For generations, race studies scholars—historians and literary critics alike—believed that race and its pernicious spawn racism were modern-day phenomena only.
By Natalie Cincotta When the Soviets launched their campaign, known as the hujum, against the veil in Uzbekistan in 1927, their goal was not just to liberate women. Without a class framework or a working class to build socialism in Uzbekistan, Soviet activists instead attempted to transform society through the liberation of women. Northrop argues that a woman’s behavior […]
by David Rahimi Starting with the encounter with European colonialism and modernity in the eighteenth century, Muslims increasingly began to worry that Islam was beset by existential crises as Muslim countries slowly fell under colonial domination. Some thought Islam had stagnated and made Muslims weak; others said true Islam already had the answers to modernity. […]
Around the first millennium of the Christian era, a small group of Ismaili Shi’i Muslims established a dynasty that rapidly conquered North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. At the height of their power they conquered Egypt, where they founded the city of Cairo, and their Imam-Caliphs had their names read out […]
What do an enslaved African miner in colonial Colombia, a Portuguese Jewish merchant in Cartagena, a gem cutter in Amsterdam, and an Ottoman sultan have in common? Kris Lane’s Colour of Paradise ties together the histories of these diverse and geographically distant peoples by tracing the exploitation, trade, and consumption of emeralds between 1540 and the 1790s
“May God be pleased with all the Companions of His Prophet.” With these words, the 12th century mayor of Aleppo, al-Zahir, carved in stone a sentiment that powerfully reflects the nuanced, negotiated sectarian history of Islam in Syria and elsewhere in the Islamic world.
Want to learn more about the monuments, beliefs, and lives of medieval Islam? Read on.
The Constitution’s ban on religious tests prompted the nation’s first debate in 1788 about whether a Muslim – or a Catholic or a Jew – might one day become president of the United States. William Lancaster, a delegate to the North Carolina convention to ratify the Constitution, worried: “But let us remember that we form a government for millions not yet in existence.
An ardent feminist and leftist scholar, Mahmood assumed a certain degree of internalized subordination in women who find solace and meaning in deeply patriarchal traditions. Yet, over the course of two years listening to and learning from several religious revival groups run by da’iyat (female “callers”), she discovered an entirely different understanding of religious devotion.
Joan Wallach Scott introduces The Politics of the Veil, about the 2004 headscarf debates in France, with a telling sentence: “This is not a book about French Muslims; it is about the dominant French view of them.”