Arrival of Legal Salafism and the Struggle for Recognition in Germany – Reflection and Adaptation Processes within the German Da’wa movement between 2001 and 2022

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Abstract

The article investigates the transformation within a specific branch of German Salafism from a publicly-assertive da'wa (proselytizing) to a politically accommodating and legal advocacy movement. In doing so, a process analysis that focuses on internal and reflexive narrations among Salafi leaders and lay members, through a three year-long mosque-based ethnography (2018–2021) and textual analysis (2008–2022), is employed. Previous studies focused predominately on the “Salafi growth phase” (2005–2015) in Germany that is associated with the attraction of exclusive group boundaries, flat hierarchies and informal networks. Less research exists on the current “decline phase”, which has commenced a re-orientation and critical reflection on past strategies and new ways of civic engagement and legal pragmatism. By exploring this new phase, the article integrates a longitudinal dimension into conventional research protocols on contemporary Salafism. The paper concludes with a discussion on the converging struggles for recognition among Muslim and other religious minorities in Europe, while linking these transformations to domestic opportunity structures rather than transnational reconfigurations of so-called “global Salafism”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-434
Number of pages19
JournalPolitics and Religion
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023

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