Book launch: Islam and Politics in Bangladesh: Followers of Ummah
For Muslims the ummah is arguably more powerful than Western liberalism because it taps into Muslims' universalist identity as both individual and part of a collective, a broader community beyond nations and time.
Foto: Rahul Ranjan
About the seminar
Individual members of the ummah express their identity by consenting to forms of local, international, and transnational politics that encourage political Islam at national, international, and transnational levels. How can one identify as a Muslim without identifying with the ummah? Is it possible to identify with the ummah and yet deny its political expression?
These questions will continue to cause challenges to Bangladesh and other states. However, contrary to popular conceptions that tend to consider the ummah a monolithic global community of Muslim believers, this book shows that diverse actors have pursued several types of political Islam in the name of the ummah. Consequently, Bangladesh provides a story of unity and disunity over the ummah’s role.
The book demonstrates that localization of the concept of ummah, or the global brotherhood of Muslims, at individual level, at an institutional level, at the level of major party platforms and the state has set the current political condition in Bangladesh.
Mubashar Hasan is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.
Bjørn Olav Utvik is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.