Conceptualizing Jihad Among Southeast Asia s Radical Salafi Movements

Kamarulnizam Abdullah, Mohd Afandi Salleh


The major argument in this article is that the contemporary concept of jihad inclines to have a heavy personal political baggage. In Southeast Asia, the talibanization and the influence of the al-Qaeda interpretation of the jihad appear to have made their inroad in regional radical salafi movements such as the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), Jama ah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), and Hizbut Tahrir (HT). Radical salafi differs from the traditional salafi given its belief in the use of force to achieve religious-political objectives. Indonesia has been the center for these movements and their presence has been felt in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Philippines. Some of them have been active in propagating the new concept of jihad. Therefore, this article maps out the conception of jihad as it is propounded by the three movements. It discusses how the conception of these movements of jihad has departed from the earlier salafi movements. In addition, it discusses how the idea has been expanded from Indonesia to other parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago.


Jihad, Radical Salafi, Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), Jama ah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), and Hizbut Tahrir (HT), religious fundamentalism

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