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Mohammed Mojahedi bei 22.DAVO Kongress in Bochum

News vom 15.09.2015

Prof. Dr. Mohammed M. Mojehedi diskutiert im Rahmen des 22. DAVO Kongress "Der Vordere Orient und die Islamische Welt im Spiegel der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften,Gemeinsame Jahres- und Fachtagung an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 24.–26. September 2015" gemeinsam mit Farangiss Bayat, Arash Sarkohi und Naser Ghobadzadeh zum Thema: Towards Critical Iranian Studies: New Perspectives on Post-Revolutionary Iran.


Mohammad M. Mojahedi (Berlin): The Poverty of Culturalism: Reframing Post-Islamist Discourse on Political Violence in Post-Revolutionary Iran

Post-Islamism points to intellectual reform movements against Islamism. Post-Islamism is also an analytical device to make sense of religio-political developments in some Muslim-majority societies. This paper is a critical appraisal of post-Islamism as both a movement and an analytical device. The hypothesis I examine suggests that all varieties of post-Islamism present examples of “culturalism”, which, I argue, is a faulty pattern for both understanding or bringing about political change. The underlying thesis of culturalism suggests that priority should be given to culture in understanding or bringing about political change. My leading argument is that culturalism is a poor device for not only understanding politics in Muslim-majority societies, but also explaining political change. For the sake of brevity, I focus on the poverty of culturalism only in the context of post-Islamism in Iran examining the question of political violence. I explore how post-Islamists’ fascination with culturalism can explain why the structural and institutional root causes of political violence have remained “unthinkable” over the past two decades. The first argument that will be examined elaborates on “the poverty of culturalism” in terms of its futility at all analytical, explanatory and emancipatory levels. The second argument is that the culturalist formulation of the question of political violence has not only depoliticized it at the local level, but detached it from regional and global political economy. I argue whereas the post-Islamist discourse suggests that Islamist political violence can be defused chiefly through developing peaceful readings of the core texts, the emphasis should shift towards an alternative question: Under what “conditions” do people find non-/violent readings of Islam more appealing?