It is important to regard racism as an expression of ideas, attitudes and practices pertaining not only to societies where racism has become institutionalized in the judicial system. We should avoid reducing racism to a psychological question of the rational/irrational mindset of individuals. According to the authors Sindre Bangstad and Cora Alexa Døvig, racism is an everyday phenomenon which concerns everyone. In the introduction of this book they explore how racism has been understood by scientists, politicians and laymen in various historical eras and geographical places. They continue with a discussion of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as two topical expressions of racism, and end the book by looking closer at different anti-racist strategies.
In Anders Breivik and the Rise of Islamophobia, leading Norwegian social anthropologist Sindre Bangstad reveals how Breivik’s beliefs were not simply the result of a deranged mind, but rather the result of the political mainstreaming of pernicious racist and Islamophobic discourses. These ideas, currently gaining common currency, threaten equal rights to dignity, citizenship and democratic participation for minorities throughout contemporary Europe. Anders Breivik and the Rise of Islamophobia is an authoritative account of the Norwegian terror attacks and the neo-racist discourse that motivated them. The book was published on the 12th of June 2014 on Zed Books in London and New York.
The Politics of Mediated Presence: Exploring The Voices of Young Muslims in The Contemporary Mediated Public Spheres in Norway sets out to investigate the possibility of young muslims to excercise the freedom of speech in the mediated public sphere. The blurbs describe the book in the following way: “Bangstad’s book is a welcome presentation of young Muslim activists in Norway who over the last decade have been active in the mediated public sphere. With ‘conservative’, ‘moderate’, or ‘liberal’ inclinations, they critically challenge anti-Islamic discourses in the general public, patriarchal immigrant cultures, the established mosque leadership, and emerging Salafi trends. By his application of critical media theory, Bangstad’s helpfully relates their contribution to wider issues of power imbalances in liberal societies.” Oddbjørn Leirvik, Professor of Interreligious Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. “Based on interviews and a sharp analysis of the ambivalent compulsions of the mediated public sphere in Norway, this thought-provoking book is refreshing for its revelation of the variety of voices in which some young articulate Muslim women and men have spoken in response to Norwegian anti-immigrant sentiment, and sobering in its account of the price they pay for buying into the liberal cultural “mythos” that speaking in public is both an expression of freedom and politically transformative.” Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor, Columbia University. Author of Do Muslim Women Need Saving? “In The Politics of Mediated Presence, Sindre Bangstad extends the anthropology of immigration and minorities in Europe to include a detailed analysis of how young Norwegians of Muslim background encounter the Norwegian public sphere and put the promise of freedom of speech to the test. This richly researched and passionately argued book is a welcome addition to the literature on racism, media and Islamophobia in Europe, and deserves to be read by all those who are interested in the challenge of creating tolerant multicultural societies.” Richard Ashby Wilson, Gladstein Chair of Human Rights, Professor of Anthropology and Law at the University of Connecticut.
In the last few years secularism has been the topic of increasing attention in international academic literature. Secularism is studied within philosophy, religious sociology, anthropology and political science, and is of current interest in the Norwegian as well as the European public debate. The Faces of Secularism is a knowledgeable and thought-provoking introduction to secularism: the term, the theories and their foundations and the different faces of secularism in the real world. The book gives a unique insight into the history of secularism and what secularism is. It introduces some of the most central theorists of secularism in modern time, like Charles Taylor, Talal Asad, John Rawls, Abdullahi Ahmed an-Na’im and Jürgen Habermas, and illustrates “non-Western” experiences with secularism in India and South Africa.
Secularism – with Norwegian spectacles (Unipub/Akademika 2012), co-edited by Sindre Bangstad, Oddbjørn Leirvik and Ingvill Th. Plesner is the first edited volume by Norwegian academics exploring secularism from the vantage point of past and present Norwegian debates about the conflictual relationship between the secular and the religious. Featuring contributions from a wide and transdisciplinary range of prominent Norwegian academics from Oddbjørn Leirvik, Eivind Smith, Cora A. Døving, Anne Sofie Roald, Thomas Hylland Eriksen and others, the volume will be of interest to general and specialist readers alike.
Global Flows, Local Appropriations; Facets of Secularisation and Re-Islamisation Among Contemporary Cape Muslims is the first ethnographic study of muslims in Cape Town, South Africa at this level in 25 years. It explores processes of secularisation and re-islamisation among Cape Muslims in the context of a post-apartheid South Africa in which liberal and secular values have attained considerable purchase in the new political and social elites. Fractured by status, ethnicity and religious orientation, Cape muslims have responded to these changes through an ambiguous accomodation with the new order. This study explores this development through chapters on conversions to Islam among black Africans in Cape Town, Cape women’s experiences with polygyny, Cape muslims and HIV/AIDS, the status of Islam in a prison Cape Town in the post-apartheid era and on contestation over rituals among Cape muslims.