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Sami Zubaida

Islamic Reformation?

[Martin Luther's Rycina Chrystusa i Antychrysta. Wikicommons .Some rights reserved.]

We keep hearing calls for an “Islamic Reformation,” assumed to be the remedy for a fundamentalist Islam behind the conservative Salafi brand as well as the Jihadist. Islam, under these assumptions, generates problems because it had not been “reformed.” The assumed model is the Christian Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Protestant reformers, Luther, Calvin, and their followers. Informed writers on religion and history have pointed out the problematic nature of these ...

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Sami Zubaida


Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of Birkbeck College. He is also Research Associate of the London Middle East Institute and Professorial Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre, both at SOAS. He has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Berkeley CA and NYU, and has written and lectured widely on religion, culture, law and politics in the Middle East, with particular attention to Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.. He is the author of Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2011)

His earlier books include Islam, the People and the State: Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East (IB Tauris, 1993); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2001); and Law and Power in the Islamic World  (IB Tauris, 2005)