Salafism and Radicalisation of Young European Muslims Cover Image

Salafism and Radicalisation of Young European Muslims
Salafism and Radicalisation of Young European Muslims

Author(s): Samir Amghar
Subject(s): Governance, Public Law, Politics and religion
Published by: CEPS Centre for European Policy Studies
Keywords: Salafism;
Summary/Abstract: European Islam is more than half a century old. Since the end of the 1980s, a new form of religiosity has emerged among young people of North African, Turkish or Indo-Pakistani origin, some of whom were born in Europe. This new variation of Islam was first of all largely the result of ‘reislamisation’ movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the 1990s also saw the emergence of another movement in the ‘re-islamisation’ dynamics in Europe: Salafism. It is possible to distinguish three streams of Salafism here. The first is revolutionary; it places ‘jihad’ at the heart of religious beliefs. The second is predicative Salafism, which bases its actions on preaching and religious teachings. The last is political Salafism, which organises its activities around a political logic. Each one of these currents entertains a specific relationship with European societies, with Muslim societies and with the means – including jihad – of hastening the eventuality of the Islamic state. The new relationship towards Islamic teachers that is prevalent among these young people is not simply the reproduction of the communitarian religiosity of their parents. If the religious affiliation of the previous generation was founded on an ethno-national logic, as well as on the dominance of traditional attitudes towards religion, these young people refuse to reproduce the inclinations of their parents. Until the beginning of the 1990s, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tabligh, played a central role in re-islamisation, effectively enjoying a monopoly in the supply of Islam to Europe. Since then, we have witnessed the diversification of this supply with the arrival of new actors. Among them, Salafism, a once marginal group in Europe, has become a pillar of re-islamisation at the beginning of the 21st century, competing with the more traditional structures. While both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tabligh present a doctrinal and organisational homogeneity, Salafism appears to be a movement that is both pluralist and contradictory, of which it is necessary to identify its multiple European components.

  • Page Range: 38-51
  • Page Count: 14
  • Publication Year: 2007
  • Language: English