Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thoughtful interview with Jenny B. White on Muslimhood in Turkey

This is a splendid interview in Zaman focusing on how "Muslimhood" is replacing Islamism in Turkey.

White's provocative and wonderfully lucid Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks appears this fall in the Muslim Politics series, which I co-edit with Dale F. Eickelman.  White's Islamist Mobilization in Turkey offered a cogent and enthnographically rich analysis of the vernacular politics that underpinned the success of the AK Party.   Her new book reveals how Muslim identity and secularism are being interpreted and practiced in contemporary Turkey.  Rather than presuming that religion must to subordinated to the Kemalist state, White's "new Turks" understand secularism and the ethos of Muslimhood as complementary.  The volume includes many rich and finely sketches drawn from White's extensive fieldwork in Istanbul, and the reader also gains an appreciation for the culture wars being waged in Turkey along skirmish lines between the formerly dominant Kemalist elites and rising "new Turks".

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