Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Baggy Future

KC sent me here:

On the streets of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, clusters of men wear long tunics over baggy trousers, a costume common in Pakistan but virtually unknown among Palestinians -- until recently.

It is an emblem of the Salafi, a branch of Islam that advocates restoring a Muslim empire across the Middle East and into Spain. Some preach violence, even killing Muslims deemed not pious enough. While historically a fringe group in the southeastern Mediterranean, they have sought inroads in Lebanon and Jordan and are battling Hamas in Gaza.

While al-Qaeda, which shares the Salafis’ conservative religious views and promotion of holy war, hasn’t gained a foothold in the region, Salafis may be the wave of the future.

1 comment:

Dale said...

Yes, the Salafi are quite big in Saudi (where they are know by the West as Wahabis) and have gained influence in the rest of the Muslim world through billions of dollars spent building mosques and madrasas. They often try and attach their Islamic methods to the emotion of Arab Nationalism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi) They are also the main force behind 'Dawa' or Islamic missionary efforts.
I posted on them recently here as well: