Islam and Popular Culture, edited by Karin van Nieuwkerk, Mark LeVine and Martin Stokes, (Book Review)
Popular music (and popular culture more broadly) has often been depicted as having a thorny relationship with Islam and Islamic teachings, but, as this book shows, it has also been an instrument of great creativity and artistry throughout the Muslim world. In recent years, the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has brought the relationship between popular music and Islam to public attention, particularly within the context of North Africa and the Middle East. Protest singers and rappers have received significant attention within scholarship and the media, but popular culture continues to play a much broader and nuanced role in shaping social, political and cultural practices throughout the Islamic world that go beyond ideas of dissent and resistance. This volume brings together a broad body of scholars with interests in this area, and provides a timely and much-needed analysis of music’s place within Muslim societies around the world.