“Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia” (Lindsey & Pausacker, eds.)

In May, Routledge released “Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia,” edited by Tim Lindsey (University of Melbourne) and Helen Pausacker (University of Melbourne).  The publisher’s description follows:

Despite its overwhelmingly Muslim majority, Indonesia has always been seen as exceptional for its diversity and pluralism. In recent years, however, there has been a 9781138100879rise in “majoritarianism”, with resurgent Islamist groups pushing hard to impose conservative values on public life – in many cases with considerable success. This has sparked growing fears for the future of basic human rights, and, in particular, the rights of women and sexual and ethnic minority groups. There have, in fact, been more prosecutions of unorthodox religious groups since the fall of Soeharto in 1998 than there were under the three decades of his authoritarian rule. Some Indonesians even feel that the pluralism they thought was constitutionally guaranteed by the national ideology, the Pancasila, is now under threat. This book contains essays exploring these issues by prominent scholars, lawyers and activists from within Indonesia and beyond, offering detailed accounts of the political and legal implications of rising resurgent Islamism in Indonesia. Examining particular cases of intolerance and violence against minorities, it also provides an account of the responses offered by a weak state that now seems too often unwilling to intervene to protect vulnerable minorities against rising religious intolerance.

Dehanas, “London Youth, Religion, and Politics”

In August, Oxford University Press will release “London Youth, Religion, and Politics: Engagement and Activism from Brixton to Brick Lane,” by Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (King’s College London). The publisher’s description follows:

For more than a decade the “Muslim question” on integration and alleged extremism has vexed Europe, revealing cracks in long-held certainties about the role of religion 9780198743675in public life. Secular assumptions are being tested not only by the growing presence of Muslims but also by other fervent new arrivals such as Pentecostal Christians. London Youth, Religion, and Politics focuses on young adults of immigrant parents in two inner-city London areas: the East End and Brixton. It paints vivid portraits of dozens of young men and women met at local cafes, on park benches, and in council estate stairwells, and provides reason for a measured hope.

In East End streets like Brick Lane, revivalist Islam has been generating more civic integration although this comes at a price that includes generational conflict and cultural amnesia. In Brixton, while the influence of Pentecostal and traditional churches can be limited to family and individual renewal, there are signs that this may be changing. This groundbreaking work offers insight into the lives of urban Muslim, Christian, and non-religious youth. In times when the politics of immigration and diversity are in flux, it offers a candid appraisal of multiculturalism in practice.

“Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” (Kollar & Shafiq, eds.)

In July, Palgrave Macmillan will release “Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” edited by Nathan R. Kollar (St. John Fisher College) and Shafiq Muhammad. The publisher’s description follows:

This book gathers scholars from the three major monotheistic religions to discuss the Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 12.29.47 AMissue of poverty and wealth from the varied perspectives of each tradition. It provides a cadre of values inherent to the sacred texts of Jews, Christians, and Muslims and illustrates how these values may be used to deal with current economic inequalities.

Contributors use the methodologies of religious studies to provide descriptions and comparisons of perspectives from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on poverty and wealth. The book presents citations from the sacred texts of all three religions. The contributors discuss the interpretations of these texts and the necessary contexts, both past and present, for deciphering the stances found there. Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam identifies and details a foundation of common values upon which individual and institutional decisions may be made.

Kendhammer, “Muslims Talking Politics”

In June, the University of Chicago Press will release “Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria,” by Brandon Kendhammer (Ohio University).  The publisher’s description follows:

For generations Islamic and Western intellectuals and policymakers have debated Islam’s compatibility with democratic government, usually with few solid conclusions.upso_ucplogo But where—Brandon Kendhammer asks in this book—have the voices of ordinary, working-class Muslims been in this conversation? Doesn’t the fate of democracy rest in their hands? Visiting with community members in northern Nigeria, he tells the complex story of the stunning return of democracy to a country that has also embraced Shariah law and endured the radical religious terrorism of Boko Haram.

Kendhammer argues that despite Nigeria’s struggles with jihadist insurgency, its recent history is really one of tenuous and fragile reconciliation between mass democratic aspirations and concerted popular efforts to preserve Islamic values in government and law. Combining an innovative analysis of Nigeria’s Islamic and political history with visits to the living rooms of working families, he sketches how this reconciliation has been constructed in the conversations, debates, and everyday experiences of Nigerian Muslims. In doing so, he uncovers valuable new lessons—ones rooted in the real politics of ordinary life—for how democracy might work alongside the legal recognition of Islamic values, a question that extends far beyond Nigeria and into the Muslim world at large.

“The Arab World and Iran” (Saikal, ed.)

Next month, Palgrave Macmillan will release “The Arab World and Iran: A Turbulent Region in Transition,” edited by Amin Saikal (Australian National University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This volume focuses on interpreting the changing domestic and regional dynamics in the Arab world and Iran. Its chapters discuss an array of countries, events, actors, andUnknown issues – from an examination of the Arab Spring and the Tunisian democratic transition, to an exploration of the role of Saudi-Iranian geostrategic rivalry, to the impact of ethnic and sectarian politics in Syria, Iraq, and across the region. Chapters from expert contributors are organized into three parts. The first section of the volume covers the aspects and dynamics of change in the Arab world. The second examines the role of Islam, Islamism, Islamic governance, and sectarian and ethnic politics in the region. The third section focuses on Iranian domestic and regional politics. Yet the theme of transition is constant throughout as this multidisciplinary book draws connections across countries and events to not only inform about the prevailing regional situation, but also to invite readers to draw their own conclusions as to the future of the Middle East. Collectively the volume provides a fresh interpretation of the changing dynamics of the Arab world and Iran, unpacking the complexities of the disputes, conflicts, rivalries, failed goals, and processes of change and development that have made the Muslim Middle East so turbulent, directionless, and perpetually contested by both regional and international actors.

“New Horizons of Muslim Diaspora in Europe and North America” (Ennaji, ed.)

Last month, Palgrave Macmillan released “New Horizons of Muslim Diaspora in Europe and North America,” edited by Moha Ennaji (University of Fès).  The publisher’s description follows:

The authors in this book criticize the essentialist approach to the concept of culture which reduces all diasporic Muslims to one category and ignores other important 513rsnndttl-_sx312_bo1204203200_factors that shape the attitudes and behaviors of Muslims in the West, particularly their socio-economic status, gender, age, education, social class, and attitude toward religion and the Western lifestyle. The majority of Muslims in North America and Europe are reluctant to be reduced to ‘Muslim,’ although some of them feel obliged to accept the label. In this volume, the various chapters reveal that diasporic Muslims are heterogeneous given their diverse cultures and ethnicities; they are actually divided, not united, and have different views and interpretations of Islam and various attitudes and representations of Western realities. Due to their marginalization and often low social status, some Muslims turn to religion and traditional values and practices to overlook for their socio-economic exclusion from the European or American society.

Bedlek, “Imagined Communities in Greece and Turkey”

In December, I.B. Tauris published “Imagined Communities in Greece and Turkey: Trauma and the Population Exchanges under Ataturk,” edited by Emine Yesim Bedlek (Bingol University).  The publisher’s description follows:

In 1923 the Turkish government, under its new leader Kemal Ataturk, signed a renegotiated Balkan Wars treaty with the major powers of the day and Greece. This9781784531270 treaty provided for the forced exchange of 1.3 million Christians from Anatolia to Greece, in return for 30,000 Greek Muslims. The mass migration that ensued was a humanitarian catastrophe – of the 1.3 million Christians relocated it is estimated only 150,000 were successfully integrated into the Greek state. Furthermore, because the treaty was ethnicity-blind, tens of thousands of Muslim Greeks (ethnically and linguistically) were forced into Turkey against their will. Both the Greek and Turkish leadership saw this exchange as crucial to the state-strengthening projects both powers were engaged in after the First World War. Here, Emine Bedlek approaches this enormous shift in national thinking through literary texts – addressing the themes of loss, identity, memory and trauma which both populations experienced. The result is a new understanding of the tensions between religious and ethnic identity in modern Turkey.

Bergen, “United States of Jihad”

This month, Penguin Random House released “United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists,” by Peter Bergen.  The publisher’s description follows:

Hussin, “The Politics of Islamic Law”

In March, the University of Chicago Press will release “The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State,” by Iza R. Hussin (University of Cambridge).  The publisher’s description follows:

In The Politics of Islamic Law, Iza Hussin compares India, Malaya, and upso_ucplogoEgypt during the British colonial period in order to trace the making and
transformation of the contemporary category of ‘Islamic law.’ She demonstrates that not only is Islamic law not the shari’ah, its present institutional forms, substantive content, symbolic vocabulary, and relationship to state and society—in short, its politics—are built upon foundations laid during the colonial encounter.

Drawing on extensive archival work in English, Arabic, and Malay—from court records to colonial and local papers to private letters and visual material—Hussin offers a view of politics in the colonial period as an iterative series of negotiations between local and colonial powers in multiple locations. She shows how this resulted in a paradox, centralizing Islamic law at the same time that it limited its reach to family and ritual matters, and produced a transformation in the Muslim state, providing the frame within which Islam is articulated today, setting the agenda for ongoing legislation and policy, and defining the limits of change. Combining a genealogy of law with a political analysis of its institutional dynamics, this book offers an up-close look at the ways in which global transformations are realized at the local level.

Shavit, “Shari’a and Muslim Minorities”

This month, Oxford University Press will release “Shari’a and Muslim Minorities: The Wasati and Salafi Approaches to Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat al-Muslima” by Uriya Shavit (Tel Aviv University). The publisher’s description follows:

Based on a comparative analysis of several hundred religio-juristic treatises and fatwas (religious decisions), Shari’a and Muslim Minorities: The Wasati and Salafi Approaches to Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat al-Muslima offers the most systematic and comprehensive study to date of fiqh al aqalliyyat al-Muslima – the field in Islamic jurisprudence that treats issues that are unique to Muslims living in majority non-Muslim societies. The book argues that two main contesting approaches to fiqh al-aqalliyyat al-Muslima, the wasati and the salafi, have developed, in part dialectically. While both envision a future Islamizing of the West as a main justification for Muslim residence in the West, the wasati approach is pragmatic, facilitating, and integration-minded, whereas the salafi calls for strict application of religious norms and for introversion.

The volume examines diverse and highly-debated juristic issues, including the permissibility of naturalizing in non-Muslim states, participating in their electoral systems and serving in their militaries and police forces; the permissibility of taking mortgages and student loans; the permissibility of congratulating Christians on Christmas or receiving Christmas bonuses; and the permissibility of working in professions that involve breaching of religio-legal prohibitions (e.g. serving pork). Discussions highlight the diversity within contemporary Islamic jurisprudence and introduce new nuances to highly-charged concepts such as proselytizing, integration, and multiculturalism.

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