by BANAFSHEH MADANINEJAD for NEW BOOKS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES on NOVEMBER 18, 2015:
While “fundamentalism” and “authoritarian secularism” are commonly perceived as the two mutually exclusive paradigms available to Muslim majority countries Naser Ghobadzadeh‘s new book Religious Secularity: A Theological Challenge to the Islamic State (Oxford UP, 2014) highlights the recent political developments that challenge this binary perception.
Ghobadzadeh examines the case of Iran which has been subject to both authoritarian secularization and authoritarian Islamization over the last nine decades. While politico-religious discourse in Iran is articulated in response to the Islamic state, it also bears signs of a third discourse. Ghobadzadeh conceptualizes this politico-religious discourse as religious secularity. He uses this apparent oxymoronic term to describe the Islamic quest for a democratic secular state.
Naser Ghobadzadeh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Justice, the Australian Catholic University (ACU).
LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH GHOBADZADEH