Islamic Blog, Muslims Blog, or…

The traceless warrior is quite awake and has noticed that I categorized him as an Islamic Blog.

The Traceless Warrior: Bloggingsphere Update
Well this is not an “Islamic Blog”. While I am a Muslim, I consider a lot of what some people try to pass off as “Islamic” blogs or websites to actually be examples of obsessive-compulsive mono-maniacal religious ideation. It has been my experience that focusing on any one aspect of one’s life to the exclusion of all others produces dangerously unbalanced individuals.

He is right of course.

It is one of the reasons this blog is not called Islam Blog anymore, but Closer – anthropology of Muslims in the Netherlands, a modest attempt. And of course that can be problematic as well. In the 13th issue of ISIM Review Asef Bayat, Academic Director of ISIM, has tried to conceptualize ‘muslim societies’:

The terms ‘Islamic world’ or ‘Islamic society’, used in singular abstract forms, may indeed imply that Islam is the central factor that shapes the dynamics of these societies. ‘Islamic society’ becomes a totalizing notion which is constructed by others to describe Muslims and their cultures.
It tells us the way others imagine how Muslims are and even how they should be. This worldview has partly been perpetuated by some Muslims such as Islamists, who likewise construct a unitary Islamic l a n d s c a p e . In contrast, ‘Muslim societies’, understood as plural and concrete entities, allow a self-conscious Muslim majority to define their own reality in an inevitably contested, differentiated and dynamic fashion. Here the emphasis is not on Islam, but Muslims as agents of their societies and cultures, even if not of their own making. And ‘culture’ is perceived not as static codes and conducts but as processes, always changing, flexible and contested. These are the societies in which aspects of Islam, interpreted and adopted in diverse manners, have influenced some domains of private and public life including the realms of
morality, family relations, gender dynamics, law, and sometimes (but not always) politics and the state. ‘Muslim communities’ outside Muslim-
majority countries contain perhaps a more complex social dynamic, since Muslims are compelled to negotiate their identities within the
prevailing non-Islamic legal and normative structures. What make them ‘Muslim communities’ are the diverse ‘Muslim identities’ the
members hold.

So we should not suggest that Traceless Warrior is called like that, and is blogging because he adheres to Islam. He is a Muslim doing the things he does, but he is also a man (or is this another prejudice?), perhaps even a parent, perhaps even a sportsman…

One thought on “Islamic Blog, Muslims Blog, or…

  1. Asef Bayat’s observations are very much to the point.

    While faith can provide us with a “ground”, and while faith can inform our actions “in the world”, if faith becomes a single, obsessive focus it creates separation from everything that is not defined as “of the faith”, and that kind of “disconnect” is very dangerous.

    I have been enjoying reading your observations here very much. My background is also in anthropology, and I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *