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Contemporary Islam

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 311–313 | Cite as

Review of Noah Salomon, For Love of the Prophet: an Ethnography of Sudan’s Islamic State

Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. xv. 215/242 including Bibliography and Index
  • Ian VanderMeulen
Article
  • 44 Downloads

The contemporary press tells us much about the spasmodic rises and falls of ISIS and other radical groups as they strive to build new caliphates within and across the boundaries of today’s nation states. But how many of us know what an actual Islamic state could (or perhaps even should) resemble? How might it exert power in more quotidian settings? In this remarkable, elegantly-written book, Noah Salomon pushes back against two enduring narratives that have preceded him: Islamism’s failure (Roy 1994), and arguments about the incompatibility of the nation-state model and traditional Islamic ethics (Hallaq 2013). To do so, he presents us with ample material based on years of fieldwork tracking Sudan’s nearly thirty-year experiment with an Islamic state form. The problem, Salomon argues, is that social scientists often miss the political ambitions of Islamist actors because they tend to look for statehood in all the wrong places, in the hallowed halls of government bureaucracies and the...

Keywords

Islamism Political Islam State Politics Anthropology Ethnography Sudan Sufism Aesthetics 

References

  1. Aretxaga, B. (2003). Maddening states. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32, 393–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hallaq, W. B. (2013). The impossible state: Islam, politics, and modernity’s moral predicament. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Roy, O. (1994). The failure of political Islam. New York: I.B. Taurus.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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