K E I T H P. Sadia Abbas, At Freedom's Limit: Islam and the Postcolonial Predicament. New York: Fordham University Press, 2014. xvi + 247 pp. $65.00. hat is "Islam," especially after 9/11? The clarity such a question is meant to generate evaporates when we recall that the panoply of Islamicate societies have produced innumerable social infrastructures and institutions in distinct relation to the state, political economy, community, and kinship; highly differentiated histories and modalities of practice; and a wide array of aesthetic forms, narrative structures, and richly heterogeneous discourses. The formulation of this question reveals two proper nouns called upon to do such voluminous rhetorical, affective, and political work as to verge on meaninglessness. Its hedged post9/11 foreshortening cleaves to a periodization that all too readily obscures any substantive tracing of continuity and change. The centripetal force of "Islam" as a signifier in the last fifteen years has attracted all manner of blinkered formulations, from the devotional to the demonic, from the practice of piety to the problem of policy. In the United States especially, Islam after 9/11, as Edward Said once argued about Islam during the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis, is in important ways a
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Jul 13, 2017
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