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Spiritualizing reason, rationalizing spirit: Muslim public intellectuals in the German far right

Göpffarth, Julian ORCID: 0000-0002-1128-4710 and Ozyurek, Esra (2020) Spiritualizing reason, rationalizing spirit: Muslim public intellectuals in the German far right. Ethnicities. pp. 1-23. ISSN 1468-7968

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1468796820932443


Muslim, ex-Muslim as well as converted Muslim intellectuals are increasingly prominent figures in the West European far right movement. By analysing their publications and online presence, we observe that concepts utilized by Muslim-background intellectuals popular in the German far right build on two seemingly contradictory tropes of German national identity—rationality and spirituality—and a civilizationism that oscillates between notions of rational liberalism and an illiberalism based on spiritualism. As these intellectuals combine the tropes of German nationhood and European civilisation, the far right builds connections with the growing Muslim demographic in Germany. The movement provides space for a variety of Muslim-background intellectuals: those who embrace a secular-liberal self-description emphasize how rationalism is synonymous with Germanness, while those who embrace a religious self-description critique liberal rationalism as lacking spirit. In so doing, Muslim public intellectuals help the far right to simultaneously spiritualize national reason and rationalize national spirit.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Sage Publications
Divisions: Government
European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:31

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