When Salafi Muslims Meet Evangelical Christians: A Hopeful Dispatch from the United States

Salafism, a modern reformist movement in Sunni Islam, is often labeled “radical Islam” or “Islamic fundamentalism” and tied to images of terrorism or hardline interpretations of Islamic law. But Matthew D. Taylor’s recent book Scripture People: Salafi Muslims in Evangelical Christians’ America offers a different lens for considering Salafism. Drawing on his own American evangelical background and his ethnographic studies and interviews with American Salafi leaders, Dr Taylor shows how, despite the many negative connotations attached to the movement, Salafism is a very flexible and adaptive form of contemporary Islam. He argues that the similarities between the Salafi approach to Islamic scripture and the evangelical approach to Christian scripture have actually allowed Salafis to find a niche within American religious pluralism in the post-9/11 environment. Today, Salafism in America is well integrated into the American Muslim community, and there are even Salafi leaders and shaykhs who’ve forged interfaith friendships and alliances.

Dr Matthew D. Taylor is a senior scholar and the Protestant scholar at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where he specializes in Muslim-Christian dialogue, evangelical and Pentecostal movements, religious politics in the U.S, and American Islam. Prior to coming to ICJS, Taylor served on the faculty of Georgetown University and The George Washington University. His first book, Scripture People: Salafi Muslims in Evangelical Christians’ America (Cambridge University Press, 2023), offers an introduction to the oft-misunderstood Salafi movement in the U.S. by way of comparison with American Evangelicalism. He is also the creator of the award-winning audio-documentary series “Charismatic Revival Fury: The New Apostolic Reformation,” which details how networks of extremist Christian leaders helped instigate the January 6th Insurrection. His second book, The Violent Take It By Force: The Christian Movement that is Threatening Our Democracy (Broadleaf Books), will be published in Fall 2024.


  • Date : 08 Apr 2024
  • Time : 18:00 - 19:00 (Europe/London)

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