I N THE CONTEXT of broadening the scope of international relations (IR) and of the related field of security studies in light of the changed international system after the end of the Cold War, Islam and Islamic movements have moved to the fore of this discipline. At the surface it looks as if the study of the ‘geopolitics of Islam and the West’ has taken the place
Secularism: tackling a demonized concept In their call for the depoliticization of Islam, Arab liberals spoke out in favor of secularization. But what did they mean by this term? Western scholars such as Charles Taylor and Bryan Wilson defined secularization as a process that changed a society in three ways: it freed the state and public space from the dictates of religion and shifted power from the religious establishment to the political system; it signified a decline in belief and religious practice, and an embrace of humanism and compassion; and it
Introduction The troubled relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran has been at the centre of several debates in the scholarship of the contemporary Middle East. The two powers are old rivals, but the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that followed the 1979 Revolution added an existential component to their rivalry. The existential importance of Islam for both Riyadh and Tehran meant that, as well as competing for regional supremacy, religious legitimacy also became a key part of this struggle
‘I am the least racist person,’ Donald Trump declared. This book unpacks how it is possible for various American administrations to impose discriminatory counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) measures on Muslim communities and yet declare that ‘Islam is peace’ or that ‘Muslims are our friends’. The book addresses some of the paradoxes of the securitisation by linking discourses about the role of Muslims in the war on terror in the United States with covert forms of racism. The book is concerned with a securitisation that is covertly rather than overtly expressed, which enables securitising actors like Trump to deny plausibility of racism and claim that they are ‘the least racist person’. The book offers a critique of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to CT and CVE and advances an alternative way to understand radicalisation and terrorism by introducing a quantum perspective. Lastly, drawing on the affective turn, the book adds body to the analysis by theorising emotions and affect in the securitisation of Islam. The book argues that this covert securitisation constructs white American subjects as innocent, unprejudiced and living in a post-racial society averse to racism, whilst constructing Muslim subjects as potential terrorists and thus as sites of securitisation. This book is a timely analysis of the securitisation of Islam since 9/11 and presents an original study that contributes to debates on Islamophobia, white fragility and white victimhood, which have proliferated since the rise of far-right (populist) parties in Europe and the US.
This book retraces the human and intellectual development that has led the author to one very firm conviction: that the tensions that afflict the Western world’s relationship with the Muslim world are at their root political, far more than they are ideological. It aims to limit itself to a precise scholarly arena: recounting, as meticulously as possible, the most striking interactions between a personal life history and professional and research trajectories. This path has consistently centered on how the rise of political Islam has been expressed: first in the Arab world, then in its interactions with French and Western societies, and finally in its interactions with other European and Western societies. It brings up-to-date theses formulated in the 2000s, in particular in the author’s previous book Islamism in the Shadow of al-Qaeda (2005, 2nd ed. 2010, English ed. 2010), by measuring them up against the lessons of the powerful revolutionary dynamics set off by the “Arab Spring” of 2011, followed by the counter-revolutionary ones.
This book seeks to reclaim E. A. Freeman (1823–92) as a leading Victorian historian and public moralist. Freeman was a prolific writer of history, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and outspoken commentator on current affairs. His reputation declined sharply in the twentieth century, however, and the last full-scale biography was W. R. W. Stephens’ Life and Letters of Edward A. Freeman (1895). When Freeman is remembered today, it is for his six-volume History of the Norman Conquest (1867–79), celebrations of English progress, and extreme racial views.
Revisiting Freeman and drawing on previously unpublished materials, this study analyses his historical texts in relationship to the scholarly practices and intellectual preoccupations of their time. Most importantly, it draws out Thomas Arnold’s influence on Freeman’s understanding of history as a cyclical process in which the present collapsed into the past and vice versa. While Freeman repeatedly insisted on the superiority of the so-called ‘Aryans’, a deeper reading shows that he defined race in terms of culture rather than biology and articulated anxieties about decline and recapitulation. Contrasting Freeman’s volumes on Western and Eastern history, this book foregrounds religion as the central category in Freeman’s scheme of universal history. Ultimately, he conceived world-historical development as a battleground between Euro-Christendom and the Judeo-Islamic Orient and feared that the contemporary expansion of the British Empire and contact with the East would prove disastrous.
This review of Amelia Fauzia’s Faith and the State: A history of Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia (Brill, 2013) was originally published in the Asian Journal of Social Science 42: 1–2 (2014), 165–7. An angle for comparative historical research is proposed here. To what extent did Christian institutions affect the
Glynn 08_Tonra 01 19/06/2014 12:55 Page 175 8 Mobilisation through Islam We have become so used to hearing about British Muslim identity and British Muslim politics that it can be difficult to remember that up until the end of the 1980s relatively few people thought in those terms. Of course the growing Muslim populations had generated growing numbers of mosques, but identity was largely associated with a person’s place of origin and ethnic minority politics was increasingly being played out through ethnic groups as well as through mainstream political parties
This review of Michael Cook’s Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic case in comparative perspective (Princeton University Press, 2014) and Akeel Bilgrami’s Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Harvard University Press, 2014) was published in the Times Literary Supplement on 10 September 2014 under the heading ‘What
Introduction While the perspectives presented by the various historical actors in the first three chapters were far from unified, they had certain characteristics in common. Almost all understood Englishness as an ideal and as fundamentally different from and more advanced than Islam and the values, customs and traditions they associated with Muslim societies. This basic