Can Islamism, as is often claimed, truly unite Muslim Turks and Kurds in a discourse that supersedes ethnicity? This is a volatile and exciting time for a country whose long history has been characterized by dramatic power play. Evolving out of two years of fieldwork in Istanbul, this book examines the fragmenting Islamist political movement in Turkey. As Turkey emerges from a repressive modernizing project, various political identities are emerging and competing for influence. The Islamist movement celebrates the failure of Western liberalism in Turkey and the return of politics based on Muslim ideals. However, this vision is threatened by Kurdish nationalism and the country's troubled past. Is Islamist multiculturalism even possible? The ethnic tensions surfacing in Turkey beg the question whether the Muslim Turks and Kurds can find common ground in religion. Houston argues that such unification depends fundamentally upon the flexibility of the rationale behind the Islamist movement's struggle.
Table of Contents
Part I Global Cities, National Projects, Local Identities 1 Localities in Kuzguncuk Suburban Sequestration and the Making of Alternative 2 Civilizing Islam and Uncivil Laicism 3 Islamist Populism, Social Distinction and Class 4 Carnival and the Staging of History 5 Part II Turkish Republicanism and its Islamist Interrogator 6 Practice and Narrative Ideal The Kurdish Problem: Assimilation as a Legislative 7 Profane Knowledge: Kurdish Diaspora in the Turkish 8 City Part III Islamist Politics and Ethnic Cleansing 9 Islamism Islamist Responses to the Kurdish Problem: Statist, 10 According to Islamist Discourse 11 A Plague on Both Your Houses! The Kurdish Problem 12 Allah Delights in Diversity: Kurdish Islamism on the Kurdish Question 13 Conclusion: Islamist
Dr. Christopher Houston Lecturer in Anthropology,University of Canterbury, New Zealand