The Role of political salafism in the formation of Saudi Arabia and the taliban regime

Öztürk, Selim
This dissertation aims to analyze the role of political Salafism in the formation of early Saudi emirates, today’s Saudi Kingdom and the Taliban regime (1996-2001) in Afghanistan. The study examines the formation of the Salafi creed in the Medieval Age first and then focuses on the formation of political Salafism with regard to the political developments and conflicts during the Abbasid era. Then, then it focuses on the rise of political Salafism in the 14th century with ibn Taymiyyah’s struggle against the Mongol rule that destroyed the Abbasids. The intellectual heritage of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and ibn Taymiyyah formed the political Salafi tradition in Islamic history. Political Salafism emerged as a result of perception of threats in the Medieval Age. Salafi scholars regarded Shi’ites, Iranians, Kharijites, Sufis, Shu’ubiyyah and any foreign elements as threats and developed a defensive attitude and rhetoric against them. I argue that political Salafism created three instruments like perception of threat, mobilization, and unification. Ibn Abd al Wahhab reformulated political Salafism in Arabia in the 18th century through these three instruments. The rise of political Salafism in Arabia led to the formation of the Saudi emirates and Saudi Arabia. Political Salafi ideas later spread to the Indian Muslim society and political Salafism led to a revolt against the British rule in India. The same heritage of political Salafism resulted in the rise of the Taliban in the late 20th century. Political Salafism played a key role in the formation of both Saudi Arabia and the short termed Taliban regime.


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Citation Formats
S. Öztürk, “The Role of political salafism in the formation of Saudi Arabia and the taliban regime,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.