The Complex Links Between Salafism and Violent Extremism

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The Complex Links Between Salafism and Violent Extremism

Dr. Azim Zahir, Research fellow
The University of Western Australia

Abstract
There is considerable debate over the links between extremist ideologies and violent extremism. In the context of terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda, this debate centres around the links between Salafism and violent extremism, where the former is assumed to have given rise to groups like IS and Al Qaeda. This paper explores the links between Salafism and violent extremism in the context of the Maldives by analysing 1) randomly selected posts from Facebook accounts that spread or are supportive of extremist or violent extremist views, and 2) the exchanges and rhetoric of mainstream Salafi ulama and violent extremist actors. Based on the findings, this paper shows there is no unidirectional link between mainstream Salafism and violent extremism. In other words, mainstream Salafism exists both as a discursive resource and as a constraint for violent extremism. Affirming the historicity, sociality and internal multiplicity of religious ideologies – in this case Salafism – this paper therefore concludes there is no generalisable singular link between religious ideologies and violent extremism.
Speaker

Dr Azim Zahir is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, the University of Western Australia. He has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from UWA. Zahir’s research interests include political Islam, democratisation, violence, and radicalisation, with a focus on South Asia. His forthcoming book, Islam and Democracy in the Maldives (Routledge, 2021) is now available for pre-order: https://www.routledge.com/Islam-and-Democracy-in-the-Maldives/Zahir/p/book/9781032015538

Webinar: https://uwa.zoom.us/j/87100667742?pwd=SW5xcXdIQzhBTjA1NmgvVjFaSGY3QT09
Password: 115433

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Date

Friday, 13 Aug 2021
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Time

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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Live Online Event
WWW
Category
CMSS: Centre for Muslim States and Societies

Organizer

CMSS: Centre for Muslim States and Societies
Phone
(08) 6488 4554
Email
cmss-ss@uwa.edu.au
Website
https://www.uwa.edu.au/able/research/centre-for-muslim-states-and-societies
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