Professor Jocelyne Cesari discusses her latest book, 'What is political Islam?', for Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs YouTube channel.
The debate continues unabated: Is political Islam decipherable through the tenets of the Islamic tradition, or is it a tool of secular actors who shrewdly misuse religious references? Is it an expression of modernity, or a return to the past? Jocelyne traces the origins of political Islam to the inception of the modern nation-state, revealing the decisive role of secular nationalist rulers in its creation. In the process, she puts to rest the myth that there has been a lack of modernization in the Muslim world—and shows how that myth has proven dangerous.