In our turbulent times, all varieties of bodies face serious dangers. Bodies of water are disappearing before our eyes; bodies politic risk suppression, lying on the razor’s edge of the democratic struggle; human bodies fear annihilation at the hands of hate and xenophobic fascism. The biological body is no longer a husk for the intellect, but itself a vital piece of identity. The black body and female body, tethered to historical narratives, have become a cause worth fighting for in the BLM and #MeToo movements. More broadly, posthumanism and changing sexuality and identity politics are challenging our conceptions and limitations with regards to bodies. And the monolithic human body, once seen as divine perfection—a gift from above—is today quickly cast aside for the next, more advanced model.
In this issue, we explore the bodily familiar, the celestial bodies, the invisible bodies of metaphors, and those under the microscope—all with the power to start and stop our fragile little world on a whim. As we walk into the future, this issue challenges readers to prepare for a new type of body, fit for a world beyond our present predicaments.
About Critical Muslim: A quarterly publication of ideas and issues showcasing groundbreaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world. Each edition centres on a discrete theme, and contributions include reportage, academic analysis, cultural commentary, photography, poetry, and book reviews.
Ziauddin Sardar is an award-winning, internationally renowned writer, futurist and cultural critic. A former New Statesman columnist and Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, he has authored many books, including Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim; Reading the Qur'an; and Mecca: The Sacred City. He is editor of the influential quarterly Critical Muslim.