Some academics of Islam fail to realize that they are minor intellectuals in a tradition of ultimate commitment—call it the Modern Project. They are not the mujtahids of modernity, but commentators doing clerical work about the apex thinkers of another tradition, Islam. Within the Project their views about ultimate questions are totally irrelevant, yet they … Continue reading Skin in the game
The best metaphor to understand what some woke Muslim academics are are trying to do to Islam is cosmetic surgery. Cut what you don’t like, and use implants to fill in any gaps, until you get precisely the shape of wokeness. When you say you are going to “queer” Islam or any part of it, … Continue reading Queer Theory is Neither Queer nor a Theory (the case of Islam)
The insight that we are “always already” in something or other leads people to a kind of determinism and a belief in an invisible boundary beyond which exist forces that control us in ways that we cannot ever actually know. We are produced by a structure from which there is no escape, no getting on … Continue reading Are we always already determined?
(This is an addendum to my article “Muslims Are Not a Race”. I would recommend reading that first in order to fully understand this post. I discuss “racialization” there, but am expanding on it here.) Every justification for defining Islamophobia as a type of racism depends on the concept of “racialization.” But the defenders of … Continue reading Muslims are not Racialized
Some people might be interested in this excerpt from a short book I’m working on about the “conceptualization of Islam”. This section is about the logical problems of Talal Asad’s conceptualization of Islam as a “discursive tradition”. Just the text, no footnotes. Very much a draft. Islam as a “discursive tradition” The other major conceptualization … Continue reading The incoherence of “Islam” as a “discursive tradition” (excerpt from a work in progress)
For those who are interested, here are the three relevant threads from me (originally posted on Twitter in late May 2020): FIRST THREAD: Advice to young academics: Too much “Islamic studies” today is 3rd-rate postmodern cultural critique — lazy riffing about Muslims as a variegated bundle of racial/gender/sexual groups with “Islam” as a symbolic cultural … Continue reading Thread(s) on Academic Islamic Studies
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