Nov
26
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | Egypt in Africa: Beyond Security Priorities & Economic Constraints

Presented by the Institute of African Studies, with guest, Rawia Tawfik from Cairo University and moderated by Abosede George from Columbia University.

After decades of the marginalization of Africa in its foreign policy priorities, Egypt seems to be making a strong comeback to the continent. Active presidential diplomacy under President Sisi has been combined with the restructuring of a number of institutions responsible for implementing Egypt’s Africa policy. This lecture explores whether this rising interest in Africa has been translated into a clear definition of a new Egyptian role in the continent.

For more information, visit ias.columbia.edu/events-upcoming

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Nov
27
6:10 PM18:10

TALK Whose Feminism? Critical Perspectives on Gender and Security Policy

  • International Affairs Building, Room 1512 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join student organizations at the School of International and Public Affairs on Tuesday, November 27 from 6:10 - 8:00 PM in IAB 1512 for a conversation with three distinguished panelists on the intersection of gender and security policy issues.

Panelists:
Lila Abu-Lughod
Nimmi Gowrinathan
Rafia Zakaria

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Nov
30
3:00 PM15:00

TALK | Deliverance from Commitment: al-Ghazali’s Reconfiguration of Rationalism with Visiting Professor Benham Sadeghi

Deliverance from Commitment: al-Ghazali’s Reconfiguration of Rationalism

 

William Bartley’s The Retreat to Commitment outlines how Euro-American rationalist traditions have repeatedly faced identity crises when realizing that what they took to be knowledge did not live up to their standards of what counts as rational. Such an internal contradiction could be resolved in different ways: by upholding reason but rejecting beliefs/knowledge (rational skepticism), by having beliefs but rejecting reason (irrationalism, relativism, fideism), or — more significantly for rationalism — by upholding reason and the possibility of knowledge but relaxing the criteria of what counts as rational by no longer requiring that every proposition be justified by reason. In Bartley’s terminology, this is a shift from “pan-rationalism” to “critical rationalism.”

 

Professor Sadeghi argues that al-Ghazali’s Deliverance from Error represents the kind of shift Bartley described, from pan-rationalism to critical rationalism. As a scholar of Ash’ari kalam, al-Ghazali had been an exponent of the pan-rationalist meta-context governing kalamfalsafa, and Batini thought, which insisted that every proposition be justified by a sequence of logical inferences ultimately rooted in firm foundations. He experienced a crisis when he realized that his cherished beliefs could not be justified in this way. True to the pan-rationalist demand to believe only what is rationally justified, he privately gave up all belief. After two miserable months as a skeptic, an epiphany allowed him to have beliefs: namely, he gave up the requirement that all beliefs be justified by reason. Crucially, though, he did not thereby reject reason; rather, he became a critical rationalist. His faith in Islam was restored, and he set out to determine which approach to Islam is correct — kalamfalsafa, Isma’ilism, or Sufism. He argued for Sufism using a mixture of rational argumentation and rationally unjustified beliefs.

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Nov
14
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | NYU Arts & Sciences Presents Sensory Experience within Early Islamic Pilgrimage with Adam Burs

What sights, smells, sounds, and tastes did pilgrims to the Kaʿba, the Dome of the Rock, and other early Islamic sacred spaces experience? Drawing upon literary and material evidence, this paper will attempt to reconstruct some important sensorial—and especially olfactory—components of Islamic pilgrimage of the seventh and eighth centuries CE. Taking account of participants’ physical practices within sacred spaces, I suggest that these sensory experiences played a formative role for Muslims and for the Islamic identities they formed, both during the pilgrimage and afterwards.

Adam Bursi earned his PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University in 2015. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the ERC-funded project SENSIS: The Senses of Islam at Utrecht University. His research studies early Islam in dialogue with other late antique religions, focusing on the ways that rituals related to relics, pilgrimage, and healing were tightly interwoven with the formation, self-understanding, and performance of communal membership among early Muslims.

Silsila: Center for Material Histories is an NYU center dedicated to material histories of the Islamicate world. Each semester we hold a thematic series of lectures and workshops, which are open to the public. Details of the Center can be found at: 
http://as.nyu.edu/content/nyu-as/as/research-centers/silsila.html

RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/yyQBlldfpzfkHkrb2

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Nov
12
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Imagining & Narrating Plague in the Ottoman World A conversation with Orhan Pamuk and Nükhet Varlık

  • Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, Pulitzer Hall, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Imagining & Narrating Plague in the Ottoman WorldA conversation with Orhan Pamuk and Nükhet Varlık

This event is sponsored by The Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies, The Columbia University School of the Arts, The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and The Department of History.

“Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk and award-winning plague historian Nükhet Varlık will have a conversation with historian A. Tunç Şen about how a novelist and a historian can imagine and recount past plagues. Pamuk and Varlık will share insights drawn from Ottoman plague episodes and discuss the challenges of relating these experiences in historical and fictional writing.

Orhan Pamuk is currently finishing his latest novel, Veba Geceleri, set on a plague-infested Ottoman island at the turn of the twentieth century. He is the Robert Yik-Fon Tam Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

Nükhet Varlık is the author of multiple award-winning Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World: The Ottoman Experience, 1347-1600. She is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark.

A. Tunç Şen is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and an Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University.


Join us for a discussion and Q&A with the writers.

Register for the event here.

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Nov
9
2:00 PM14:00

CONFERENCE | Migration Symposium: Beyond Representation

  • International Affairs Building, 1501 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A space for inclusive, vibrant, and essential conversation about people on the move around the world. Featuring representatives from grassroots organizations across New York, UN agencies, media, culture, and academia.

Opening remarks by Ravi Ragbir, Immigrant Rights Activist and Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York.

Reception and Concert by Faraj Abyad and his Classical Arabic Music Ensemble to follow.

For more information, contact sipa.migration@columbia.edu.

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Nov
7
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Votive Bodies: Waz and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices

  • New York University Arts & Sciences (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"Votive Bodies: Wax and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices”

Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center

Part of the Silsila fall 2018 Lecture Series, Matters of Mediation/Bodies of Devotion

The unique characteristics of wax and beeswax made the material a crucial participant in votive practices. By focusing on the material of wax, the lecture will outline the relations between, site, body, material and materiality in order to further exemplify the relations between devotees and divinities, between the here and hereafter in Christian devotion. 

Register here.

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Nov
7
6:00 PM18:00

TALK | Is Transnationalism Good for Democracy?

Organized by the Barnard Forum on Migration.

Drawing on longitudinal ethnographic work with Palestinian American youth, Professor Abu El-Haj explores the creative, flexible practices of transnational “citizenship” that develop from conditions of migration, mobility, and ambiguity. This portrait of flexibility, creativity, and change challenges public discourses that stubbornly cling to ideas of transnational affiliations as dangerous to democracy. Professor Abu El-Haj argues, instead, that youth develop a politics of justice and inclusion to fight inequality and oppression both within and across the artificial borders of nation-states. 

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Nov
6
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | Changing the Middle East

  • International Affairs Building, Room 1512 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join SIPA's MENA Forum for a conversation with Nabil Fahmy, former Foreign Minister of Egypt. Fahmy made great strides as foreign minister and also served as the Egyptian Ambassador to the US and Japan. He founded the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo in 2009. We welcome you to join us as he discusses recent trends in the Middle East.

Moderated by Lisa Anderson.

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TALK | Cross-cultural encounters in contemporary book art between Baghdad and Beijing: a lecture by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, American University of Beirut
Nov
1
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | Cross-cultural encounters in contemporary book art between Baghdad and Beijing: a lecture by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, American University of Beirut

This talk focuses on the work of the Iraqi artist Rafa Nasiri (1940-2014) and his autobiographical account Rihlati ila Sin (My Journey to China, 2012). It explores cross-cultural encounters between Baghdad and Beijing in the context of geopolitical change after the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Iraq Revolution of 1958.

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FILM | The Battle of Algiers
Oct
25
6:30 PM18:30

FILM | The Battle of Algiers

  • Maison Francaise, East Gallery, Buell Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

With excep­tio­nal archival mate­rials and many inter­views (Alge­ria, France, Italy, United-States) Malek Bensmaïl’s docu­men­tary about Gillo Pontecorvo’s legendary 1965 film, The Battle of Algiers, will give us, sixty years after, a strong look back at this film half­way between history and legend.

The black and white news­reel-style film caused a sensa­tion. Effec­ti­vely banned in France until 1971, the film took on mythi­cal status in Alge­ria, where it was scree­ned each year on tele­vi­sion to comme­mo­rate the coun­try’s inde­pen­dence.

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Oct
25
6:15 PM18:15

Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture | The Guests: Edward Said and Joseph Conrad

Organized by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Italian Academy.

Edward W. Said remained, for over forty years, concerned with Conrad. A fascinating conversation emerges between the two men’s work, one concerned with aesthetics, displacement and empire, and sheds an interesting light on the present moment.

The Fall 2018 Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture will be given by Hisham Matar, Pulitzer Prize-winning Memoirist and Novelist
Introduction by Gauri Viswanathan, Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

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FILM | Checks and Balances (Contrepouvoirs)
Oct
24
6:00 PM18:00

FILM | Checks and Balances (Contrepouvoirs)

  • Maison Francaise, East Gallery, Buell Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Screening and discussion with filmmaker Malek Bensmaïl, in conversation with Madeleine Dobie and Mohamed Amer Meziane.

Algerian documentary filmmaker Malek Bens­maïl set up his camera in the news­room of the famous daily paper El Watan, the spea­rhead of the Alge­rian inde­pendent press, to film the proce­dures and thought processes behind jour­na­lism during the last presi­den­tial elec­tion. Accom­mo­da­ted since Alge­ria’s Bloody Decade of the 1990’s in the “House of the Press,” the jour­na­lists of the famous daily news­pa­per El Watan await the comple­tion of their new offices, a symbol of their inde­pen­dence.

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EXHIBITION & TALK | The Second-Hand Binding & In the School of Wisdom: Persian Bookbinding, ca. 1575-1890
Oct
23
6:00 PM18:00

EXHIBITION & TALK | The Second-Hand Binding & In the School of Wisdom: Persian Bookbinding, ca. 1575-1890

Gallery talk by guest curator and Columbia University graduate student Matthew Gilman.

Reproduction technologies, from chromolithography to digitization, have long been heralded as boon as to scholarship in the arts of the book. Nevertheless, bookbinding, especially that from the Muslim world, has remained at the fringes of the field. This talk examines the historical circumstances (such early modern libraries, second-hand book markets, and Orientalist scholarship) which create difficulties for the study of the art. They also, however, will offer an opportunity to reconsider the nature of manuscript culture at large. 

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FILM | In the Last Days of the City + Q&A with Director Tamer El Said
Oct
17
6:30 PM18:30

FILM | In the Last Days of the City + Q&A with Director Tamer El Said

Tamer El Said’s ambitious debut feature tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93, Green Zone, The Square) as he struggles to capture the soul of a city on edge while facing loss in his own life. Shot in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin during the two years before the outbreak of revolution in Egypt, the film’s multi-layered stories are a visually rich exploration of friendship, loneliness and life in cities shaped by the shadows of war and adversity.

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Oct
17
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | Celebrating Recent Work by Wael Hallaq

Organized by the Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge, by Wael Hallaq
Since Edward Said’s foundational work, Orientalism has been singled out for critique as the quintessential example of Western intellectuals’ collaboration with oppression. Controversies over the imbrications of knowledge and power and the complicity of Orientalism in the larger project of colonialism have been waged among generations of scholars. But has Orientalism come to stand in for all of the sins of European modernity, at the cost of neglecting the complicity of the rest of the academic disciplines?

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Oct
16
6:00 PM18:00

LANGUAGE CIRCLE | Arabic Language

Date/location change for week of October 15-19, 2018.

The Middle East Institute’s Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

Fall 2018 Semester: the Arabic Circle meets every Wednesday, 6-7:30 PM, in Knox 403. It is moderated by Wajdi Ben Hammed.

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Oct
11
2:00 PM14:00

PANEL | Revisiting Indigenous Histories, Legal Systems and Land Rights in the Naqab

  • Italian Academy for Advanced Studies (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Organized by the Center for Palestine Studies. Registration recommended.

Within the framework of exhibition Ground Truth: Testimonies of Destruction and Return in Al-Araqib, CPS is holding a scholarly panel to expand the discourse on the origins of the dispossession, expulsion, and displacement of the Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev/Al-Naqab, and in particular its historical background and legal aspects. The panelists are scholars and activists involved in historical research, legal geography, and human rights with the aim of situating the case of the Naqab Bedouins within key international debates, such as the territorial dispossession of indigenous peoples, indivisibility, and interrelationship of socioeconomic, cultural, civil, and political rights.

Panelists: Nadia Ben-Youssef, Adalah Justice Project; Bashir Abu-Manneh, Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Kent University; Debby Farber, Zochrot

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Oct
10
5:30 PM17:30

EXHIBITION | Ground Truth: Testimonies of Destruction and Return in Al-Araqib

  • Italian Academy for Advanced Studies (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Organized by the Center for Palestine Studies and the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies.

Exhibition on the theme of Bedouin ownership of Negev lands and the ongoing Israeli state campaign to uproot the Palestinian Bedouin from the northern threshold of the desert. A joint project of Al-Araqib Popular Committee, Zochrot and Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths University, UK).

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Oct
9
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | An Evening with Akram Zaatari, Sponsored by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle

Organized by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle.

Lebanese filmmaker and photographer Akram Zaatari presents his video Her + Him (2001–12), which was recently acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, and discusses his practice. A founding member of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, Zaatari assumes the roles of researcher, collector, archivist, and curator in his work, investigating the sites, documents, and memories of the Middle East’s history through the filter of subjective experience.

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BOOK LAUNCH | For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers
Oct
4
6:30 PM18:30

BOOK LAUNCH | For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers

Hiba Bou Akar in conversation with Faranak Miraftab, Timothy Mitchell, M. Christine Boyer, and Amale Andraos.

For the War Yet to Come examines urban planning in three neighborhoods of Beirut’s southeastern peripheries, revealing how these areas have been developed into frontiers of a continuing sectarian order. Akar argues these neighborhoods are arranged, not in the expectation of a bright future, but according to the logic of “the war yet to come”: urban planning plays on fears and differences, rumors of war, and paramilitary strategies to organize everyday life.

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Oct
4
2:00 PM14:00

TALK | Displaced and Segregated: The Socio-economic Status of the Second Generation of Internally Displaced Palestinians in Israel

Organized by The Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality. A talk with Ameed Saabneh.

This study investigates the effects of displacement on the socio-economic status of second-generation internally displaced Palestinians (IDPs) in Israel. The results show that second-generation IDPs and non-displaced Palestinians do not differ in their educational and occupational attainment, but displaced households have higher rates of poverty and poorer housing conditions than non-displaced households. We find that the relationship between displacement and the prime indicators of social mobility—education and jobs—was weakened by three factors: extreme spatial segregation between Palestinians and Jews, the concentration of disadvantage among IDPs within the host communities, which were Palestinian spaces, and a high level of dependence on resources concentrated in Jewish spaces among all Palestinians, not just IDPs. These three conditions, however, did not eliminate gaps in assets and land ownership between IDPs and non-IDPs, which, we argue, contribute to higher poverty rates among displaced households.

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SYMPOSIUM | What We CAN Do When There's Nothing To Be Done: Strategies for Change
Sep
28
9:30 AM09:30

SYMPOSIUM | What We CAN Do When There's Nothing To Be Done: Strategies for Change

  • The Forum at Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The MEI co-sponsors an all-day symposium organized by the Center for the Study of Social Difference.

How can we imagine justice, practice solidarity and create change across barriers of social difference in today’s political landscape? As the acceptance of inequality has become the new norm to a degree we might have deemed unthinkable, and as public dialogue has reached an impasse, protest and resistance continue. This conference brings together scholars, artists, and activists from around the globe whose work can inspire new ways of thinking, seeing and listening, and productive strategies of intervention for our time.

Registration will be open HERE starting September 5th. .

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Sep
20
6:00 PM18:00

BOOK LAUNCH | Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition

Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, in conversation with Katherine Ewing, Nabeel Hamid, and Christia Mercer
Thursday, September 20, 2018  6:00pm
Maison Française

What does it mean to be a Muslim philosopher, or to philosophize in Islam? In Open to Reason, Souleymane Bachir Diagne traces Muslims’ intellectual and spiritual history of examining and questioning beliefs and arguments to show how Islamic philosophy has always engaged critically with texts and ideas both inside and outside its tradition. Through a rich reading of classical and modern Muslim philosophers, Diagne explains the long history of philosophy in the Islamic world and its relevance to crucial issues of our own time.

From classical figures such as Avicenna to the twentieth-century Sufi master and teacher of tolerance Tierno Bokar Salif Tall, Diagne explores how Islamic thinkers have asked and answered such questions as, Does religion need philosophy? How can religion coexist with rationalism? What does it mean to interpret a religious narrative philosophically? What does it mean to be human and what are human beings’ responsibilities to nature? Is there such a thing as an “Islamic” state, or should Muslims reinvent political institutions that suit their own times? Diagne shows that philosophizing in Islam in its many forms throughout the centuries has meant a commitment to forward and open thinking. A remarkable history of philosophy in the Islamic world as well as a work of philosophy in its own right, this book seeks to contribute to the revival of a spirit of pluralism rooted in Muslim intellectual and spiritual traditions.

Author: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French, Columbia University
Speakers: Katherine Ewing, Professor of Religion, Columbia University; Nabeel Hamid, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; Christia Mercer, Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Click here to register. 

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BOOK LAUNCH | Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo
Sep
20
5:00 PM17:00

BOOK LAUNCH | Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

Please join us for a book launch and conversation with Dr. Seth Anziska (University College London) and Professor Rashid Khalidi.

Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo (Princeton University Press, 2018).
Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine.

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SHARIA WORKSHOP | Lena Salaymeh
Sep
17
6:00 PM18:00

SHARIA WORKSHOP | Lena Salaymeh

Imperialist Feminism and Islamic Law

Lena Salaymeh is Associate Professor at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, and currently a Visiting Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center, Princeton University. Her research concerns Islamic and Jewish jurisprudence in both historical and contemporary legal systems.

We will discuss Dr. Salaymeh’s precirculated paper. To receive a copy please email amb49@columbia.edu

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MENA FORUM | Diasporas in Transition: Islam, Gender and New Regimes of Governance
Sep
11
6:00 PM18:00

MENA FORUM | Diasporas in Transition: Islam, Gender and New Regimes of Governance

  • International Affairs Building, 1512 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

MENA Forum: Diasporas in Transition: Islam, Gender and New Regimes of Governance
Speaker: Kathryn Spellman Poots
Moderator: Lisa Anderson

The session will trace the emergence of ‘’Islam’’ and “Muslim” as politicized and securitized categories in Western Europe and USA. It will start by examining the rising prominence of “Muslim” self- and group-identification in relation to the integration of Islam and Muslim practices into Western states, both pre- and post-9/11. Drawing on ethnographic research on Shi’i Muslims in the UK, I will show how geopolitics in the ME, the “war on terror” and the fear of Muslim extremism in the West not only complicates the role of Islam in relation to Western states, but also transforms the relationship within and between Muslim communities. Instead of privileging the reproduction and integration of Islam in block form and as a fixed religion system I would argue for the need for empirical research that provides an understanding of the diverse ways that Muslim populations engage and respond to particular local, national and transnational social and political conditions.

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