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Author: Nadia Kiwan

Through its focus on secular Muslim public intellectuals in contemporary France, this book challenges polarizing accounts of Islam and Muslims, which have been ubiquitous in political and media debates for the last thirty years. The work of these intellectuals is significant because it expresses, in diverse ways, an ‘internal’ vision of Islam that demonstrates how Muslim identification and practices successfully engage with and are part of a culture of secularism (laïcité). The study of individual secular Muslim intellectuals in contemporary France thus gives credence to the claim that the categories of religion and the secular are more closely intertwined than we might assume. This monograph is a timely publication that makes a crucial contribution to academic and political debates about the place of Islam and Muslims in contemporary France. The book will focus on a discursive and contextualised analysis of the published works and public interventions of Abdelwahab Meddeb, Malek Chebel, Leïla Babès, Dounia Bouzar and Abdennour Bidar – intellectuals who have received little scholarly attention despite being well-known figures in France.

Imen Neffati

On 7 January 2015 the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris were attacked during the magazine’s weekly editorial meeting, leading to the deaths of twelve of its staff. The attack sparked an unprecedented debate about freedom of speech both internationally and in France, and about the Republican values of laïcité (French secularism) that Charlie Hebdo has been portrayed as representing. The literature that emerged immediately in the aftermath of the attack centred around several dramatic moments such as the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ slogan, the Republican marches of 10

in The free speech wars
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

who see the world as an open conflict between different and competing nations (with the invariable threat of anarchism always lurking in the shadows), to modernists more generally who see the world as being threatened by the tensions caused between secularism and religious orthodoxy, and to those liberals who have appropriated Carl Schmitt’s point about politics being all about friends versus enemies. Difference, then, is the problem to be solved or at least safely managed. Violence results not from violence but from forced homogenisation and the colonisation of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

How do secular Jewish-Israeli millennials feel about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, having come of age in the shadow of the failed Oslo peace process, when political leaders have used ethno-religious rhetoric as a dividing force? This is the first book to analyse blowback to Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli religious nationalism among this group in their own words. It is based on fieldwork, interviews and surveys conducted after the 2014 Gaza War. Offering a close reading of the lived experience and generational memory of participants, it offers a new explanation for why attitudes to Occupation have grown increasingly conservative over the past two decades. It examines the intimate emotional ecology of Occupation, offering a new argument about neo-Romantic conceptions of citizenship among this group. Beyond the case study, it also offers a new theoretical framework and research methods for researchers and students studying emotion, religion, nationalism, secularism and political violence around the world.

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Enlightenment Islam
Nadia Kiwan

who seeks to productively confront non-​Western and Western concepts of religion, spirituality, modernity and humanism. Indeed, many of Chebel’s works could be regarded as ‘livres de vulgarisation’ (Catinchi 2016) (popular texts) whereby he aims to explain various aspects of the Quran or Islam to a non-​specialist French audience. Of specific significance is Chebel’s foregrounding of a language of Islamic secularism, which I argue can be interpreted as an attempt to transform perceptions of Islam and thus to intervene in the symbolic relationship between the

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
Stacey Gutkowski

terminology and the conceptual debates. What does the term ‘ hiloni ’ mean? How do scholars use it? How do people who identify with the term use it? Scholars agree that the terminology of Western secularism does not translate for the Jewish-Israeli case. This is because Jewish tradition, a cornerstone of Jewish identity, is a powerful reference point even for those who think they are not halakhically observant. Before delving into the academic debates about who is hiloni (and who is masorti , a traditional Jew), here is a flavour of how self-identified hilonim

in Religion, war and Israel’s secular millennials
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Post-foundational Islam
Nadia Kiwan

20 1 Abdelwahab Meddeb: post-​foundational Islam This chapter examines the published works of Abdelwahab Meddeb.1 Of specific significance is Meddeb’s foregrounding of a language of Islamic secularism, which I  argue can be interpreted as an attempt to transform perceptions of Islam and thus to intervene into the symbolic power relations between the Republican state and France’s Muslim citizens. This chapter also poses questions about the consequences of deploying certain forms of discursive agency for secular Muslim intellectuals. What are the outcomes of

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
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Public intellectuals as policy experts in times of crisis
Nadia Kiwan

107 4 Dounia Bouzar: public intellectuals as policy experts in times of crisis The work of Dounia Bouzar and her engagement in the political debates about Muslims in France raises significant questions about the relationship between Islam, secularism and feminism. Bouzar is an anthropologist of religions: a public intellectual, an activist, a public ‘expert’ and a public policy advisor. Bouzar was born in 1964 in Grenoble into an academic family. Her father was of Algerian, Italian and Moroccan origin and her mother was French Corsican. She explains in L

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
The doctrine of ‘religion’ in Islam and the idea of ‘rights’ in the West
Hisham A. Hellyer

responsibilities rather than rights. Others argue that the rights discourse ignores responsibilities, in favour of rights. Both assertions are simplistic, and ignore the philosophical systems of both discourses. Another confusion arises around the notion of secularism. In the West, secularism is a subject of great controversy, in terms of what it requires by way of specific policies and legislative tools. The very notion of secularism is alien to the Islamic worldview and has not yet found a sustainable elaboration within it. This is not to say one cannot be found but it would

in Religion and rights
Priya Sara Mathews and Mathews McNeil- Willson

Introduction France has undergone a process of securitization highly colored by its colonial experience. Counter-terrorism – whilst deeply racialized in all European states – has been acutely felt by French Muslims, who have faced a coalescence of factors: a more aggressive Catholic-secularism coupled with increasingly narrow and

in Counter-terrorism and civil society