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The Poverty of Moral Answers to Political Questions: On Perceptions of Islam in the Wake of ISIS

Recent weeks and months have witnessed a frustrated sense of déjà vu on the part of many Islamic Studies scholars in North America and  Western Europe. In the wake of 11 September 2001, scholars of Islam were frequently called upon to explain the marginality of al-Qa'ida’s bellicose interpretation of the sources ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam

Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Edmund Burke III (EB): Ever since my first book, Prelude to Protectorate in Morocco: Pre-colonial Protest and ...  Read More »

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (October)

[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 ...  Read More »

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How Not To Understand ISIS

October 2, 2014  The group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or simply the Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS, or IS) has attracted much attention in the past few months with its dramatic military gains in Syria and Iraq and with the recent U.S. decision to wage war against it. As analysts are called ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Abdullah Al-Arian, Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat’s Egypt

Abdullah Al-Arian, Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat’s Egypt. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Abdullah Al-Arian (AA): I began the intellectual journey toward this book over a decade ago. As an undergraduate student, I witnessed how ...  Read More »

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Propaganda, Politics, and Profiteering: Islamic Law in the Contemporary United States

The recent announcement of the establishment of a “caliphate” by the “Islamic State”—also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—has put Islamic law back in the headlines. In the ensuing, polarizing debates, images of violence and extremism are ...  Read More »

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Muhammad Abduh: A Profile from the Archives

[”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 ...  Read More »

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Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives

[”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 ...  Read More »

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ملف من الأرشيف: محمد عبده

"ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]         الإسم: محمد عبده بن حسين خير الله. تاريخ الولادة: ولد محمد ...  Read More »

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The Un-Islamic State

Since the Islamic State (IS) movement seized control of Iraq’s second city of Mosul in early June 2014 it has achieved unprecedented levels of success in Iraq and Syria, seized territory in Lebanon, and expanded to the border regions of most surrounding states. As a result the international community, which had ...  Read More »

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ملف من الأرشيف: محمد جمال الدين الأفغاني

["ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]         الإسم: سيد محمد جمال الدين الأفغاني الشهرة: الحسيني - والده صفدر ...  Read More »

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The Terror Metanarrative and the Rabaa Massacre

Just after dawn prayers on the morning of 14 August 2013, Egyptian security forces raided a large sit-in based at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyya Square and another at al-Nahda Square. Six weeks earlier, military leader and Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi staged a coup to remove Egypt’s first democratically elected ...  Read More »

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Zionism, BDS, and American Muslim Leadership

American Muslims are among the most diverse and heterogeneous national populations of Muslims in the world, made up of many different communities with different histories and priorities, yet American Muslim community leaders regularly refer to American Muslims as a singular community with a shared political agenda. ...  Read More »

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The Informants: Manufacturing Terror

On the surface, the scene unfolds without any hint of intrigue. A young Muslim convert named Darren Griffin meets fellow congregants at a local mosque in northwest Ohio. In addition to sharing the same faith as his new friends, they enjoy similar interests: watching sports, playing video games, working out at the ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

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Hassan Al-Banna: A Profile from the Archives

[”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 ...  Read More »

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

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 ...  Read More »

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Muslims and the Path of Intellectual Slavery: An Interview with Wael Hallaq (Part Two)

This is the second installment of a two-part interview with Wael Hallaq (click here for Part 1). In this second, Hallaq expounds upon the conflict he sees in the relationship between scholars in the Muslim world and the tradition of Western knowledge production. In particular, he identifies an uncritical adoption of ...  Read More »

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Turbulent Muslim Renaissance in Tunisia: Interview with Ennahda's Yusra Ghannouchi

The political transformations that occurred after the Arab Spring saw the emergence of political Islam with new force. This occurred not only in Tunisia, where the revolutions began, but more widely in the whole Middle East and North Africa region. More than three years after Ben Ali’s fall, Islamists are still part ...  Read More »

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Knowledge as Politics by Other Means: An Interview with Wael Hallaq (Part One)

Throughout the last three decades, Wael Hallaq has emerged as one of the leading scholars of Islamic law in Western academia. He has made major contributions not only to the study of the theory and practice of Islamic law, but to the development of a methodology through which Islamic scholars have been able to ...  Read More »

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (May 12)

[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 ...  Read More »

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Sayyed Qutb: A Profile from the Archives

[”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 ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

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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. ...  Read More »

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

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 ...  Read More »

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

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, ...  Read More »

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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 ...  Read More »

About the Critical Currents in Islam

The Critical Currents in Islam (CCI) Page poses important questions about what makes movements and practices “Islamic,” and critically deconstructs the notion of an eternal, unchanging religion. With this in mind, we also seek to highlight the variation and nuances of these Islamic movements and practices as they occur within communities across the globe. Our goal in designating a space for the study of Islam within Jadaliyya is to examine the ways in which Islam is but one of a multiplicity of factors that interact in the cultivation of political, economic, and sociocultural arrangements, often yielding varied outcomes across the breadth of Islamic societies.

Contact Critical Currents in Islam Page Editors via 
cci@jadaliyya.com

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