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Serendipities in the Production of Danish Islams
Author: Jesper Petersen
In the last decade a number of women-led mosques have emerged in Europe and North America. In The Making of a Mosque with Female Imams Jesper Petersen documents the serendipitous, yet predictable, emergence of the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen. The study first demonstrates that individuals’ facing the unpredictable plays a decisive role in social processes. This leads to an investigation of how serendipities are erased when narratives are erected retrospectively in the form of commodified products, autobiographical narratives, and research. Furthermore, Petersen conceptualizes non-Muslims’ theological productions of Islam – Islam without the worship of Allah, so to speak – and demonstrates how this influences Muslim productions of Islam.
Approches nouvelles de la violence et de la démocratie
L’islam Ouest-africain compte plusieurs confréries soufies notamment au Nord-Nigeria, au Niger et au Sénégal, des pays où la Tijāniyya occupe une place importante dans la sphère publique. Dans la première partie de ce livre, par une perspective comparatiste utilisant les concepts de démocratie, de laïcité, de domination et de violence, l’auteur montre comment ceux-ci sont déployés au niveau local surtout dans le champ politique sénégalais. Dans une deuxième, il s’engage dans un décryptage des relations complexes entre religion et politique dans le Sénégal des deux régimes d’alternance, utilisant alors une approche bourdieusienne de la domination. Bien des marabouts interviennent pour arrêter les projets de personnalisation du pouvoir central. Leur intervention politique sous forme d’appel à la non-violence parvient à stabiliser le Sénégal.

West African Islam has several Sufi orders, particularly in Northern Nigeria, Niger and Senegal, countries where the Tijāniyya occupies an important place in the public sphere. In the first part of this book, through a comparative perspective therefore using the concepts of democracy, secularism, domination and violence, the author depicts how these categories are exercised at the local level, especially in the political field. In the second part, he engages in deciphering the complex relations between religion and politics in the so-called alternance regimes between 2000 and 2020, using a Bourdieusian approach to domination. Many marabouts intervene to stop the projects of personalization of the central power. The author concludes that there is a new form of community democracy that Sufi guides use to politically stabilize Senegal.
Author: Thomas Willard
In the first book-length study of Thomas Vaughan (1621-1666), Thomas Willard builds on recent scholarship in Western esotericism to show that his curious books offer much more than the lively quotations extracted from them. Treating more than alchemy and the Hermetic tradition, they develop themes from the synthesis of alchemy, magic, and Christian cabala, associated associated with the Rosicrucian movement that Vaughan introduced to English readers. His books respond to a moment in history when the breakdown in book censorship during the English Civil War allowed books with radical ideas to circulate, while political upheaval in the universities created audiences for new ideas. This book will be of interest to students of early modern religion, philosophy, science, and culture as seen by an intelligent and eloquent outsider.

Abstract

Religious minorities have always been at the centre of the German nation-state’s self-understanding, as it came to define itself vis a vis, and often against, them. Historically, this can be seen specifically in the Jewish experience, and today reverberates in the experience of Muslims grappling with a position of alterity in German society. We will move beyond the scholarship on these two religious minority groups to that of these two religious minority groups—that is the intellectual milieu of German Jews and German Muslims. Both have confronted the insider-outsider status of religious minorities in Germany, while themselves occupying—and thinking from—this position of alterity. As Jewish intellectuals a century prior, Muslim intellectuals are confronting the (im)possibility of fully belonging to the society at hand. In so doing, they are, at times inadvertently, coming into conversation with Jewish intellectuals past on ideas surrounding the practice of religion, pluralism, minority-state relations, and social ethics.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Ruth Sheldon

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic research with Haredi women in Stamford Hill to explore the limits of the secular vocabularies which dominate sociological diversity discourse, I ask why an assumed Jewish-Muslim enmity became its focus. First my response explores how a political theology of European Christendom, and a particular conjuncture of its race-religion constellation (Topolski 2018) finds expression in a secular concept of conviviality that regulates possibilities for intimacy in Hackney. I develop the claim that rationalist ideals of liberal sociality are in part mobilized to repress and contain violent histories of assimilation and exclusion in the borough. Second, I turn to Haredi women’s expression of an alternative Jewish-Muslim picture through intimacies that diverge from a convivial grammar. This leads me to tentatively explore how a vernacular Hasidic concept of chesed might hold together antinomies of care and violence, and offer alternatives for being-with, and mourning-with the neighbour in violent times.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe

Abstract

Drawing on original interviews conducted between 2016 and 2018, this article explores understandings of Muslim-Jewish relations among Jews who immigrated from Morocco to France after 1945. These interviews suggest that the weight of currently circulating meta-discourses can lead to dissonances between individuals’ personal memories and the collective memories that they invoke in regard to Jewish-Muslim relations. As these interviews were conducted as part of a larger study of graduates of the schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in the MENA who immigrated to France, Canada and the United States after 1945, the author places these French findings in a larger comparative context, considering how the memories and perspectives of Moroccan Jews who immigrated to France converge and diverge from those who emigrated to North America.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Hanane Karimi

Abstract

Based on religious belonging, either Jewish or Muslim, and trajectories of migration, the ascription of radical alterity transforms minority status but also distinguishes it from French national citizenship (Sayad, 1987). I argue that diverse forms of Muslim alterity in France borrow elements of the ways in which Jews were/are constructed as Others; both illegitimate and dangerous. To do this, I analyze and compare the specificity and the variations of legal exclusion, of the alterization and social illegitimacy to which Jewish then Muslim populations have been or are relegated. Such a comparative perspective allows us to identify regulation vis-à-vis French Jews under Vichy in order to underline an ideological continuum which fuels the construction of the figure of the internal (Jewish, and now Muslim) stranger. To the image of the stranger I apply the notion of paradoxical citizenship elaborated by Joan W. Scott in the case of women excluded from citizenship along with Jews (Scott, 1998).

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Sultan Doughan

Abstract

Germany is hailed as a successful model of facing difficult pasts. Based on ethnographic research in civic education, this article situates Holocaust commemoration within German secularism. It brings together memory, Palestine and African-American studies to articulate how Holocaust memory manages an enduring crisis of citizenship. This crisis is predicated upon the disparity between the ideal of freedom and the reality of ethno-religious difference. The article demonstrates how Holocaust memory has been institutionally folded into secular time leading to a more liberal nation-state. It further explores memorial sites as extensions of secular governance, but also spaces in which embodied forms of memory, such as the Palestinian experience of catastrophe enter and desire an extension of this humanity. This notion of humanity co-produces the figure of the “anti-human.” This figure is enabled by an older strand of antisemitism and has an “afterlife” in the real or imagined body of the “Palestinian-Muslim troublemaker.”

Open Access
In: Jews and Muslims in Europe

Abstract

The Jew and the Muslim are historically among the primary figures of alterity in Europe, the constitutive outsiders who have shaped what Europe is, notably around questions of conflict, migration and integration. However, on the ground contemporary Jewish and Muslim communities have often been at the forefront of critical engagement with these questions, for example with regard to the Mediterranean migration crisis and heightened societal security concerns. This introduction sets out the main questions and themes of this volume.

Open Access
In: Jews and Muslims in Europe

Abstract

From an intergroup conflict perspective, this paper studies cross perceptions and patterns of sociability between Jews and Muslims in a French suburban multicultural context, the town of Sarcelles ( Val d’Oise), where violent anti-Semitic riots took place in July 2014. Drawing on a sample representative of the town’s adult population from an experimental telephone survey conducted in January 2019, we show that everyday relations between Jews and Muslims do not show any particular tension, and that antisemitism is massively condemned. However there is a strong feeling of insecurity among Jews who both tend to be closest to their own group, and are seen as a separate group, with more social and political influence locally than other groups.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe