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Analysing the Spectrum of Muslim Social Mobilization during the Internet Age
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This book is the first ‘groundwork’ on Muslim NGOs in contemporary Ghana. It builds upon a database of more than 600 Muslim non-profit associations, foundations and grass-roots organisations whose activities are traced through extensive use of social media. The first part of the book scrutinises the varieties of their activities and operational spaces, their campaigns and target groups, alongside their local, regional, national and international connections. The second part analyses contemporary debates on infaq, sadaqa, waqf and zakat as well as Islamic banking and micro-finance schemes for promoting social welfare among Muslim communities in Ghana.
BDS Activism among Europe's Muslims
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Lives in Solidarity is an intimate and compelling description of BDS activism among Muslims living in two different cultural contexts, England and Bosnia. Unlike public discussions of BDS activism that tend to lack nuance, it explores both why Muslims engage in BDS activism and how they weave it into their daily lives. Not only is this a thoughtful ethnography of a critical but often ignored dimension of BDS activism, it is also an important corrective to scholarship that treats affective, ethical, and passionate attachments as inconsequential to politics.
In: Lives in Solidarity
In: Lives in Solidarity
In: Lives in Solidarity
In: Lives in Solidarity
In: Lives in Solidarity
In: Lives in Solidarity
Is there a “return to the religious” in post-Communist Eastern Europe that differs from religious trends in the West and the Middle East? Looking beyond immediate events, this book situates public talk about religion and religious practice in the longue durée of the two entangled pasts —Byzantine and Ottoman—that implicitly underpin contemporary politics. Islam, Christianity, and Secularism situates Bulgaria in its wider region, indicating ongoing Middle Eastern, Russian, and other European influences shaping patterns of religious identity. The chapters point to overlapping and complementary views of ethno-religious belonging and communal practices among Orthodox Christians and Muslims throughout the region. Contributors are Dale F. Eickelman, Simeon Evstatiev, Kristen Ghodsee, Galina Evstatieva, Ilia Iliev, Daniela Kalkandjieva, Plamen Makariev, Momchil Metodiev, Daria Oreshina, Ivan Zabaev and Angeliki Ziaka.

Abstract

The chapter tackles the patterns of religion and identity in the Balkans with a special emphasis on Bulgaria to foreground the concept of secularities instead of the “fixed” notion of a single path of secularism matching the classical Western ideal. Discussing the religious underpinnings of Balkan secularities and the lack thereof, we draw on Benedict Anderson’s notion of imagined communities, which marked a new way of using the term “imagined” in understanding politics and political action. Anderson’s concept is straightforward, arguing that ideas of political community are not given but are actively constructed, and contested, by those who hold them, and historically situated. Anderson’s insightful term was readily expanded by analogy from describing how nations took shape to the analysis of religious experience—not only for Christians and Muslims but also for other faiths. There has been resistance to use of the term “imagined” because it suggests to some an unreality. However, as the chapter argues, the term highlights how social and political forms get shaped by individuals and collectivities to become social facts. The notion of politics as centered on power relations and interests alone cannot account for how members of a society interact, cooperate, and sustain social cohesion. Overt political struggle is framed by implicit understandings of belonging and, of course, the arbitrary enforcement of what is permitted and forbidden. Pursuing this struggle about people’s imaginations, the chapter elucidates the relevance of two concepts invoking both Byzantine and Ottoman notions implicitly underpinning modern politics—symphonic and milletic secularism.

In: Islam, Christianity, and Secularism in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe