Episodes
Published 05/25/22
Saudi global export of an ultra-conservative strand of Islam and its impact on Muslim countries and communities across the globe has been a hotly debate topic for more than two decades. The rise of jihadist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and their attacks in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa fuelled the debate, particularly since the September 11, 2001, strikes in New York and Washington. Critics of Saudi Arabia charge that Wahhabism and Salafism, the ultra-conservative...
Published 05/25/22
Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She talks, teaches, and writes about the intersections of race, gender, and religion, with a focus on the history and cultures of Islam and Muslims in the United States. Her research highlights the lives, voices, histories, and representations of Muslim women, and reveals how critical legacies of Black freedom, women’s agency, and global liberation...
Published 05/16/22
In Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11 published in 2022 with Broadleaf Books, Maha Hilal describes how narratives of 9/11 and the war on terror have been constructed over the last twenty years and the various ways in which they have justified state violence against Muslims. Hilal offers answers to many questions, including and especially how the war on terror started, what its impact on American Muslims and Muslims abroad has...
Published 05/13/22
Analyzing the spread and survival of Islamic legal ideas and commentaries in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean littorals, Islamic Law in Circulation: Shafi'i Texts across the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean (Cambridge University Press, 2022) focuses on Shāfiʿīsm, one of the four Sunnī schools of Islamic law. It explores how certain texts shaped, transformed and influenced the juridical thoughts and lives of a significant community over a millennium in and between Asia, Africa...
Published 05/12/22
The Jahriyya Sufis—a primarily Sinophone order of Naqshbandiyya Sufism in northwestern China—inhabit a unique religious soundscape. The hallmark of their spiritual practice is the “loud” (jahr) remembrance of God in liturgical rituals featuring distinctive melodic vocal chants. The first ethnography of this order in any language, The Sound of Salvation: Voice, Gender, and the Sufi Mediascape in China (Columbia UP, 2021) draws on nearly a decade of fieldwork to reveal the intricacies and...
Published 05/09/22
In her new book Under Siege: Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022) Jasmin Zine explores the experiences of Canadian Muslim youth as they navigate the landscape of Islamophobia, anti-Muslim racism, global war on terror, and the security industrial complex. By centering the voices of Muslim youth in Canada from the 9/11 generation, the study captures the complex nexus of oppressions experienced by racialized Muslims as they navigate government policies of...
Published 04/29/22
I am very pleased to host on the podcast Raffaello Pantucci, one of the authors of Sinostan: China's Inadvertent Empire [Oxford University Press 2022]. This great new book approaches through a very novel lens one of the most talked-about issues in Eurasian Studies: China's role in Central Asia. Pantucci and his co-author, the late Alexandros Pedersen, travel around the vast Chinese territory, Central Asia and Afghanistan to document the intensification and the multiplication of China's...
Published 04/18/22
Ibn Babawayh – also known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq – was a prominent Twelver Shi'i scholar of hadith. Writing within the first century after the vanishing of the twelfth imam, al-Saduq represents a pivotal moment in Twelver hadith literature, as this Shi'i community adjusted to a world without a visible imam and guide, a world wherein the imams could only be accessed through the text of their remembered words and deeds. George Warner's book The Words of the Imams: Al-Shaykh Al-Saduq and the...
Published 04/18/22
In Owning the Secular: Religious Symbols, Culture Wars, Western Fragility (Routledge, 2021), Matt Sheedy, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Bonn, Germany, examines three case studies dealing with religious symbols and cultural identity. Drawing on theories of discourse analysis and ideology critique, this study calls attention to an evolution in how secularism, nationalism, and multiculturalism in Europe and North America are debated and understood as competing groups contest...
Published 04/15/22
The continuing crisis in Xinjiang has, thanks to the work of many scholars and reporters, led to greatly increased awareness of the region's history and Uyghur population among publics outside China. But so far less appreciated have been the specific ways in which the targeted regime of Uyghur imprisonment operates, and its creeping emergence over the course of the 2010s. Darren Byler’s Terror Capitalism: Uyghur Dispossession and Masculinity in a Chinese City (Duke UP, 2022) is therefore a...
Published 04/13/22
In his fascinating and riveting new book Soundtrack to a Movement: African American Islam, Jazz, and Black Internationalism (NYU Press, 2021), historian Richard Brent Turner tells a moving though rarely discussed narrative of the intersection and cross-pollination between Jazz and African American Islam from the 1940s to the 1970s. How did Islam and conversion to Islam inform the lives, careers, and musical productions of prominent jazz musicians in this period? And how did jazz spaces and...
Published 04/08/22
In his new book, Hajj to the Heart: Sufi Journeys Across the Indian Ocean (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) and is available as an open-access enhanced edition, Scott Kugle follows the life and legacy of the influential Sufi scholar of Arabic, hadith, and scriptural hermeneutics shaykh ‘Ali Muttaqi. ‘Ali Muttaqi left South Asia for hajj (Mecca) where he eventually settled as an exile. Kugle provides a microscopic history of this figure by engaging a wealth of diverse Arabic and...
Published 04/01/22
Gender and sexuality in modern Iran are frequently examined through the prisms of nationalist symbols and religious discourse. In Revolutionary Bodies: Technologies of Gender, Sex, and Self in Contemporary Iran (Bloomsbury, 2020), Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi, Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway, takes a different approach, by interrogating how normative ideas of women's bodies in state, religious, and public health discourses have resulted in the female body being deemed...
Published 03/25/22
Rivals in the Gulf: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Abdullah Bin Bayyah, and the Qatar-UAE Contest Over the Arab Spring and the Gulf Crisis (Routledge, 2021) goes to key questions of governance at the heart of developments in the Muslim world. Warren looks at the issue through the lens of two of the foremost Middle Eastern religious protagonists and their backers: Egyptian-born Qatari national Yusuf a Qaradawi, widely seen as advocating an Islamic concept of democracy, and UAE-backed Abdullah Bin Bayyah...
Published 03/21/22
In Half of Faith: American Muslim Marriage and Divorce in the Twenty-First Century, readers find a wide range of texts on Muslim Americans’ experiences with questions of marriage and divorce in an effort to do what is deemed Islamically acceptable. This exciting reader, which brings together previously published as well as new content, includes the broad themes of wedding, marriage, and divorce in the Muslim American experience. More specifically, the reader aims to explore the diversity in...
Published 03/18/22
Within Islam, Ihsan includes doing good deeds that God has ordained in all spheres of life. Islam and Good Governance: A Political Philosophy of Ihsan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) seeks to develop a political philosophy based on Ihsan which emphasizes love, process, and self-restraint. Working at the intersection of political theory, international relations, mysticism, and theology, Dr. Khan interrogates TWO forms of Islamic political theory: Muslim realism and Islamic idealism. He argues that...
Published 03/14/22
Peter Mandaville's Islam and Politics (3rd Edition; Routledge, 2020) is a basic and comprehensive account of political Islam in the contemporary world. It provides a broad introduction to all major aspects of the interface of Islam and politics in an accessible style with sufficient depth for the academic classroom. Features include: Exploration of the origins and development of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and various regional affiliates of the global Salafi-Jihadi movement. Coverage of contemporary...
Published 03/11/22
Jeffery D. Long and Michael G. Long's Nonviolence in the World's Religions: A Concise Introduction (Routledge, 2021) introduces the reader to the complex relationship between religion and nonviolence. The meanings of both religion and nonviolence are explored through engagement with nonviolence in Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Jain, and Pacific Island religious traditions. This is the ideal introduction to the relationship between religion and violence for...
Published 03/10/22
Today I talked to Christopher Clohessy about his book Angels Hastening: The Karbalāʾ Dreams (Gorgias Press, 2021), When, on an autumn Medina night in 61/680, the night that saw al-Ḥusayn killed, Umm Salama was torn from her sleep by an apparition of a long-dead Muḥammad, she slipped effortlessly into a progression of her co-religionists who, irrespective of status, gender or standing with God, were the recipients of dark and arresting visions. At the core of those Delphian dreams, peopled by...
Published 03/09/22
In Producing Islam(s) in Canada: On Knowledge, Positionality and Politics (University of Toronto, 2021), Amélie Barras, Jennifer Selby, and Melanie Adrian bring together twenty-nine interdisciplinary scholars of all levels to engage and reflect on how Islam and Muslims in Canada has been studied from the 1970s to the present moment. Originating from a workshop, the contributors were asked to reflect on diverse approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims in Canada, especially as it centers...
Published 03/04/22
Islam's fourth caliph, Ali, can be considered one of the most revered figures in Islamic history. His nearly universal portrayal in Muslim literature as a pious authority obscures centuries of contestation and the eventual rehabilitation of his character.  In Opposing the Imam: The Legacy of the Nawasib in Islamic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Nebil Husayn, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami, examines the enduring legacy of the nawasib, early...
Published 02/28/22
Usaama al-Azami’s Islam and the Arab Revolutions: The Ulama Between Democracy and Autocracy (Oxford UP, 2022) focuses on the responses of several prominent Muslim religious scholars towards the 2011 Arab popular revolts, particularly in Egypt, that toppled long-standing autocratic leaders. It also looks at their reaction to the subsequent military coup in 2013 that overthrw Egypt’s first and only democratically elected leader and led to the brutal and bloody repression of anti-coup...
Published 02/23/22
What role does the Islamophobic conspiracy theory of “love jihad” play in the politics of Hindu nationalist statecraft—the legal codification of Hindu nationalist ideology—in India today? In this podcast, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Alf Gunvald Nilsen unpack this question on the basis of a recent article published in the journal Religions. The idea of love jihad, they argue, is both a conservative ideology for the governance of gender relations, and a marker that is being used to draw a line...
Published 02/18/22