Saturday, October 20, 2018

Book by Humeira Iqtidar: Secularizing Islamists? Jama'at-e-Islami and Jama'at-ud-Da'wa in Urban Pakistan (2011)

232 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2011

Secularizing Islamists? provides an in-depth analysis of two Islamist parties in Pakistan, the highly influential Jama‘at-e-Islami and the more militant Jama‘at-ud-Da‘wa, widely blamed for the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. Basing her findings on thirteen months of ethnographic work with the two parties in Lahore, Humeira Iqtidar proposes that these Islamists are involuntarily facilitating secularization within Muslim societies, even as they vehemently oppose secularism. This book offers a fine-grained account of the workings of both parties that challenges received ideas about the relationship between the ideology of secularism and the processes of secularization. Iqtidar particularly illuminates the impact of women on Pakistani Islamism, while arguing that these Islamist groups are inadvertently supporting secularization by forcing a critical engagement with the place of religion in public and private life. She highlights the role that competition among Islamists and the focus on the state as the center of their activity plays in assisting secularization. The result is a significant contribution to our understanding of emerging trends in Muslim politics. 
Anthropology Review Database: “Iqtidar has fashioned a short but important examination of not only Islamist but religious practice in the modern world.” 
Ira Katznelson, Columbia University: “Based on rich ethnography and written with historical and theoretical imagination, this riveting book offers a timely and subtle contribution to our understanding of the place and impact of religion in public life. Humeira Iqtidar’s resonant accounts of the origins, diversity, and role of gender in Pakistan’s Islamist movements, and her deep insight that secularization can be underpinned by social forces that combat secularism, force a reconsideration of long-held concepts and convictions about politics and belief.” 
 Aamir Mufti, University of California, Los Angeles: “The real strength of Secularizing Islamists? is the depth of its empirical research, both historical and anthropological—there is no other work that brings such a range of materials to a study of Islamism in contemporary Pakistan. Here, Humeira Iqtidar offers a compelling historical argument that demonstrates how Islamist movements in Pakistan have long relied upon processes of social and political secularization. This important book will have a wide readership across the social sciences and humanities and will be of interest to students of South Asian history and culture, the history of secularism, modern and contemporary Islamic studies, as well as policy professionals worldwide who are concerned with Islamic radicalism.” 
 David Gilmartin, North Carolina State University: “At the heart of this book is an incongruous question: what would happen if we analyzed Islamists (who define themselves in almost polar opposition to ‘secularism’) as products of a process of ‘secularization’? What happens is not a definitive new interpretation of Islamism, but rather the suggestion of a range of new questions and perspectives for looking at Islamist thinking in its political and everyday contexts. Broad, original, and interdisciplinary, this book will find an important audience among a large number of scholars who have long struggled to make sense of the Islamist phenomenon.”

New book: "Knot of the Soul: Madness, Psychoanalysis, Islam" by Stefania Pandolfo

Through a dual engagement with the unconscious in psychoanalysis and Islamic theological-medical reasoning, Stefania Pandolfo’s unsettling and innovative book reflects on the maladies of the soul at a time of tremendous global upheaval. Drawing on in-depth historical research and testimonies of contemporary patients and therapists in Morocco, Knot of the Soul offers both an ethnographic journey through madness and contemporary formations of despair and a philosophical and theological exploration of the vicissitudes of the soul.
Knot of the Soul moves from the experience of psychosis in psychiatric hospitals, to the visionary torments of the soul in poor urban neighborhoods, to the melancholy and religious imaginary of undocumented migration, culminating in the liturgical stage of the Qur’anic cure. Demonstrating how contemporary Islamic cures for madness address some of the core preoccupations of the psychoanalytic approach, she reveals how a religious and ethical relation to the “ordeal” of madness might actually allow for spiritual transformation.

This sophisticated and evocative work illuminates new dimensions of psychoanalysis and the ethical imagination while also sensitively examining the collective psychic strife that so many communities endure today.

Part I. Psychiatric Fragments in the Aftermath of Culture

1. Testimony in Counterpoint
2. The Hospital
3. The Jinn and the Pictogram: “The Story of My Life”
4. The Knot of the Soul (or the Cervantes Stage)
Interlude. Islam and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Part II. The Passage: Imagination, Alienation

5. Taʿbīr: Figuration and the Torment of Life
6. The Burning

Part III. The Jurisprudence of the Soul

7. Overture: A Topography of the Soul in the Vertigo of History
8. Faqīh al-nafs: The Jurist of the Soul
9. Shariʿa Healing: “Knowledge of the Path to the Hereafter”
10. Prophetic Medicine and the Ruqya
11. The Jouissance of the Jinn
12. The Psychiatrist and the Imam
13. Black Bile and the Intractable Jinn: Threshold of the Inorganic
14. The Argument of Shirk (Idolatry)
15. Extimacy: The Battlefield of the Nafs
16. The Writing of the Soul: Soul Choking, Imagination, and Pain
17. Concluding Movement: The Passion of Zulikha, a Dramaturgy of the Soul

Stefania Pandolfo

Stefania Pandolfo studies theories and forms of subjectivity, and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world, investigating narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and postcolonialism, madness and mental illness. Her current project is a study of emergent forms of subjectivity in Moroccan modernity at the interface of "traditional therapies" and psychiatry/psychoanalysis, exploring theoretical ways to think existence, possibility and creation in a context of referential and institutional instability and in the aftermath of trauma, based on ethnographic research on spirit possession and the "cures of the jinn", and on the experience of madness in a psychiatric hospital setting.

Robert Scheer: The Disastrous 'War on Terror' Has Come Home

Jamie Garcia of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition explores how new technologies have radically altered the way we police our major cities.

The model of the "one-man" show is a flawed model.

Charisma has a role. As does brilliance and genius. These are God-given talents. We thank God for blessing many in our communities with these gifts.

But there's also something to having a "team of rivals" that help with building institutions in ways that last beyond the pull of any personality.

Prominent evangelical leader on Khashoggi crisis: let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales” (Oct 17, 2018)

As we mourn a colleague, Trump celebrates violence against a journalist (Oct. 19, 2018)

The Atlantic: China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness (Aug 28, 2018)

NBC: GOP Rep. Hill disavows ad with racist stereotypes in support of his campaign (Oct 19, 2018)

 Two women in the radio commercial claim Democrats will go back to "lynching black folk again."

Saudi Lobbying in the U.S. Has Tripled Since Trump Took Office (Oct. 18, 2018)

Poor People's Campaign gathers in Little Rock

Washington Post: Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics (10/17/2018)

Mitch McConnell Makes a Compelling Argument for Voting Every Republican Out of Office

A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War (10/16/2018)

Why is Trump so keen to protect the Saudis? (10/18/2018)

Why leaning in has not worked for women of color (Oct 12, 2018).

The Memo’s Minda Harts makes the case that Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In manifesto ignored the systemic obstacles that women of color face.

Yahoo: Evangelical Leader Pat Robertson On Saudi Arabia: 'We've Got To Cool The Rhetoric' (Oct. 17, 2018)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

UAE: Obama Should Press Crown Prince on Rights Visit to US Coincides with Crackdown at Home

The Intercept Report: U.A.E. donated $1 M. to NYC Police Foundation (4/14/2015)

 04/14/15 02:36 PM EDT

The government of the United Arab Emirates in 2012 donated $1 million to the New York City Police Foundation, which then gave the same amount to the NYPD's intelligence division, according to documents obtained by the the Intercept.

Mehdi Hasan: Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump? (Oct. 16, 2018)

Washington Post: How the National Prayer Breakfast sparked an unusual meeting between Muslims and evangelicals (Feb. 8, 2018)

The National: UAE Cabinet forms Emirates Fatwa Council

Muslim World League head urges faith leaders to travel to Jerusalem seeking peace (Oct. 6, 2018)

Peter Welby: Cooperation key to resolving issues between religions (Oct. 10, 2018)