French Minister Warns of the Dangers of Salafism — In 1928

(Click to enlarge)

The following letter was written in 1928 by the French Colonial Minister, Léon Perrier, to the Governor General of French West Africa. Mr. Perrier could see clearly then what Western officials are unable to see, or refuse to see, or are in active collaboration with in the year 2017.

Mr. Perrier was warning against the dangers of Salafism, which at that time was confined to North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Now it has penetrated almost the whole of Western Europe, and there is no obvious way to get rid of it.

The minister’s letter also happens to coincide with the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The image at the top of this post recently surfaced on Twitter. I don’t know the provenance of the original document, or who took the photo.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation:

Colonial Ministry — Paris, April 24, 1928
Department of Muslim Affairs

Request for information on #I74 [sic]
“Salafiya” in AOF [French West Africa]

to the Governor General of AOF [French West Africa]

For a few years now, there has been a renewal movement in the Islamic world that should, it seems, be attracting our attention.

This intellectual movement known as the “Salafi” movement tends to realize reforms in the religious order which must return the practices of worship to the purity of primitive Islam. Although it is developing outside the influence of IBN SEOUD and the Ulemas [Sunni Islamic scholars] of the Nedjd, [Nejd or Najd, central part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] it is not unlike, at various points, Arabian Wahhabism, and has sometimes been confused with it. It is already very active in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It seems that the Communist agitators are interested in it, as they are interested in anything that can disturb the established order, exalt particularisms and cause confusion. But even if it is not used by European elements hostile to our influence, the “Salafi” movement does not fail to present, from the point of view of public order and the maintenance of our authority, serious dangers against which it is necessary to protect ourselves. Its actions, as is the rule in Islam and in all religious schisms, will certainly leave the theological field and become political. On the other hand, this religious reform, in fact, attacks all the religious personalities whose attachment to the reigning tradition and devotion to our cause allowed them to occupy a leading position. It is also hostile to the congregations that have such a large place in the religious life of the Muslims of the AOF [French West Africa] and whose contributions we have appreciated.

6 thoughts on “French Minister Warns of the Dangers of Salafism — In 1928

  1. …there is no obvious way to get rid of it.

    Au contraire.

    It’s rather obvious. Just not very pleasant. As Europe is soon to learn.

    • Well said.

      I like to recount Bruce Catton’s telling of the tightening of discipline in the Union Army during the War of Northern Aggression. At the start, state units elected leaders and ran things in a somewhat relaxed fashion. As the realities of the war began to intrude harsher methods were introduced, such as tying soldiers to a wagon wheel and flogging them.

      My grandfather’s and great grandfather’s Illinois regiment executed one soldier for desertion.

      Xunzi in “The Art of War” illustrated the same principle in a story of the man who demonstrated discipline to the king using several of his concubines. At first they though that the order to line up was a joke but when the man had two of them executed they did not think it so amusing. The West is presently in the “tee hee” stage of dealing with life’s realities which do not, let it be said, have anything to do with “gender fluidity,” “safe spaces,” moving your manufacturing base to a communist country, or the worship of foreigners and homosexuals.

      Then there’s Solzhenitsyn reference to the armor around men’s minds that is likely only to be broken by “the pitiless crowbar of events.” From what I can see in the corporate media, reason avails us not at all and absurd garbage is trumpeted night and day.

      Merkel by a landslide!

      • I’m opposed to calling the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression for this reason. It was the Confederacy that actually started the war by attacking a federal installation and property, Fort Sumter. Robert Tombs, a staunch supporter of the Confederacy, told Confederate president Davis to his face that if he carried out the attack, he would destroy the Confederacy, which is in fact what happened.

        I myself would prefer that the Confederacy had been allowed to go its own way, but it simply can’t be denied that the Confederacy initiated the war. Once a country begins a war, it’s not so easy to control it, something we would do well to keep in mind as the US threatens Russia, and threatens to blow North Korea off the face of the earth.

        Lincoln, once engaged in the war, was determined to win it. He did. Again, you can disagree with the objective of forcibly reuniting the states, but would you criticize a leader who takes all necessary measures to win a war, especially a war he didn’t start.

  2. Would it be possible to put this bit “It seems that the Communist agitators are interested in it,” in bold or make it stand out in the text? I think it may be the most important bit of information, after the warning itself of the movement.

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