religious movement or branch of Sunni Islam
(Redirected from Wahabis)

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎, romanized: Al-Wahhābiyyah, lit. 'Wahhabism') is a term used to refer to the Islamic revivalist movement within Sunni Islam; which is associated with the Hanbali reformist doctrines of the Arabian scholar Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab(1703-1792). It has been variously described as "orthodox", "puritan(ical)"; and as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" by devotees. The term Wahhabi(sm) was not used by 'Abd al-Wahhab himself, but it is chiefly used by outsiders polemically as an exonym and adherents reject its use, preferring to be called "Salafi" (a term used by followers of other Islamic reform movements as well), and view themselves as Muwahhid' (meaning Monotheistic), to emphasize the principle of Tawhid (the oneness of God). The term has also been described as a Sunniphobic slur. It adheres to the Athari theology.


  • A Wahhabi is simply a pure worshipper— a puritan of Islam, a follower of the uncontaminated faith of the Prophet. To represent him as invariably a secret conspirator against constituted authority—a worker in darkness, a preacher of sedition—is a libel.
  • Wahhabism is definitely an intolerant form of Islam. It is a local religious tradition that has gone global prematurely. We're seeing that it can be a revolutionary language that would inspire someone to commit atrocities in the name of Islam.
  • We are told that it's this form of fundamentalist religion represented by this Wahhabi-influenced Islamic, if you will, ideology or view that has created, if you will, a seedbed for people to become violent, to become anti-American, and to do the kinds of things that we call "extremism" now. Is that true? I don't think it has to do with Islam. I don't think it has to do with any form of this Islamic interpretation. Of course there is a problem with dogma. But I think the problem lies with the political systems that use religion.
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