Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya [Updated January 24, 2008]   [open pdf - 73KB]

"The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent discussions of religious extremism have called attention to Islamic puritanical movements known as Wahhabism and Salafiyya. Al Qaeda leaders and their ideological supporters have advocated a violent message that some suggest is an extremist interpretation of this line of puritanical Islam. Other observers have accused Saudi Arabia, the center of Wahhabism, of having disseminated a religion that promotes hatred and violence, targeting the United States and its allies. Saudi officials strenuously deny these allegations. This report1 provides a background on Wahhabism and its relationship to active terrorist groups; it also summarizes recent charges against Wahhabism and responses, including the findings of the final report of the 9/11 Commission and relevant legislation in the 110th Congress. The report will be updated to reflect major developments. Related CRS products include CRS Report RL33533, CRS Report RL32499, CRS Report RS21432, CRS Report RS21529, CRS Report RS21654, and CRS Report RL31718."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21695
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