members, but the members or anybody who's a scholar of the region, across all the countries of the world, and obviously, only 100 200 senior members, but 100,000 members that that was founded in 2004. Post Arab Spring,
the International Union of Muslim scholars supported the Arab Spring, they were angry at CC, they issued a condemnation of the raffia massacre. And not coincidentally, some of the senior clerics who supported these regimes. Both set a fee and Sufi resigned from the International unit Muslim scholars and eventually formed an alternative Council. And that is the United Arab Emirates peace forum, which is an annual forum that takes place under the patronage of Of course, the the rulers of the monarchy, the Emirates Republic, and currently the International Union Muslim scholars is headed by
I Sunni Sunni. But what are the main figures is of course, you have to have a dojo over here. She has to over here is definitely one of the main figures of the of the International party, and they are very, very political. Yesterday I was as I was preparing for this talk, I logged on to their Twitter page, and their banner on their Twitter page is free, the scholars that have been jailed because of their political views with the pictures of stuff on it, and many other scholars that have been jailed. So that's their banner on Twitter, free the scholars that have been jailed for their political views. They have publicly condemned Saudi Arabia for jailing many senior scholars and for
their policies. They've condemned Mr. Ross for their issues. They've condemned Egypt for their issues, obviously, what is this done? Those scholars that are supportive of the regimes selfie and Sufi have withdrawn from that organization and formed their own and set up and Sufi scholars have now cooperated together with the Mrs. Peace forum? Here we have the Minister of Islamic justice. He says over here, and here we have, of course been valuable is of course, the figurehead is a spiritual figure of this entire enterprise. Definitely the person that they groomed for that deposition. Of course, with again, just a factual statement in America as well shall come to us with
is a very big player in this Emirates peace forum. And he released a statement last year, which caused a lot of controversy, where he described the Emirates as being a paragon of tolerance and virtue. Beta has already praised the Sorbonne as being the embodiment of the virtues of Islam, etc, etc. and understandably, understandably, the International Union of Muslim scholars has been declared a terrorist organization by Egyptian scholars by the
US. And by and large, these groups are obviously completely disparate together. What is interesting, like I said, is this union now between selfies and Sufi dojo is a selfish and carloway is the Muslim Brotherhood, you know, not quite the Salafi type here as well, we have a selfie and a Sufi, we're now getting alliances, that have nothing to do with classical theology, and have everything to do with politics with who supports whom. And these alliances are the way things are heading in the post, Arab Spring. And I want to conclude here by somewhat convoluted very quickly go over this and I'm done. How should we categorize selfie groups, this is my categorization based upon having been a
part of the movement for quite a lot of study there and whatnot, knowing the movement inside out and obviously, of this public knowledge of left the movement and moved on, but still, I am very familiar with the movement has had to be a part of it for so long. And I understand the inner dynamics of the movement. And I propose a multi variable open ended type ology. It's not simple, it's not easy because center fees, as we've already seen, they occupy many different ideas and many different understandings. What I propose is the following very simply, and I've been elaborate on this in the book that I'm currently writing, and that is that we really do need to be
we can't be simplistic and look, I said, if he's only from politics only from rulers only from No, selfies are very interesting group of people who differ on many key issues. So we need to categorize them multivariable x x, y axis, first and foremost, what did they themselves consider the most important for their room and
That's where these numbers come in. And for every group, we can slip those numbers around. So maybe some groups, this is going to be number one other groups, that's gonna be number five. So for every group, we give the priority to what they consider important, because that varies from group to group, for example, the salaries of India, the ladies movement, right, the salaries of Foxconn. They're called the under this movement. Honestly, they couldn't care about the political stances towards the rulers, what they're interested in is point number five touristical tendencies. The biggest thing for the enemy, a decent Indian, Buxton, how do you derive your Islamic law, your
fifth, what are your positions, that's how they're going to categorize you. And within the movement, you will have quietest politicals, what not, and that's going to be tolerable, it's not going to be a big deal to them. So for them, that's what matters for other groups, other things. So these are, I've just given the five main ones and the six mean, you can keep on adding that's the point is multivariable. open ended.
Time is going to come where another issue that comes important, we can add it to the list, no problem. Also, it's a spectrum, you see that there's a color coding done on purpose. It's a spectrum. And I give you six, five different examples, the political status towards the rulers and we've talked about five or six different scenarios, we can categorize every strand, what is their political stance towards the rulers, is it aloofness, is it quiet is why do they feel that way? They involved into the political process? Do they think it's wise to be involved? Do they think it's wise to not be involved? Is it political? Is it theological? That's a very key point. Do they feel
logically believe like an inviting us to believe theologically, that is corrupting to the soul to be in politics? It makes you a corrupt human being? You don't you shouldn't get involved in politics because the purity of your faith is going to be sacrificed. That's a theological point to you, or is it simply because oh, well, the current the current dynamics doesn't allow us maybe tomorrow it will. So what is their role in the political process? A very key point that no author of academic Salafism discusses, even though in my mind, it is one of the most important issues of Salafism who just said a feast considered to be 100, bitter wrong. And who do they consider to be captured? By
defining the other you can see who they are? When they define the other, you see what's important to them? Right? So what does each strand say about when does a strand become moved to Australia? When does a strand leave the folder setup ism? And then when does it leave the fold of Islam? This is a very important factor to categorize entities as well, obviously, interpretation, applicability of jihad, very important point as well, how did they view Jihad? Is it something that is strategically permissible? I mean, theologically permissible, but strategically, not is a strategically justified, you have a whole spectrum over here, jurisdiction tendencies, what is are they are they anti meds
have, you have an entire spectrum over here, there are three main ones, you have the Methodists, you have the Tamia, conservative, but still Methodist. And then you have the Albania ball hitting, you have like the three strands over here. And then I added a point over there, which is you can keep on adding other things as well. The bottom line is that, in order to understand any strand of Semitism, you need to view the world and the way that they view it, and you need to prioritize what they prioritize. And that can be done by having this type of open ended, you know, multivariable topology. And if this were to be developed, maybe I'll develop I don't know, we could literally
maybe demarcate, you know, ABCD, you know, ABCD, and then literally, for every group say, Okay, this group is one D, this group is to F this group, and you literally just list it. And it'll be understood by the people who understand your chart here, what type of setup fees they are, and what are they prioritizing over others. I think that's a much more realistic academic and accurate typography that will reflect
the type of setup ism. And also Hopefully, it will also aid us in predicting what might happen if there's another evolution if the situation changes. It will not necessarily because sometimes entities change their mind, obviously, like any human being, but it might help us a little bit in that regard to conclude. And on a personal note, Salafism definitely did have an appeal to many people, myself included, I will not deny that. And the reasons for that was because there was this notion of purity, there was this notion of intellectual revitalization of a connection with the terracotta heritage of an academic study, a very in depth study of the classical books, however, for
many centuries, once that intellectual high subsided, and the many problems that people faced in their daily lives and the realization that reading ancient textbooks will not necessarily solve those problems, especially the type of problems that caused the Arab Spring zone, economic, you know, issues of, you know, difficulties in paying rent of the gdps of simply living in your life in society. The appeal that classical strands of Salafism had rapidly declined, and many people found themselves reorganizing and reorienting their thoughts
Hence their Salafism continue to change and shift and evolve into different understandings which is what we are currently seeing. And with that, I come to my conclusion open the floor for q&a