The Politics of Mysticism

Our misconceptions about 'Sufism' wouldn’t be much of a problem if they were simply some ‘misunderstanding’ based on a ‘lack of knowledge’. Yet the fact of the matter is that our misunderstandings about Islamic mysticism do not simply stem from innocent ignorance. They are misunderstandings that are closely tied to the enormous blind spots of the contemporary view on religion and they are misunderstandings that are heavily entwined with pressing political issues. For, all in all, it’s difficult to ignore: the manner in which we nowadays deal with mysticism in general and with Sufism in particular actually kindles many contemporary conflicts. And all of this isn’t so much intrinsically linked with the classical Islamic vision on mysticism but rather with the modern and Western view on spirituality and mysticism.