Recalling Ertuğrul: The Resurrection of a Legend

Since arriving in the UK last year, I would not be wrong in saying that after learning that I am from Turkey, Ertuğrul has been mentioned by almost every Muslim I have met. Indeed, there are many reasons for the recent Turkish series Diriliş: Ertuğrul (Resurrection: Ertuğrul) to be a hit among Muslims, even at very first glance: the series tells the story of the Kayı clan during the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, centring around the life of Ertuğrul, who was the father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire.

Defining Islamophobia

A definition is not a magic spell. Defining Islamophobia will not by itself end Islamophobia. What is needed is not a detailed legal definition but one capable of circulating in broader society, and changing the way in which Islamophobia is understood and resisted. This means a definition that is brief, which builds on already existing norms of public etiquette and which triggers a debate that helps to change the national conversation.

Reading the Islamic Republic of Iran

I recently attended an international conference in South Africa on re-evaluating civil society in the Middle East following the 2010-2011 Arab uprisings that failed to bring about lasting changes in the region. There were progressive academics, politicians and leaders of non-governmental organisations in attendance. I had prepared a paper based on my research of welfare and social services in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which I knew was quite radical. However, my presentation created controversy for different reasons than I expected.

Being Muslim in Lynchistan

On 8th July 2018, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India Indira Jaising stated that the “lynching of Muslims in India has become a badge of honour for the perpetrators”. Drawing parallels between the lynchings of African-Americans in the late 19th century during the advent of the Jim Crow laws, Jaising argues that lynchings and mob violence in India specifically target Muslims and she urged the Indian government to legislate anti-lynching laws for protecting Muslim minorities.

Tunisian Imam’s call for Hajj Boycott

While this year’s Hajj is now finished, something fascinating happened in the months leading up to the festival: the General Secretary of the Union of Tunisian Imams, Fadhel Ashour, called on the Grand Mufti of the country to discourage people from performing the Hajj this year as the costs of the Hajj are too high and Saudi Arabia is using this money to wage war in other Muslim countries: “The money that goes to Saudi authorities is not used to help poor Muslims around the world.

The hijab and the public: How Turkey Islamized and “became polarized”

Discussions of the polarization and Islamization of Turkey under the AK Party rule – especially under Erdoğan – are quite popular in recent years: how Turkey has never been this deeply polarized, how it was fuelled by Erdoğan’s “divisive speeches” and agenda, and how this Islamization and polarization have now become so dangerous that we need to change the government or at least get rid of Erdoğan…