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Volume :42 Issue : 2 2014      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Jihadi Salafists in the Era of Arab Democratic Revolutions: "Ansar Al Shari'a" and the New Political Role

Auther : Mohammed Abu Remman

This study discusses the reasons behind the birth of the phenomenon of "The Shar'ia Followers Groups". These groups represent the Jihadi Salafism's response to the Arab Democratic Revolutions and to the structural transformations and changes that took place in a milieu surrounding Al Qaeda and the Jihadists, which forced them to reconsider their priorities and strategic perceptions vis-ب-vis policies of political change. Jihadi salafism offers its new vision via the "Shar'ia Followers" and seeks to emphasize the refusal to engage in the democratic process or ploy. It advocates the arbitration of Islamic law through "legitimate means" sought outside the framework of the democratic process rather than from within it. This vision materialized with the growing involvement of traditional Salafi groups in Egypt and other countries in the democratic process through political participation and the establishment of political parties that aim at establishing an Islamic State. Moreover, the emergence of Shar'ia Followers Groups came as a consequence of the deliberations of Jihadis in Egypt, Libya and Morocco, who called for the abandoning of the ideology of governance (Hakimiya) and armed struggle, also with the rise of a Muslim Brothers discourse that advocated the   adoption of Democracy as a "system of governance". The current study maintains that the Shari'a Followers represent a new phase of Jihadi Salafism which responds to adaptation needs dictated by the current era of the Arab Spring. It concludes that the present situation is likely to be conducive to a change in the political role these groups are to play in the near future.

Keywords: Shar'ia Followers, Jihadi Salafism, Ideological transformations, Groups of Political Islam, Arbitration of Shar'ia and Democracy.

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