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What Is Political Islam?

Author: Jocelyne Cesari

January 30, 2018

The debate continues unabated: Is political Islam decipherable through the tenets of the Islamic tradition—or is it a tool of secular actors who shrewdly misuse religious references? Is it an expression of modernity, or a return to the past? Eschewing these dichotomies, in this book author Jocelyne Cesari demystifies the continuous process of interaction between secular and religious actors and institutions that is at the core of political mobilization in the name of Islam. Cesari traces the origins of political Islam to the inception of the modern nation-state, revealing the decisive role of secular nationalist rulers in its creation. In the process, she puts to rest the myth that there has been a lack of modernization in the Muslim world—and shows how that myth has proven dangerous in her examination of countries ranging from Senegal and Egypt to Indonesia and Iraq.

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