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Salafism in Tunisia: An Interview with a Member of Ansar al-Sharia

The emergence of Salafi movements in post-Ben Ali Tunisia surprised both the international community and many in Tunisia itself. The astonishment was such that when the first Salafi demonstrations took place in downtown Tunis, journalists and observers were talking quite confusingly about the phenomenon. Some accused ...  Read More »

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The Alawite Dilemma in Homs

Syria's Alawites are often portrayed as a monolithic religious community which has unconditionally and unwavering supported the Syrian regime through the crisis which has shaken the country since March 2011. However, very little attention has been paid to the community’s diversity and to reasons for its support of the ...  Read More »

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Two Saints and a Sinner

The name Ahmad Lutfi Ibrahim does not, for most people, evoke any particular memories. It would hardly surprise me if a few friends thought I had meant to type Ahmad Lutfi Al-Sayyid, the renowned and sometimes reviled leader of the Egyptian Constitutional party of nearly eighty years ago. And yet there he ...  Read More »

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Ennahda: A Party in Transition

Since the assassination of Chokri Belaid, Tunisia is living the most difficult stage of its revolutionary transition. Even before the murder of Belaid, a long institutional crisis had kept the country in limbo with the prolonged absence of a constitution. Belaid’s death pushed it on the edge of chaos. Much has been ...  Read More »

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The Sad Potential End of Beheadings in Saudi Arabia

What is the world coming to? First stone-throwing is banned (primarily officially) and now this. What’s next? Prosecuting “honor crimes” as regular ones? In a fast-paced world, and a faster-paced Saudi Arabia (KSA), anything seems possible. According to an AhramOnline report, Saudi Arabia may stop beheadings due to ...  Read More »

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Bosnia's Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism

[The following report was issued by International Crisis Group on 26 February 2013.] Bosnia's Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism  Overview The Bosniak community is deeply frustrated with the dysfunctional government, flawed constitution and economic stagnation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as well as ...  Read More »

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Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims

[The following press release and report were issued by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), and its partner organizations the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsability (CLEAR) project of CUNY School of Law, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).] New ...  Read More »

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Tunisia: Violence and the Salafi Challenge

[The following report was issued by International Crisis Group on 13 February 2013.]  Tunisia: Violence and the Salafi Challenge  Executive Summary   The assassination of Chokri Belaïd, a prominent opposition politician, has thrown Tunisia into its worst crisis since the January 2011 ouster of ...  Read More »

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The Silence of the Law: Khaled Fahmy on Shari'a and the Origins of the Egyptian Legal System (Video)

What does it mean to implement shari'a today? Khaled Fahmy, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the American University in Cairo, tackles this question by examining Egypt's encounter with modernity in the nineteenth century and the origins of the Egyptian legal system. The interview was produced the by ...  Read More »

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Civil Marriage Fatwas, the Lebanese State, and Renegade Bacteria

For some philosophers, the condition of being contemporary is to actually be anachronistic to and critical of the present, to see its darkness, and to avoid being absorbed by the vortex of neo-liberal capitalism, not to mention by the devastating logics of Lebanese political discourse. When the Sunni Mufti of Lebanon, ...  Read More »

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Los Angeles Event: Sex and Sectarianism in Lebanon (20 February 2013)

Sex and Sectarianism: Recognition and the Disarticulation of Madhhab/Sect and Sex/Gender in Lebanon A lecture by Maya Mikdashi Co-Sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the UCLA Islamic Studies Program, and UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Program, and the Arab Studies Institute ...  Read More »

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Slaying Saints and Torching Texts

When I first journeyed to Bamako to research Sufism in Mali in 2006, my American students generally asked two questions: Where is Mali and what is Sufism? Today, the answer to both of these questions is found daily in the headline news. Cultural heritage in Mali is under attack. But just as the armed conflict there ...  Read More »

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Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts

The politics of the past two years have generated widespread interest in the historical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Egypt’s wielders of power, especially at a time when observers are eager to understand the prospects for accommodation (or adversity) between the MB and traditional bureaucratic ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Madawi Al-Rasheed (MAR): First, the banality of superficial opinions on Saudi women that is so pervasive. In the public ...  Read More »

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QIZ: Egyptian Jeans Under the Patronage of the Muslim Brotherhood

Two weeks ago, an official Egyptian delegation visited Washington to negotiate expanding the Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement with Israel and the US, which sees designated geographic areas in Egypt given duty free status in collaboration with Israel. They also met to discuss reducing the Israeli component ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Nile Green, Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915

Nile Green, Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. [Co-winner of the 2011 Albert Hourani Book Award] Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Nile Green: It took me some time to realize the importance of Bombay to Muslims ...  Read More »

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On the Historical Study of South Asia and Sufism: An Interview with Nile Green

In the following conversation with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Professor of History Nile Green discusses some of the issues arising from the study of “Muslims of South Asia and the wider Persianate world.” The bulk of the interview addresses issues related to the ...  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.

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