The International Panel on Exiting Violence (IPEV) has organized with Carnegie Corporation of New York and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace two roundtables in New York and Washington D.C mid-November.

Mohamed Ali Adraoui, leader of the IPEV working group “Between Salafism, sectarianism and violence“, has presented the approach and the results of his working group at Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Video | Mohamed Ali Adraoui about Salafism and Jihadism

Primary findings

  • We need to understand the subjectivity of the actors.

What are their narratives and why do they believe in them?

  • Salafists have discrepancies when it comes to the methodology.

Some of them create political parties, others avoid being political involved, some go for violence and establish a transnational politicized movement…

  • Most of them do not have a religious background.

One does not need to have a strong religious background to become radicalized.

  • There is a jihadisation of conflicts.

Jihadists use violence as counter-violence. So there is no jihadist struggle at the very beginning but a jihadisation of struggles. For example, Syria is a cas d’ecole as Religion is a matter but not prominent.

  • At a macro level there are porosities between Salafism and Jihadism.

The biggest similarity between them in every country is that they have the feeling that their religion is under threat.

Recommendations for exiting violence:

  • Listening to Muslim voices.

The group recommends to listen to Muslim voices when they express their grievances in a strategy of deescalation of the conflict.

  • Using a discourse fostering a deescalation of the violent conflict.

Accurate discourses are important ; for example, the pattern « us » versus « them » is inadecuate. The key would be to give a polititical legetimacy to political grievances.