Is Islamism a New Phenomenon? Religion and Politics in the Muslim World

Ousmane Kane

In recent decades, terms such as "Islamic fundamentalism," "Islamic activism," and "Islamic radicalism" have been used to describe the phenomenon of contemporary political Islam. Some observers have re-invented the term "Islamism," which has been used to mean Islam. Ousmane Kane will discuss several notions: that Islamism is a new phenomenon, that "Islamists" are primarily Salafi, and that Islamist movements are irrational and violent.

Ousmane Kane is an associate professor of international and public affairs at Columbia. He received his master's in Islamic studies at the Sorbonne nouvelle in 1985 and his Ph.D from Sciences Po, Paris, in 1993. He received fellowships from Yale, the University of London, Northwestern University, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin. He is the author of Muslim Modernity in Postcolonial Nigeria (2003), Intellectuels non europhones (2003), and Islam et islamisme au Sud du Sahara (with Jean-Louis Triaud, 1998).