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Confronting Myths of Difference: Fundamentalism, Religion and Globalization in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Issue: Vol 30 No. 1 (2011)

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v30i1.57


This article explores the nexus between Islam and the West as expressed through the American Muslim writer Mohsin Hamid. Where Muslims from outside the US are comfortable in assessing their position and that of their fellow believers from the relatively safe environment of ‘other’, this analysis hopes to examine how a writer deals with the polarity implied when living within. The result is often a special kind of instability, exacerbated by the new global context of much of today’s life experience. Moreover, Hamid attempts to unpack the meaning of ‘fundamentalist,’ since any support for Islam is often interpreted as support for that brand of religion. The argument here is that Hamid demonstrates the strictures imposed by the continuing power of these designations.

Author: David Gay

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