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The Arab Maghreb-the long stretch of North Africa that expands from Libya to Mauritania-is a vitally important region that impacts the security and politics of Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the broader Middle East. As Middle East scholars Frederic Wehrey and Anouar Boukhars show in Salafism in the Maghreb, it is also home to the conservative, literalist interpretation of Islam known as Salafism, which has emerged as a major social and political force. Through extensive interviews and fieldwork, Wehrey and Boukhars examine the many roles and manifestations of Salafism in the Maghreb, looking at the relationship between Salafism and the Maghreb's ruling regimes, as well as competing Islamist currents, increasingly youthful populations, and communal groups like tribes and ethno-linguistic minorities. They pay particular attention to how seemingly immutable Salafi ideology is often shaped by local contexts and opportunities. Informed by rigorous research, deep empathy, and unparalleled access to Salafi adherents, clerics, politicians, and militants, Salafism in the Maghreb offers a definitive account of this important Islamist current.
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About the Author
Frederic Wehrey is a senior fellow in the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya and Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings, which was chosen as a "Best Book on the Middle East" by Foreign Affairs magazine in 2014. His articles and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and the New Yorker, among other publications. He holds a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University. Anouar Boukhars is a nonresident fellow in Carnegie's Middle East Program and Associate Professor of International Relations at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He is also Professor of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism at the Africa Center for Strategic and International Studies, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. He is the author of Politics in Morocco: Executive Monarchy and Enlightened Authoritarianism. Boukhars routinely conducts fieldwork in Africa and consults frequently for the African Union, World Bank, the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and European governments.