Salafism in Somalia: Coping with Coercion, Civil War and its Own Contradictions

In: Islamic Africa
Roland Marchal cnrs/Sciences Po, Paris,

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Zakaria M. Sheikh Independent researcher

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Salafism in Somalia has to cope with violence for most of its duration, whether this violence was exercised against its supporters or whether had violence was seen as a way for some Salafi trends to survive the supremacy of armed groups and the military intervention of external players. Its existence was possible only because its supporters found ways to escape, enforce, or neutralize violence using social mechanisms that eventually had a strong impact on their own understanding of Islam. In particular, it has proven to be a resilient ideology despite the failure of its political expressions in the 1990s or the growth of a Jihadi movement opposed by regional states and western allies.

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