Panel 14 – Being Muslim means being Citizen? Islam and Citizenship between Inclusive and Exclusive Policies in Contemporary Middle East

Mercoledì 18, ore 15.00-17.00   AULA 4

Convenor: Marco Demichelis

Marco Demichelis, Università Cattolica, Milano
Cittadinanza ed equità tra Pluralismo Islamico ed Esclusivismo Religioso. Un excursus nella Nahḍa, da Sayyīd Aḥmad Khan (1817-1898) a Maḥmoud M. Ṭaha (1909-1985)

Necmettin Gokkir, Istanbul University, Turkey
From “Brother” to “Other”: Re-contextualization of “Ummah” within the Dynamic Socio-political Structure of Islam


Post- Illuminist states have never considered religious citizenship as a prominent feature of its legal system; religious faith which certifies a community membership has not assumed in Europe an equalized political right, because it is the defence of an open freedom of expression that the country need to preserve, more than a partisanship moral awareness. On the contrary, Middle Eastern countries, in relation to a different Tradition, have usually formalized, until the XIX century, the superiority of those who belong to the Islamic community than members of the Ahl al-Kitāb or worse, pagans and polytheists. As for Christian community in medieval era and until pre-Illuminist age, the moral membership concerning a religious Ummah acknowledged the political status and the effective rights attributable to individual in society. After the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Ottoman Empire declared within the Tanẓīmāt, the equality of all citizens of the empire regardless of religious belief, a decision that would have found a strong opposition. At a distance of more than 150 years by this decision, the citizenship level of equality within Middle East remain an unresolved problem, both in relation to membership of different religious faith, that belonging to oppose sensitivities (Sufi brotherhood – Wahhabism) within the Islamic Ummah.

This panel aims to examine prospects for change in Islamic societies in straight relation to the feeling that the Islamic world has suggested in his past, but also in the contemporary age.


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