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Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater

Artistic Developments in the Muslim World

Edited by Karin van Nieuwkerk

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

I wish to thank several people who advised, criticized and helped during the process of finishing the book Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World. First of all I would like to thank ESF (the European Science Foundation) for financing the exploratory ...

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Introduction. Artistic Developments in the Muslim Cultural Sphere: Ethics, Aesthetics, and the Performing Arts

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pp. 1-24

Green pop, clean cinema, halal songs, Islamic soaps, Muslim rap and hip-hop, Islamist fantasy serials, post-revolutionary Islamic "Dance- Theatre," Suficized music, as well as heavy metal against Islam, are just a few of the performing arts that will be presented here. This book will trace Islamic discourses on performing ...

Part One: The Power of Performance

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Chapter 1. Hardcore Muslims: Islamic Themes in Turkish Rap between Diaspora and Homeland

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pp. 27-53

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Islam had, according to various estimates, between 900 million and 1.4 billion adherents in more than fifty countries, making it the second-largest religion in the world. Rap music and hip-hop youth culture have also, in their brief history, achieved global status, as the ...

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Chapter 2. Contesting Islamic Concepts of Morality: Heavy Metal in Istanbul

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pp. 55-83

"I got no problem with religion or religious people. My problem is they got a problem with me," my counterpart with the long, blond dyed hair so aptly sums up. With his tattooed arms and the "pilot shades" on his head, he could easily be considered as the Turkish incarnation of American glam ...

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Chapter 3. Iranian Popular Music in Los Angeles: A Transnational Public beyond the Islamic State

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pp. 85-112

Above are the words to a song by Hassan Shamaizadeh, a well-known Iranian vocalist, instrumentalist, and composer who has lived in Southern California since the Iranian Revolution, which took place some three decades ago. These lyrics are set to a rollicking, driving rhythmic instrumental accompaniment that ...

Part Two: Motivations

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Chapter 4. Ritual as Strategic Action: The Social Logic of Musical Silence in Canadian Islam

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pp. 115-148

Living in Egypt for many years, I became accustomed to Islamic ritual as sonically rich, hence socially and spiritually compelling. From Qur'anic recitation (tilawa), to the Sufi liturgy (hadra), from the saint's day festival (mawlid) to ordinary congregational prayer (salah), Egyptian sounds of Islam are variegated, often ...

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Chapter 5. Pious Entertainment: Hizbullah's Islamic Cultural Sphere

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pp. 149-175

Hizbullah's spokesman Sayyid Ibrahim Al-Musawi regards art as the most sublime achievement of humanity, since it brings man closer to the creator, to God, who asks man to be in a continuous struggle to ascend toward perfection.1 Islamic art is a "cause, a passion, and a life." When a passionate activity is not related to ...

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Chapter 6. Of Morals, Missions, and the Market: New Religiosity and "Art with a Mission" in Egypt

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pp. 177-204

Islamism and popular arts seem to be an unlikely pair. Egyptian Islamists, with whom this chapter is concerned, have strongly condemned vulgarity in films, the obscenity of dancing, the dangerous hold of music on youth, and the laxity of performers' morality. Performing artists have been attacked, and female ...

Part Three: Staging the Body and the World Stage

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Chapter 7. Islamic Modernity and the Re-enchanting Power of Symbols in Islamic Fantasy Serials in Turkey

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pp. 207-229

Throughout the Turkish modernization experience, one thing has remained the same: modernization has been defined with reference to the West. This frame of reference has either taken the form of admiration or distaste. Modern Turkey has been seeking the affirmative gaze of the West: whenever ...

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Chapter 8. From "Evil-Inciting" Dance to Chaste "Rhythmic Movements": A Genealogy of Modern Islamic Dance-Theatre in Iran

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pp. 231-256

Despite all moral prohibitions, the genre of "rhythmic movements" (harikat-i mawzun) has brought dance to the service of Islamic theatrical culture in postrevolutionary Iran. Embodying chastity, modesty, and spirituality, harikat-i mawzun has sublimated the dancer from a religiously subaltern "evil-inciting self " ...

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Chapter 9. Suficized Musics of Syria at the Intersection of Heritage and the War on Terror; Or "A Rumi with a View"

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pp. 268-285

As is well known among scholars and the faithful, Syria has been home to vibrant traditions of mystical Islam, or Sufism, for centuries. Many of the great Sufi luminaries either came from Syria or settled and taught there for periods of their lives ...

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pp. 286-291

Music, comedy, soap operas, dance, cultural festivals -the contemporary popular culture of the Muslim world discussed in these pages- are sites of cosmopolitanism and public self-fashioning, neither fully under the control of the state or of religious authority. In tune with broader ideological currents, they wear ...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 281-282


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pp. 283-291

E-ISBN-13: 9780292735521
E-ISBN-10: 0292735529
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292726819
Print-ISBN-10: 0292726813

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Muslims -- Non-Muslim countries -- Social conditions -- 21st century.
  • Islamic civilization -- Western influences.
  • Popular culture -- Islamic countries.
  • Arts -- Islamic countries.
  • Islam and art.
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  • Open Access
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