Salafism in America: History, Evolution, Radicalization

On October 15th, 2018, the Program on Extremism hosted the launch event for its latest report, Salafism in America: History, Evolution, Radicalization, by PoE's Europe Fellow and former Research Director, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens.

Salafism, a conservative global Islamic movement, has become a topic of increased interest among scholars and policymakers over the last decade. Although worthy of study in its own right, the Salafi movement often attracts attention because certain components of it provide some of the ideological inspiration for Salafi-jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

This study is among the first to focus solely on Salafism in the United States. Drawing on multiple primary sources, including interviews with some of the foundational figures of Salafism in the country, it provides an overview of the history, evolution and contours of the movement.  In doing so, it also offers new insights into the genesis of jihadism in the United States.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens was joined on the panel by Hassan Hassan, a PoE Senior Research Fellow and author of the bestselling book ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, and Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The Program on Extremism's Director, Lorenzo Vidino, moderated the panel.