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Abstract

This essay discusses the speculative turn in recent Arab literature and arts by focusing on the comics genre. It first attempts to outline the genealogies and ramifications of a growing canon of graphic narratives—qiṣaṣ muṣawwara as they are known in Arabic—concerned with the speculative element as a lens or tool to deal with socio-political aspects. Moreover, it focuses on the analysis of selected works by the Lebanese comic artist Barrack Rima in order to examine the ways in which speculative fiction figures the city of Beirut as the central nexus of dystopias, thereby responding to present anxieties and providing realms for projecting future visions. Paying particular attention to recurrent key tropes in Rima’s multi-layered and multi-temporal dystopic narratives as well as aesthetic and literary strategies, the genre’s potential suitability to engage with speculative futurity is explored.

Open Access
In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Author:

Abstract

What motivates young Muslims to study Islamic theology or religious education? Are they aiming for a specific professional qualification that requires the study of Islamic theology, or do they want to deepen their faith and aim for further personal development? The question of motives for studying Islamic theology is linked to the life goals and biographies of young Muslims, which opens up the issue of migration and Islam. This article aims to investigate the relationship between the study motives, professional aspirations, and life goals of Islamic theology students within the context of migration. Additionally, it seeks to explore their experiences with foreign and self-positioning in society. Empirical data gathered through qualitative and quantitative research methods will serve as the basis for this examination.

Open Access
In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Islamic Authority among Muslims in Western Europe
Author:
The development of Islamic landscapes in Europe, is first and foremost related to Islamic authority. Religious authority relies on persuasiveness and deals with issues of truth, authenticity, legitimacy, trust, and ethics with reference to religious matters. This study argues that Islamic authority-making among European Muslims is a social and relational practice that is much broader and versatile than theological proficiency and personal status. It can also be conferred to objects, activities, and events. The book explores various ways in which Islamic authority is being constituted among Muslims in Western Europe with a particular focus on the role of ‘ordinary’ Muslims.

This book is available in its entirety in Open Access.

Abstract

This article shows that British homosexual Muslims face rejection and identity conflict between their homosexuality and their Muslimness. The opposition between Islam and homosexuality has created a feeling of exclusion, illustrating the assumed incompatibility between being Muslim and being homosexual. Homosexual Muslims face religiously motivated homophobia rooted in the heteronormative precepts of Islam. In parallel, they face Islamophobic attitudes in which Islam is now used as a form of civilisational opposition to the British values of tolerance and inclusion and the wider homosexual community see it as a threat to their very existence. Nevertheless, the results show that the hostility of Muslims toward homosexuality is evolving, and the heteronormative discourses are now coexisting with more neutral and even homo-friendly approaches. A new bicultural belonging among homosexual Muslims is being constructed to address individual strategies of managing both identities and is fostering new interpretations of acceptance of different sexualities within Islam.

Open Access
In: Journal of Muslims in Europe

Abstract

Through a case study of Istanbul’s Foto Görçek, playfully dubbed ‘the world’s first selfie studio’, this article focuses on the changing photographic practices from the mid-1940s–1960s in modern Turkey, which experienced a dramatic political transition during the 1950s with the introduction of the multi-party regime following three decades of strictly secular Kemalist rule. This study explores how Foto Görçek challenged and transformed studio practices in Turkey, particularly during its increasing popularity in the 1950s–1960s, by allowing people to take up Elizabeth Edwards’ notion of the ‘theater of the self’, or when the self also takes on the role of the photographer. Accordingly, the article looks at the affordances of the photo studio as a space where citizens reimagined their desired selves and when new ways of imagining the self were made available to them. Moreover, this study investigates how such new imagined selves in the aftermath of the Second World War served to renegotiate a desired modern Turkish identity resulting from the rigorous state-controlled nation-building process during the 1920s–1930s.

Open Access
In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
In: Making Islam Work
In: Making Islam Work
In: Making Islam Work
Open Access
In: Making Islam Work
Open Access
In: Making Islam Work