Post-Islamism in the Arab Gulf states. A shift from Salafism to Islamic humanism

Summary A powerful current of Muslim revivalism has gone largely unnoticed by Westerners, mostly focused on Islamism, Salafism, and Jihadism. Although deeply rooted as far as the Muslim Nahda (Renaissance) of the 19th Century, it surfaced after their failure and the fall of the Islamic State in 2019. This development incidentally coincided with the coming […]

Lamartine, in the forgotten years of French Islamophilia

Hard as it is to believe today, in the course of French literary history, many writers displayed, vis-à-vis Islam, a desire to understand, a real tolerance and an open-mindedness which have now vanished completely among most of our intellectuals. The poet Alphonse de Lamartine is a case in point.               […]

The “Islamic veil” in Islamic Literature

Pascal Sébah, « Femme de Djeddah (A Woman from Jeddah) », 1873, in Louis Blin, La Ville d’Ève. Djeddah dans l’iconographie française jusqu’en 1940 (The City of Eve. Jeddah in the French Iconography up to 1940), Paris, Geuthner, 2021, p. 446. Everyone talks about the “Islamic veil” on both sides of the Mediterranean, but who […]

Le « voile islamique » au crible des textes

Pascal Sébah, « Femme de Djeddah », 1873, in Louis Blin, La Ville d’Ève. Djeddah dans l’iconographie française jusqu’en 1940, Paris, Geuthner, 2021, 446 p. Tout le monde parle du « voile islamique » des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, mais qui sait de quoi il parle ? On trouvera la réponse à cette question – et à d’autres soulevées […]

Tunisia’s 2019 Elections: Beyond the Islamists vs. Secularists Cleavage

Tunisia’s 2019 legislative and presidential elections have drastically reshuffled the country’s highly contested political system. Incumbent parties have suffered heavy electoral losses, with Ennahdha losing 17 MPs and Nidaa Tounès only keeping 3 seats following a series of internal splits (Machrou’ Tounès, Tahya Tounès). Neither of the presidential candidates officially endorsed by Ennahdha (Abdelfattah Mourou) […]

Why the reformist Sheikh of al-Azhar is now labelled conservative/ G.Fahmi

Many Egyptian intellectuals celebrated the appointment of Ahmed Al-Tayeb as head of al-Azhar in March 2010. With his Sufi background and his career in education as a professor of philosophy who studied in France, Al-Tayeb was presented as a reformist scholar who could lead a renewal process in Egypt’s oldest religious institution. This image was […]

After ISIS? Remember before ISIS!

The majority of speculation on the future of ISIS sees it as a central organisation that has been masterminding global jihad. We tend to forget that jihadism and terrorism predate ISIS by 20 years. There are in fact three “theatres of operations” where ISIS has been the dominant factor since 2014, corresponding to three different […]