New Books Network

Zoltan Pall‘s Salafism in Lebanon: Local and Transnational Movements (Cambridge University Press, 2018), a just published ethnographic investigation of the rise of Salafism among...

Zoltan Pall‘s Salafism in Lebanon: Local and Transnational Movements (Cambridge University Press, 2018), a just published ethnographic investigation of the rise of Salafism among Lebanese Sunni Muslims is far more than a study of an ultra-conservative community in a country that is a patchwork of religious communities. Pall’s book is an examination of what fuels the rise of Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism, its role in the larger Sunni-Shia divide in the Middle East that is in part driven by the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the inner workings of the funding of Salafism by charities in the Gulf that often serve the interests of governments in countries like Qatar and Kuwait. In doing so, Zoltan has made a significant contribution to academic, political and public debate about a phenomenon that governments, civil society and academia are still trying to wrap their head around.


James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.