Tentacles of the Leviathan? Nationalism, Islamophobia, and the Insufficiency-yet-Indispensability of Human Rights for Religious Freedom in Contemporary Europe

JASON SPRINGS

In multiple cases across Europe, a growing list of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) converges on an apparent consensus: the expanding presence of Islam throughout Europe presents a pronounced challenge to Western conceptions of secular law and human rights. Read the full article »

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Young women model MLine apparel, fashion for Muslim women

Turkish Muslimism: A New Islamic Engagement with Modernity

GARRETT FITZGERALD

The engagement between modernity and religion is often presented through the use of binaries: secular and religious, public and private, liberalism and fundamentalism. But in a new volume, Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond, Turkish sociologist of religion Neslihan Cevik explores forms of religious engagement with modernity that resist these crude divisions, pointing instead to the possibility of a hybridity that blurs the lines between categories often viewed as diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. 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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Introducing ACI Africa

EMMANUEL KATONGOLE

In its broad conception the Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) Research project is about Africa’s complex modernities. Modernity is not one thing (see, for example, Eisentadt’s multiple modernities thesis). African individuals and communities find themselves at the intersection of multiple modern, global, local, traditional, secular and religious forces. Read the full article »

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Introducing ACI Indonesia

MUN’IM SIRRY

After a careful process of selecting the core research team, the Contending Modernities Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) working group on Indonesia formally launched last year to begin a three-year research project to better understand the complex issues facing plural societies and to foster possible collaborations among various actors, religious and secular, at different levels: local and global, individuals and communities. Read the full article »

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Defining feminisms, upholding equality

MARGOT BADRAN

Paola Bernardini rightly points out that one must be wary of the term “Western feminism.” Likewise, “Islamic feminism” is often taken by observers to mean any gender thinking and practice advocated by Muslim women — who are blithely labeled “Islamic feminists.” But such so-called “Islamic feminism” typically represents a patriarchal version of Islam, albeit mainly a “soft patriarchy” in which complementarity overrides equality. Read the full article »

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