New Books Network

Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017) by Fareen Parvez is a rich ethnographic analysis of Islamic Revival...

Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017) by Fareen Parvez is a rich ethnographic analysis of Islamic Revival movements in France (Lyon) and India (Hyderabad). In her study, Parvez maps the complex ways in which Muslims, especially women, engage in religious and political activism in secular states where they are minorities. Her study challenges many notions of secularity and political Islam, particularly as it intersects with complex class identities (i.e., those who are marginalized socio-economically) both in India and France. Moving through everyday spaces, such as schools (Islamic and secular), conferences, mosques, and cafes, Parvez’s study attunes us to the intricate realities of women’s political and religious activism. This study is of great importance to scholars invested in minority and Muslim politics in India and France, as well those working on secularism, Muslim women, and political Islam, while Parvez’s ethnographic methodologies and reflections would be of great value for those working in anthropology.


M. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Ithaca College. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloomsbury Press, 201800) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2018). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at mxavier@ithaca.edu.