Terrific: Salafism spreading in Egypt

A dozen satellite TV channels — most Saudi-funded — are perhaps the most effective way Salafism has been spread. They feature conservative preachers, call-in advice shows and discussion programs on proper Islamic behavior…

Alongside the cassettes were rows of books espousing Salafi themes about sin and Western decadence. One book, “The Sinful Behaviors of Women,” displayed lipstick, playing cards, perfumes and mobile phones on the cover to make its point. Another was titled “The Excesses of American Hubris.”…

Critics of Salafism say it has spread so quickly in part because of encouragement by the Egyptian and Saudi governments, which see it as an apolitical, nonviolent alternative to hard-line jihadi groups…

“The Salafi line is not that jihad is not a good thing, it is just not a good thing right now,” said Richard Gauvain, a lecturer in comparative religion at the American University in Cairo.