New Book: Whatever Happened to the Islamists?

At France24 we find an interview with sociologist of Islam, Amel Boubekeur.
Amel Boubekeur, Sociologist and expert on political Islam – FRANCE 24

As the West struggles to wrap its head around the repercussions of the Arab Spring, one issue that stands out is the increasing role of Islamists in all aspects of life. So how should Western leaders reframe their approach when it comes to dealing with Islamist politicians? Annette Young talks to Amel Boubekeur, a sociologist and the co-author of “Whatever Happened to the Islamists?”

Watch the interesting interview here:

Olivier Roy and Amel Boubekeur have edited a volume on Islamism and political Islam:Whatever Happened to the Islamists?

Islamism and political Islam might seem like contemporary phenomena, but the roots of both movements can be traced back more than a century. Nevertheless, the utopian beliefs of Islamism have been irrevocably changed by the processes of modernization—especially globalization—which have taken the philosophy into unmistakable new directions.

Through meticulous theoretical and ethnographic research, this collection maps the movements of current and former Islamists to determine what has become of political Islam. Islam continues to be a fresh and vital ideology to a new generation of militants, even though the channels though which it is expressed have changed. Jihad is often conducted electronically, via Islamist e-mail list-serves, and Islamist activism has been personalized—even domesticated—through the production and consumption of political goods, such as Islamic soft drinks. Even the street protests that once characterized the Islamist struggle have been eclipsed by Islamic rap concerts. In addressing these changes, this anthology highlights Islam’s remarkable adaptation to modern influences and the ongoing revitalization of its utopian message.

About the Author

Amel Boubekeur is research fellow and head of the Islam and Europe program at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels.Olivier Roy is a professor at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and a research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. A world authority on Islam and politics, Roy’s books are Secularism Confronts Islam, The Failure of Political Islam, The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, and, with Mariam Abou Zahab, Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection.

I’m very honoured to have a chapter in this excellent volume. In this chapter “The ‘Other’ Polical Islam: Understanding Salafi Politics’ I discuss how modern Dutch Salafi networks engage in politics in new and unexpectedways. Although many have described the Salafi movement as lacking a politicial program and shying away from politics, I show how they have started to becomeincreasingly engaged and entangled in the Dutch political scene. By attempting to influence the Dutch political scene while being the main target of the counter-radicalization policies, they have adjusted their messages and styles in a way that accommodates Dutch secular society. As such they have engaged in a politics of lifestyles, distinction and resistance, trying to transform the oppressive structures of society and build up their position as the only legitimate representatives of Islam in Dutch society.

For more information see also Hurst Publishers.

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