Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

See also the 2007 interview
with Olivier Roy,
"Globalization and Islam "

The Political Imagination of Islam: Conversation with Olivier Roy, Senior 
  Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris: 4/16/02 by 
  Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Olivier Roy, who is a senior researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. He is the author of numerous books, including The Failure of Political Islam and The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... books ... international perspective ... impact of the sixties ... to Afghanistan on "the hippie trail" ... deciding to study Islam
  2. Research on Islam ... how do Muslims interpret Islam ... modernism of the Mujahadeen ... "imaginary Islam" ... the falsity of the "religious state" ... political rationale prevails... leadership in Islamic history
  3. The Islamicists ... Western-educated urbanites ... modern anti-imperialist debate ... goal to Islamicize modernity ... internationalism and universalism in Islam ... Islamicism captured by the state ... populist appeal ... no monopoly on political Islam
  4. Neo-Fundamentalism ... politics of virtue ... addressing traditional culture... the case of the Taliban ... war on culture ... imaginary world ... the global perspective of bin Laden
  5. The West and Islam ... Islam embedded in the West ... reexamining religious identity in the West ... contradiction of preference to live in the West ... decline of organized religion in the West ... consistent policies
  6. Lessons Learned ... importance of individual over corporate identity ... experience diversity

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