Anne Alexander on Marxism & Islam – London, 29 November

23rd Nov 2017

London Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory

Dr Anne Alexander (University of Cambridge)
Marxist approaches to understanding Islam and Islamism: a critical reappraisal
29 November 2017

King’s College London
King’s Building, room K2.31 (Nash Lecture Theatre)

The role of Islam in the contemporary world has been a highly contested topic for decades. The demonisation of Muslims, and the pathologisation of Islamism, plays a crucial role in building the resurgent movements of the racist Right and fascism. Meanwhile, the managers of the neo-liberal state in Europe and North America (whether liberals, social democrats or conservatives) have also been happy to bolster Islamophobic narratives in order justify imperialist interventions abroad and deflect anger over austerity at home onto “an enemy within”. This paper critically reflects on key trends in the Marxist analysis of Islam as a religion, and of Islamism as an ideological current which aims to make state or society more “Islamic” as a method for solving social and political problems, arguing against approaches premised on the idea that Islam has an unchanging, timeless essence which can explain either the role of a highly diverse set of social movements or guide revolutionary socialists in how to relate to them. 

This talk is open to the public. No registration required. Contact: Eva Nanopoulos (

The London Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory is a speaker series organized by scholars at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, and Loughborough University London. For details of future speakers, see