Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hip-hop Islam

In the current issue of Al-Ahram Weekly, Hesham Samy Abdel-Alim follows the rise of hip-hop as a global phenomenon, paying particular attention to its connection with the concurrent rise of Islam. Quoting from his piece,
As the authors of the forthcoming book, Tha Global Cipha: Hiphopography and the Study of Hip-Hop Cultural Practice (H. Samy Alim, Samir Meghelli and James G. Spady) argue, the hip-hop cultural movement needs to be examined with a seriousness of purpose and a methodology that considers the networked nature of Islam in order to reveal the hidden aspects of this highly misunderstood transglobal phenomenon. This is a cultural movement whose practitioners represent arguably some of the most cutting-edge conveyers of contemporary Islam. What will this new knowledge mean for Islamic scholars who teach courses on fiqh, Qur‘anic exegesis, Islamic civilisation, or Islam and modernity? Will this new knowledge transform our view about the impact of popular culture, particularly hip-hop culture, in constructing an Islam appropriate to the needs of contemporary society? Further, will imams revise their pedagogies in efforts to engage Muslim youth who are living in this postmodern hip-hop world?

The piece itself is a bit of a stretch, perhaps, but I’ve linked to it as much for the fact that it exists, that folks are publishing books that address the topic.


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