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Author: Anver M. Emon

Abstract

This Fieldnote challenges scholars of Islam and Muslims to consider how the production of knowledge on Islam and Muslims has long been, and continues to be, intimately associated with projects of governance, whether by the modern state or premodern regime. The present is simply a particularly robust historical period during which, wherever one might stand on the political spectrum, the study of Islam is undertaken in the shadow of the state—a disaggregated project of law and justice, border control, national security, and regulation. This Fieldnote recasts Islam and Muslim in an adjectival sense—‘Islamic’ and ‘Muslim’—in order to highlight their variability in relation to the purposes for which they are deployed. To better understand the dynamics by which the ‘Islamic’ is deployed for purposes of state projects, this Fieldnote outlines four registers of analysis—time, space, scale, and rhetoric—to inspire new research on the production of knowledge in the academic study of Islam and Muslims today.

In: Middle East Law and Governance