Featured Research

Islamic Theology and Extraterrestrial Life: New Frontiers in Science and Religion (Co-edited by Jörg Matthias Determann and Shoaib Ahmed Malik)

Over the last thirty years, humanity has discovered thousands of planets outside of our solar system. The discovery of extraterrestrial life could be imminent. This book explains how such a discovery might impact Islamic theology. It is the foundational reference on the subject, comprising a variety of different insights from both Sunni and Shi’i positions, from different Muslim contexts, and with chapters that compare and contrast Islamic perspectives with Christianity.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Power Struggle over ‘Muslimness’: Reification, Securitization, and Identification (Jérémy Dieudonné)

This paper questions the apparent hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia and highlights its discursive construction. It explores the centrality of ‘Muslimness’ in both countries’ discourses and how it both shapes and is shaped by their opposition. At the same time, it seeks to uncover how these discourses construct a specific regional and ‘Muslim’ dynamic.

Canada as a Settler Colony on the Question of Palestine (co-edited by Jeremy Wildeman and M. Muhannad Ayyash)

Canada as a Settler Colony on the Question of Palestine explores Canada-Palestine relations through a settler colonial lens. The authors argue that there are direct parallels between Canada’s settler colonial project and its support for the Israeli settler colonial dispossession of Palestinians. Chapters reflect on community politics and activism, migration, orientalism, and critical race theory.

Communications in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire (Burçe Çelik)

The history of communications in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey contradicts the widespread belief that communications is a byproduct of modern capitalism and other Western forces. Burçe Çelik uses a decolonial perspective to analyze the historical commodification and militarization of communications and how it affected production and practice for oppressed populations like women, the working class, and ethnic and religious minorities.

Identity politics and ethnic humour in contemporary Jordan (Yousef Barahmeh)

Following political turbulence and instability in the Middle East, Jordan has become a home for a large number of Palestinians, Iraqis, and Syrians, and now includes a significant number of Egyptians in its workforce. This growing diversity in the population has impacted the country not only socially and economically but quite noticeably in terms of identity politics and ethnic humour (how do indigenous people perceive the other(s) and how do others perceive the indigenous people?).

Gender Trouble in the Land of the Nile: Transgender Identities, the Judiciary and Islam in Egypt (Nora Noralla)

The paper provides a socio-political context analysis to outline Al-Azhar’s discourse on transgender identities and its influence on law and policy in Egypt. Transgender identities in Egypt represent an issue governed by Islamic Sharia more than anything else. Scholars at Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, viewed transgender identities as a danger to the fabric of society if not regulated. Thus, in the 1980s, several Fatwas were issued to examine the compatibility of transgender identities with Sharia.

Grassroots Familialism? NGO Mobilization and Neoconservatism in Contemporary Turkey (Sevgi Adak)

Familialism in contemporary Turkey has primarily been analysed as a crucial aspect of the social policy of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) government. The incorporation of familialism into other policy areas has also received some attention. Less attention has been given, however, to the ‘civil’ channels through which this state-level familialism is supported and propagated. A network of family-oriented conservative NGOs has proliferated in the last decade, and this article looks at the campaigns they organize and the discourses they use to influence and foster familialism at the state level.

Gramsci’s ‘Southern Question’ and Egypt’s authoritarian retrenchment: subalternity and the disruption of activist agency (Gennaro Gervasio & Andrea Teti)

Explanations of the authoritarian retrenchment after Egypt’s 2011 Revolution invoke either the regime’s repressive advantage over ‘leaderless’ mobilisation and civic activists, or insufficient preparations and radicalism on the part of opposition groups. Both explanations are unsatisfactory. First, because despite being ‘reformist’, opposition groups’ demands were perceived as radical challenges to regimes before, during and after the uprisings.

State, Peasants and Land in Mid-Nineteenth Century Egypt (Maha Ghalwash)

This book examines the rural history of Egypt during the mid-nineteenth century years (1848-1863), a period that is often glossed over, or altogether forgotten. It focuses on the relationship between the absolutist state and the majority of its subject population, the peasant smallholders during this juncture. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, some only rarely utilized by other scholars, like the athurat registers, it sheds new light on this relationship. This involves specifying state views and perspectives as documented by these sources as well as highlighting peasants’ voices, views, experiences and agential power.

The Turks in the Land of Afghans: History, Politics, and Relationships (Mohammed Alrmizan)

Turkish foreign policy in Afghanistan dates to the changing dynamics in the Ottoman Empire's foreign policy, particularly following the Russian Empire's wars and the support of the British Empire during the middle of the nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire then began communicating with the Durrani and Barakzai dynasties in Afghanistan through different missions from Istanbul and Mumbai to Kabul.

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