September 20, 2012

The Sources of Salafi Conduct

William McCants, Foreign Affairs

AP Photo

If the Arab Spring uprisings were an earthquake in Middle Eastern politics, last week was a major aftershock. The rumbling began in Cairo, where a satellite TV station run by Salafis played clips of an inflammatory film about the Prophet Muhammad. Soon after, Salafi religious leaders called for protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, blaming Washington for not censoring a film made in the United States. The pattern was repeated in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and elsewhere. Although much has been made of the riots as a response to the film, they are more fundamentally about the nature of the post-Arab Spring regimes, and specifically about who gets to police public morality. Salafis across the region see themselves as the rightful guardians of the public sphere -- and are acting to ensure...

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TAGGED: Egypt, Salafists


September 12, 2012
The Salafi Moment Arrives
Christian Caryl, Foreign Policy
By now you've probably heard. Just a few hours after an angry mob of ultraconservative Muslims stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed during a protest in the city of Benghazi. Both riots were... more ››
September 16, 2012
Fueling Muslim 'Grievance' Culture
Jeremy Havardi, Commentator
Condemning the "grievance" as much as the perpetrator is fast becoming the default response to mass Islamist violence. This must not be allowed to stand. more ››
September 15, 2012
Media Fiddle While Mideast Burns
Investor's Business Daily
In just several days the dangerous ineptitude of U.S. foreign policy has been fully exposed. But instead of reporting this meltdown, the media use it to further hurt the candidate they oppose. more ››
The administration’s greatest failing during the Arab revolutions has been not displays of weakness, as Mitt Romney has charged, but excessive caution. It has been too slow to support legitimate movements for change, to back... more ››
September 16, 2012
Film Protests: What Explains the Anger?
Shashank Joshi, BBC News
The Arab Spring did indeed invigorate a range of Islamist movements and weakened the law enforcement capabilities of the affected states. In that febrile political environment, protests might have been easier to start, simpler... more ››