The Introduction presents the background, aims, main concepts, and structure of the study, plus the key beliefs and practices that characterize Salafi groups—such as tawhid, da’wa, tarbiya, and opposition to bid’a. It introduces the concept of ‘commitment’ and an inclusive definition of ‘conversion’ that covers the born-again experiences of many British Salafis of Muslim background. It also examines the term ‘Salafi’ and critiques attempts to categorize violent and nonviolent Islamic activists as part of a single Salafi movement (e.g., Quintan Wiktorowicz’s typology). The author associates the label with quietists in the United Kingdom and explains their differences from Jihadis and Islamists. She also describes Salafi attitudes towards non-Muslims, shari’a, fiqh, and Islamic authority (notably, the roles of the Qur’an, sunna, salaf, and ‘ulama). Finally, she demonstrates how the study fills several lacunae in the academic literature by addressing women, black converts, Somalis, and the ‘everyday’ in British Salafism.
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