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Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid: A Profile from the Archives

[Intellectual Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid]

[”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 intellectual Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid Born on 10 July 1943 in Tanta, Gharbia governorate. His father died when he was fourteen years old. He was preparing to be an ...

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ماذا فعلت «حماس» بالمناهج؟

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بعد عقود قضوها مشتتين بين المناهج العربيِّة، كان قد أصبح للفلسطينيين في مطلع الألفيّة الجديدة منهاجهم التعليميّ الخاص والموحَّد في الضفة الغربيّة وقطاع غزّة. في حينه، لم تعجب المناهج الجديدة «أميركا» و«إسرائيل» اللتان اتهمتا السلطة الفلسطينيِّة بأنِّ تلك المناهج تحرِّض على العنف، وأنّها لا تتضمّن مبادئ السلام والمصالحة ولا تشير إلى وجود «إسرائيل» على الخريطة. كان الرئيس عبّاس قد تطرَّق إلى ذلك في خطابه في شباط/ فبراير الفائت أمام طلبة إسرائيليين في مقره في «المقاطعة»، وتعهّد بالعمل على تغيير ما لم يرق عبر لجنة فلسطينية ـ أميركيّة ـ إسرائيليّة. يتّفق طرفا المعادلة الفلسطينيّة البائسة في غزّة ورام الله، وفاءً لقاعدة «إن لم تجد شتاتًا فبادر الى خلقه»، على ضرورة كسر وحدة ...

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New Texts Out Now: Zayde Antrim, Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World

[Cover of Zayde Antrim,

Zayde Antrim, Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Zayde Antrim (ZA): I was originally motivated by what I saw as easy dismissals of the relationship between Palestinians and the territory that now makes up Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. When the question of their attachment to land came up, it was often in order to deem it both recent and ideologically motivated, sometimes explicitly in comparison to the more historically legitimate or “natural” attachments of other peoples to their lands. I continued to be concerned by facile ...

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The Irrepressible Charm of the State: Dershane Closures and the Domestic War for Power in Turkey

[A local dershane in Antakya celebrates the success of their students on the national OKS (now know as the LGS) exam. Image via Flickr.]

The Turkish parliament's recent passing of a bill to shut down private prepatory schools (dershane) by 1 September 2015 is the last front in the all-out domestic war between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen community. Initially announced by the Turkish prime minister on 9 September 2012, the law's first draft was published by the movement's daily Zaman last November. This re-ignited a heated debate amongst intellectuals, politicians, and the broader public across the country, and drastically increased the tension that has characterized AKP-Gülen community relations since 2011. A Marriage of Convenience Although the AKP and the Gülen ...

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Alevis in Ottoman Anatolia: An Interview with Ayfer Karakaya-Stump

[Image via Ottoman History Podcast]

The former Ottoman world is home to many communities of Muslim religious minorities that have been variously deemed heterodox deviants from the acknowledged schools of Islamic law. Narratives about them have focused on a certain impurity or syncretism in their religious practices. One such group is the Kizilbash/Alevi community of Anatolia. From the perspective of Ottoman rulers and statesmen, Kizilbash groups were often seen as politically dangerous heretics to be stamped out, or at the very least reformed. For Protestant missionaries, they were one of many communities in the empire seen as not wholly Muslim, descendants of past Christians or pagans ripe for conversion. ...

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In Turkey, Some Labels Keep on Giving

[Detail from the cover of Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar's 1889 novel

A recent speech gave Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a new opportunity to define and condemn his critics. Calling the students of Middle East Technical University who protested the construction of a highway near the campus “leftists,” “atheists,” and “terrorists,” he repeated his determination to crush those allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. One may remember at this point how the same prime minister had stated several months ago that his government would protect the rights of “even the atheists,” but at a time of great tension and conflict such as this, “atheist” came back as an overt, rather than an implied, insult. At the risk of being ...

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Relevant Contributions

[Members of the women's auxiliary of the Black Muslims, in their religious dress of white headdresses and gowns, take part in their annual convention in Chicago on 26 February 1972. Image via Associated Press]

[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 generalized. How have they engaged with some of the important questions of the movement such as: the extent to which the black freedom struggle was a national or an international ...

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Fires in the Masters’ House

[Civil rights leader Malcolm X speaks to reporters in Washington DC, in this 16 May 1963 photo. Image via Associated Press]

[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 generalized. How have they engaged with some of the important questions of the movement such as: the extent to which the black freedom struggle was a national or an international ...

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مئة مفكر ومفكرة يطالبون باطلاق سراح الشاعر الفلسطيني أشرف فياض من السجن في المملكة العربية السعودية

[أصدر الموقعون أدناه المطلب التالي في 11 شباط (فبراير) 2014. وكتب المطلب كرد على قرار السلطات السعودية باعتقال واحتجاز أشرف فياض في عام 2013 لنشرة مجموعة شعرية في عام 2008.] نحن الموقعون في هذا البيان من أدباء وكتاب وفنانين وصحفيين وناشرين وناشطين حقوق وحريات عرب، نطلق حملة فلنتضامن مع اشرف فياض الشاعر والفنان التشكيلي الفلسطيني المعتقل في المملكة العربية السعودية للشهر الثاني، بتهمة التعدي على الذات الإلهية وإطالة الشعر بحسب الأنباء الواردة معلنين قلقنا الشديد مما يمكن ان يطاله من تعسف وغش وتحريض وترهيب . حيث تفيد الأنباء المؤسفة انه تم إيقاف فياض في هيئة التحقيق والادعاء العام فرع أبها “دون أسباب قضائية واضحة سوى أنه متهم بالتعدي على الذات الإلهية وحمل أفكار لا ...

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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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Islam and the Black Freedom Struggle: An Interview with the After Malcolm Project

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The After Malcolm: Islam and the Black Freedom Struggle project is a unique digital archive initiative housed at Georgia State University in Atlanta. By documenting and digitizing a range papers, records, audio and visual material, and oral histories, the project aims to increase the awareness of the role of Islam in the Black freedom struggle. We have invited the principal investigators, Professors Abbas Barzegar (Georgia State University) and Mansa Bilal Mark King (Morehouse College) to discuss the project with us. Thank you both very much for joining us. Lindsey Stephenson (LS): The project aims to “recapture and preserve the forgotten legacy of African American ...

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

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, ...

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A Fashionable Revolution: Veiling, Morality, and Consumer Culture in Iran

There has been a flurry of commentary recently that claims something of a “silent revolution” is underway in Iran today. It is supposedly a revolution against — or, at the very least, a flagrant disregard for — government prescriptions for public decency. It is situated on the surfaces of women’s bodies and assumes bright colors, brand names, fitted contours, and flowing hair. It is supposedly a revolution against but also of the mandatory veil, or how a new generation of women is taking liberties with ...

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Conference: Reason and Esotericism in Shi'i Islam (April 4, University of Chicago)

The University of Chicago Shi'i Studies Group presents A Shi'i Studies Symposium: "Reason an Esotericism in Shi'i Islam" 4 April 2014, 8.45am - 6:00pm Coulter Lounge, International House, 1414 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL Hermeneutics, Law, Theology, Heresiography, Epistemology, Politics, and Anthropology Speakers: Tahera Qutbuddin  Paul Walker Hassan Ansari  Bella Tendler Ed Hayes Rodrigo Adem Mushegh Asatryan George Warner Ata ...

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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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Looking Suspicious: The Profiling of Muslim Americans

Profiling is a tactic used by police and security agencies in which people are treated as suspicious because of their racial or religious identity and subjected to heightened scrutiny. By 2000, there was a bipartisan consensus in the United States that the pervasive use of such tactics was inherently discriminatory and therefore unjust. Then 9/11 happened, and profiling got a new lease on life. Racial and religious profiling of Arabs and Muslims intensified, and remains a staple of counterterrorism and ...

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After Malcolm: Reconfiguring Our Maps and Histories

[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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Some Thoughts on African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle

[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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حول التَسَلسل في العالم العربي

افتتاحية إن التمرّد العربي الذي نشب سنة 2011 ينتمي إلى فئة نادرة من الأحداث التاريخية: إنه تسلسلُ تمرّدات سياسية، واحدٌ يفجّر الآخر، عبر منطقة من العالم برمّتها. كان هناك ثلاثة أمثلة سابقة فحسب: حروب التحرير الأميركية اللاتينية التي بدأت سنة 1810 وانتهت سنة 1825؛ الثورات الأوربية بين 1848- 49؛ وسقوط أنظمة الكتلة السوفيتية، 1989-91. كان كلُّ حدث من هذه الأحداث مُحدَّداً تاريخياً بزمانه ومكانه، كما ستكون سلسلة التمردات في العالم العربي. لم يستمرّ أيّ منها أقل من سنتين. إنّ أي تنبؤ بالنتائج سيكون سابقاً ...

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One Hundred Arab Intellectuals Demand the Release of Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh from Saudi Prison

[The following petition was issued on 11 February 2014 by the below signatories. The petition was organized in response to the Saudi authorities'  arrest and detention of Ashraf Fayadh in 2013 for a collection of poems he published in 2008.] As Arab authors, writers, artists, journalists, publishers, and activists, we are launching a solidarity campaign with Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh who was detained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia two months ago and charged with “insulting the ...

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NYC Event: Reflections on the Academic Study of Women and Islam (NYU, 31 Jan 2014)

Reflections on the Academic Study of Women and Islam: A Panel Discussion with Professors Lila Abu-Lughod and Suad Joseph Friday, 31 January 2014 5:30pm-7:30pm King Juan Carlos Auditorium 53 Washington Square South New York University The Hagop Kevorika Center for Near East Studes invites you to attend a discussion with Lila Abu-Lughod, professor of Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies at Columbia University, on her new book Do Muslim Women Need Saving? (Harvard University Press, ...

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Mipsterz: A Peripheral Debate?

About a month ago, Mipsterz (that is, Muslim hipsters) released a video by one of their members entitled “Somewhere in America,” set to the tune of Jay Z’s song by the same name. The video features young Muslim American women “being themselves.” The video elicited a number of multifaceted reactions from within the Muslim American community, the majority of which were concerned with assimilation into American society. While some initial criticism spoke about the failure of these women to meet “proper ...

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Violence Against Copts in Egypt

The Egyptian Orthodox Christian community—the Copts—has been the target of violence and discrimination since the 1970s and especially following the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian state has done little to remedy the situation and has at times enabled the conflict between Muslims and Christians. Achieving religious freedom and equality depends on building state institutions that can guarantee all citizens’ constitutional rights. The Conflict Regime-church relations deteriorated in ...

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