Checking in from Cairo, Senior Uncertain Principles Middle East Correspondant Paul Schemm, with a wire story titled “Ultraconservative Islam on Rise in Mideast”:

Critics worry that the rise of Salafists in Egypt, as well as in other Arab countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, will crowd out the more liberal and tolerant version of Islam long practiced there. They also warn that the doctrine is only a few shades away from that of violent groups like al-Qaida — that it effectively preaches “Yes to jihad, just not now.”

In the broad spectrum of Islamic thought, Salafism is on the extreme conservative end. Saudi Arabia’s puritanical Wahhabi interpretation is considered its forerunner, and Saudi preachers on satellite TV and the Internet have been key to its Salafism’s spread.

That’s just fantastic.

One of these days, there’ll be good news from that part of the world, and I’ll probably think it’s a hoax.


  1. #1 Adrienne
    October 20, 2008

    What is it about these extreme forms of religions that makes them so appealing to people? I just don’t get it.

  2. #2 sng
    October 20, 2008


    Ignore the name in the URL the essay in question floats a very interesting hypothesis about the answer to your question.

  3. #3 Tercel
    October 20, 2008

    Good question. Along the same lines, what is it about televangelism that is so appealing to religious extremists? It sounds like this is the Islamic version of the 700 club.

  4. #4 wokka
    October 21, 2008
  5. #5 milkshake
    October 21, 2008

    In the ultraconservative Islamic interpretation, parity violation is haraam.

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