Cultural Experiences in Confronting the Dilemmas of Takfir in the Islamic World

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of English Literature, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate in English Language and literature, University of Tehran, Alborz, Iran



In the vast scope of mankind’s socio-political life, extremism has appeared in various forms including both political and cultural aspects related to race, ethnicity, and religion. Considering that extremism is a highly broad phenomenon, this article intends to focus on religious extremism and possible reactions to this phenomenon. In the world of politics, religious extremism is demarcated as an immediate source of violence and insecurity. Political actors’ attempts in decision making over policy and security issues are mainly concentrated on coping with this phenomenon thus controlling this issue is prioritized in their agenda. Nevertheless, minimizing reversibility is considered as the most central issue in resolving the dilemma of extremism in crisis management. In addition, non-military responses, represented in cultural products such as films, novels, and music, can play a constructive role in introducing remedies for limiting the re-emergence of extremism and its spread. Accordingly, applying a descriptive-analytical method, the present study aims to explain how Husseini employs novels, as a cultural form of a political response, to address various dimensions of religious extremism. It is presupposed that novels, by illustrating various religious interpretations and perceptions, inform the audience about the presence of multiple interactions of actors regarding restricting the reversibility of extremism in the process of cultural-political changes.


Ayoob, M. (2011). The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World. Michigan: University of Michigan.
Björkdahl, A (2012) A gender-just peace? Exploring the post-Dayton peace process in Bosnia. Peace and Change, 37(2), 171–337.
Brannigan, J. (1988). New Historicism and Cultural Materialism. New York: St. Martin's Press
Brecher, M. (1993). Crises in World Politics: Theory and Reality. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Davis, Ph. G. (2008). Fast & Furious Book Promotion. New Jersey: Authors On The Net.
Eagleton, T. (2006). Marxism and Literary Criticism. London: Taylor & Francis e-Library.
Encyclopedia Britanica. (2008). London: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Freedman, S. A., & Shalev, A. Y. (2016). Immediate psychological reactions in the emergency department following exposure to potentially traumatic events. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 18(2), 742-744.
Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Gramsci, A. (1976). Selections from the prison Notebooks (H. Q. London, Ed.). England: Lawrence and Wishart.
Hamilton, G., & Jones, B. (2010). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Works. New York: Facts on file, INC.
Hayes, J. (2007). In search of the kite runner (popular insight series) Denver: Chalice Press.
Herbert, M. (2007). Bookclub-In-A-Box Discusses the Novel the Kite Runner. Canada: Bookclub-in-a-Box.
Husseini, Kh. (2003). The kite Runner. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Husseini, Kh. (2007). A thousand splendid suns. New York: Penguin Group Inc.
Iannaccone, L. R., & Berman, E. (2006). Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly. Public choice, 128(1-2), 109-129.
Inglis, F. (1995). Reymond Williams. London and New York: Routledge.
Istikomah, N. (2015). Women’s attitudes towards gender discrimination in khaled Husseini’sa thousand splendid suns. Sastra Inggris-Quill, 4(1), 11-19.
Liebman, C. S. (1983). Extremism as a Religious Norm. Scientific Study of Religion, 22(1), pp. 75-86.
Pultar, G. (2014). Imagined Identities: Identity Formation In The Age of Globalization. New York: Syracuse University Press.
Radcliffe, S. (2006). Culture and Development in a Globalizing World: Geographies, Actors and Paradigms. London: Routledge.
Ramone, J., & Cousins, H. (2011). The Richard & Judy Book Club Reader Popular Texts and the Practices of Reading. London: Ashgate Publishing Company.
Rebecca, L. (2014). Multicultural Voices: Arab-American and Muslim writers. New York: Chelsea House Pub.
Richardson, J. L. (1988). Crisis Management: A Critical Appraisal. In New Issues in International Crisis Management (G. R. Winham. Ed). Boulder: Westview Press. Inc.
Saraswat, N. (2014). Theme of Identity and Redemption in Khaleed Hossieni’sThe Kite Runner. International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies, 1(5), pp. 166-175.
Searle, J. (1995). The Construction of Social Reality. NewYork: Simon& Schuster Inc.
Singh, N. (2013). Femenism vs Gender Equality: Socio-Political Activism in Khaled Husseini’s a Thousand Splendid Suns. International Journal of Educational Research and Technology, 4(2), pp. 88 – 92.
Skaine, R. (2001). The women of Afghanistan under the Taliban. McFarland.
Sruthi, P. (2007). Gender Bias Crossways Borders: with Reference to Khaled Husseini’s a Thousand Splendid Suns. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), (3), pp.49-51.
Stuhr, R. (2013). A thousand splendid suns: sanctuary and resistance.
Webb, A. (2012). Teaching the Literature of Today's Middle East. New York: Routledge.
Williams, R. (1981). The Sociology of Culture. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Wolfreys, J. (2001). Introducing literary theories: a guide and glossary. Edinburg: Edinburg University Press.
Woodward, K. (2004). Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, Ethnicity. London: Routledge