The Quest for a New Religious Identity, Navigating Extremism, Internal Conflicts and Political Pressures

This article was published in Oasis 27. Read the table of contents

Last update: 2022-04-22 09:57:05

Cover of the biannual journal of the Oasis International Foundation, Year 14, No. 27, July 2018




Updating, Rediscovering, Reinventing: The Three Options for Sunnism - Martino Diez




Sunni Authority’s Legitimate Plurality - Sohaira Z. M. Siddiqui

In Sunnism, there can be no infallible interpreter of revelation after Muhammad's death. The result is an interpretational pluralism that the ulama have tried to mitigate but not eliminate.


Sailing in Stormy Waters. Ulama and Revolutions - Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen

Having returned to the Middle-Eastern religious and political centre stage, Muslim clerics are split between supporting rulers, on the basis of a shared hostility towards political Islam, and contesting authoritarianism in the name of an Islamic democracy.


Salafism’s Many Faces - Ahmad Wagih

Unlike their medieval forerunners, contemporary Salafis have developed a radical challenge to the traditional legal schools. The Egyptian case offers a clear example of this evolution.


The Brothers: Gnostic Reformers of Islam - Tewfik Aclimandos

With the exception of a few chosen ones, humankind is on the road to perdition. The all-encompassing project for the Islamic community's regeneration developed by the Muslim Brotherhood is based on a dualistic vision of history.


Saudi Arabia will Remain Wahhabi - Nabil Mouline

In his reformist vision, Muhammad Bin Salman is promising to return to the "moderation" that preceded 1979. It is definitely too soon to talk about the Kingdom's de-Wahhabization, however: its ulama have always been masters at adapting to change.


The Middle East at the Time of the Great Sorting-out - Joshua Landis

The American intervention in Iraq has set off an imposing political restructuring of the region, triggering a struggle between different religious and ethnic communities. Syria as the paradigm.


Does an Iraqi “Sunnistan” Really Exist? - Ibrahim al-Marashi

The fall of Saddam's regime has thrown the Iraqi Arab Sunnis into a representation void. ISIS has ably ridden this wave, leaving the legacy, today, of a young generation that has been "militarized" and "sectarianized".


Lebanon’s Response to Religious Violence - Salim Daccache S.J.

While intellectuals are debating on the jihadist wave that has also destabilized the Land of Cedars, the Lebanese Islamic institutions seem to be resisting this threat.





Between Reason and Text - Martino Diez


When Disagreement is Blessed – excerpts by Shāh Walī Allāh

With masterful conciseness, an eighteenth-century Indian thinker recounts how Islamic law was born and how the various legal schools were formed. What he teaches is that, within certain limits, a divergence of opinions is not a curse but, rather, a necessity.





Moroccan Islam: Work in Progress - Michele Brignone

After the Casablanca attacks in 2003, the Moroccan monarchy has promoted an updated version of traditional Maliki Islam. The attempt has had to reckon with much resistance and many red lines. But it is pressing ahead.





The New Saudi Arabia Under Scrutiny - Chiara Pellegrino

To understand the Kingdom, ingratiating interviews are not enough.


Where the Weakness of the Islamist Projects Lies - Michele Brignone

Ideological rigour and practical flexibility in post-2011 political Islam.


Afghanistan, the Impossible War - Claudio Fontana

How the absence of clear objectives has decreed the failure of the campaign against the Taliban.


The Other Who Transforms You - Riccardo Paredi

The impassioned letter from a Milaneses priest to Monsef, a boy who left for Syria.


No Woman, no Drive - Emma Neri

While the cinemas are re-opening in Riyadh, the Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch tells the story of Casablanca, the city of criss-crossing destinies.






Michele Brignone


Scientific Editor

Martino Diez


Managing Editor

Chiara Pellegrino


Editorial Staff

Claudio Fontana

Francesca Miglio

Riccardo Paredi


Editorial Consultants

Rifaat Bader

Marco Bardazzi

Bernardo Cervellera

Camille Eid

Rafic Greiche

Claudio Lurati



Graphic Design and Layout

Massimiliano Frangi


Translation by the Editorial Staff



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First edition: December 2017


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First edition: July 2018


This edition of Oasis was realized with the support of Fondazione Cariplo