Five years of Contemporary Islam

I was a very young scholar, in the second year of my PhD, when I noticed how difficult it was to find an international academic journal that focused on social scientific, and multidisciplinary, approaches to contemporary Islam and Muslim lives. I then moved from reading articles to publishing them, and again, I discovered that although my first publications appeared in reputable journals, they were certainly not in those devoted to the study of contemporary Muslims. I then appreciated how important it was to have such an international forum for scholarly debate. I started to plan to found a journal. Continue reading

Introducing Audio Thoughts

Some of you may have noticed a new feature added to the sidebar of my blog. It is called Audio Thoughts. Audio Thoughts are very short (between five to ten minutes) podcasts which will focus on social, cultural and political news regarding the Muslim world as well as personal reflections or further commentaries on the topic of particular posts.

The Audio Thoughts will be updated more often than my posts in the blog (thanks to my Iphone) and you will have the opportunity, following the link, to comment as you can do in my blog.
The Audio Thoughts are hosted by audioBoo, which I thank for the support and allowing me to post longer ‘boos’.
Please notice that you can subscribe to my Audio Thoughts through these services:


itpc://audioboo.fm/user/34886/boos.atom

RSS

audioBoo

Thanks

British Prisons and terrorism: the foretold failure

A few days ago, the head of MI5 Jonathan Evans has undertaken the unusual step of revealing, among other aspects linked to the security of the UK, his own concerns that a number of soon-to-be-freed inmates are still ‘committed extremists and likely to return to terrorist activities.’ As an anthropologist who has conducted one of the most in-depth research projects on Muslims in prison in the UK, his quite alarmist announcement did not take me by surprise. I am pretty sure that Mr Evans has every right to be concerned. Yet the British public needs to also know why today we find ourselves in such situation and where the political responsibility lies. Continue reading

“Islam is evil”. “No! Islam is peace”: The fallacy of the ‘scripturegnosis’ argument

The debate, despite enlightenment and modernization, remains the same as that which Dante advocated in the Divine Comedy: is Islam evil or a religion of peace? On one side of the argument, and siding with Dante, is Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and self-declared ‘Islamophobe’ in the real meaning of the word (fearing Islam as religion). Of course, for both Dante and Wilders (who is facing trial in his own country), Islam and the Qur’an are, in the very words of Wilders, ‘bad’ and ‘evil’. Wilders also used adjectives such as ‘retarded’, ‘fascist’ and ‘anti-democratic’ – thus dangerous and worthy of being banned. Different variations on a theme of ‘Islam is evil’ can also be found in the work of several authors, for example Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or and Magdi Allam among many others. Continue reading

New book: Faith, Ideology and Fear-Muslim Identities Within and Beyond Prisons

I am pleased to inform you that my book ‘Faith, Ideology, and Fear: Muslim Identities Within and Beyond Prisons‘, published by Continuum, is now available. This book is based on my 4-year-research both within UK prisons as well as outside them. I have written about the research itself before. You can find the book both in bookstores as well as Internet sellers such as Amazon.com. Unfortunately, as many academic books today, the publisher has decided to issue first the hardback and consider a paperback only in the case that, after one year, the book has sold enough. So, if you are interested in reading it, and you cannot afford the price, ask the librarian at your university or public library to acquire it (there is also an electronic copy which is cheeper). Below I shall offer a summary of the chapters. If you wish, you can read the full Introduction on my personal website. Continue reading

Official Webpage and Cardiff University Honorary Position

Gabriele Marranci-Home

Dear all, I am pleased to inform you that I have now an official webpage at my domain  www.marranci.net. My blog remains here at wordpress.com,  at my webpage you can find a link to it and you can also subscribe to the feed if you wish. The website will be updated regularly, particularly the multimedia section, in which you can find photos, audio and video podcasts, some including presentations at seminars and conferences. In the publications section you can find the links to not only the book or article, but also – when available – to the text or part of it (some of which can be downloaded). Among other things, you can follow my calender of events where I will post events of interest in my field of research and, of course, where I am going to present my research. Continue reading

Coming Back soon

Dear all,

as many of you may have noticed, I have not posted here for a while and I have to say that I am not so happy with an average of one post per month.

Yet, I have been particularly busy during these few months, both conducting research as well as writing and presenting papers.

So,  I am glad to announce that very soon I will publish a new post and I will try to commit myself, despite the many commitments, to at least a post per-week.

meanwhile, if you are in Singapore on the 13th of October, and wish to know more about my current research in Southeast Asia, you are very welcome to attend this event below Continue reading