During the last twenty years, missionary Salafi movements have emerged and gained followers in many European countries. In Germany, in the early 2000s, a small number of Salafi activists started to establish a nationwide network of mosque associations and Islamic centers, which intensely engages in da?wa ('call' or 'invitation' to Islam).
This network seems to have developed in just a few years into one of the most successful agents in the conversion of Germans to Islam.
Today, Salafism is the fastest-growing Islamic movement in Germany and has some three to four thousand followers, about 0.1 percent of the Muslim population in the country.
Questions abound over the strategies, methods and topics of Salafi da ?wa and the reasons for the success of this tendency of Islam in Germany, in the light of the absence of migrants and scholars from Saudi Arabia – the religious center of Salafism – in the country.
We also have to raise the question why many second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants reject the Islamic traditions of their parents and choose instead a ‘de-culturalized’ transnational Salafi identity, and why Salafism appears to have a special appeal for German converts.
Nina Wiedl is a PhD candidate at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her thesis is entitled Contemporary Calls to Islam: Salafi Da‘wa in Germany 2002-2011.
Publisher: Centre for Studies in Islamism and Radicalisation (CIR)
Publication Date: 11 October 2012
Price: DKK 75 / € 10.00
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