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This collection seeks to advance our understanding of intra-Islamic identity conflict in the Middle East. Instead of treating distinctions between and within Sunni and Shia Islam as primordial and immutable, it examines how political economy, geopolitics, domestic governance, social media, non- and sub-state groups, and clerical elites have affected the transformation and diffusion of sectarian identities.
Particular attention is paid to how conflicts over distribution of political and economic power have taken on a sectarian quality, and how a variety of actors have instrumentalised sectarianism. The volume, covering Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, Iran, and Egypt, includes contributors from a broad array of disciplines including political science, history, sociology, and Islamic studies.
Beyond Sunni and Shia draws on extensive fieldwork and primary sources to offer insights that are empirically rich and theoretically grounded, but also accessible for policy audiences and the informed public.
Frederic Wehrey is a senior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings (2013), chosen as a Best Book on the Middle East by Foreign Affairs magazine. He holds a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford University
‘Sectarianism has become an urgently important, but often misunderstood, feature of politics in the Middle East. Beyond Sunni and Shia brings together an outstanding and diverse group of scholars who grapple with sectarian conflict across the region. These rigorous and deeply researched essays show how the complex interplay of politics, ideas and technology at a time of rapid change has driven dangerous new identity politics.’ — Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and author of The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East
‘This much-needed volume moves beyond primordialist and instrumentalist explanations of the issue of sectarianism. Its fascinating case-studies show not only why it is important to understand the geopolitical, institutional and religious sources of sectarianism in a changing Middle East, but also how it is possible to gain a deep and nuanced understanding of the subject.’ — Morten Valbjørn, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University
‘A contextual but comparative analysis of the geopolitical, institutional, and ideational drivers of sectarianism in the contemporary Middle East. Navigating beyond primordial and instrumental theoretical explanations, Beyond Sunni and Shia offers a multilayered analysis of why sectarianism assumes today such a powerful role in the domestic politics and foreign policies of Middle East states and transnational movements, and what are the prospects of moving beyond sectarianism in the future.’ — Bassel F. Salloukh, Associate Professor of Political Science, Lebanese American University, Beirut
‘Rigorous, panoramic and grounded in impressive fieldwork, Beyond Sunni and Shia is a superb collection of studies that tackles a topic too often clouded by polemics and easy generalisations. Frederic Wehrey has assembled an all-star cast of scholars from multiple disciplines who show why and how sectarian tensions are ultimately rooted in the Middle East’s broken political order and authoritarianism, rather than in age-old religious animosity. This volume is at once a nuanced dissection of sectarianism and an impassioned plea for more pluralistic institutions in the region. A must-read for veteran scholars, policymakers, and the informed public.’ — Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; author of The Second Arab Awakening
Paperback / November 2017 / 9781849048149 / 352pp€27,00
Shanon Shah investigates the connections between geography and identity; Jasper M. Trautsch explains the invention of the West; Nazry Bahrawi asks if the collapse of Western civilisation is imminent; Gordon Blaine Steffey explores what a post- Western world might look like; Natasha Ezrow analyses US imperialism in Latin America; Elma Berisha compares Europe with Southeast Asia; Jalal Afhim explores the emergence of China; Shiv Visvanathan problematises the rise of India; Julia Sveshnikova critiques Russia’s supposed comeback; Michael Perez is proud to be American, Muslim, male and feminist; Sughra Ahmed argues that young British Muslims carve their identities out of Britain’s tradition of dissent; Amir Hussain suggests that Islam is a Western religion after all; Julian Bond and Fatimah Ashrif celebrate Christian–Muslim friendship; and Samia Rahman relates the remarkable story of an Uzbek pianist in London.
About Critical Muslim: A quarterly publication of ideas and issues showcasing groundbreaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world. Each edition centers on a discrete theme, and contributions include reportage, academic analysis, cultural commentary, photography, poetry, and book reviews.
Samia Rahman is perplexed by our complex network of relationships, Aamer Hussein looks back on his affectionate bonds with the great Urdu writer Qurratulain Hyder (aka ‘Annie’), Syed Nomanul Haq follows classical scholars seeking royal patronage, Piro Rexhepi crosses borders in the Balkans, Annalisa Mormile traces the roots of disunity in the EU family, Benedikt Koehler highlights how the Italian scholar of Islam Leone Caetani saw East/West Relations, Julian Bond and Fatimah Ashrif engage in a (loving) interfaith dialogue, Mohammed Moussa explores family ties in Japanese politics, Elma Berisha is horrified by the spread of homogeneity, Michael Vicente Perez suggests that feminism is for everybody, Saulat Pervez sets out to cultivate reading habits, Ayisha Malik goes on a date in full hijab, and Ziauddin Sardar fails to cope with a troublesome Auntie.
Also in this issue: a short story by Muddasir Ramzan, poetry by Mohja Kahf and Perzada Salman, Safeena Razzaq’s illustrated guide to the ‘Problems of a Brown Girl’, Nadiah Ghani on Muslim fashion, Aysha Garaeva on Soviet ‘death journeys’, Hassan Mahamdallie on the holy ignorance of Salafis and Islamists, Henry Brefo’s Last Word on African Chiefs and our List of the Top Ten relationship break-ups.
Ziauddin Sardar is an award-winning, internationally renowned writer, futurist and cultural critic. A former columnist on the New Statesman, he has also served as a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He is the author of many books, including Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (Granta); Reading the Qur’an (Hurst); and Mecca: The Sacred City (Bloomsbury). Cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar is a bit of an ‘enfant terrible’ of the Muslim scholarship and one of Brittains most important public intellectuals. Currently, Ziauddin Sardar is Professor of Law and Society, Middlesex University. He’s the Chair of the Muslim Institute, a fellowship society that promotes knowledge and debate, which publishes the quarterly ‘Critical Muslim’.
Paperback / January 2017 / 9781849048231 / 256pp
Harems, sluiers, eerwraak, seksslavinnen, steniging van overspeligen, homo’s die van torens worden gegooid… De islam heeft de reputatie repressief en gewelddadig te zijn op het gebied van seksualiteit. Maar dat is niet altijd zo geweest. Nog niet zo lang geleden zagen Europeanen de islam juist als een al te lakse religie die losbandigheid en partnerruil aanmoedigde, en moslimmannen verwijfd en fatalistisch maakte.
Maar men is niet alleen in de westerse wereld heel anders naar de islam gaan kijken; ook de seksuele normen en praktijken in de islamitische wereld zelf hebben diepgaande veranderingen ondergaan. Dit boek traceert die veranderingen, aan de hand van zowel klassieke religieuze teksten als middeleeuwse sekshandboeken en moderne romans, en aan de hand van zowel mystieke poëzie als pornografische volksliteratuur.
Dat leidt tot menige verrassing. Zo blijken alle islamtalen een rijke traditie van homo-erotische poëzie te kennen; lesbische geliefden werden aan heteroseksuele stelletjes ten voorbeeld gesteld; religieuze geleerden bespraken zonder schroom de voor- en nadelen van verschillende seksuele posities; en mystieke dichters heiligden de geslachtsdaad. Pas heel recent, en heel langzaam, ontwikkelde zich die een nieuwe, striktere seksuele moraal. Nog in 1963 werd Gerard Reve in Marokko bijna van het strand gejaagd door de zich openlijk prostituerende jongens. Het boek onderzoekt ook wat de seksuele dimensies van het salafisme zijn en hoe de ‘Islamitische Staat’ (IS) seks als wapen in zijn oorlogen inzet. Zodoende biedt het een verrassende en verfrissende kijk op het hedendaagse islamdebat.
Michiel Leezenberg (1964) is verbonden aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Eerder publiceerde hij onder meer Islamitische filosofie. Een geschiedenis (bekroond met de Socrates-wisselbeker 2002) en, met Robbert Woltering, De Koran voor beginners.
January 2017 / 9789035144187 / 212pp€19,00
Clayer and Bougarel’s prodigiously researched Europe’s Balkan Muslims is a political and institutional history of the Muslims of south-east Europe since the nineteenth century, focusing on empires, states, political parties, and religious institutions.
Translated by Andrew Kirby
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2017
There are roughly eight million Muslims in south-east Europe, among them Albanians, Bosniaks, Turks and Roma — descendants of converts or settlers in the Ottoman period. This new history of the social, political and religious transformations that this population experienced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — a period marked by the collapse of the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires and by the creation of the modern Balkan states — will shed new light on the European Muslim experience.
South-east Europe’s Muslims have experienced a slow and complex crystallisation of their respective national identities, which accelerated after 1945 as a result of the authoritarian modernisation of communist regimes and, in the late twentieth century, ended in nationalist mobilisations that precipitated the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo during the break-up of Yugoslavia.
At a religious level, these populations have remained connected to the institutions established by the Ottoman Empire, as well as to various educational, intellectual and Sufi (mystic) networks. With the fall of communism, new transnational networks appeared, especially neo-Salafist and neo- Sufi ones, although Europe’s Balkan Muslims have not escaped the wider processes of secularisation.
A specialist on Albanian Islam, Nathalie Clayer is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies at EHESS in Paris. She is also a historian of religion and nationalism in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman eras.
Xavier Bougarel is a researcher at the Centre for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies at EHESS in Paris. He also specialises in Islam in south-east Europe and the wars in the former Yugoslavia
‘Written by two of the most distinguished French scholars of Southeastern Europe and Islam, and appearing here in an outstanding translation from French, this is the most comprehensive existing survey of the Balkan Muslims in the last two centuries. Its interpretative strength lies in the rare combination between sophisticated historiographical analysis and clarity of exposition.’ — Maria Todorova, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
‘This welcome translation of this collaborative work … helps introduce readers to an important clarification of European Islam that has evolved over centuries … [An] excellent study…’ — Dr. Isa Blumi, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor of Turkish Studies, Stockholm University, CHOICE
April 2017 / 9781849046596 / 288pp€45,00
In his disturbing and timely book Jean-Pierre Filiu lays bare the strategies and tactics employed by the Middle Eastern autocracies, above all those of Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, that set out to crush the democratic uprisings of the ‘Arab Revolution’.
In pursuit of these goals they turned to the intelligence agencies and internal security arms of the ‘deep state’, the armed forces and to street gangs such as the Shabiha to enforce their will. Alongside physical intimidation, imprisonment and murder, Arab counter-revolutionaries discredited and split their opponents by boosting Salafi–Jihadi groups such as Islamic State. They also released from prison hardline Islamists and secretly armed and funded them.
The full potential of the Arab counter-revolution surprised most observers, who thought they had seen it all from the Arab despots: their perversity, their brutality, their voracity. But the wider world underestimated their ferocious readiness to literally burn down their countries in order to cling to absolute power. Bashar al-Assad clambered to the top of this murderous class of tyrants, driving nearly half of the Syrian population in to exile and executing tens of thousands of his opponents. He has set a grisly precedent, one that other Arab autocrats are sure to follow in their pursuit of absolute power.€17,00
Gender equality is a modern ideal, which has only recently, with the expansion of human rights and feminist discourses, become inherent to generally accepted conceptions of justice. In Islam, as in other religious traditions, the idea of equality between men and women was neither central to notions of justice nor part of the juristic landscape, and Muslim jurists did not begin to address it until the twentieth century. The personal status of Muslim men, women and children continues to be defined by understandings of Islamic law codified and adapted by modern nation-states that assume authority to be the natural prerogative of men, that disadvantage women and that are prone to abuse. This volume argues that effective and sustainable reform of these laws and practices requires engagement with their religious rationales from within the tradition. Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law offers a groundbreaking analysis of family law, based on fieldwork in family courts, and illuminated by insights from distinguished clerics and scholars of Islam from Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, as well as by the experience of human rights and women s rights activists.
It explores how male authority is sustained through law and court practice in different contexts, the consequences for women and the family, and the demands made by Muslim women s groups. The book argues for women’s full equality before the law by re-examining the jurisprudential and theological arguments for male guardianship (qiwama, wilaya) in Islamic legal tradition. Using contemporary examples from various contexts, from Morocco to Malaysia, this volume presents an informative and vital analysis of these societies and gender relations within them. It unpicks the complex and often contradictory attitudes towards Muslim family law, and the ways in which justice and ethics are conceived in the Islamic tradition. The book offers a new framework for rethinking old formulations so as to reflect contemporary realities and understandings of justice, ethics and gender rights. ”
Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist, specializing in Islamic law, gender and development, and a founding member of the Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family. She has published books on Islamic family law in Iran and Morocco, Iranian clerical discourses on gender, Islamic reformist thinkers, and the revival of zina laws. She has also co-directed two award-winning feature-length documentary films on Iran: Divorce Iranian Style (1998) and Runaway (2001). Kari Vogt is Associate Professor (Emerita) at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has published widely on Islamic and Middle East issues.
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2017
What does it mean to be young and Muslim today? There is a segment of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims that is more influential than any other, and will shape not just the future of Muslims, but also the world around them: meet ‘Generation M’.From fashion magazines to social networking, the ‘Mipsterz’ to the ‘Haloodies’, halal internet dating to Muslim boy bands, Generation M are making their mark. Shelina Janmohamed, award-winning author and leading voice on Muslim youth, investigates this growing cultural phenomenon at a time when understanding the mindset of young Muslims is critical. With their belief in an identity encompassing both faith and modernity, Generation M are not only adapting to Western consumerism, but reclaiming it as their own€16,00
Forged in the age of empire, the relationship between Islam and liberalism has taken on a sense of urgency today, when global conflicts are pitting one against the other. More than describing a civilizational fault-line between the Muslim world and the West, however, this relationship also offers the potential for consensus and the possibility of moral and political engagement or compatibility. The existence or extent of this correspondence is a defining characteristic of writing on the subject.
This volume looks however to the way in which Muslim politics and society are defined beyond and indeed after it. Reappraising the ‘first wave’ of Islamic liberalism during the nineteenth century, the book describes the long and intertwined histories of these categories across a large geographical expanse. By drawing upon the contributions of scholars from a variety of disciplines — including philosophy, theology, sociology, politics and history — it explores how liberalism has been criticised and refashioned by Muslim thinkers and movements, to assume a reality beyond the abstractions that define its compatibility with Islam.
Faisal Devji is Reader in Modern South Asian History and Fellow of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of, inter alia, Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea and The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptations of Violence.
Zaheer Kazmi is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast. He has held research and visiting positions at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and is the author of Polite Anarchy in International Relations Theory and co-editor of Contextualising Jihadi Thought.
Liberalism is a Western ideology often linked to Africa and Asia in the shadow of Euro-American colonialism.
‘An enlightened exploration of the categories “Islam” and “liberalism” that deserves serious attention from both academics and non-academics alike.’ — Ziauddin Sardar, editor of Critical Muslim and author of Reading the Qu’ran
‘This highly original and timely collection of essays probes the relationship between liberalism and Islam in novel and often provocative ways. The book makes profound contributions to debates about Islam and liberalism, and offers innovative ways to rethink questions crucial to global politics.’ — Robert Crews, Associate Professor of History, Stanford University
‘This invigorating volume reassesses a debate pitting “liberal” Islam against an “illiberal” Islam, and enlists the former in the contemporary project of counter-extremism. The contributors skilfully illuminate the parameters and ambiguities of an intellectual genealogy and, in the process, highlight how this supposed paradigm is both emulated and contested.’ — James Piscatori, Professor at the Centre for the History of Political Thought, Durham University, and author of Muslim Politics
‘Liberalism is a Western ideology often linked to Africa and Asia in the shadow of Euro-American colonialism. This volume disrupts and complicates efforts to elide or contrast it with Islam. Its authors, diverse in discipline yet coherent in argument, provide unique insight into the ongoing engagements – political, cultural and academic – between Islamic narratives and liberal projects.’ — Bruce Bennett Lawrence, Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor Emeritus of Religion, Duke University
Paperback / October 2017 / 9781849047012 / 288pp€22,00
- Rated 5.00 out of 5
In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, “exceptional” in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren’t just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state―and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying―and alarmingly successful―example of ISIS.
With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region’s descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam’s past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don’t have to like it, but we have to understand it―because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.
Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World (St. Martin’s Press). His previous book Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East was named a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2014. An expert on Islamist movements, Hamid served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is currently vice-chair of POMED’s board of directors and a contributing writer to The Atlantic. Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and his Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University.
“Few issues capture the public imagination quite so urgently as that of Islam’s troubled relationship with the West, democracy, modernity and, indeed, itself… This is where Shadi Hamid’s Islamic Exceptionalism comes into its own.” –Shiraz Maher, The New Statesman
“Fresh, provocative thinking.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Well, it turns out, there is something going on with Islam, and Shadi Hamid, quite helpfully, has figured it out… [An] illuminating book.” –Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post
“A page-turner… For me, the book also provided the rarest of enjoyments; it changed the way I looked at the world, even if just a bit.” –Murtaza Hussain, journalist at The Intercept
“[Islamic Exceptionalism] limns the Islamist mind in unnerving detail… Hamid is unafraid to talk about heaven, theodicy and divine justice.” –The National Interest
“Perhaps [Hamid’s] most provocative claim is this: History will not necessarily favor the secular, liberal democracies of the West.” –Emma Green, The Atlantic
“Shadi Hamid provides an invaluable corrective to Western interpretations of Islam, Islamism, and the future of democracy in the Muslim world. Whatever debate remains to be had cannot take place without reference to this insightful and sympathetic document.”–Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Thirteen Days in September
“A riveting account of the Arab Spring and all that followed, by one of the world’s leading scholars on political Islam. Shadi Hamid explains convincingly that Islam and the political movements it spawns are truly exceptional and likely to frustrate the ‘liberal determinists’ who believe that history inevitably gravitates to a secular future. A hugely important book.” –General David Petraeus (Ret.), former director of the CIA and commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
“Islamic Exceptionalism is an honest, deeply researched, and at times anguished effort to make sense of the Middle East after the failure of the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS. Particularly rich and subtle on the crisis facing the Muslim Brotherhood, the book offers both a snapshot of a painful moment and a long-view inquiry into the meeting between Islam and democracy. Sobering, urgent reading for anyone who cares about the region, past and future.” –Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and author of Cool War, Scorpions, and The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State
“A smart and highly readable book by one of the leading experts on the topic. Hamid examines the defining problem in the modern Middle East: how to mix religion and politics. His heartfelt fear is that in the age of ISIS a solution won’t come quickly because the features of a modern democratic state are often at odds with the path to God.”–David Gregory, former host of Meet the Press and author of How’s Your Faith
“Hamid offers readers a vital road map to navigate the chaos and confusion that is the post–Arab-Spring Middle East.” –Reza Aslan, New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and No God but God
“Beyond the zero-sum proposals of Islam or liberalism, Shadi Hamid boldly wrestles with how these two can negotiate the future of Muslim polities. Along the way, he educates us, challenging entrenched stereotypes and blind presumptions, especially the notion that the Muslim world must, can, or should go the way of the West. Islam is a constant not a variable. Islamic Exceptionalism suggests that this may be the beginning of wisdom for anyone wishing to understand, let alone shape, the political future of majority Muslim states.”–Sherman A. Jackson, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture, University of Southern California
“Ambitious and Challenging” –Amanda Zeidan, The Huffington Post
“Probably the most thoughtful attempt that I know to come to grips, to try to make sense of the rubble of the Arab Spring, to see what can be done after these colossal disappointments.” – Leon Wieseltier, Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy, The Brookings Institution
“Hamid’s work offers a tempered, well-researched analysis of Islamism in its current state and offers tentative hopes for those seeking a new way through the intricacies of Islamic politics in the Middle East.” –Publishers Weekly
“Excellent.” –The Irish Examiner
“For those who feel that everything will be solved by an ‘Islamic reformation,’ Hamid has cautionary words.” –Prospect€28,95
The militant Islam represented by Al-Qaeda is often described as a global movement. Apart from the geographical range of its operations and support, little else is held to define it as ‘global’.
Landscapes of the Jihad explores the features that Al-Qaeda and other strands of militant Islam share in common with global movements. These include a decentralised organisation and an emphasis on ethical rather than properly political action. Devji brings these and other characteristics of Al-Qaeda together in an analysis of the jihad that locates it squarely within the transformation of political thought after the Cold War. The jihad emerges from the breakdown of traditional as well as modern forms of authority in the Muslim world. It is neither dogmatic in an old-fashioned way nor ideological in the modern sense, and concerned neither with correct doctrinal practice in the present nor with some revolutionary utopia of the future. Instead it is fragmented, dispersed and highly individualistic.
Faisal Devji is Reader in Modern South Asian History and Fellow of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of, inter alia, Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea and The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptations of Violence.
‘No political theorist, anthropologist or student of Islam will fail to be provoked and inspired by this brilliant analysis of jihadi discourse. […] Devji moves effortlessly between theology, history and cultural studies to give us the first major English-language interpretation of the moral world of contemporary jihad.’ — Professor Arjun Appadurai, New School University
‘Devji’s very original book analyses Al Qaeda and jihad in metaphysical terms, discarding geo-strategic and cultural factors, [hence] the West is also presented as a metaphysical entity. Globalization is thus not linked to strategy, territory or culture. The concept of landscape summarises his approach: action creates its own landscape and is not the expression of an pre-existing cultural, territorial or strategic divide. Hence there emerge different ‘landscapes’: of jihad, of mysticism, of media and of film, all of which combine with each other. […] Devji’s original analysis of the writings of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri is very illuminating and substantiates his iconoclastic approach.’ —Professor Olivier Roy, author, Globalised Islam: The Search for a New Ummah
‘One of the most intelligent analyses of the world-view of the militant Islamist.’ — The New Statesman
‘A brilliant long essay on the ethical underpinnings of modern jihad … Martyrdom, observes Devji rightly, “only achieves meaning by being witnessed by the media.” It is, short, a horrendous form of advertising.’ — New York Review of Books
‘Devji’s Landscapes of the Jihad examines the vitality of militant movements, arguing that in a global society, organizations like al-Qaeda have gathered meaning and strength in an “institutional vacuum” … Devji rejects the traditional scholarship that roots it in regional issues like the Palestinian cause and poverty and oppression. Most controversially, he equates militant Islam with “the plethora of non-governmental agencies dedicated to humanitarian work”. He also concludes, more conventionally, that the U.S. response to militant Islam — the “global war on terror” — has transformed war “into a species of policing”.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘The Terrorist in Search of Humanity is in many ways a sequel to Devji’s equally provocative 2005 book, Landscapes of the Jihad. Al Qaeda’s importance in the long run, Devji writes, lies not in its pioneering a new form of networked militancy … but instead in its fragmentation of traditional structures of Muslim authority within new global landscapes … it is a measure of Devji’s seriousness, and his unfailingly original turn of mind, that one waits impatiently for his next provocation.’ — The National
‘I enjoyed Landscapes Of The Jihad, in which Devji points out just how deeply unorthodox a Muslim Bin Laden is — not just in his espousal of indiscriminate violence but also his cult of martyrs and frequent talk of dream and visions, all of which derive from popular, mystical and Shia Islamic traditions, against which the orthodox has long struggled.’ — William Dalrymple, Sunday Herald
‘Landscapes of the Jihad is very short, closely and narrowly focused, thought-provoking, and elegantly written … One refreshing aspect of Devji’s book is that it leans heavily on evidence from an area often neglected by scholars writing about Islam — the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan.’ — Carole Hillenbrand, Times Literary Supplement
‘Do not approach this challenging essay … expecting a familiar narrative of al-Qaeda and its founder, or of the eponymous “war on terror”. Devji dispenses with conventional analysis and with much that is regarded as received wisdom … Devji describes how jihad has subordinated the local to the global. He plays down its Middle Eastern origins and he stresses its diverse sources (Shia and Sufi as well as Sunni) as well as its heterodox innovations. Bin Laden’s transformation of jihad, for example, from a collective to an individual duty, is a radical departure from the classical Islamic tradition. But how else could a global movement operate in a post-modern world where Muslims are moved to applause or to action by some spectacular act of violence, which they see on a television or computer screen? Conventional forms of top-down recruitment and mobilisation are, it seems, as passé as conventional politics … Landscapes of the Jihad is, in its unconventional thinking, an oasis in the wearisome desert of al-Qaeda studies. It is, in the best possible sense, subversive.’ — The Economist
April 2017 • 9781849047203 • 200pp€16,00
REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION
Over the last 1,400 years, a succession of Muslim polities and empires expanded to control territories and peoples stretching from southern France to East Africa and South East Asia. Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists and theologians, not to mention statesmen and soldiers, have been overlooked. The bestselling Lost Islamic History, now in a new updated edition, rescues from oblivion a forgotten past, charting its narrative from Muhammad to modern-day nation-states.
Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists, and theologians, not to mention rulers, statesmen and soldiers, have been occluded. This book rescues from oblivion and neglect some of these personalities and institutions while offering the reader a new narrative of this lost Islamic history. The Umayyads, Abbasids, and Ottomans feature in the story, as do Muslim Spain, the savannah kingdoms of West Africa and the Mughal Empire, along with the later European colonisation of Muslim lands and the development of modern nation-states in the Muslim world. Throughout, the impact of Islamic belief on scientific advancement, social structures, and cultural development is given due prominence, and the text is complemented by portraits of key personalities, inventions and little known historical nuggets. The history of Islam and of the world’s Muslims brings together diverse peoples, geographies, and states, all interwoven into one narrative that begins with Muhammad and continues to this day.
Table of Contents
- PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA
2. THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET
3. THE RIGHTLY GUIDED CALIPHS
4. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MUSLIM STATE
5. INTELLECTUAL GOLDEN AGES
6. THE ISLAMIC SCIENCES
9. THE EDGE
12. OLD AND NEW IDEAS
Firas Alkhateeb holds a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies with a specialisation in Islamic intellectual history from the University of Chicago. He previously taught Islamic history at Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois and currently teaches and studies at Darul Qasim in Chicago. He founded and writes the website lostislamichistory.com. You can follow him on Twitter as well under @khateeb88
September 2017 / 9781849046893 • 232pp€12,00
- PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA
Loyal Enemies uncovers the history of the earliest British converts to Islam who lived their lives freely as Muslims on British soil, from the 1850s to the 1950s. Drawing on original archival research, it reveals that people from across the range of social classes defied convention by choosing Islam in this period. Through a series of case studies of influential converts and pioneering Muslim communities, Loyal Enemies considers how the culture of Empire and imperialism influenced and affected their conversions and subsequent lives, before examining how they adapted and sustained their faith. Jamie Gilham shows that, although the overall number of converts was small, conversion to Islam aroused hostile reactions locally and nationally. He therefore also probes the roots of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims, identifies their manifestations and explores what conversion entailed socially and culturally. He also considers whether there was any substance to persistent allegations that converts had ‘divided’ loyalties between the British Crown and a Muslim ruler, country or community. Loyal Enemies is a book about the past, but its core themes—about faith and belief, identity, Empire, loyalties and discrimination—are still salient today.
Jamie Gilham is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam, 1850-1950.
‘Loyal Enemies is a carefully researched and fascinatingly detailed investigation of the British individuals who converted to Islam during the century-long territorial apogee of the British Empire. … It is time to celebrate the pantheon of Anglo-Muslims to allow Muslims in contemporary Britain to feel part of an older indigenous tradition.’ — Barnaby Rogerson, Times Literary Supplement
‘In this meticulously researched and pioneering study, Jamie Gilham brings to life the struggles of the courageous (and often eccentric) British individuals who converted to Islam during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. Theirs was a difficult choice and the lives of these converts raise broad questions about integration and religious and national loyalties. Some converts had international reputations, though others were much more obscure, but, taken together, all their lives shed an unexpected and fascinating light on the grander events which provided the context for their embrace of Islam, including the Indian Mutiny, the Eastern Question, the Great War, the abolition of the Caliphate, the growing popularity of Sufism in the West and, finally, the mass immigration of Muslims from the former British Empire after the Second World War.’ — Robert Irwin, Senior Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and author of Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties
‘This is an excellent text on the history of Muslim converts in the Victorian and Edwardian period up until the arrival of post-Second World War migrations, and appears at a time when young British Muslims are rediscovering or uncovering their shared history in the UK. Jamie Gilham’s research is exemplary, shedding light on the motivations for conversion and the processes of situating Islam in a new European environment. Loyal Enemies should be required reading for anyone interested in the creation of a Muslim presence in the UK.’ — Ron Geaves, Professor of Studies of Religions, Liverpool Hope University, and author of Abdullah Quilliam: The Life and Times of a Victorian Muslim
‘This is a well-researched and extraordinary account of British converts to Islam, ranging from my great-grandfather’s elder brother Henry Stanley, first Muslim peer of the realm, to ‘Harry’ St John Philby, uncritical fan of Ibn Saud and Wahabism. They all swam resolutely against the tide of public opinion of their day.’ — Lord Avebury, Liberal Democrat Peer
‘Gilham explores how from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century a small stream of Britons, in the face of public criticism, converted to Islam. They ranged from the aristocratic Lord Stanley of Alderley to the middle-class Abdullah Quilliam to the working-class wives of lascars in the port cities. It is a fascinating story which demonstrates how, before the large Muslim migrations of the 1950s, Islam already had firm roots in British society.’ — Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London
‘Based on rigorous research and analysis, this study excavates the “hidden” history of a unique group of British Muslim converts, who found themselves lampooned as infidels and traitors, and whose allegiances and identities were frequently questioned. It is indispensable reading for anyone seeking insights on the genealogy of Islam in Britain today.’ — Humayun Ansari, Professor of the History of Islam and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of ‘The Infidel Within’: Muslims in Britain Since 1800
‘This is a well-written and masterly analysis of one of the most interesting aspects of the foundations of British Islam. Set in the cultural, social and political context of the height of empire, the author provides lively and well-researched accounts of prominent personalities and their path to Islam.’ — Jørgen S. Nielsen, Hon. Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen
‘[T]his is a timely study of considerable significance for scholarship of Islam in Britain. … Gilham has pored over innumerable sources, ranging from learned journals and archival materials to more popular publications and full-length academic studies, … to produce this meticulously researched and invaluable volume. … [A] pioneering study that for the first time pieces together this story, portions of which are better known but much of which sees light for the first time as part of a cohesive, historical account.’ — Journal of British Studies
‘Not only is Gilham’s study fascinating and very readable, but he provides a great deal of documentation to primary and secondary sources, so that his book will be a starting-point for any future work in this field.’ — Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Bulletin
‘Loyal Enemies is a well researched book and brings out the fact that there is nothing new or alien about Islam in Britain.’ — Asian Affairs
Hardback / May 2014 / 9781849042758 / 256pp€27,00
As late as the last quarter of the twentieth century there were expectations that Islam’s political and cultural influence would dissipate as the advance of westernisation brought modernization and secularisation in its wake. Not only has Islam failed to follow the trajectory pursued by variants of Christianity, namely confinement to the private sphere and depoliticisation, but it has also forcefully re-asserted itself as mobilizations in its name challenge the global order in a series of geopolitical, cultural and philosophical struggles. The continuing (if not growing) relevance of Islam suggests that global history cannot simply be presented as a scaled up version of that of the West. Quests for Muslim autonomy present themselves in several forms –– local and global, extremist and moderate, conservative and revisionist –– in the light of which the recycling of conventional narratives about Islam becomes increasingly problematic. Not only are these accounts inadequate for understanding Muslim experiences, but by relying on them many Western governments pursue policies that are counter-productive and ultimately hazardous for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Recalling the Caliphate engages critically with the interaction between Islam and the political in context of a postcolonial world that continues to resist profound decolonization. In the first part of this book Sayyid focuses on how demands for Muslim autonomy are debated in terms such as democracy, cultural relativism, secularism and liberalism. Each chapter analyses the displacements and evasions by which the decolonization of the Muslim world continues to be deflected and deferred, while the latter part of the book builds on this critique, exploring and attempts to accelerate the decolonization of the Muslim Ummah.€18,99
Sufism is all too often associated just with ‘mysticism’ in the West. The author of this new textbook, a former pupil of Annemarie Schimmel, suggests that conflating Sufism and mysticism is only partially valid. He shows that the vast majority of Sufi practice, both historically and in the contemporary world, has little or nothing to do with a esoteric transcendence but is rather focused on contemplative activity. Such practice might involve art, music, devotional shrine visitation – even politics and psychology. Placing Sufism in a wider Islamic contemplative context enables Arthur F Buehler to examine Sufi history, as well as current application, against a backdrop that is richer and more inclusive than that portrayed in many competing introductory surveys. Discussing the origins of Sufism; the development of Sufi lineages (via three founder figures); Sufi lodges and the role of Sufism in colonial resistance; Sufi poetry; Sufi shrines, and Sufism in the West, the author rescues his topic from the idea that it means only union with the divine. In this original new treatment, Sufism emerges as complex and multi-layered.
Arthur F Buehler is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and Senior Editor of the Journal of the History of Sufism. He is the author of several books which include Sufi Heirs of the Prophet: The Indian Naqshbandiyya and the Rise of the Mediating Sufi Shaykh and Revealed Grace: The Juristic Sufism of Ahmad Sirhindi, 1564-1624.
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Publication Date: 29 Jul 2016
Number of Pages: 256
Illustrations: 30 integrated bw illustrations€17,00
Islamophobia in France is rising, with Muslims subjected to unprecedented scrutiny of what they wear, eat and say. Championed by Marine Le Pen and drawing on the French colonial legacy, France’s ‘new secularism’ gives racism a respectable veneer. Jim Wolfreys exposes the dynamic driving this intolerance: a society polarised by inequality, and the authoritarian neoliberalism of the French political mainstream. This officially sanctioned Islamophobia risks going unchallenged. It has divided the traditional anti-racist movement and undermined the left’s opposition to bigotry. Wolfreys deftly unravels the problems facing those trying to confront today’s rise in racism. Republic of Islamophobia illuminates both the uniqueness of France’s anti-Muslim backlash and its broader implications for the West.
Jim Wolfreys lectures in French and European politics at King’s College London. He is co-author (with Peter Fysh) of The Politics of Racism in France.
‘Wolfreys’ writing is that of a political insider, underpinned by academic rigour. This book is a wake-up call, warning of the creep of Islamophobia into mainstream French political discourse and its dire consequences if left unchecked. It is vital reading for policy makers and commentators alike.’ — Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, author of The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain
‘A powerful tale of France’s Islamophobic spiral. Rich in detail and with a keen ear for the ironies of moral panics around veiling, violence, and values, Wolfreys shows France’s importance in this globally emerging phenomenon. A compelling argument for the links between political Islamophobia, neoliberalism, and the failures of the left.’ — Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims Are Coming!
‘An authoritative and lucid account of France’s descent into societal disaster. This excruciating and at times shocking catalogue of political mis-steps strongly suggests a far more dangerous ‘enemy within’ than the Muslim one we constantly hear about. Could the French experience be repeated here in the UK? Wolfreys’ book is a warning to us all.’ — James Fergusson, author of Al-Britannia, My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain
‘A sharp-eyed, merciless and up-to-the-minute analysis of France’s current travails, which are also Britain’s’. — Robert Gildea, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford, and author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance
February 2018 / 9781849046886 / 208pp€16,50
No topic has captured the public imagination of late quite so dramatically as the spectre of global jihadism. While much has been said about the way jihadists behave, their ideology remains poorly understood. As the Levant has imploded and millenarian radicals claim to have revived a Caliphate based on the teachings of the Prophet Mohamed, the need for a nuanced and accurate understanding of jihadist beliefs has never been greater.
Shiraz Maher charts the intellectual underpinnings of Salafi-Jihadism from its origins in the mountains of the Hindu Kush to the jihadist insurgencies of the 1990s and the 9/11 wars. What emerges is the story of a pragmatic but resilient warrior doctrine that often struggles — as so many utopian ideologies do — to consolidate the idealism of theory with the reality of practice.
His ground-breaking introduction to Salafi-Jihadism recalibrates our understanding of the ideas underpinning one of the most destructive political philosophies of our time by assessing classical works from Islamic antiquity alongside those of contemporary ideologues. Packed with refreshing and provocative insights, Maher explains how war and insecurity engendered one of the most significant socio-religious movements of the modern era.
Shiraz Maher (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at Kings College, University of London, and teaches at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
‘An excellent and original account of what jihadists actually think. Mr Maher goes well beyond previous works … in setting out a taxonomy of jihadists’ system of beliefs. It will be a must-read work in the study of radicalism.’ — The Economist
‘[A] groundbreaking study … a masterclass in how to do intellectual history, and one that nobody with an interest in radical Islam should miss.’ — Tom Holland, New Statesman
‘Shiraz Maher makes it clear in his fascinating new book that we are witnessing a very recent phenomenon: “the greatest period of anti-western intellectual development in Salafi-jihadi thought took place in the years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks”.’ — Patrick French, The Guardian
‘Mr. Maher deserves praise for producing a book that is the first of its kind, synthesizing work that has been done on the individual components of Salafi-jihadism. Readers looking for a rigorous but lucid account of Islamic State’s ideas will be well-served by Mr. Maher’s book.’ — Wall Street Journal
‘Magisterial … The size of the problem adds to the importance of Maher’s book. Essential reading for policymakers, Salafi-Jihadism is an academic work of intellectual history well enough written to interest the general reader too.’ — Robin Yassin-Kassab, The National
‘Shiraz Maher’s excellent study of Salafi-Jihadism … [focuses] less on the caliphate as an institution than on the modern ideology underpinning it. … nuanced analysis’ — The New York Review of Books
‘In this perceptive and lucid survey, Shiraz Maher, who has built up a justified reputation as an authority on contemporary Islamic extremism, traces the evolution of they key ideas behind one of the most significant religious and political movements of our time. He explains their origins, meanings and, above all, their real impact on violent militants over the last three or four decades. Comprehensive and thought-provoking, this is an important and timely contribution.’ — Jason Burke, author of The New Threat From Islamic Militancy
‘Salafi-Jihadism provides an excellent and important insight into an intricately constructed religious and intellectual situation .. it provides much needed context to some of the most complex and consequential events in the world today. With its elegant, engaging style and crisp brevity, this book is an excellent investigation into a subject many of us would do well to learn that bit more about.’ — Middle East Eye
‘Although Salafi jihadism has profoundly shaped global politics for more than three decades, Shiraz Maher is the first to survey the doctrines that have animated and divided the movement. His book will be a standard reference for years to come.’ — Will McCants, author of The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State
‘Shiraz Maher does a first rate job of explaining a complex and important issue. Salafi-Jihadism is arguably the fastest growing current within the Muslim thought today and is essential to our understanding of how groups like the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda recruit and justify their acts.’ — Hassan Hassan, Associate Fellow of Chatham House; author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
Hardback / June 2016 / 9781849046299 / 296pp€25,00
Drawing together Indian and Iranian Muslims with Christian missionaries, Hindu nationalists and Japanese imperialists, this book brings to life the local sites of globalisation that transformed Muslim religiosity through the long nineteenth century. Nile Green evokes terrains of exchange that range from the Russian empire’s borderlands to the Indian princely states and the car factories of Detroit. He casts a microhistorian’s eye on the religious productions that spilled from these many sites of contact. Whether looking at imperial evangelicals and Iranian language-workers, or Indian Muslims and Yogi masters of breath control, each chapter unravels local forces of religious contact, competition and exchange. Green draws on a huge range of materials, from Indian magazines for African Americans to Muslim Japanology; from Urdu tales of ocean-going saints to the diaries of German missionaries; from Bibles in Tatar to the first Arabic printed books. Challenging perceptions of an age usually identified with the unifying ideologies of Pan-Islamism and nationalism, his book reveals more muddled human terrains in which Muslims defended, reformed and promoted in an increasingly connected world. Terrains of Exchange presents not only global history from the bottom up but global history as Islamic history.€28,00