Maydan Executive Director Haroon Moghul has just published a review of Sean Foley’s The Arab Gulf States on Religion Dispatches.  Here’s an excerpt:

A middle-class vision of Islam might seem boring, but it will in fact become tremendously upsetting to established practice. As more Muslims can afford the journey, more will demand to come. How will these Muslims relate to Saudi control over the holy cities? Where will they stay? How many will be allowed to visit at any one time? How will they demand accommodations—because they will—be made to their particular pieties? And their wealth will effect how Mecca and Medina, long centers of intra-Muslim commerce, receive them.

Because of the weakness of post-colonial states, and the unrepresentative nature of many of their governments, the vision of an Islamic state, or a Caliphate, or some means of restoring dignity to Muslim populations was for a time attractive. But now even strong states are caught up in a network they cannot control: Greece sneezes, and Wall Street panics. In the Muslim world, the romanticism of pan-Islamism is fading, in part because it has no realizable form. In its place, Muslims will look to common practices to fuse their desire for better governance with their desire to keep religiosity a part of their public identity. Mecca and Medina offer the best means of doing so, as a site to confirm, express and link pieties—reinforcing religion in places very far from the Kingdom.


This Friday, June 11th, Maydan ED Haroon Moghul will be speaking at Bilal Masjid Trailers on The Facebook Generation – Muslim Youth and New Media.  The event will start at 7pm.  Bilal Masjid is located at 4115 Southwest 160th Avenue,
Beaverton, OR 97007.