Globalized Islam

The Search for a New Ummah

Olivier Roy

Columbia University Press

Globalized Islam

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Pub Date: March 2006

ISBN: 9780231134996

320 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.95£21.95

Pub Date: November 2004

ISBN: 9780231134989

320 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $80.00£66.95

Globalized Islam

The Search for a New Ummah

Olivier Roy

Columbia University Press

The spread of Islam around the globe has blurred the connection between a religion, a specific society, and a territory. One-third of the world's Muslims now live as members of a minority. At the heart of this development is, on the one hand, the voluntary settlement of Muslims in Western societies and, on the other, the pervasiveness and influence of Western cultural models and social norms. The revival of Islam among Muslim populations in the last twenty years is often wrongly perceived as a backlash against westernization rather than as one of its consequences. Neofundamentalism has been gaining ground among a rootless Muslim youth—particularly among the second- and third-generation migrants in the West—and this phenomenon is feeding new forms of radicalism, ranging from support for Al Qaeda to the outright rejection of integration into Western society.

In this brilliant exegesis of the movement of Islam beyond traditional borders and its unwitting westernization, Olivier Roy argues that Islamic revival, or "re-Islamization," results from the efforts of westernized Muslims to assert their identity in a non-Muslim context. A schism has emerged between mainstream Islamist movements in the Muslim world—including Hamas of Palestine and Hezbollah of Lebanon—and the uprooted militants who strive to establish an imaginary ummah, or Muslim community, not embedded in any particular society or territory. Roy provides a detailed comparison of these transnational movements, whether peaceful, like Tablighi Jama'at and the Islamic brotherhoods, or violent, like Al Qaeda. He shows how neofundamentalism acknowledges without nostalgia the loss of pristine cultures, constructing instead a universal religious identity that transcends the very notion of culture. Thus contemporary Islamic fundamentalism is not a single-note reaction against westernization but a product and an agent of the complex forces of globalization.
High-octane brainwork...a large and highly intelligent contribution. The Economist
Olivier Roy is perhaps the most provocative and innovative writer on Islamism today.... There is no more reliable guide to this labyrinth. Martin Kramer, Middle East Quarterly
His new book provides one of the best and most detailed snapshots of 'real existing Islam' currently available. Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
Nuanced discussion. Nader Hashemi, Globe and Mail
Roy cuts through the mystical veil of religion...Globalized Islam gets under the skin of today's quintessentially modern forms of Islam and points the debate in a new direction. Josie Appleton, Spiked Online
Roy's sociological analysis is always insightful. Mahmood Mamdani, Foreign Affairs
Superb and complex sociological study. Fawaz A. Gerces, Washington Post Book World
[Roy] suggest[s] that the important events in the world of Islam are taking place not in the regions we ordinarily think of as Islamic but in Europe. Noah Feldman, New York Times Book Review
A very well-informed tour of the complexities of contemporary Islam. Future Survey
Oliver Roy's writings are always worth reading, and Globalized Islam is no exception. Middle East Journal
An in-depth analysis...An ambitious project...Recommended. Choice
This book is a wonderful exploration of ideas on the future of Islamic radicalism. LCDR Aboul-Enein, Strategic Insight
Always ahead of his time. Reuel Marc Gerecht, Weekly Standard
Roy is enormously knowledgeable and well aware of the problems faced by young Muslims. Lawrence Rosen, London Review of Books
Roy's sociological theories cast a refreshing light on Islam's role as a minority religion in the West. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
An essential key to understanding not evident in similar-sounding discussions. Midwest Book Review: California Bookwatch
This is an important book, one that must be read... [and] will serve as a useful referent for some time. Sanford Silverburg, Digest of Middle East Studies
One of the Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International's 25 Top Books for Today's Bookshelf on Terrorism. Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International
The most comprehensive and rigorous study of the subject to date. John Gray, Harper's
Richness of analysis and breadth of data make [Globalized Islam] a pioneering contribution to the literature on globalization and Islam. The International Journal of Middle East Studies
Preface1. Introduction: Islam: A Passage to the West
The failure of political Islam: and what?
Islam as a minority
Acculturation and 'objectification' of Islam
Recasting identities, westernising religiosity
Where are the Muslim reformers?
Crisis of authority and self-enunciation
Religion as identity
The triumph of the self
Secularisation through religion?
Is jihad closer to Marx than to the Koran?
What is Bin Laden's stategy?2. Post-Islamism
The failure of political Islam revisited
From Islamism to nationalism
States without nation, brothers and state
The crisis of diasporas
Islam is never a stretegic factor as such
The political integratoin of Islamists
From utopia to conservatism
The elusive 'Muslim vote'
Democracy without democrats
The Iranian Islamic revolution: how politics defines religion
Islamisation as a factor secularisation
Conservative re-Islamisation
Post-Islamism: the privatisation of religion3. Muslims in the West
How to live as a sateless Muslim minority
Historical paradigms of Muslims as a minority
Acculturation and identity reconstruction4. The Triumph of hte Religios Self
The loss of religious authority and the 'objectification' of Islam
Immigration and reformulation of Islam
The crisis of authority and religious knowledge
The religious market and the sociology of Islamic actors
Individualisation of enunciation and propaganda
Faith and self
Humanism, ethical Islam and salvation
Enunciation of the self
Recommunitarisation and construction of identity5. Islam in the West or the Westernisation of Islam
The building of Muslim 'churches'
Neo-brohterhoos and New Age religiosity6. The Modernity of an Archaic Way of Thinking: Neofundamentalism
Sources and actors of neofundamentalism
The basic tenets of neofundamentalism
Neofundamentalists and Islamists
Neofundamentalists and radical violence
Why is neofundamentalism successful?
The new frontier of the imagined ummah7. On the Path to War: Bin Laden and Others
Al Qaeda and the new terrorists
Deterritorialisation
Re-islamisation in the West
Uprooting and acculturation
The peripheral jihad
The Western-born or second-generation Muslims
The converts and the 'protest conversion'
The subcontractors
The future of Al Qaeda8. Remapping the World: Civilisation, Religion and Strategy
Culture, religion and civilisations: the conundrum of clash and dialogue
The debate on values
Military strategy on abstract territoriesIndex

About the Author

Olivier Roy is a professor at EHESS, the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris. Among his books are The Failure of Political Islam, The New Central Asia, and (with Mariam Abou Zahab) Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection (Columbia, 2004).