Salafis are increasingly active in Egyptian politics and society. The ongoing Egyptian Revolution has opened political space for many previously suppressed and marginalized groups to engage in religious and political activism.
Although the label Arab Spring is still being used to describe a broad range of political protest movements and revolutionary actions across North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, it seems adequate only for the initial stages of protest in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, and other predominantly Arab countries.
The Egyptian Revolution needs to be considered as a distinct and ongoing revolutionary processes. The continuing social demonstrations, political protests, and violent clashes suggest that the “revolutionary situation,” to use the terminology of Charles Tilly, is still developing.
The comparative history of revolutions is useful in examining the political processes at work in Egypt. Histories of the French Revolution demonstrate how fundamental legal norms and social conventions were disrupted by that revolution.
Northern Illinois University students in HIST 423 French Revolution and Napoleon, as well as students working on comparative religious violence, will be interested in this story.
NPR reports on the Egyptian Salafis and their aims.