Six short reflections contribute to an ongoing conversation about the value of history to any analysis of secularism, religion, and the interactions between the two.
Does it matter if you are Muslim? Lately it seems to matter very much. By drawing our attention to the presumptions embedded in the term “Muslim,” Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’s essay and Cemil Aydın’s book aim to help us think our way out of Islamophobic patterns of thought. As both scholars point out, these patterns run deep across the ideological spectrum. At the heart of both arguments is the concern that contemporary political discourse accords an exceptional status to Islam as a totalizing ideology (as opposed to a mere religion), and to Muslims as a transnational body of believers united in their worldview and political aims.