Dietrich Reetz

Dietrich Reetz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin and Associate Professor (Privatdozent) at the Department of Political Science at Free University Berlin. He is also a dissertation supervisor (P.I.) at the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies at Free University.

His main areas of research and teaching include non-Arabian Islam in the modern period (19th-21st c.), particularly in South and South East Asia, Central Asia and Europe; international relations, Islamic radicalism, conflict and peace studies. He took particular interest in the global networking of the Islamic educational movement of Deoband, the Tablighi Jama‘at and the International Islamic Universities (Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur). Between 2011 and 2016, he was co-chairing the research and competence network “Crossroads Asia” which studied interaction between South and Central Asia. From 2005 to 2009, he headed the research group on “Muslims in Europe and their countries of origin in Asia and Africa”.

He published a number of research monographs and articles on the politics and history of South Asia, on ethnic and religious conflict, on Islamic groups and their concepts.  He contributed to events related to Muslims and migration in Germany and wider Europe. He was a consultant for various German political foundations and government departments on topics of his specialization. He has also been an academic adviser of the World Economic Forum since 2011. For further details and his publications, see also his profiles at academia.edu.

Presented lecture: “Islam and Globalization: Muslim networks from South Asia in Europe”

The lecture will explore the dynamics of international influence and global interventions on behalf of Muslim groups and networks from South Asia, notably from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In this connection, it will highlight the importance and relevance of the 600 million Muslims inhabiting South Asia surpassing Arabic-speaking Muslims by 2 to 3 times. It will further look at their impact in European countries with an extensive or notable South Asian diaspora or migrant population such as the UK, but also Spain or Greece. While the first session will give an overview of the general dynamics with opportunity for discussion, the second session will look at two groups or networks in particular, also followed by a discussion. One is the Islamic preaching movement Tablighi Jama’at which has grown into a normative Islamic actor and also spread among Muslims of non-South Asian origin in countries such as France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in Scandinavia or Russia. The other are groups and institutions related to the modernist Islamic party, or, Jama’at-I Islami, which is particularly active among students and social activists not only in Britain but also in other Muslim communities in Europe.

Selective list of recent publications:

  • (ed), Islam in Europa: Religiöses Leben heute (Islam in Europe: Religious Life today). Münster: Waxmann 2010
  • Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900-1947. Delhi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Mediating mobile traditions: the Tablighi Jama‘at and the International Islamic University between Pakistan and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan), in Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg, 2017, 1, 123-168.
  • ‘Alternate Globalities?’ On the Cultures and Formats of Transnational Muslim Networks from South Asia. In: Ulrike Freitag/Achim von Oppen (eds.), Translocality: The Study of Globalising Processes from a Southern Perspective. Leiden: Brill, 2010, 293-334.
  • From Madrasa to University – the Challenges and Formats of Islamic Education. In: Akbar Ahmed and Tamara Sonn (eds.). The SAGE Handbook of Islamic Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA; London: Sage, 2010, 106-139.
  • Migrants, Mujahidin, Madrasa Students: The Diversity of Transnational Islam in Pakistan. In: (National Bureau of Asian Research – NBR) Transnational Islam in South and Southeast Asia: Movements, Networks, and Conflict Dynamics. Seattle: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2009, 53-77.
  • The ‘Faith Bureaucracy’ of the Tablīghī Jamā‘at: An Insight into their System of Self-Organisation (intizām). In: Gwilym Beckerlegge (ed.), Colonialism, Modernity, and Religious Identities: Religious Reform Movements in South Asia. Oxford, Delhi: Oxford University Press 2008, 98-124.