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The Idea of the Muslim World: A Conversation with Cemil Aydin

The Idea of the Muslim World: A Conversation with Cemil Aydin

How did the idea of a unified global Muslim community come about? That's the question Cemil Aydin and Marc Lynch tackle in this week's podcast. Aydin's new book explores the how the world's 1.5 billion Muslims have become seen as a single religious/political bloc.

"In many ways, I wanted to engage with the contemporary discussions of Muslim unity, Muslim solidarity or Muslim exceptionalism by going back to the last 200 years to try to understand the genealogy and the roots of the idea of Muslims constituting a global community and a shared political project," says Aydin, an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his book, Aydin makes the argument that up until the 19th century, there really was no Muslim world. "That doesn't mean there were many different Muslims in different parts of the world. They have always had different global or regional imaginations— but it doesn't match with our current conceptions of a Muslim world extending fr

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