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About Sami Zubaida
Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of Birkbeck College. He is also Research Associate of the London Middle East Institute and Professorial Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre, both at SOAS. He has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Berkeley CA and NYU, and has written and lectured widely on religion, culture, law and politics in the Middle East, with particular attention to Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.. He is the author of Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2011)
His earlier books include Islam, the People and the State: Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East (IB Tauris, 1993); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2001); and Law and Power in the Islamic World (IB Tauris, 2005)
Articles by Sami Zubaida
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En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.
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The logic and application of sharia law need to be understood in their theological and historical context if intense controversy is to be succeeded by calm and constructive debate, says Sami Zubaida.
Tariq Modood's revised multiculturalism acquiesces in rather than critiques the essentialising, religious mythology that surrounds the subject, says Sami Zubaida.
The argument made by Meghnad Desai for the confinement of religion to the private sphere does not take account of the dynamics of modern Islamic belief, says Sami Zubaida.
Iraq had a vibrant civil society and rich layers of secular political argument in the pre-Saddam era. These key ingredients must be reclaimed if democracy is to take root in the middle east, says Sami Zubaida.
Navid Akhtar’s documentary film seeks the roots of alienation of young Muslims in Britain and discovers a complex story that starts long before the July bombs in London. Six viewers – S. Sayyid, Max Farrar, Mohammed Sajid, David T, Abdul-Rehman Malik, and Sami Zubaida – assess the film and the issues it highlights.
The deadline for agreement on the Iraqi constitution is slipping. Sami Zubaida examines the issues that may prevent a workable agreement.
Many commentators regard the London terror attacks as Tony Blairs payback for Britains role in Iraq. Sami Zubaida assesses the evidence.
Will Iraqis unite in revolt against US forces? Beneath the boiling surface of Iraqi anger lies a more complex and fractious reality which points to a different outcome.
Will Iraqs new state define its people as secular citizens, religious believers or members of a tribe? Sami Zubaida sees the Iraqi Governing Councils arguments over personal status issues including marriage, family, and womens rights as the latest, vital chapter of a struggle for democracy and the rule of law across the Middle East.
Iraq's rich social, political and cultural life in the mid-20th century has been crushed in the decades of Saddam Hussein's rule. Now that his regime faces a terminal crisis, what resources from this earlier period remain as the possible foundation of a post-Ba'athist order? Sami Zubaida examines the buried legacies of Iraq's modern history.