The Salafi Moment

The certainty that FP, and other publications like it, bring to these subjects is seemingly admirable. But they keep getting it wrong all the time. Here they go again:

Painting a picture of a new “Salafi crescent” ranging from the Persian Gulf to North Africa, she worries that this bodes ill for newly won freedoms after the revolutions of 2011.

via The Salafi Moment – By Christian Caryl | Foreign Policy.

Salafi Crescent! This term has just arrived on the scene, not yet old enough to have a wiki page. I can’t seem to find any references to Salafi crescent before August 2012. The term is circulating up and down and across the media now. Some examples with dates here:

The Widening Salafi Crescent Published 8/20/2012

Chippshots: Robin Wright on “Fearing” the “Salafi Crescent 8/0/2012

Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis – 8/19

Renewing America’s Fighting Faith | Foreign Policy 09/05

International Herald Tribune – The widening Salafi crescent 08/20

Shia Crescent on the other hand is old enough as a term to have a wikipedia page and its own theory. “Shia Crescent” returns 2,240 hits on Google scholar, so it has already been scienced in peer-reviewed journals. “Salafi Crescent’, however, returns only one hit on Google scholar, and that too to a blog post like this one. So watch it grow if you like to follow the social life [and death] of terms such as this.

Freedom and Revolutions! I don’t know what these terms mean either. In my own comment on a previous post, I wrote:

Western references to the terms liberal and fundamentalist to label and frame Egyptian politics are likely to ignore that this ain’t the same pack of cards in the middle east and further east and south, even if it looks and feels the same from distance because of similar sounds and syllables. When the West celebrates the revolution in Egypt, it does so on the basis of a different image of what a revolution is all about, and that image is very particular and historically specific, not universal.

About Irfan

I am an independent researcher and blogger interested in everything under the sun, but more so in the philosophy and history of education and education reform generally, and specifically in the so-called post colonial contexts

One Response to “The Salafi Moment”

  1. I think the way this crisis has spread, and in countries where the West helped bring about ‘democracy’, it represents a general anger against the US and West, the movie is only an excuse. The media and anchors are quick to identify a Salafi face for the protesting Muslims. They just don’t understand it when they bring faces to this anger; alqaeda, taliban, mujahideen, wahabism, salafi, hizbullah/shia, it encompasses pretty much all the 1.5 billion population of Muslims.

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