Deutsche Welle: The number of Salafists in Germany has increased twofold since 2013, the interior ministry said Wednesday, surpassing December’s “all-time high.” The number of individuals classified as Salafists by regional authorities in state offices for the Protection of the Constitution reached 11,000, the ministry said, confirming an earlier report from German newspaper Tagesspiegel. Five years ago the German intelligence agency BfV placed this number at 5,500 — half of the current total.
Who are the Salafists? (Brooking Institute)
Salafism is the idea that the most authentic and true Islam is found in the lived example of the early, righteous generations of Muslims, known as the Salaf, who were closest in both time and proximity to the Prophet Muhammad. Salafis—often described as “ultraconservatives”—believe not just in the “spirit” but in the “letter” of the law, which is what sets them apart from their mainstream counterparts. In the Arab world today, Salafis are known for trying to imitate the particular habits of the first Muslims, such as dressing like the Prophet (by cuffing their trousers at ankle-length) or brushing their teeth like the Prophet (with a natural teeth cleaning twig called a miswak).