Some scholars believe that there are two kind of Salafi. One group called 'traditional Salafi' and the other 'Jihadi Salafi'. now my question regards Salafi Jihadi. Who are they?


لإنتخابات والتحولات الديمقراطية في العالم العربي :‏: ‏خطوة للامام أم خطوة للوراء

Al-Quds Center for Political Studies

Al Manhal, 2008 - Arab countries - 262 p

Jordan; politics and government; Arab countries

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    I voted to close as unclear. But I admit it may just be that I am ignorant of what it is your are asking. You could make this clearer by giving it some context, explaining what it is you know of the Salafi, and what you are confused about. I suspect that someone who understands the situation might know what you are asking but for many of us you might as well be asking "Who is John Galt?" unless you know the context its meaningless. Aug 4, 2014 at 17:55
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    @Chad I think that the question is perfectly clear. The OP has heard about a group of people called the Salafi Jihadi, doesn't know who they are, but wants to. Now, I don't know the answer to this question, but that doesn't make the question itself unclear Aug 4, 2014 at 18:39
  • @SamIam - So he wants us to give him a name of the members? Or is he looking for their group charter? What is it he is wanting to know? Aug 4, 2014 at 19:41
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    Is there something in this Wikipedia article that does not answer your question? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi_movement#Views_on_extremism
    – user4012
    Aug 5, 2014 at 2:25
  • Wouldn't this be more suited to Islam SE given that it is about one school of thought in Islam?
    – NSNoob
    Apr 27, 2017 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


I am not sure the decomposition between "traditional" and "jihadi" is the best one. I would rather say quietist, political activists (rather recent if you exclude holy war partisans), and holy war partisans.

Salafism is quite well summed up in the wikipedia page :

The Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform branch or movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Arabia in the first half of the 18th century against a background of European colonialism. It advocated a return to the traditions of the "devout ancestors" (the salaf).

So far, it means you dress, pray, eat, live, ... according to the sacred sunni texts (quran & sunni hadith), with the salafs as role models.

However, these salafs wanted to establish an islamic state, and even fought wars for it. What to do about it ? What to do about the current government, assuming you already have freedom of religion * ?

First option: don't care. This is what salafi quietism means. This movements considers that mere mortals would be unable to establish an islamic state, so they shouldn't try to do it. It can also mean to wait for the mahdi, the person in charge of establishing an islamic state before the final judgement (who may be a "reincarnation" of the prophet, I am not sure about that, I confess that religion uses words without enough clarity behind them for me).

Second option: care. It can mean to engage in politics, like what some salafists did after the egyptian relovution. They got engaged in politics separately from the already in place islamist parties. In Tunisia, some founded the party Jahbat al islah. Or, it can also mean wage a holy war, what is usually called "jihadi salafism".

Note that there is an ambiguity with the term "jihad", since some people are calling to reform its meaning. There is none with the term "holy war" or with the activities of the list of groups mentioned in the wikipedia article for "salafi jihadi".

As for "who are they" like in a list of names and their locations, I think a lot of governments would like to know this...

*This can be problematic to define depending on what the religion is asking for.

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