Upcoming Book Event: Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate

9781849040037In late May we will be hosting the next AUFS book event on S. Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate: Decolonisation and World Order (Amazon). Sayyid was formerly the Director of the International Centre of Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia and is currently based at the University of Leeds. His faculty page can be found here and a description of the book is included below. Be sure to order a copy of the book so that you can follow along! There should be some great discussion around this incredibly timely text.

We have an excellent line-up of contributors, some AUFS regulars and a few new folks:

  • Basit Iqbal
  • Asma Afsaruddin
  • Adam Kotsko
  • Selim Karlitekin
  • Yasmina Raiani
  • Nadia Sariahmed
  • Anthony Paul Smith

From the publisher:

As late as the last quarter of the twentieth century, there were expectations that Islam’s political and cultural influence would dissipate as the advance of westernization brought modernization and secularization in its wake. Not only has Islam failed to follow the trajectory pursued by variants of Christianity, namely confinement to the private sphere and depoliticisation, but it has also forcefully re-asserted itself as mobilizations in its name challenge the global order in a series of geopolitical, cultural and philosophical struggles. The continuing (if not growing) relevance of Islam suggests that global history cannot simply be presented as a scaled up version of that of the West. Quests for Muslim autonomy present themselves in several forms – local and global, extremist and moderate, conservative and revisionist – in the light of which the recycling of conventional narratives about Islam becomes increasingly problematic. Not only are these accounts inadequate for understanding Muslim experiences, but by relying on them many Western governments pursue policies that are counter-productive and ultimately hazardous for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. “Recalling the Caliphate” engages critically with the interaction between Islam and the political in context of a post colonial world that continues to resist profound decolonization. In the first part of this book, Sayyid focuses on how demands for Muslim autonomy are debated in terms such as democracy, cultural relativism, secularism, and liberalism. Each chapter analyzes the displacements and evasions by which the decolonization of the Muslim world continues to be deflected and deferred, while the latter part of the book builds on this critique, exploring, and attempts to accelerate the decolonization of the Muslim Ummah.