My London Book Club Top 10

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I wouldn’t have let anyone who wasn’t my English teacher tell me what I had to read. Suggestions, recommendations, gifts, yes – but outright direction, no. But then I moved to London, and in search of a friends, I joined a book club that some people I […]

read harder?

If you’re of a bookish disposition and frequent twitter, you may have come across Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 challenge (and it’s previous iterations). ‘Read Harder’ is basically about challenging yourself to go beyond your default choices to read new or different things. I generally have a mixed response to reading challenges, because I tend […]

On the focus on the state in Islamic Exceptionalism

In my last post, I mentioned that Hamid’s discussion of the interaction between Islam, politics and governance in Islamic Exceptionalism focuses particularly on the nation-state. This isn’t particularly surprising: the sovereign state has been the dominant model for political communities for a little while now (given that the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1648) and the […]

On Christianity in ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’

Building on my overview thoughts on this book…  In the second chapter of Islamic Exceptionalism, Hamid looks at whether and how Islam is ‘exceptional’, through a discussion of it in contrast to Judaism and Christianity. This is Exhibit A in ‘This Book is Written for a Western Audience’ because there are actually more than three religions […]