chapter  3
30 Pages

Reinterpreting the umma: Islamic nationalism and transnationalism

Introduction Integral to the resurgence of Islam have been the growing significance of the umma (Islamic ‘community’) and the perceptions of a global Muslim community or nation. Reasons for these transnational feelings and loyalties include changing patterns of communication and transportation associated with globalization and the perceived movement towards supranational and subnational collectivities identified across nation-states.1 Clearly, globalization is central to understanding both the processes by which attachments to Islam globally are established today and the networks within which they are expressed. Through globalization universal affiliations between Muslims and common loyalties are strengthened. Less attention has been placed upon how the umma has been adapted by militant Muslims to engender transnational support. Similarly, the reasons why Muslims have become attracted by this wider form of allegiance at the expense of localized ethnic and national identities require further exploration.