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Islam

Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (24 April)

[Abdulnasser Gharem, a Saudi conceptual artist, poses in front of

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to cci@jadaliyya.com by Saturday night of every week.] Art and Science Islam the opera: curtain up on Clusters of Light about life of prophet Muhammad A musical theater production on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad has debuted in Sharjah featuring several notable Arab singers. Tours are planned for Malaysia, Turkey, and Paris. Saudi Artists Cautiously Push against ...

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Event Report-Back -- Before the Modern, After the Medieval: Egypt and the Middle East in the Eighteenth Century

[Photo of event. Image from Daniel Woodward]

On 28 and 29 March 2014 the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations at the American University in Cairo (AUC) convened its Annual History Seminar at Oriental Hall in downtown Cairo. Titled “Before the Modern, After the Medieval: Egypt and the Middle East in the 18th Century,” the seminar brought renowned scholars from across Egypt and the world together to question the narrative of the eighteenth century as a period of stagnation or decline which still dominants Egyptian and Middle Eastern history, and to try to find new frameworks through which to understand the period. Dr. Emad Abu-Ghazi of Cairo University opened the seminar by addressing the issue of whether ...

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الصراع على المساجد في مصر: بحثاً عن كنيسة الاسلام

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وسط الصراع الذي يجري الآن في مصر بين أجهزة الدولة بقيادة الحكومة المدعومة من الجيش، وبين الإخوان والتيارات الإسلامية المناصرة لهم، هناك صراع محوري جداً على المساجد ومنابرها. الخطب والدروس الدينية والأنشطة الخيرية والتنموية التي تتخذ من المساجد مركزاً لها هي إحدى ساحات نفوذ التيارات الإسلامية بتنوعاتها، وهي أيضا إحدى ساحات تأكيد شرعية النظام السياسي في مصر عبر الإدارة الحكومية المباشرة لعدد من المساجد، أو الإشراف على عدد آخر، عن طريق وزارة الأوقاف. ولطالما شهدت هذه الساحات صراعات قوى ونفوذ بين النظام ورجاله في المؤسسة الدينية الرسمية وبين التيارات الإسلامية. والآن تتخذ وزارة الأوقاف قرارات وسياسات مشددة تهدف إلى إحكام سيطرتها حصرياً على كل هذه الشعائر والأنشطة في ظل حملة ...

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Introduction: Roundtable on African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle

[Black Muslim leader Malcolm X addresses a crowd of about 1,000 persons at an outdoor rally in upper Manhattan, NY, August 10, 1963. He charged the government with

This roundtable on "African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle" convened five scholars from various disciplinary perspectives to discuss the legacy of Black Muslims in the United States and their contribution to the civil rights discussion within the country, and to human rights more generally. The respondents were asked to direct their responses to addressing some of the questions in the following prompt: African American Muslims have been involved in the black freedom struggle for over a century, however their participation is often overlooked or generalized. How have they engaged with some of the important questions of the movement such as: ...

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Reflections on the State of Islamic Studies

[Some of the 20,000 preserved ancient Islamic manuscripts which rest in air-conditioned rooms at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, Mali, 16 March 2003. Image by Ben Curtis via AP Photo]

I have been asked to share my impressions about the state of Islamic studies in the North American academy. Given that the pioneers of this field include many of my mentors, and many of my own peers have struggled for years to help advance the field to its current state, my observations will not be dispassionate. And since I have been fortunate to have a front-row seat along the development of the field over the last twenty years, I hope I’ll be able to do justice to the current state of the field. I became a graduate student in the field of Islamic studies in the early 1990s. In those days, almost all of us were “converts”: no one went to undergraduate studies planning ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (December 10)

[Photo by Nicholas Raymond via freestock.ca]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to cci@jadaliyya.com by Saturday night of every week.] Human Rights  Angola accused of 'banning' Islam as mosques closed Human rights activists condemn crackdown though officials in largely Catholic nation insist reports of ban are exaggerated Flaws in the “Women’s Rights in the Arab World” poll Mohammad El Dahshan questions the methodology of the recent Thomson-Reuters poll ...

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Weaving Ethical Concerns and Aesthetic Aspirations: Fatwas and Nose Jobs in Iran

[Scene from Shahrdari Street in Tehran in August 2012. Image by Kamyar Adl via Flickr]

Iran has recently been labeled the nose job capital of the world; a fact that comes as a surprise to those who get caught up on the Islamic Republic’s strict and serious image. As opposed to what one might imagine, no sort of governmental or Islamic legal permission is required to access cosmetic surgery services throughout the country. However, that is not to say that Islamic law has nothing to say about the matter. Quite the contrary, religious leaders have found it necessary to engage with the issue of cosmetic surgery, particularly because the practice is common among religious men and women in addition to secular individuals. Although believers not institutionally ...

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New Texts Out Now: Asef Bayat, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam

[Cover of Asef Bayat, editor,

Asef Bayat, editor, Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Asef Bayat (AB): Well, for me the primary reason for producing this book was a realization that there was a major gap in the scholarship on Islamism. While so much has been written on political Islam—some of which remains solid scholarship—the mainstream perspectives tend to treat political Islam as if it were a static movement with little scope for change. Even those who did detect degrees of change in certain Islamist movements rarely dealt with highlighting their particular ...

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New Texts Out Now: Wael Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament

[Cover of Wael Hallaq,

Wael Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. [This is a special edition of NEWTON that coincides with the upcoming launch of Jadaliyya's Critical Currents of Islam page. CCI aims to engage with a range of topics related to Islam as it is interpreted, practiced, and contested in political, cultural, and economic arenas throughout the world. The page is a place for fresh and critical perspectives on many of the issues that have defined internal discussions within Muslim societies and a space for highlighting new directions and discussions.] Jadaliyya (J):  What made you write ...

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Morsi Trial Protest in Photos

[Standing in front of riot police during a protest outside the Police Academy in Cairo, a supporter of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi doing the “Rabea” gesture, in reference to Rabea sit-in, which security forces cleared up violently last August. 4 November 2013. Photo by Jonathan Rashad]

On 4 November 2013, supporters of Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi protested outside the Police Academy in Cairo as they awaited his trial. Due to chants by the defendants, including Morsi and fourteen other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the trial was adjourned until 8 January 2014. Morsi, along with the other defendants, are accused of inciting murder against opposition during his year as president.              

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نقد الخطاب الديني

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[تعمل "جدلية" على نشر مقاطع من أعمال ومقالات أدباء وشخصيات نتناول سيرتها في "ملف من الأرشيف". نستعرض هذا الأسبوع سيرة المفكر المصري نصر حامد أبو زيد، والذي نادى في كافة كتاباته ونشاطاته الفكرية بتغليب العقل على استعباده في تأويل النصوص القرآنية، ورفض استحواذ جماعات دون غيرها على تفسير النص وتكفير من يجادلها في ذلك. فطاله في ذلك الأمر الكثير بحيث اتُهم بالردة وحُكم عليه بتفريقه عن زوجته، فما كان له إلا أن يغادر مصر دون أن يتوقف حتى مماته عن الحث على تحرير العقل كشرط لتحرر الشعوب كما يجئ في المقتطف أدناه من كتابه "نقد الخطاب الديني" الصادر عن المركز الثقافي العربي، الطبعة الثالثة، 2007.]   الأصل والبدء هو سلطة العقل، السلطة ...

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Quebec’s Charter of Values: Citizenship, Patriarchy, and Paranoia

[Examples of ostensible signs that will not be allowed for the state personnel.]

On 10 September 2013, the Quebec government led by the Parti Quebecois introduced its Charter of Quebec Values, that it hopes to implement in that Canadian province. If passed, the charter would, among other things, forbid government employees from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols in the workplace and citizens from receiving government services while wearing those symbols. The charter is currently polarizing Quebec society. What follows is an attempt to historicize the conversation over “Quebec values,” in light of the recent developments and the province’s history of marginalization. It proposes a broad overview of the various ...

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Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a new series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.]  First Name: Nasr Last Name: Abu Zaid Date of birth: 10 July 1943 Date of death: 5 July 2010 Nationality: Egyptian Category: Intellectual and writer Profession: Researcher and ...

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Beyond 'Tolerance' and 'Intolerance': Deconstructing the Myth of the Islamic Golden Age

Like many other concepts that shape our understanding of medieval history, the idea of a “Muslim Golden Age” is a historiographical construct. It promotes the notion that, until at least the early thirteenth century, the Muslim world experienced an era of unprecedented stability, prosperity, and cultural production. More particularly, it emphasizes that the period between roughly the ninth century and the thirteenth century (sometimes extended to the eighteenth century in order to include the Ottomans ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (18 March)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to cci@jadaliyya.com by Saturday night of every week.] Muslim Minorities and Minority Muslims Germany Adds Lessons in Islam to Better Blend Its Melting Pot Alison Smale reports that for the first time, ...

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Beyond Nostalgia

[This article is part of a six-person roundtable entitled “African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle.” Click here for the introduction by Lindsey Stephenson and links to responses by Zareena Grewal, Abbas Barzegar, Mansa Bilal Mark King, Aminah B. McCloud, and Sohail Daulatzai. The initial question posed to the roundtable participants was: African American Muslims have been involved in the black freedom struggle for over a century, however their participation is often overlooked or ...

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إسماعيل أدهم ناقداً منسياً في عبقرية أمراضه

إسماعيل أدهم (1911-1940) ناقداً منسياً في عبقرية أمراضه... إذا كان النقد العربي توزع بين النظرية البلاغية من جهة والنظرية الأدبية من جهة أخرى. فإن النظرية الأولى خلقت لنا مؤرخي الأدب والحادثة التاريخية، ومفسريه وشارحيه، ومحللي الأجناس الأدبية، ومستوردي المناهج الجاهزة بينما دفعت النظرية الثانية إلى منطق اللغة والمعنى بأن النتيجة لا تسبق السبب. فاعتنوا بالعملية الإبداعية، بوصف أن معظمهم مبدعون ومبدعات، فاقترحوا اتجاهاتهم وخياراتهم بناء على وعيهم الفردي ورؤاهم وطموحاتهم. ولعل نشأة النقد الذي عاصر أدب ...

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Roundtable on The Future of Islamism: A Starting Point

Introduction (by Abdullah Al-Arian, Roundtable Organizer and Co-Editor of Critical Currents in Islam Page) The Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 had barely claimed a single authoritarian ruler when many observers began to proclaim the imminent rise of Islamist governments from Tunisia to Yemen. Less than three years later, however, those predictions appear at best to have been premature. Despite repeated electoral successes in Tunisia and Egypt, Islamist political parties have yet to supplant ...

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The Rise and Fall of the Salafi al-Nour Party in Egypt

When Mohamed Salmawi, the spokesman for the committee appointed to draft Egypt’s post-coup constitution, appeared before the press on 29 October, the message was clear. There would be no place for Article 219 in the new constitution, and there would be no further discussion. The announcement followed two months of anxious efforts by the Salafi al-Nour Party to secure the Islamic language introduced in the now voided 2012 constitution. This has been quite the battle given their single member ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (November 12)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam Page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to cci@jadaliyya.com by Saturday night of every week.] Hegemony Do Muslim Women Need Saving? A critical look by Leila Abu-Lughod at the moral crusade that has justified all manner of intervention from ...

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Essential Readings: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

For all the press attention it has received over the last two decades and especially since the 25 January uprising that overthrew Egypt’s longstanding ruler, there has been comparatively little rigorous scholarship on the Society of the Muslim Brothers of Egypt. This is partly a consequence of the fact that the research of historians and political scientists who specialize in the Middle East has tended to be state-centric in the examination of forces that shaped modern societies in the region. ...

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الآخر في عيون الجبرتي مؤرخ الحملة الفرنسية

الملخص* عبد الرحمن الجبرتي (1) (ولد في القاهرة عام 1756 - وتوفي فيها عام 1825). وهو مؤرخ مصري عاصر الحملة الفرنسية على مصر ووصف تلك الفترة بالتفصيل في كتابه ”عجائب الآثار في التراجم والأخبار“(2) والمعروف اختصاراً بـ«تاريخ الجبرتي» والذي يُعَدُّ مرجعاً أساسياً لتلك الفترة الهامة من الحملة الفرنسية. وتتلخص هذه الورقة التي قدمت كمحاضرة في رصد انطباعاته عن الفرنسيين في مصر من خلال كتابيه عجائب الآثار ومظهر التقديس، وهي محاولة للإجابة على عدة أسئلة كيف صور مؤرخ مصري ينتمي إلى طبقة علماء الأزهر ...

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الجنرال الفاشل والجماعة الفاشية... أو العكس

مقدمة إعلانية: الداخلية تعلن مقتل فرنسي داخل مقر احتجازه بأحد أقسام الشرطة التحقيق في مقتل 37 من نزلاء سجن أبو زعبل القبض على 6 نشطاء نظموا وقفة أثناء نظر قضية خالد سعيد بالإسكندرية ****  أتفق مع الجنرال السيسي في أمر واحد فقط، ذكره في حديث تم نشره على اليوتيوب، وهو أنّ الطريق الذي تسير فيه مصر منذ ثورة 2011 هو "تفكك الدولة وإعادة تركيبها"، على أنني أرى أنّ كل المحاولات التي جاءت منذ 11 فبراير 2011 لـ"إعادة تركيب" الدولة، باءت وستبوء بالفشل، مما يهدد الأمن القومي لمصر ...

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الإخوان المسلمون وسؤال النشأة المستأنفة

حظيت حركة الإخوان المسلمين من اسمها بنصيب وافر، خصوصا فيما يتعلق بكونها "حركة". فلم يكن هاجس المؤسس الأول حسن البنا فكرياً بقدر ما كان حركياً: الحركة من أجل حُلم عودة الخلافة الإسلامية، حركة لا تتعامل مع سؤال الحداثة، الذي فرض نفسه على الخلافة العثمانية في القرن الثامن عشر وعلى مصر مع دخول الحملة الفرنسية في 1789، ولا مع سؤال التراث، الذي ولد كمقولب لسؤال الحداثة، وكانت طريقة التعامل هي اللاتعامل وطريقة الفعل هي الامتناع عن الفعل. "دقت ساعة العمل"، كان هذا شعار النشأة الأولى ...

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