Salafism and Wahhabism

Salafism and Wahhabism represent, respectively, the general and specific facets of an ideological trend in the Muslim world. There are some commonalities as well as differences between these two movements. Although both agree that the only way to achieve salvation is by returning to the orthodox doctrines of early Islam, they differ in their means. Salafists emphasize invitation (daʿwa) and the encouragement of others to their message instead of the application of force. Jihad (holy war) for them is essentially a defensive battle with non-Muslims who attack Islamic countries. In contrast, for Wahhabis, the waging of violent conflict is accepted as a religious duty. In addition to defensive struggle, they practice offensive jihad in order to guide both non-Muslims and non-Wahhabi Muslims (in the ...

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