Islamism and Social Reform in Kerala, South India

  title={Islamism and Social Reform in Kerala, South India},
  author={Filippo Osella and Caroline Osella},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  pages={317 - 346}
Abstract This paper critiques ethnographic tendencies to idealise and celebrate sufi ‘traditionalism’ as authentically South Asian. We perceive strong academic trends of frank distaste for reformism, which is then inaccurately—and dangerously buttressing Hindutva rhetoric—branded as going against the grain of South Asian society. This often goes along with (inaccurate) branding of all reformism as ‘foreign inspired’ or wah'habi. Kerala's Mujahids (Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen [KNM]) are clearly… 

Islamic Traditionalism in a Globalizing World: Sunni Muslim identity in Kerala, South India

Abstract In our ethnography among traditionalist Sunni Muslims of Kerala, South India, we observe the emergence of new intellectual critiques of Islamic reformism and a revival of ‘traditional’

Debating Shirk in Keralam, South India: Monotheism between Tradition, Text and Performance

Inspired as much by interfaith dialogue as by ethnographic discussions of intersubjectivity, I draw some narrow debates within Indian Islam outside of their usual South Asianist and/or Islam-centric

Re-making the self: Discourses of ideal Islamic womanhood in Kerala

ABSTRACT This paper explores the discursive construction of ideal Islamic womanhood and its associated gendered subjectivities in the South Indian state of Kerala. It outlines the articulation of

Sri Lankan Muslims: between ethno‐nationalism and the global ummah

ABSTRACT. Sri Lanka's Sunni Muslims or “Moors”, who make up eight percent of the population, are the country's third largest ethnic group, after the Buddhist Sinhalese (seventy-four per cent) and the

Beyond the Paradox: Religion, Family and Modernity in Contemporary Bangladesh

  • S. White
  • Sociology
    Modern Asian Studies
  • 2012
Abstract This paper reflects on the apparent ‘paradox’ of a contemporary Bangladesh that appears both ‘more modern’ and ‘more Islamic’, focusing on changes in the family (and the gender and

Well-being and religion in India: a preliminary literature review

Contemporary ideas about religion and its role in Indian society are rooted in the county's pre-colonial history, the interpretations and actions of the colonial government, and the post-colonial


The most striking feature of the Kerala Muslim landscape is its organizational vitality.  Clearly, the sheer plethora of Muslim organizations and the broad range of their activities, all traceable to

A country of trial: Islamic reformism, pluralism and dispute management in Peri-Urban Northern Mozambique

This thesis presents the results of 23 months of fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2012 in Nampula City, northern Mozambique. It analyses the manifestation of Islamic reformism in the city’s urban


This essay explores the manner in which Catholicism adapted to South Indian society and shed its aura of foreignness. For the early Portuguese missionaries, cultural adaptation was not a priority and

Making up Pious Women: Politics, Charity and Gender among Muslims of Kerala

This article looks at black and white photographs of poor rural Muslims that appear in advertisements and newspaper reports circulated for seeking charity. They appear in the Malayalam newspaper,



Muslim Style in South India

Abstract This article presents ethnographic material from contemporary Kerala, where recent shifts in Muslim women's dress styles (shift from sari towards salwaar kameez; adoption of pardah; use of

Islamization, Gentrification and Domestication: ‘A Girls’ Islamic Course' and Rural Muslims in Western Uttar Pradesh

Girls' education has been enduringly controversial in north India, and the disputes of the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century still echo in debates about girls'

Mappila Muslims of Kerala; A Study in Islamic Trends

  • R. Miller
  • History
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 1979
It is remarkable that such an antiquated, value-laden viewpoint would be expressed not in 1873 but in 1973. In the chapter on tribal welfare Fuchs embraces a compassionate but no less ethnocentric

Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras

The values of traditionalist Islam are often portrayed as inherently hostile to those of a modern, pluralistic society. This book shatters many of these stereotypes. Jonah Blank provides a first-hand

Once upon a time in the West? Stories of migration and modernity from Kerala, South India

This article explores how members of an ex-untouchable, ‘backward’ community of South India – the Izhavas of Kerala – represent and make sense of their entanglements within ‘modernity’. Izhava

Religious Education and the Rhetoric of Reform: The Madrasa in British India and Pakistan

  • M. Zaman
  • Economics
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 1999
The madrasa is one of the many institutions which have seen recurrent attempts at reform in Muslim societies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since the eleventh century, when it first

Muslims Through Discourse: Religion and Ritual in Gayo Society

In this rich account of a Muslim society in highland Sumatra, Indonesia, John Bowen describes how men and women debate among themselves ideas of what Islam is and should be--as it pertains to all

Bastions of the Believers: Madrasas and Islamic Education in India

A reasoned, objective examination of the role of madrasas. The emergence of radical Islamist movements in various parts of the world, the rise and fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the 9/11

Migration and the commoditisation of ritual : Sacrifice, spectacle and contestations in Kerala, India

This article discusses relationships between ritual change and out-migration in rural Kerala, south India, via ethnography of kuthiyottam, a sacrifice of human blood standing metonymically for full

Arabs, Moors and Muslims: Sri Lankan Muslim ethnicity in regional perspective

In the context of Sri Lanka's inter-ethnic conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, the Tamil- speaking Muslims or Moors occupy a unique position. Unlike the historically insurrectionist