“Perhaps we see it in negative terms, but, ultimately, it is positive”
The responses of Swedish Salafis to COVID-19
This article investigates how prominent preachers within Sweden’s most active puritan Salafi group, Islam.nu, relate to COVID-19. The article analyzes material published online between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020, which is herein divided into three categories: rhetorical responses, social responses, and theological responses. Salafism is often presented in academic literature and by the media as a current that is at odds with the majority society. The material analyzed shows that the Salafi group upon which this article focuses can rhetorically criticize certain expressions in the majority culture while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of heeding the recommendations of the Swedish authorities. Islam is presented both as an alternative and as a complement. The material also shows how the strong emphasis on proselytizing that is typical for Islam.nu is also apparent in relation to COVID-19.