INTERNATIONAL CONFLUENCES 3 (2015)
M. Abderrahmane Moussaoui

The Salafist movement is a trend of Sunni Islam, born, on the eighteenth century, in Medina (Saudi Arabia). It claims the return of Islam fundamentals, which are the Qur'an and Sunnah.

“Salafia” that is derived from the radical “Salaf”, means ancient, ancestor. It includes a conception, a step and its followers considering that Islam was affected in his mind and practice, and it is high time to restore it to its original purity.

Salafiya is often translated by fundamentalism. It tends to banish IJTIHAD (renewal) and to comply with prophet words and acts.

Add to this, Salafism expresses a different trends going through Islam, it claims, in reality, Halibalism, the most hard, pure and rigoristic doctrine. It further fights for the disappearance of nation and boundaries, which result today, in Algeria, the explosion of national and religious boundaries, as well as the fissuring of Maliki dominant dogma.

Salafism appeared, in the late of 1970, in Algeria before taking a violent form in the 1990.

The Saudi Arabia targeted, in 1960, the leadership of the Muslim World. It started to head the pan-Islamism for thwarting the rise of pan-Arabism initiated by Cairo, and represented in particular by the Baath party which comes just to triumph, to ensure an internal political stability and hegemony in the Muslim World.

There are three types of Salafiyyah:


  1. Salafiyyah called "scientific" (al-'ilmiya). It fights for a society change by spreading an Islamic culture marked by documented references. Its followers are limited to religious aspects, and always give an opinion based on "scientific evidence" (ad-dilla 'Ilmiya), by referencing to Koran interpretation by the light of a documented Sunna. Wanting to be apolitical, they incite to sovereign respect, and consider disobedience as a serious misconduct.

  2. The Salafiyyah al-harakiya: it is represented by the Islamist Movement choosing to structure itself in parties to spread its convictions. For the leader and his followers, the Islam ideas shall be step by step spread in the society. Highly politicized, its followers claim modernity in many aspects of daily life (customs travel, etc.).
  3. Salafiyyah djihâdiya: it openly incites to jihad against the authorities for creating an Islamic State. They exhort to fight all those who govern or involved in exercising a power complying with laws than differ to those decreed by Allah. It considers every Muslim, who does not respect these divine laws, as an apostate who must be fought.