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Cairo ContestedGovernance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity$
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Diane Singerman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162886

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162886.001.0001

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Cairo as Capital of Islamic Institutions? Al-azhar Islamic University, the State, and the City1

Cairo as Capital of Islamic Institutions? Al-azhar Islamic University, the State, and the City1

Chapter:
(p.63) 2 Cairo as Capital of Islamic Institutions? Al-azhar Islamic University, the State, and the City1
Source:
Cairo Contested
Author(s):

Diane Singerman

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162886.003.0003

This chapter reveals the “mapping of state power” as the state implements its master plans, designs parks, buildings, and communities; enforces its regulations and implements court decisions; arrests people and collects fines; demolishes buildings; shutters workshops; bulldozes markets; and forcibly “removes” residents and their noisy, polluting, or “dirty” workshops and businesses from one area to another due to the “public interest” or disasters such as fires, earthquakes, or rock slides. It also argues that globalization, cyberspace, and the new media have allowed “peripheral 'Ulama” to become central to the Egyptian public sphere. Before looking at the expansion of the new religious networks, it is useful to explain how Nasser's reforms were justified and integrated into the intertwined and ambivalent mythical tales of tradition and modernity centrality and decline, that made al-Azhar a nationally emblematic institution through its physical presence in Islamic Cairo and in the functions it represents. It also describes the enlargement of al-Azhar's territories.

Keywords:   Cairo, Islamic University, al-Azhar, Nasser, globalization, 'Ulama, state power, cyberspace, new media

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