Allah, Bread, Freedom: Turkey’s Muslim others and transnational mosques in Europe

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Scholarship on political Islam has often addressed settings where Islamist movements and political parties operate as anti-colonial and oppositional entities. On the other hand, this article focuses on a less explored aspect of Islamist governmentalities in a case when Islamism becomes a part of the governing canon and rules over its Muslim others. I investigate situations where Islamist politics incorporates neo-imperial, nationalist, and colonial practices in creating a desired Muslim ummah at home and abroad. I explore marginalized critical discourses and praxes within this imagined Muslim ummah in Turkey and examine its transnational reverberations among the Kurdish and Turkish communities and mosques in Europe. In other words, I examine the dialectical relation between the formation of the Turkish Islamist canon and its non-Western critiques that comes from within and the margins through protests and critiques of Anti-capitalist Muslims in Turkey; examples of Civil Friday prayers (Sivil Cuma namazları) of the Kurdish imams; and the reconfiguration of Kurdish mosques of liberation in Europe. In doing so, I present how religious practices and discourses are instrumentalized for Islamist colonial governmentalities on the one hand but also serve as a decolonial critique to deconstruct contemporary Muslimness and open room for a plurality of Muslim perspectives excluded from the overly militarized and nationalist rhetoric espoused in Turkish Islamist discourses and practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Islam
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2023

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