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A useful introduction to the social, political, cultural and religious position of Muslims living in contemporary Europe. It describes the history of early European Muslims and outlines the causes and courses of 20th-century Muslim immigration. Explaining how Muslim communities have developed in individual countries, the book examines their origins, their present day ethnic composition, distribution and organisational patterns, and the political, legal and cultural contexts in which they exist. It also provides a comparative consideration of issues common to Muslims in all Western European countries, namely the role of the family, and the questions of worship, education and religious thought. In the fourth edition all country-related chapters have been substantially updated. A new chapter has also been added on Southern Europe, where the maturity of a new generation has seen moves towards political integration. This new chapter will reflect the extensive research of the past decade in this area
Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire recovers the stories of five Indian Muslim scholars who, in the aftermath of the uprising of 1857, were hunted by British authorities, fled their homes in India for such destinations as Cairo, Mecca, and Istanbul, and became active participants in a flourishing pan-Islamic intellectual network at the cusp of the British and Ottoman empires. Seema Alavi traces this network, born in the age of empire, which became the basis of a global Muslim sensibility-a form of political and cultural affiliation that competes with ideas of nationhood today as it did in the previous century. By demonstrating that these Muslim networks depended on European empires and that their sensibility was shaped by the West in many subtle ways, Alavi challenges the idea that all pan-Islamic configurations are anti-Western or pro-Caliphate. Indeed, Western imperial hegemony empowered the very inter-Asian Muslim connections that went on to outlive European empires. Diverging from the medieval idea of the umma, this new cosmopolitan community stressed consensus in matters of belief, ritual, and devotion and found inspiration in the liberal reforms then gaining traction in the Ottoman world. Alavi breaks new ground in the writing of nineteenth-century history by engaging equally with the South Asian and Ottoman worlds, and by telling a non-Eurocentric story of global modernity without overlooking the importance of the British Empire.
Young Muslim America explores the perspectives and identities of the American descendants of immigrant Muslims and converts to Islam. Whether their parents were new Muslims or new Americans, the younger generations of Muslim Americans grow up bearing a dual heritage and are uniquely positioned to expand the meaning of both. In this ethnographic study, Muna Ali explores the role of Muslim Americans within America and the ummah through four dominant narratives that emerge in the cultural discussions about and among Muslims. Cultural differences can cause an identity crisis among young Muslims torn between seemingly irreconcilable Islamic and Western heritages. Additionally, culture presumably contaminates a "pure" Islam and underlies all that divides Muslim America's diverse subgroups. Some propose creating an American Muslim culture and identity to overcome these challenges. But in this historical moment when Muslims have become America's newest "problem people" and political wedge, some Americans are suspicious of this identity and fear a Muslim cultural takeover and the "Islamization of America." Situating these discussions in the fields of identity, immigration, American studies, and the anthropology of Islam, Ali examines how younger Muslims see themselves, their faith community, and their society, and how that informs their daily life and helps them envision an American future.
The dreadful events of 11 September have brought Islam to the
forefront of world politics. This authoritative new book provides
the analysis for a far-reaching introduction to Islamic politics
for those coming to the subject for the first time. This account
provides a deep insight into dimensions of Muslim political life;
from democracy to despots, women to world affairs and history to
"The Origins of Arab Nationalism" contains the most recent revisionist scholarship on the rise of Arab nationalsim that began with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The various contributors, including C. Ernest Down, Mahmoud Haddad, Reeva Simon, and Beth Baron, provide an unusually broad survey of the Arab world at the turn on the century, permitting a comparison of developments in a variety of settings from Syria and Egypt to the Hijaz, Libya, and Iraq.
This Reader offers a comprehensive overview of the variety of methodological and theoretical approaches involved in, and relevant to, the emerging field of Anthropology of Islam. It pays particular attention to the study of ethnographic cases, featuring various forms of Islam as practiced in different social and cultural contexts. The Anthropology of Islam Reader also explores topics of great current interest such as the body and cultural politics, the veil and the public sphere and key practices and festivals such as the Hajj and Eid. In his selections, Jens Kreinath highlights the diversity of practices and themes that were formative for this field of study, making this essential reading for students of Islam at undergraduate and graduate level.
When the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyad dynasty in 750 CE, an important element in legitimizing their newly won authority involved defining themselves in the eyes of their Islamic subjects. Nadia Maria El Cheikh shows that ideas about women were central to the process by which the Abbasid caliphate, which ushered in Islam's Golden Age, achieved self-definition. In most medieval Islamic cultures, Arab Islam stood in opposition to jahl, or the state of impurity and corruption that existed prior to Islam's founding. Over time, the concept of jahl evolved into a more general term describing a condition of ignorance and barbarism-as well as a condition specifically associated in Abbasid discourse with women. Concepts of womanhood and gender became a major organizing principle for articulating Muslim identity. Groups whose beliefs and behaviors were perceived by the Abbasids as a threat-not only the jahilis who lived before the prophet Muhammad but peoples living beyond the borders of their empire, such as the Byzantines, and heretics who defied the strictures of their rule, such as the Qaramita-were represented in Abbasid texts through gendered metaphors and concepts of sexual difference. These in turn influenced how women were viewed, and thus contributed to the historical construction of Muslim women's identity. Through its investigation of how gender and sexuality were used to articulate cultural differences and formulate identities in Abbasid systems of power and thought, Women, Islam, and Abbasid Identity demonstrates the importance of women to the writing of early Islamic history.
Despite the intense media focus on Muslims and their religion since the tragedy of 9/11, few Western scholars or policymakers today have a clear idea of the distinctions between Islam and the politically based fundamentalist movement known as Islamism. In this important and illuminating book, Bassam Tibi, a senior scholar of Islamic politics, provides a corrective to this dangerous gap in our understanding. He explores the true nature of contemporary Islamism and the essential ways in which it differs from the religious faith of Islam.
Drawing on research in twenty Islamic countries over three decades, Tibi describes Islamism as a political ideology based on a reinvented version of Islamic law. In separate chapters devoted to the major features of Islamism, he discusses the Islamist vision of state order, the centrality of antisemitism in Islamist ideology, Islamism's incompatibility with democracy, the reinvention of jihadism as terrorism, the invented tradition of shari'a law as constitutional order, and the Islamists' confusion of the concepts of authenticity and cultural purity. Tibi's concluding chapter applies elements of Hannah Arendt's theory to identify Islamism as a totalitarian ideology.
Although terrorism is an age-old phenomenon, jihadi ideology is distinctive in its ambition to abandon the principle of state sovereignty, overthrow the modern state system, and replace it with an extremely radical interpretation of an Islamic world order. These characteristics reflect a radical break from traditional objectives promoted by terrorist groups. In "Combating Jihadism "Barak Mendelsohn argues that the distinctiveness of the al-Qaeda threat led the international community to change its approach to counterterrorism. Contrary to common yet erroneous conceptions, the United States, in its role as a hegemon, was critical for the formulation of a multilateral response.While most analyses of hegemony have focused on power, Mendelsohn firmly grounds the phenomenon in a web of shared norms and rules relating to the hegemon's freedom of action. Consequently, he explains why US leadership in counterterrorism efforts was in some spheres successful, when in others it failed or did not even seek to establish multilateral collaborative frameworks. Tracing the ways in which international cooperation has stopped terrorist efforts, "Combating Jihadism" provides a nuanced, innovative, and timely reinterpretation of the war on terrorism and the role of the United States in leading the fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
The figure of 'the Muslim' is constructed by both Muslim and non-Muslim Australians as incongruent with whiteness, but what of the experience of white Muslim converts, who shift from a 'raceless' white racial positioning to one that is highly racialised? Facing Race explores the lived experiences of thirty-six white Australian converts to Islam, in a national context where Islam is cast in opposition to the white Australian nation. Expanding on previous sociological literature that deals with macro-level racialisation of Muslims through institutions, legislation and policy, social structures and national discourses, author Oishee Alam details how racialisation is reproduced and experienced in everyday interpersonal encounters by white converts, with Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
In the `encyclopaedic' fourteenth century, Arabic chronicles produced in Mamluk cities bore textual witness to both recent and bygone history, including that of the Fatimids (969-1171CE). For in two centuries of rule over Egypt and North Africa, the Isma`ili Fatimids had left few self-generated historiographical records. Instead, it fell to Ayyubid and Mamluk historians to represent the dynasty to posterity. This monograph sets out to explain how later historians preserved, interpreted and re-organised earlier textual sources. Mamluk historians engaged in a sophisticated archival practice within historiography, rather than uncritically reproducing earlier reports. In a new diplomatic edition, translation and analysis of Mamluk historian Ibn al-Furat's account of late Fatimid rule in The History of Dynasties and Kings, a widely known but barely copied universal chronicle of Islamic history, Fozia Bora traces the survival of historiographical narratives from Fatimid Egypt. Through Ibn al-Furat's text, Bora demonstrates archivality as the heuristic key to Mamluk historical writing. This book is essential for all scholars working on the written culture and history of the medieval Islamic world, and paves the way for a more nuanced reading of pre-modern Arabic chronicles and of the epistemic environment in which they were produced.
Embracing a new religion, or leaving one's faith, usually constitutes a significant milestone in a person's life. While a number of scholars have examined the reasons why people convert to Islam, few have investigated why people leave the faith and what the consequences are for doing so. Taking a holistic approach to conversion and deconversion, Moving In and Out of Islam explores the experiences of people who have come into the faith along with those who have chosen to leave it-including some individuals who have both moved into and out of Islam over the course of their lives. Sixteen empirical case studies trace the processes of moving in or out of Islam in Western and Central Europe, the United States, Canada, and the Middle East. Going beyond fixed notions of conversion or apostasy, the contributors focus on the ambiguity, doubts, and nonlinear trajectories of both moving in and out of Islam. They show how people shifting in either direction have to learn or unlearn habits and change their styles of clothing, dietary restrictions, and ways of interacting with their communities. They also look at how communities react to both converts to the religion and converts out of it, including controversies over the death penalty for apostates. The contributors cover the political aspects of conversion as well, including debates on radicalization in the era of the "war on terror" and the role of moderate Islam in conversions.
Alone among the world's religions, Islam is not just surviving but
flourishing. Yet many people know little about Islam and regard its
continuing attraction as something of a mystery. In this book, Du
Pasquier, an award-winning Swiss journalist, provides a thorough
introduction to Muslim belief, history and culture. He deals not
only with topical issues, such as 'fundamentalism' and the status
of Muslim women, but provides an overview of the Qur'an, the
Prophet, Islamic history, and the nature of Muslim art and
literature. Unbiased yet passionate, the book offers an 'unveiling'
which must be heeded if the present mutual incomprehension between
East and West is to be overcome.
There are two major women's movements in Morocco: the Islamists who hold shari'a as the platform for building a culture of women's rights, and the feminists who use the United Nations' framework to amend shari'a law. "Between Feminism and Islam" shows how the interactions of these movements over the past two decades have transformed the debates, the organization, and the strategies of each other.
In "Between Feminism and Islam," Zakia Salime looks at three key movement moments: the 1992 feminist One Million Signature Campaign, the 2000 Islamist mass rally opposing the reform of family law, and the 2003 Casablanca attacks by a group of Islamist radicals. At the core of these moments are disputes over legitimacy, national identity, gender representations, and political negotiations for shaping state gender policies. Located at the intersection of feminism and Islam, these conflicts have led to the Islamization of feminists on the one hand and the feminization of Islamists on the other.
Documenting the synergistic relationship between these
movements, Salime reveals how the boundaries of feminism and
Islamism have been radically reconfigured. She offers a new
conceptual framework for studying social movements, one that allows
us to understand how Islamic feminism is influencing global debates
on human rights.
In the early 1250s Mongke Khan, grandson and successor of the mighty Mongol emperor, Genghis Khan, sent out his youngerbrothers Qubilai and Hulegu to consolidate his grip on power. Hulegu was welcomed into Iran while his older brother, Qubilai, continued to erode the power of the Song emperors of southern China. In 1276 he finally forced their submission and peacefully occupied their capital, Hangzhou. The city enjoyed a revival as the cultural capital of a united China and was soon filled with traders, adventurers, artists, entrepreneurs, and artisans from throughout the great Mongol Empire includinga prosperous, influential and seemingly welcome community of Persians. In 1281, one of their number, Al al-Din, built thePhoenix Mosque in the heart of the city where it still stands today. This study of the mosque and the Ju-jing Yuan cemetery,today as a lake-side public park, casts light on an important and transformative period in Chinese history, and perhaps themost important period in Chinese Islamic history. The book is published in the Persian Studies Series of the British Instituteof Persian Studies.
Are Islamic societies inherently oppressive to women? Is the trend among Islamic women to appear once again in veils and other traditional clothing a symbol of regression or an effort to return to a "pure" Islam that was just and fair to both sexes? In this book Leila Ahmed adds a new perspective to the current debate about women and Islam by exploring its historical roots, tracing the developments in Islamic discourses on women and gender from the ancient world to the present. In order to distinguish what was distinctive about the earliest Islamic doctrine on women, Ahmed first describes the gender systems in place in the Middle East before the rise of Islam. She then focuses on those Arab societies that played a key role in elaborating the dominant Islamic discourses about women and gender: Arabia during the period in which Islam was founded; Iraq during the classical age, when the prescriptive core of legal and religious discourse on women was formulated; and Egypt during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when exposure to Western societies led to dramatic social change and to the emergence of new discourses on women. Throughout, Ahmed not only considers the Islamic texts in which central ideologies about women and gender developed or were debated but also places this discourse in its social and historical context. Her book is thus a fascinating survey of Islamic debates and ideologies about women and the historical circumstances of their position in society, the first such discussion using the analytic tools of contemporary gender studies.
Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition in support of human rights. He identifies those that are compatible with international human rights law and can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. Relying on significant texts in the Qur'an and hadith, early juristic discourses and modern Islamic scholarship, Saeed explains the compatibilities and incompatibilities between Islamic law and international human rights law. He also deals separately with a number of specific rights that are usually considered somewhat incompatible with Islamic law, such as the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion and jihad and the laws of war. Each chapter also contains a case to allow readers to look more closely at issues of relevance. Human Rights and Islam emphasises the need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights. Students of Islamic law, human rights and Islam in the modern period will appreciate this challenging but accessible look at an important topic.
Dismissing oversimplified and politically-charged views of the politics of Shi'ite Islam, Said Amir Arjomand offers a richly researched sociological and historical study of Shi'ism and the political order of premodern Iran that exposes the roots of what became Khomeini's theocracy.
Considered the most authoritative single-volume reference work on Islam in the contemporary world, the German-language Der Islam in der Gegenwart, currently in its fifth edition, offers a wealth of authoritative information on the religious, political, social, and cultural life of Islamic nations and of Islamic immigrant communities elsewhere. Now, Cornell University Press is making this invaluable resource accessible to English-language readers.
More current than the latest German edition on which it is based, Islam in the World Today covers a comprehensive array of topics in concise essays by some of the world's leading experts on Islam, including:
the history of Islam from the earliest years through the twentieth century, with particular attention to Sunni and Shi'i Islam and Islamic revival movements during the last three centuries;
data on the advance of Islam along with current population statistics;
Muslim ideas on modern economics, on social order, and on attempts to modernize Islamic law (shari'a) and apply it in contemporary Muslim societies;
Islam in diaspora, especially the situation in Europe and America;
secularism, democracy, and human rights; and
women in Islam Twenty-four essays are each devoted to a specific Muslim country or a country with significant Muslim minorities, spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.
Additional essays illuminate Islamic culture, exploring local traditions; the languages and dialects of Muslim peoples; and art, architecture, and literature. Detailed bibliographies and indexes ensure the book's usefulness as a reference work."
The 1998 attacks against US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam attest to al-Qaeda's durable presence in Africa, yet Islamist-inspired radical organisations in the continent have gained much attention of late, the result of their campaigns of insurgent and terrorist violence directed against the state in Algeria, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya. These groups include Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Harakat Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa and Ansar Dine. Evidence has emerged to suggest that beyond shared political objectives they are also collaborating in terms of finance, propaganda, arms transfers and training, while Western governments believe some of them maintain links with Al-Qaeda 'central'. Stig Jarle Hansen has been researching African radical violent Islamism for more than ten years and is well placed to explain how and why such groups emerged, whether they manifest any specific traits compared with other violent Islamists, and what is likely to be their impact beyond the African continent. He also discusses the response of African and Western governments to this phenomenon.
This powerful account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago. Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering. She goes on explore the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human faith. This edition, complete with a new foreword, lays claim to The Hidden Face of Eve's status as a classic of modern Arab writing.
The first encyclopedia of Islamic political thought from the birth of Islam to today, this comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible reference provides the context needed for understanding contemporary politics in the Islamic world and beyond. With more than 400 alphabetically arranged entries written by an international team of specialists, the volume focuses on the origins and evolution of Islamic political ideas and related subjects, covering central terms, concepts, personalities, movements, places, and schools of thought across Islamic history. Fifteen major entries provide a synthetic treatment of key topics, such as Muhammad, jihad, authority, gender, culture, minorities, fundamentalism, and pluralism. Incorporating the latest scholarship, this is an indispensable resource for students, researchers, journalists, and anyone else seeking an informed perspective on the complex intersection of Islam and politics. * Includes more than 400 concise, alphabetically arranged entries * Features 15 in-depth entries on key topics * Covers topics such as: * Central themes and sources of Islamic political thought: caliph, modernity, knowledge, shari'a, government, revival and reform * Modern concepts, institutions, movements, and parties: civil society, Islamization, secularism, veil, Muslim Brotherhood * Islamic law and traditional Islamic societies: justice, taxation, fatwa, dissent, governance, piety and asceticism, trade and commerce * Sects, schools, regions, and dynasties: Mu'tazilis, Shi'ism, Quraysh, Mecca and Medina, Baghdad, Indonesia, Nigeria, Central Asia, Ottomans * Thinkers, personalities, and statesmen: Mawardi, Shafi'I, Saladin, Tamerlane, Akbar, Ataturk, Nasser, Khomeini * Contains seven historical and contemporary maps of Muslim empires, postcolonial nation-states, populations, and settlements * Guides readers to further research through bibliographies, cross-references, and an index
In the wake of September 11th instant theories have emerged that try to root Osama Bin Laden's attacks on Wahhabism. Muslim critics have dismissed this conservative interpretation of Islam that is the official creed of Saudi Arabia as an unorthodox innovation that manipulated a suggestible people to gain political influence. David Commins' book questions this assumption. He examines the debate on the nature of Wahhabism, and offers original findings on its ascendance in Saudi Arabia and spread throughout other parts of the Muslim world such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also assesses the challenge that radical militants within Saudi Arabia pose to the region, and draws conclusions which will concern all those who follow events in the Kingdom. The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia is essential reading for anyone interested in the Middle East and Islamic radicalism today.
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