Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Over the last few decades, Islam has become a central point of reference for a wide range of political activities, arguments and opposition movements. The term “political Islam” has been adopted by many scholars in order to identify this seemingly unprecedented irruption of Islamic religion into the secular domain of politics and thus to distinguish these practices from the forms of personal piety, belief and ritual conventionally subsumed in Western scholarship under the unmarked category “Islam.” In the brief comments that follow, I suggest why we might need to rethink this basic framework.

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How to cite this article:

Charles Hirschkind "What is Political Islam," Middle East Report 205 (Winter 1997).