Salafism, often referred to as ‘Wahhabism’, is widely regarded as a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that fuels Jihadism and subjugates women. Some even lump ISIS and Salafism together—casting suspicion upon the thousands of Muslims who identify as Salafi in the West. After gaining unprecedented access to Salafi women’s groups in London, I discovered the realities behind the myths.
I’ve often heard Muslims describe the holy month of Ramadan as an ‘iman [i.e. faith] boost’ – as though it were some kind of spiritual energy drink. A whole month, in other words, to recharge one’s spiritual batteries.