This one-day workshop on the subject of Salafism was organised by the LIVIT project and held at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University.


The aim of this event was to bring together postgraduate researchers and other established academics in the field working on various aspects of Salafism to present, discuss, and share their ideas. The event attracted a great interest from participants from different institutions in the UK and other countries including Germany, Belgium, and the United States, and proved to be a great success. In addition to the presenters, the workshop had the honour of the presence of some leading experts in the field of Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter as well as other scholars including Dr. Joas Wagemakers, a leading expert on Jihadi-Salafism, from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

 

A total of eight papers, covering different topics in this emerging field of study, were presented and discussed. Themes ranging from politics to approaches to Islamic law, the workshop provided a space for academics to critically engage with the subjects presented. It was also a great occasion for those who are not familiar with the field of Salafism to better understand a subject which has received little consideration to date. Topics related to the uncertainty concerning the relationship between politics and Salafism in particular, dominated discussion during the day generating much debate and queries.

 

The workshop proved that there is a growing interest in the subject of Salafism, and it provided a great opportunity for researchers to meet researchers with similar interests in the field to discuss and help each other to overcome the difficulties and challenges they face in their relative projects.  Although, the duration of this event was very short, the workshop could prove to be a start for a new series of events geared towards a better understanding of this elusive field of research. There was also a possibility for the attendees to discuss matters outside of the conference on several occasions.  At the dinners organised before and after the Seminar, discussions took place on several interesting topics related to Salafism.

 

Overall the workshop can be said to have been a success.  Many different views were shared and contacts were made amongst those who attended.  The various research interests and discussions which took place indicate the need for further research on Salafism, and it is the hope of all attendees that with the success of this workshop many others events will take place to bring the researchers and academics interested in this area together in order to create a network of interest on the subject.