Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World
Fig. 1. Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World. Courtesy of Routledge, 2013.

Routledge published a new book titled "Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety" edited by Kamal Salhi.

Publication Data

Salhi, Kamal (Ed.). Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety. Routledge, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-415-66562-9.


In contrast to many books on Islam that focus on political rhetoric and activism, this book explores Islam's extraordinarily rich cultural and artistic diversity, showing how sound, music and bodily performance offer a window onto the subtleties and humanity of Islamic religious experience. Through a wide range of case studies from West Asia, South Asia and North Africa and their diasporas - including studies of Sufi chanting in Egypt and Morocco, dance in Afghanistan, and "Muslim punk" on-line - the book demonstrates how Islam should not be conceived of as being monolithic or monocultural, how there is a large disagreement within Islam as to how music and performance should be approached, such disagreements being closely related to debates about orthodoxy, secularism, and moderate and fundamental Islam, and how important cultural activities have been, and continue to be, for the formation of Muslim identity.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Kamal Salhi 
1. New Islamist Popular Culture in Turkey by Martin Stokes 
2. Social forces shaping the heterodoxy of Sufi performance in contemporary Egypt by Michael Frishkopf 
3. Singing Dissent: Sufi Chant as a Vehicle for Alternative Perspectives by Earle Waught 
4. Debating Piety and Performing Arts in the Public Sphere: The ‘caravan’ of veiled actresses in Egypt by Karin van Nieuwkerk 
5. Wah Wah! Meida Meida! The changing roles of dance in Afghan society by John Baily 
6. The Manifest and the Hidden: Agency and loss in Muslim performance traditions of south and west Asia by Richard K. Wolf 
7. ‘Muslim Punk’ Music Online: Piety and Protest in the Digital Age by Dhiraj Murthy 
8. Devotion or Pleasure? Music and Meaning in the Celluloid Performances of Qawwali in South Asia and the Diaspora by Natalie Sarazin 
9. Multicultural Harmony? Pakistani Muslims and music in Bradford by Thomas E. Hodgson 
10. Hip-hop Bismillah: Subcultural Worship of Allah in Western Europe by Maruta Herding 
11. Lil Maaz’s Mange du kebab: challenging clichés or serving up an immigrant stereotype for mass consumption online? by Jonathan Ervine

About the Author

Kamal Salhi is Reader in Francophone, Postcolonial and North African Studies at the University of Leeds and Deputy Director of the Leeds Centre for African Studies, UK. He is the founder and editor of two academic journals, Performing Islam and the International Journal of Francophone Studies. He is the founding director of the Leeds Centre for Francophone Studies (1997-2003) which has developed into the Centre of French and Francophone Cultural Studies. Dr Salhi has recently completed with Distinction an AHRC/ESRC funded research project, 'Performance, Politics and Piety: Music as Debate in the Muslim World'.

To order the book online visit the Routledge website.