Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond
On Wednesday, March 16, CAIR-Chicago hosted Neslihan Cevik PhD, a Library of Congress invitee from Turkey, at Azima Center where she discussed her concept of Muslims vs Islamism. Dr. Neslihan Cevik is a Turkish sociologist of religion. A former Fulbright scholar, Cevik has completed her PhD in Sociology at Arizona State University (2010). She was rewarded a post-doctoral research grant (2010-2013) by Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, where she continues as an associate fellow. Currently, Cevik is leading a project on de-radicalization and fight against violent extremism at the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference). Her work on religion appears in CNN-Arabic, Daily Sabah, OrientXXI, and Political Theology Today, and is translated into Arabic, French, and Turkish. Cevik helped found the first postcolonial studies research center in Turkey, PAMER, Uskudar University. An engaged social entrepreneur, Cevik also is the founder of M-Linefashion.com, a modest wear company that seeks to encourage Muslim women’s economic and public integration.
About the Book
Dr. Neslihan Cevik identifies a new Islamic form in Turkey at the turn of the century, Muslimism. Muslimism neither rejects nor submits to modernity but actively engages it through Islamic categories and practices. Cevik conceptualizes “cultural sites of hybridity” in which people use Islam to shape their practice of modernity. These include settings ranging from Islamic fashion to entrepreneurship to civic associations and political formations that reflect a new Islamic liberal political ethos. Through observations and interviews in these sites Cevik documents Muslimist discourse, while paying particular attention to devout women’s moral and civil agency in shaping of Muslimism. The book addresses questions about how religions respond to modernity and globalization, providing a new starting point for discussions of democracy and Islam in the region. Cevik draws implications for similar for similar movements (new religious orthodoxies), including Muslims in the West, and across religious traditions. The book is essential reading for all interested in fate of Islam in late-modern context. Furthermore, this work has implications for better informing public and media perceptions of Islam.