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Performing belief and reviving Islam

Prominent (white male) converts in Muslim revival conventions


This article argues that by successfully performing their belief and ostensibly embodying its effects, western converts to Islam (especially prominent white converts in Reviving the Islamic Spirit conventions held annually in United States and Canada) believe for the rest of the Muslims. In effect they functions as a "fetish." Just as the sexual arousal of a fetishist is dependent upon the presence of a psychosexual fetish, for (some) Muslims the deepest indications of faith is invoked by the prominent converts' typical hyper-performativity of their "Muslimness." As it relates to the presence and rise to prominence of western male white converts, the emergence of converts as the signifiers of Muslims' belief are becoming apparent. The content of Muslims' belief remains objectively insufficient until it is fetishistically invoked by the western convert as its signifier.

Journal Performing Islam
Year 2013
Volume 1
Issue 2
Pages 207-226

Tourage (2013) Performing belief and reviving Islam: Prominent (white male) converts in Muslim revival conventions. In: Performing Islam, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 207-226. Available at


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