© 2016

Islam and Competing Nationalisms in the Middle East, 1876-1926


Part of the The Modern Muslim World book series (MMUS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Kamal Soleimani
    Pages 1-17
  3. Religious (Islamic) Thought, Nationalism, and the Politics of Caliphate

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Kamal Soleimani
      Pages 21-48
    3. Kamal Soleimani
      Pages 49-69
  4. Official Nationalism and Islamic Identity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Kamal Soleimani
      Pages 73-92
    3. Kamal Soleimani
      Pages 93-154
  5. Kurdish Nationalism and Exclusionary Islams

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 285-312

About this book


Opposing a binary perspective that consolidates ethnicity, religion, and nationalism into separate spheres, this book demonstrates that neither nationalism nor religion can be studied in isolation in the Middle East. Religious interpretation, like other systems of meaning-production, is affected by its historical and political contexts, and the processes of interpretation and religious translation bleed into the institutional discourses and processes of nation-building. This book calls into question the foundational epistemologies of the nation-state by centering on the pivotal and intimate role Islam played in the emergence of the nation-state, showing the entanglements and reciprocities of nationalism and religious thought as they played out in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Middle East.


Khilafa Ottoman Kurds Kuridsh Abdülhamid pan-Islamism Islamism Turks Ottoman Empire Islamic revivalism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA

About the authors

Kamal Soleimani is a historian of the Modern Middle East and Islamic world. His research interests include Islamic political history and Arab , Kurdish, Persian and Turkish nationalism. He received his PhD from Columbia University in New York, USA. He has taught at Turkish and US universities.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Islam and Competing Nationalisms in the Middle East, 1876-1926
  • Authors Kamal Soleimani
  • Series Title The Modern Muslim World
  • Series Abbreviated Title The Modern Muslim World
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-60129-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-95621-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-59940-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 312
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of the Middle East
    Middle Eastern Politics
    Religion and Society
    Ethnicity Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“In contrast to theories of nationalism that downplay the significance of religion in the emergence of nationalist movements, Kamal argues that religion and nationalism have been closely intertwined in ways that had been obscured by the discourse of elites at the center of power, whose perspectives have, in turn, shaped subsequent scholarship. This book demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of the theoretical literature on nationalism and makes an original contribution to this literature by challenging the Eurocentric assumption that nationalism is inevitably or even centrally linked to secularism. Soleimani develops the theoretically original idea of the ‘nationalist utterance’ as an Austinian performative, suggesting how nationalisms have legitimized themselves by taking on conventional rhetorical forms modeled on Western nationalisms even when the goals and structures of local nationalisms are quite different  . . .  an important contribution.” (Katherine Ewing, Professor of Religion, Columbia University, USA)