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Friday, June 7, 2013

Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood: what is the difference?

This post has been moved. You can access it HERE.


  1. Excellent. Thanks for explaining the difference, a matter that has always puzzled me.

  2. Thank you again Mark for providing this explanation with such precision and clarity. As you have pointed out, from an ideological perspective there is not much daylight between both forms of virulent Islamic supremacy - other than the size of their respective zabibas!

    Unfortunately this view of the Brotherhood is not shared at the highest levels currently providing policy advice to government. In fact its quite the opposite. Few have made the connection with the Salafists who they conveniently label as the ideological source for violent jihad, terrorism etc, and completely ignore that of Ikhwan (the Egyptian originated Brotherhood) which now, thanks to Saudi support and money, has a global reach with an active presence in nearly sixty countries including Australia (as similar to Hizbut Tahrir, they advocate a global caliphate).

    They also are dismissive of the substantiated claim that Dr Morsi is still a Brotherhood leader who is actively implementing their ideological agenda in Egypt (as the first step in the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate). Morsi has often claimed in the media to govern for 'all Egyptians' but he has never repudiated (nor ever will) the Brotherhood's widely published manifesto which states among its objectives making Egypt an Islamic state under Sharia, the forced conversion or subjugation of all non-Muslims (i.e. the Copts) and the destruction of Israel.

    In fact this is completely overlooked or ignored by most Western governments, including in particular the White House and of course our own in large part because even the so-called experts advising them don't know that the difference between Salafists and the Brotherhood is negligible.

  3. One ex Muslim who is now a Christian - radical or non-radical Islam are both the same.

  4. people in countries in the west will wake up one day and ask how didnot we see it before. the tactics of muslims are simple. be quite until you become strong or in arabic: " tmaskan tatitmakan".
    muslems who live in western countries and enjoy their civil rights will never be loyal to the hosting countries and their liberal and democratic is against the idea of islam.

  5. Hi Mark
    This is a really useful explanation. I also just wish there were clear expositions of the way salafism relates to Sunni Islam (I understand the former are a more literalist subset of the latter) and also the origins of the sunna. I understand it comes from specific ahadith - I hope I have that right - and the siri - the life of Mohammed. but I am having trouble understanding the difference between a report of Mohammed's actions, comments and so on - which form the hadith - as I understand it - and his biography - the siri. To this Western mind, it all looks the same.... most obliged for an article explaining this.

    1. For an explanation of the sunna - indeed of how Islam is structured - you can catch my lecture at Calvin College on Understanding Islam. See here: - the first lecture in the three part series.

  6. The fatal flaw to Salafism is that the Quran and other Muslim holy texts say very little about modern business practices. I can imagine it would be impossible for a truly Salafist country to function in the world economy. The Saudis have to kiss up the American government, a point that anti-Saudi Salafists know very well.

    The solution is to make propaganda showing Salafist practices ending in misery and pain for everyone. The jingle is "BID'AH IS GOOD"


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