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Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman


New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012)]

Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman, “Locating the Secular in Sayyid Qutb.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (Spring 2012). Jadaliyya (J): What led you to write this article? Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman (MS and RF): The post-revolutionary political scene in Egypt, with at least fourteen Islamist parties vying for power, is a timely historical moment to take a close look at the dynamics of religious authority versus the so-called secular. As the Egyptian people ...

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Mohammad Salama and Rachel Friedman


Mohammad Salama is Associate Professor, Director of the Arabic Program, and core faculty member in Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) at San Francisco State University. His current research focuses on formations of national and religious identities in the colonial and post-colonial literature of his native Egypt. He is the author of Islam, Orientalism and Intellectual History (I. B. Tauris, 2011) and co-editor of German Colonialism: Race, the Holocaust and Post-War Germany (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Rachel Friedman is a PhD student at UC-Berkeley specializing in classical Arabic literature and Islamic Studies. She has a particular interest in the intersection of theology and literature in the classical Arab world, both in the Islamic and Andalusi Jewish realms, which has led her to focus on the iʿjāz al-Qur’ān discourse as well as significant developments in adapting Arabic poetic conventions into the Hebrew poetic system in the Andalusi and post-Andalusi eras. Also stemming from her interest in stylistic concerns in theological discourse, Rachel maintains a keen interest in medieval and modern approaches to the Qur’ān. She is the author of the recent article "Interrogating Structural Interpretation of the Qur'an" in Der Islam 87:1-2 (March 2012).