Transnational Networks, Political Islam, and the Concept of Ummah in Bangladesh
Against the backdrop of the emergence of nation states, the Islamic concept of Ummah, or Muslims’ global brotherhood, may seem to be an imaginary concept since Muslims live in various nation states under state-given identities. However, in the milieu of increasing transnational activities of Islamists, the Islamic concept of Ummah receives renewed scholarly attention. By using an array of ttransnational activities and networks such as migration, the Internet, NGOs and scholarly networks, Islamists are capable of disrupting national politics. For that purpose, Islamists manipulate the meaning of Ummah and pose renewed threats to the state-given identities of Muslims and to the state itself. The essay takes Bangladesh, a south Asian Muslim-majority country, as a case to understand political relevance of Ummah. Ummah has political relevance in Bangladesh where various Islamist parties interpret Ummah politically and propagate its narrow interpretation through transnational networks.
Being Muslim in South Asia: Diversity and daily life