Olivier Roy: Conversations with History

The text of the interview can be read here.

Roy discusses his latest work Globalized Islam.  It is the most important work I have read on Islam and the modern world.  The guy is brilliant and worth the listening to.  His distinction between Islamists and neofundamentalists lies at the heart of his work and completes the ideas he began in his earlier work The Failure of Political Islam. He was on Convos w/History once earlier to discuss that work–link for that video here.

I’ll be talking more about his work to come–I’m working on a paper I’m hoping to get published in Integral Review on the entire question of the Islamic modern state, using Roy’s analysis as background, and then comparing Abdullahi an-Na’im and his new work Islam and the Secular State alongside Noah Feldman’s The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. I will be analyzing both works through an integral lens.  Interesting to note, the American secular Jew Feldman calls for a sharia state while the Sudanese Muslim (living in exile in America) calls for a secular state. But that is Roy’s point exactly:  the East is Westernized and the West is Easternized.

A takeaway point from Roy’s work is that Islamists can be worked with in many cases; neofundamentalists not so much (at least radicalized ones).

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