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مدن بلا أهل: عن خراب الموصل وبغداد وحواضر أخرى

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تذكرني مقولات من قبيل "إن هذه الجماعة غريبة على الموصل وستؤدي أفعالها إلى استثارة أهل الموصل ضدها"، بمقولات سبقتها زمنياً من قبيل "إن السوريين ليسوا كالعراقيين ولن يدخلوا حرباً طائفية"، وقبلها "إن المجتمع العراقي ليس كاللبناني والطائفية غريبة عليه" ، وهلم جرا... هذه المقولات تفترض أن للمجتمعات ملامح ثابتة ومحددة لا تتغير، وأن الجماعة هي " كيان" أزلي يمتلك "جوهراً" نفسياً ثابتاً، وهي تصورات بالاضافة إلى لا علميتها وتبسيطيتها، تمثل وعاء للكثير من المواقف العنصرية والتمييزية، وتلك التي تعتاش على الأساطير الدينية. ولنتذكر أنه قبل الحربين الأهليتين في ليبيا وسوريا كان هنالك من يروج لمقولة أن العراقيين هم قوم عنيفون بشكل ...

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نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"

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ليست "نونا" كسابقاتها، لاتشبه "نون" النسوة مثلا، ولا النون في اية كلمة عربية، "نون" اخرى مختلفة لم يفكر بها مخترع الهجاء العربي، بالضبط لم يفكر بان تكون لها وظيفة اخرى غير ما شاع منها في كلام العرب ومن نطق بلغتهم، ولا "عنترة العبسي"، الشاعر الجاهلي الاسود، فكر باخرى واخرى عندما انشد نونيته " ياطائر البان قد هيجت أشجاني"، وحتما لم تكن حاضرة في مطالع سور القران، كتاب الله الذي يحارب الجميع، الان ومن قبل، تحت رايته، ويدعون نصرته كانت له نونه الباهرة"نون والقلم وما يسطرون ما انت بنعمة ربك بمجنون"، فلم يخرج، قيد انملة، عن الاشارات المنتجة للتواصل الانساني، حتى الجواهري، فكر بنون ثانية، نون ارتبطت عنده، او بادق ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (16 June)

[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 Muslim group's concerns about 'Tyrant' addressed, FX and producers say A new television show is drawing concern from some American Muslims, and producers have responded by consulting with American Muslim groups. Muslim Minorities and Minority Muslims Visitors Say That the 9/11 Museum’s Depiction of Islam ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ahmed El Shamsy, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History

[Cover of Ahmed El Shamsy,

Ahmed El Shamsy, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ahmed El Shamsy (AES): Legal history is often dry stuff: it is full of theories, concepts, and institutions, and heavy with jargon. When I read a work of history, I want to know what happened. I also want to understand what drove the actors involved and what was at stake. The story of the birth of Islamic law, like any story, is about people: their motivations, concerns, and interactions. Accordingly, I wanted to tell this story in a way that would not merely describe but also ...

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Sayyed Qutb: A Profile from the Archives

[Sayyed Qutb. Source: Al-Shorooq]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a 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. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Sayyed Last name: Qutb Father’s name: Qutb Ibn Ibrahim Date of birth: 1906 Date of death: 1966 Nationality: Egyptian Category: Author Profession: Writer and journalist Sayyed Qutb   Full name: Sayyed son of Al-Haj Qutb son of Ibrahim son of Hussein ...

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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 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. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.]  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. ...

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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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عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها

يخبرني أحد المسؤولين الأمريكيين الذين انخرطوا في الجدل الأمريكي الرسمي الذي تلا سقوط نظام صدام، أن مسألة اختيار "ممثلين" للشعب العراقي كانت إحدى نقاط الاختلاف الرئيسية، وأنه كان ضمن مجموعة رفضت التركيز حصراً على التصنيف الهوياتي في انتقاء أعضاء مجلس الحكم الانتقالي، وهو أول مؤسسة حكم عراقية تأسست بعد الاحتلال. يقر محدثي أن مجموعته خسرت النقاش ويقر بأن الطريقة التي تم تشكيل المجلس فيها أسست لما تلاها من إذكاء للنوازع الإثنية والطائفية. يقول إنه كان بالإمكان تجنب ذلك بدل الاستسلام للسردية البسيطة ...

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The Perils of American Muslim Politics

This Ramadan, many American Muslim leaders are anxiously awaiting to hear whether they have made the cut for the annual White House Iftar. An invitation to this iftar, as with similar events the State Department and the Pentagon hold, serves to symbolize recognition in the halls of American power and a degree of success for those Muslims who have sought active engagement within the political arena. Rewarded by a chance to break their fast with President Obama, they have been formally recognized as ...

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Watching ISIS on TV

I spent the last few afternoons and evenings with my wife's cousins---dynamic, generous, and patient people from Baghdad who only recently---after eight years of one war, ten years of sanctions, and ten years of violent occupation---decided to permanently resettle in Amman. Besides eating and drinking tea, and talking about the beauty of Ali's sermons, for the most part, we wandered through a labyrinth of Iraqi satellite television. Like most Iraqi households these days, the television is never turned ...

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Quick Thoughts: Paul Sedra on the Pope’s Visit to the Middle East

  [On Saturday 24 May 2014, Pope Francis embarks on a three-day visit to Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in his first tour of the Middle East since his installation as head of the Catholic Church in 2013. Jadaliyya asked its Contributing Editor Paul Sedra to reflect on the broader issues the pope is expected to address, including the position of Christians in the Middle East.] Vatican watchers and Middle East analysts alike will examine the Pope’s ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (24 April)

[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 ...

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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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