CM Reacts: Election of Sadiq Khan – Usama Hasan

USAMA HASAN

In a theme that resonates well with Contending Modernities, Khan has consistently spoken of his (and everyone’s) multiple identities, in his case these being: British, European, Western, Pakistani-origin, Muslim, human rights lawyer, the son of a bus driver and a product of a working-class council estate home. Thus, Khan’s election has the potential to be hugely inspiring and empowering to “minority” or “underdog” groupings, like Barack Obama’s election victory in 2008. Read the full article »

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CM Reacts: Election of Sadiq Khan – Myriam François

MYRIAM FRANÇOIS

London began this past balmy weekend with the news that Sadiq Khan has been elected Mayor of London in a landslide victory–achieving the biggest personal mandate of any politician in UK history.

“Victory for Sadiq Khan highlights tolerant face of London,” says the Financial Times. Indeed, despite some efforts to present Sadiq as a secret Al-Qaeda-supporting fanatic out to impose public beheadings south of the London Eye, Londoners–or at least 57 per cent of them–do not seem to have bought into the idea that Khan is in fact a secret extremist. Read the full article »

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CM Reacts: Election of Sadiq Khan – Hamid Dabashi

HAMID DABASHI

There is no doubt the election of Sadiq Khan is a momentous occasion, a shock to the xenophobic fear-mongering flooding Europe from the UK to Greece. But we should not fetishize the fact that he is a Muslim, but rather celebrate the tenacity of a working-class immigrant family to raise a child with the audacity to imagine himself running such a magnificent city. His Muslim background and demeanor, his family’s Muslim names, his use of the Qur’an in his official ceremonies, all signal a significant symbolic register in European self-consciousness: Muslims are here, and are here to stay. Read the full article »

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CM Reacts: Election of Sadiq Khan – Loren Lybarger

LOREN LYBARGER

The recent London mayoral election was never going to be a run-of-the-mill poll no matter what the gadflies might have told us about Muslims having a long history of running Western cities. Not in this moment, in which Muslims figure in Western public opinion as a threat to civilizational order near and far. On the contrary, coming just one day after Donald Trump’s rise as presumptive Republican nominee for the Presidency of the United States, the election of Sadiq Khan, son of working-class Pakistani immigrants and a practicing Muslim, could only have been an exceptional moment. Read the full article »

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CM Reacts: Election of Sadiq Khan – M. Christian Green

M. CHRISTIAN GREEN

The framework of radicalization, extremism, and terror may seem a grim background to be celebrating the election of Sadiq Khan as the Mayor of London and, indeed, the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital. But it is a necessary one in order to appreciate the importance and potential of the moment. The burden of being a demographic “first” is never an easy one, especially for “firsts” laden with social, cultural, and political symbolism—for that we can observe the many trials, tribulations, and, at times, the missed opportunities of the presidency of Barack Obama in the US. Read the full article »

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Five Observations on Muslimism

SLAVICA JAKELIĆ

Cevik is rightly careful about the future developments of Muslimism, as they depend on various factors (political, economic, religious). On my reading, this cautious approach also ought to be taken with any comparisons between Muslimists and, say, Pentecostals in Latin America or US Evangelicals. Any comparative work in this area needs to be alert to the possible simplifications and repetitions of the old subtraction narratives about the ultimate victory of the secularizing impetus in modernity. Read the full article »

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Further Reflections on Muslimism

NESLIHAN CEVIK

What Muslimists achieve is a conservative transformation of the concept of umma as something that has acquired throughout the ages an authoritarian style and conceptualization. It is not a rejection of umma or communal experience per se, but it is the demand that community, as an external source of power, is not the main agent of morality. For example, many Islamists see the hijab as a making symbol of Muslim community, a symbol that creates the Muslim community in its differentiation from others. Read the full article »

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ACI Africa – Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality in Ivory Coast

LUDOVIC LADO

Sub-Saharan African societies, described as community-oriented, are often compared with Western societies pictured as individualistic. But this simplistic divide can be misleading. The postcolonial predicament in Sub-Saharan Africa is a complex conundrum that encapsulates various dialectical processes involving the constant renegotiation of the relations between community and the individual, belonging and autonomy, submission and rebellion, authority and autonomy. Read the full article »

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ACI Africa – Pentecostal Pastors and the Crisis of Political Authority in Africa

EBENEZER OBADARE

Since January of this year, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Nigeria has hosted Divine Encounter and Shiloh Hour, a special monthly ministration and prayer service, in Abuja, the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory (FCT). April’s version of Divine Encounter took place in the city’s 60,000 capacity National Stadium complex against a backdrop of a prolonged fuel scarcity that virtually crippled social life and economic activities across the country. Read the full article »

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Reconfiguring the Discourse of Power

CECELIA LYNCH

In addition to admiration, Jakelic’s talk prompted two other reactions. First, I differ with her on the role of “power” — in particular, her desire to move “beyond the discourse of power,” and I question whether her activists move beyond it, too. Second, I would ask her to address in more detail the problems and possibilities of fluid boundaries between religious and secular categories and identities. Read the full article »

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