Friday, March 3, 2023

Zaidan Foundation

"The mission of the Zaidan Foundation is to enhance intercultural understanding starting with the international dissemination of the Arab cultural heritage."

The Foundation, established in 2010, made the following available online :

al-Hilal issues (1892-2007), Major Articles, Complete Novels.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Politics of Culture in Contemporary Turkey

 The Politics of Culture in Contemporary Turkey

Investigates the relationship between culture, politics and power in present-day Turkey, from headscarves to heavy metal

  • Provides an overview of the politics of culture in Turkey under the rule of the AKP
  • Analyses the success of authoritarian populism and the decline of democracy in Turkey from a cultural studies perspective
  • Brings together 16 empirical studies that explore cultural aspects from heavy metal music to arthouse films, and from headscarf politics to national memory

Since coming to power, President Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) have focused on narrating their vision of a ‘New Turkey’ – an ideal that has resulted in the politicisation of popular culture and people’s everyday lives. Exposing the strategy of Turkey’s ruling elite to obtain cultural hegemony, this book examines the AKP’s efforts to rewrite Turkish public memory by promoting its ideas through TV series, movies, propaganda videos, school curricula and material culture in urban public spaces. It also explores the tactics of cultural resistance developed by the politically weak to counter the ruling elite’s dominant culture of pious conservatism.

Martin Stokes, King’s College London

1. The Politics of Culture in ‘New Turkey’
Pierre Hecker, Ivo Furman, Kaya Akyıldız

Part I: Subcultures and the Politics of Lifestyles

2. Battling Over the Spirit of a Nation: Attitudes Towards Alcohol in ‘New Turkey’
Ivo Furman, Istanbul Bilgi University

3. Spreading VX-Gas over Kaaba: Islamic Semiotics in Turkish Black Metal
Douglas Mattsson, Södertörn University Stockholm

4. Tired of Religion: Atheism and Non-Belief in ‘New Turkey’
Pierre Hecker, Philipps University Marburg

Part II: Satire and Agitprop in ‘New Turkey’

5. Democra-Z: Election Ads, a Failed Coup and Zombie Politics in ‘New Turkey’
Josh Carney, American University of Beirut

6. United against the Referee: Competitive Authoritarianism, Soccer and the Remaking of Nationalism in Erdoğanist Turkey
Can Evren, Duke University

7. Between Resistance and Surrender: Counter-hegemonic Discourses in Turkish Satirical Magazines
Valentina Marcella, University of Naples

Part III: Civil Society and the Politics of Gender

8. The Boundaries of Womanhood in ‘New Turkey’: The Case of KADEM
Gülşen Çakıl-Dinçer, Adıyaman University

9. Never Walk Alone: The Politics of Unveiling in ‘New Turkey’
Ayşe Çavdar, Philipps University Marburg

10. Welcome to Dystopia. A View into the Counter-hegemonic Discourse(s) of Ecological Activism in Istanbul
Julia Lazarus, Berlin

PART IV: Mediating Neo-Ottomanism in Popular Culture

11. New Histories for a New Turkey: The First Battle of Kut (1916) and the Reshaping of the Ottoman Past
Burak Onaran, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar University

12. Between Invention and Authenticity: Representations of Abdülhamid II in the TV Series ‘Payitaht’
Caner Tekin, Ruhr University Bochum

13. Writing a Visual History of Turkey: ‘Glorious History’ in Mainstream Cinema vs ‘Complicated History’ in Arthouse Films
Diliara Brileva A. Krymsky, Institute of Oriental Studies, Ukraine

14. The Politics of Nostalgia: The New Urban Culture in Ankara’s Historic Neighbourhoods
Petek Onur, University of Copenhagen

PART V: ‘New Turkey’s’ Ethno-Religious Others

15. The Affirmation of Sunni Supremacism in Erdoğan’s ‘New Turkey’
Kaya Akyıldız, Istanbul Bahçeşehir University

16. ‘Because They Would Misunderstand’: Romeyka Heritage and the Masculine Reconfigurations of Public Culture in Contemporary Turkey
Erol Sağlam, Istanbul Medeniyet University

17. A Politics of Presence: Public Performances of Roma Belonging in Istanbul
Danielle V. Schoon, Ohio State University

Notes on Contributors




Kurdish Diaspora Mobilisation in Denmark: Supporting the Struggle in Syria

Kurdish Diaspora Mobilisation in Denmark

Examines how the Kurdish diaspora in Denmark supported the Kurdish struggle in Syria from the battle of Kobane (2014) to the defeat in Afrin (2018)

  • Investigates how the Kurdish diaspora mobilised in support of Syrian Kurds, stressing the role of transnational actors in war
  • Introduces strategic interactionism into the study of diaspora mobilisation, showing new paths for research
  • Coins the term ‘alter-territorial’ identification to clarify how some Kurds identify with the political entity in a part of Kurdistan other than their place of origin

Anne Sofie Schøtt contributes to our understanding of mobilisation and identity formation in the periphery of the Kurdish diaspora by examining the small but well-established community in Denmark. Arguing that the Danish authorities treat the diaspora differently in comparison to neighbouring Sweden and Germany, Schøtt examines the political lobbyism, the courtroom activism and the humanitarian action of the various Kurdish diaspora groups. She examines the position of the Syrian Kurds within the diaspora who, like the Kurds in Syria, have been largely ignored until recently.

Schøtt also provides new knowledge on diaspora engagement in war in the homeland by analysing the strategic interaction between the Danish authorities and the Kurdish diaspora community – both engaged in the war against Islamic State, but on different terms.

Part I: Kurdish Diaspora Mobilisation and Identity Formation
1. Introduction
2. Conceptual and Theoretical Framework
3. Methodology and Fieldwork
Part II: The Emergence of Kurdish Activists in Syria and In Denmark
4. The Kurds of Syria: From the Forgotten People to World-Stage Actors
5. The Becoming of A Diaspora: The Kurds and Kurdish Activists In Denmark
Part III: Ambiguous Interplays
6. The Castle and the Square: Political Lobbyism
7. The Courtroom: Legal Struggle for Military Support
8. The Suburb and the Field: Charity Work
Part IV: Findings and Conclusions
9. Ambiguous Interplays and Reformulations of Kurdish Identities



Monday, February 27, 2023

Transcendent God, Rational World: A Maturidi Theology

 Transcendent God, Rational World

Constructs a contemporary philosophical theology from the Māturīdī tradition of kalām

  • Reconstructs the theological system of Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī
  • Explores the development of the early and classical Māturīdī tradition
  • Engages with contemporary philosophy and theology
  • Provides a systematic treatment of the divine nature and attributes
  • Advances the fields of Islamic philosophy of religion and kalām jadīd

Ramon Harvey revisits the Muslim theologian Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944) from Samarqand and puts his system, and that of the Māturīdī school, into lively dialogue with modern thought.

Combining rigorous study of Arabic Māturīdī texts with insights from Husserl’s phenomenology and analytic theology, Harvey explores themes from epistemology and metaphysics to the nature of God and specific divine attributes (omniscience and wisdom, creative action, divine speech and the Qur’an). His systematic treatment of these topics shows that a contemporary Islamic philosophical theology, or kalām jadīd, can be true to the past, yet dynamic in the present, and can provide original and constructive answers to perennial theological questions.

1. Tradition and Reason
2. Rational Reality
3. Natural Theology
4. Divine Nature
5. Omniscience and Wisdom
6. Creative Action
7. Divine Speech and the Qur’an
Glossary of Arabic Terminology

The Awakening of Islamic Pop Music

 The Awakening of Islamic Pop Music

Published in Association with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations and the Aga Khan Music Programme

Examines how the making, marketing and performance of new Islamic music genres relate to Islamic discourse and thought

Listen to the Spotify playlist ‘The Awakening of Islamic Pop Music’, featuring 103 of the songs mentioned in the book

  • Analyses the contribution of popular music to the development of contemporary interpretations of Islam
  • Uses Awakening as a case study to explore the relationship between Islamic popular music genres and wider Islamic discourse
  • Supported by fieldwork (following tours), content analyses (of songs, videos, promotion material and social media) and interviews (with artists, business people and musicians)
  • Includes new perspectives on celebrity culture among Muslims and its connection with ethical Muslim masculinity

Awakening – an Islamic media company formed in London – has created the soundtrack to many Muslim lives during the last two decades. It has produced three superstars (Sami Yusuf, Maher Zain and Harris J.) among a host of other artists. As the company celebrates their first 20 years in the industry, Jonas Otterbeck examines their remarkable rise to success and their established reputation as one of the most important global enterprises producing pop music inspired by Islam.

  1. Hi and Welcome to the Field
  2. Awakening to the Music
  3. Awakening Takes to the Stage
  4. Setting the Stage, Ideas in Progress
  5. The Message and Its Media
  6. Performing an Ethical Islamic Masculinity
  7. The Politics of Entertainment
  8. Carefully Pushing Ahead
  9. Islamic Discourses on Popular Music: A Historical Footnote




Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey: Demanding a Seat at the Table

Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey 

Provides a comparative study of women’s political participation and representation in contemporary Iran and Turkey

  • Draws on 140 interviews with past and present female politicians and candidates, party elites, and women’s rights activists in Iran and Turkey between 2009 to 2019
  • Investigates women’s political underrepresentation in Iran and Turkey by examining each respective country’s electoral system, political party structure, government framework and state gender ideology
  • Includes the voices, experiences and approaches of women’s groups and political parties across the ideological spectrum in its analysis – from the Justice and Development Party and Women and Democracy Association in Turkey, to the Zeinab Society and Islamic Women’s Coalition in Iran
  • Highlights Islamic women’s agency as they challenge the gender discriminatory behaviours and attitudes of their male party leaders
  • Includes data and statistics related to the rate of women’s candidacy and election to political office at the national level

How have women in many Muslim-majority countries been able to achieve surprising success despite the significant constraints imposed by conservative gender ideology and authoritarian political parties and systems? Through a comparative focus on Iran and Turkey, Mona Tajali examines the activities and strategies of women’s rights groups across the ideological spectrum. She explores how various groups have negotiated with political elites in order to bolster female political representation and identifies the conditions that stimulate greater support to ease women’s path to political office. Studying how women’s groups manoeuvre within these structures is important to help our understanding of the gendered politics of autocratic regimes.

  1. Introduction: Women and Politics in Muslim Countries
  2. Opportunity Structures: Strategizing for Women’s Political Representation in Turkey and Iran
  3. Turkish Women as Political Agents: Between Secularism and Islamic Revivalism
  4. Strategic Interactions: Multi-party politics and the lobby for female representation
  5. Framing for Political Inclusion: The Demand for Headscarved Women’s Candidacy
  6. Women and Politics in Iran: From Revolutionary to Reformist
  7. Organizing Against All Odds: Iranian Factionalism and Women’s Political Representation
  8. Piety and Agency: Framing Women’s Political Rights in a Theocratic State
  9. Conclusion: Demanding a Seat at the Table





Owning Books and Preserving Documents in Medieval Jerusalem: The Library of Burhan al-Din

Owning Books and Preserving Documents in Medieval Jerusalem 

Explores the only known private book collection from medieval Jerusalem

  • Translates, edits and discusses the most important Arabic medieval book list for Jerusalem – the largest known dataset on book prices
  • Rethinks the notion of archival and documentary practices in the Mamluk period
  • Provides a new angle on the economic history of the book in the late-medieval period
  • Combines social history and material philology in the field of Middle Eastern history

In the late medieval period manuscripts galore circulated in private collections and in educational libraries in the cities of the Middle East. Yet very few have left a documentary trail or have survived as an easily identifiable compact corpus. Writing their histories, understanding their social settings and comprehending their intellectual profiles is therefore a challenge.

This book discusses the only known private book collection from pre-Ottoman Jerusalem for which we have a trail of documents. It belonged to an otherwise unknown resident, Burhān al-Dīn; after his death, his books were sold in a public auction and the list of objects sold has survived.This list – edited and translated in this volume – shows that a humble part-time reciter of the late 14th century had almost 300 books in his house, evidence that book ownership extended beyond the elite. Based on a corpus of almost fifty documents from the Ḥaram al-sharīf collection in Jerusalem, it is also possible to get a rare insight into the social world of such an individual. Finally, the book gives a unique insight into book prices as it will make available the largest such set of data for the pre-Ottoman period.

List of Illustrations

Argument and Historiographical Setting: Books, Documents and
Social Practice

Part I The Narrative

1 Making a Living in Endowments

2 Beyond Endowment

3 Archival Practices and Pragmatic Literacy

4 Lists and Inventories: The Sale Booklet’s Documentary Logic

5 The Making and Unmaking of a Prestige Library

6 Book Prices

Looking Beyond Jerusalem: The Dynamics of the Written Word and
its Materiality

Part II The Documents

7 Analysis and Edition of the Sale Booklet

8 Analysis and Edition of the Documentary Network around the
Sale Booklet

Appendix 1 Overview of Documents Linked to Burhān al-Dīn’s Life
 and Estate
Appendix 2 Edition of Sixteen Documents Linked to Burhān al-Dīn’s
 Life and Estate
Appendix 3 List of Edited Ḥaram al-sharīf Documents

General Index
Index of Authors in Burhān al-Dīn’s Library
Index of Book Titles in Burhān al-Dīn’s Library
Index of Buyers in the Auction of Burhān al-Dīn’s Estate
Index of Subjects in Burhān al-Dīn’s Library
Index of Objects Other than Books in Burhān al-Dīn’s Estate
Index of Ḥaram al-sharīf Documents