front cover of The Idea of the Muslim World
The Idea of the Muslim World
A Global Intellectual History
Cemil Aydin
Harvard University Press, 2017

“Superb… A tour de force.”
—Ebrahim Moosa

“Provocative… Aydin ranges over the centuries to show the relative novelty of the idea of a Muslim world and the relentless efforts to exploit that idea for political ends.”
Washington Post

When President Obama visited Cairo to address Muslims worldwide, he followed in the footsteps of countless politicians who have taken the existence of a unified global Muslim community for granted. But as Cemil Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single entity. How did this belief arise, and why is it so widespread? The Idea of the Muslim World considers its origins and reveals the consequences of its enduring allure.

“Much of today’s media commentary traces current trouble in the Middle East back to the emergence of ‘artificial’ nation states after the fall of the Ottoman Empire… According to this narrative…today’s unrest is simply a belated product of that mistake. The Idea of the Muslim World is a bracing rebuke to such simplistic conclusions.”
Times Literary Supplement

“It is here that Aydin’s book proves so valuable: by revealing how the racial, civilizational, and political biases that emerged in the nineteenth century shape contemporary visions of the Muslim world.”
Foreign Affairs


front cover of In and Out of This World
In and Out of This World
Material and Extraterrestrial Bodies in the Nation of Islam
Stephen C. Finley
Duke University Press, 2022
With In and Out of This World Stephen C. Finley examines the religious practices and discourses that have shaped the Nation of Islam (NOI) in America. Drawing on the speeches and writing of figures such as Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Warith Deen Mohammad, and Louis Farrakhan, Finley shows that the NOI and its leaders used multiple religious symbols, rituals, and mythologies meant to recast the meaning of the cosmos and create new transcendent and immanent black bodies whose meaning cannot be reduced to products of racism. Whether examining how the myth of Yakub helped Elijah Muhammad explain the violence directed at black bodies, how Malcolm X made black bodies in the NOI publicly visible, or the ways Farrakhan’s discourses on his experiences with the Mother Wheel UFO organize his interpretation of black bodies, Finley demonstrates that the NOI intended to retrieve, reclaim, and reform black bodies in a context of antiblack violence.

front cover of Islam and Education
Islam and Education
Myths and Truths
Edited by Wadad Kadi and Victor Billeh
University of Chicago Press, 2007

In this timely volume based on a special issue of Comparative Education Review, leading comparative education scholars explore the world of education in Islam from the medieval era to today, illuminating the continuing struggle among Islamic scholars and educators over whether to reform or resist as a way of preserving identity. Islam and Education offers a rare overview of the great diversity in forms of Islamic education, dispelling misinterpretations and documenting the ever-evolving relationship of Islamic education to the West. It should be necessary reading for all humanists and social scientists wishing to understand the nexus between schools and societies, the spiritual dimensions of learning, and the social configuration of educational institutions.  


front cover of Islam and Me
Islam and Me
Narrating a Diaspora
Shirin Ramzanali Fazel
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Growing up in Mogadishu, Somalia, Shirin Ramzanali Fazel was immersed in the language and culture of Italy, Somalia’s former colonizer. Yet when she moved to Italy as a young mother in the 1970s, she discovered a country where immigrants and Muslims were viewed with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion­–where, even today, she and her children must seemingly prove they are Italian. 
In Islam and Me, Fazel tells her story and shares the experiences of other Muslim women living in Italy, revealing the wide variety of Muslim identities and the common prejudices they encounter. Looking at Italian school textbooks, newspapers, and TV programs, she invites us to change the way Muslim immigrants, and especially women, are depicted in both news reports and scholarly research. Islam and Me is a meditation on our multireligious, multiethnic, and multilingual reality, as well as an exploration of how we might reimagine national culture and identity so that they become more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist. 


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Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (16th Century to the Present)
Second Edition
James T. Monroe
Harvard University Press

Spanish Arabism was a touchstone of the major intellectual and political issues facing Spain as it emerged from its imperial past into its current form as a modern nation-state. James T. Monroe’s survey of four centuries of Spanish scholarship on the cultural history of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) establishes Spanish scholars on the forefront of European scholars confronting the Orientalism and colonialism at the heart of their national projects.

This reissue of James T. Monroe’s classic study of Spanish Arabism features a new foreword by Michelle M. Hamilton and David A. Wacks that offers an overview of its impact and of how the investigation of Spanish Arabism has blossomed since the publication of Monroe’s pathbreaking study.


front cover of Islam In Urban America
Islam In Urban America
Sunni Muslims In Chicago
Garbi Schmidt
Temple University Press, 2004
In recent years, world events have trained a harsh spotlight on the Muslim religion and its adherents. The misunderstanding and bias against Muslims in the United States not only persists but has deepened. In this detailed study of an immigrant community in Chicago, Garbi Schmidt considers the formation and meaning of an "American Islam." This vivid portrait of the people and the institutions that draw them together contributes to the academic literature on ethnic and religious identity at the same time as it depicts an immigrant community's struggle against bias and forces that threaten its cohesion.Chicago has long been home to Muslim immigrants from numerous countries in the Middle East and South Asia. For some members of these groups religion carries more weight than ethnic identity in the American context and enables them to form and participate in a broad spectrum of institutions that support their religious and social interests. Schmidt offers her observations of the schools and student associations that serve young Muslims as well as the social, religious, and political organizations that serve adults. By looking at the ways in which children, adolescents, and adults come together in these institutions, she is able to show the dynamic process in which a variegated American Muslim identity takes shape. Readers will come away from this book with a better understanding of the ideological and cultural differences among Muslims and a greater appreciation of their struggles in becoming Americans.

front cover of Islam, Society, and Politics in Central Asia
Islam, Society, and Politics in Central Asia
Pauline Jones
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
During the 1990s, there was a general consensus that Central Asia was witnessing an Islamic revival after independence, and that this occurrence would follow similar events throughout the Islamic world in the prior two decades, which had negative effects on both social and political development. Twenty years later, we are still struggling to fully understand the transformation of Islam in a region that’s evolved through a complex and dynamic process, involving diversity in belief and practice, religious authority, and political intervention. This volume seeks to shed light on these crucial questions by bringing together an international group of scholars to offer a new perspective on Central Asian states and societies.
            The chapters provide analysis through four distinct categories: the everyday practice of Islam across local communities; state policies toward Islam, focusing on attempts to regulate public and private practice through cultural, legal, and political institutions and how these differ from Soviet policies; how religious actors influence communities in the practice of Islam, state policies towards the religion, and subsequent communal responses to state regulations; and how knowledge of and interaction with the larger Islamic world is shaping Central Asia’s current Islamic revival and state responses.
            The contributors, a multidisciplinary and international group of leading scholars, develop fresh insights that both corroborate and contradict findings from previous research, while also highlighting the problem of making any generalizations about Islam in individual states or the region. As such, this volume provides new and impactful analysis for scholars, students, and policy makers concerned with Central Asia.

front cover of Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500
Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500
L. P. Harvey
University of Chicago Press, 1990
This is a richly detailed account of Muslim life throughout the kingdoms of Spain, from the fall of Seville, which signaled the beginning of the retreat of Islam, to the Christian reconquest.

"Harvey not only examines the politics of the Nasrids, but also the Islamic communities in the Christian kingdoms of the peninsula. This innovative approach breaks new ground, enables the reader to appreciate the situation of all Spanish Muslims and is fully vindicated. . . . An absorbing and thoroughly informed narrative."—Richard Hitchcock, Times Higher Education Supplement

"L. P. Harvey has produced a beautifully written account of an enthralling subject."—Peter Linehan, The Observer

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