Civilizing Muslim youth: Egyptian state culture programmes and Islamic television preachers

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Abstract

This article explores the similarities and differences between artist and Islamic preacher discourses on art, culture, and youth in Mubarak-era Egypt in order to highlight the utility and limitations of current anthropological discussions of secularism and religious discursive traditions. By focusing on the shared civilizing and transformative associations of youth, art, and religion, it argues that there is an ingraining of Islamic civilizing traditions into modern governance and vice versa. Furthermore, explaining this phenomenon of ingraining requires that we give more attention to social class and geographical location, nationalism, global and national political-economic shifts, and the complicated ways that globally circulating discourses become entangled.

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