Pan‐Islamic ideals and national loyalties: Competing attachments amongst early Muslim activists in France

Margot Dazey


Islamist movements are often considered the epitomes of transnational movements; however, little is known about the concrete workings of their transnational ambitions. In investigating the evolution of Muslim activists in France from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, this article shows that their embrace of pan‐Islamic ideals initially conflicted with strong investment in (Arab) homeland politics. Later on, their engagement with a French Islam signalled less the emergence of a de‐territorialised, de‐culturalised Islamic identity than it did the assertion of new nationally bounded (French) attachments. Overall, the analysis sheds light on a stimulating puzzle regarding cosmopolitanism: the persistence of national forms of identification in movements that aspire to bypass national affiliations.

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Publié dans

Nations and Nationalism, vol. 27, n° 1, janvier 2021, p. 189–205