Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Salafism has Never Been More Happenin'

Costa Salafis: "We always Pay Our Dues" Adaption of Costa's Logo
You don't know what Salafism is? Join the club! Almost no one did, until January 25th revolution sparked interest in this lesser known term describing a non-defined group of Suni Muslims whose aim is to strictly adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him,)

Salafism, as a movement, was so obscure to me that I had to actually look up the term in My Oxford English Dictionary when I started to hear more and more about the bunch. The definition read that Salafism was a strictly orthodox Muslim sect advocating adherence to early Islam and the Prophet's teachings. Huh? Isn't that what all Muslims do (the Sunni ones anyway)?

So far so good, I thought. What sets Salafis apart is their fundamentalist approach, their strict interpretation of the texts (Koran and Sharia'). It is Islamic fundamentalism then. As time went by, however, it became obvious that the word Salafi became euphemism for bigot. As in "Ahhhh! He's a Salafiiist!" *eyes rolling* "You can expect anything from that bunch."

And then came a most progressive-- and hilarious-- group of Salafi-activists who call themselves "Salafyo Costa" Salafyo is the Classical Arabic word for Salafis, and Costa--well, Costa is your friendly Capitalist Coffee Franchise down the corner. They are a bunch of young hip and happenin' revolutionists who are, incidentally, Salafis.

They are progressive, modern, and very charming. All in all, they chatter any preconceived notion one might have about  Islamists in general  and Salafis in particular.

They are also  politically active and community-oriented.

One of their latest excursions was a trip to the village in Ameriya district where the latest sectarian crisis took place. (If you need a refresher on that click here) They came up with a relatively thorough independent report on what went down. And by relatively I mean a loose adaptation of tell-tales and hearsay from the village. Still though, it is the initiative that counts.

If you read Arabic check out their Facebook page: Salafyo Costa
and watch them on YouTube:  Salafyo Costa's Channel
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