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Uriya Shavit
The basics

Quick Facts

Is Journalist Orientalist
From Israel
Type Journalism Social science
Gender male
Birth 22 June 1975, Tel Aviv, Israel
Age 46 years
Star sign Cancer
The details (from wikipedia)


Uriya Shavit (born June 22, 1975) is an Israeli scholar of Islamic law, theology and politics. Currently, Shavit is the head of both The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and of The Religious Studies Program at Tel Aviv University.Since 2014, he has served as a Full professor of Islamic Studies at Tel Aviv University. In addition to his work as a scholar, Shavit is a former journalist and the author of a best-selling novel and five books for young readers.


Shavit is a specialist in the study of the development of fiqh al-aqalliyyat al-Muslima – the field in Islamic jurisprudence that deals with issues pertaining to Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries. His scholarly publications, which are largely based on primary source material collected in mosques from across Europe and the United States, suggest that two main contesting doctrines have developed in this field – the Wasati and the Salafi doctrines. Shavit argues that the notion of "migrants as missionaries" has facilitated pragmatic religious decisions that promote Muslim integration in non-Muslim majority societies. In field studies, conducted mainly in Germany, England and Iceland, he examined the creative ways in which Muslim communities accept, reject and mitigate fatwas.

Shavit has also written on modern Islamic political thought. His studies analyze Islamist works that attempt to reconcile political thought based on traditional revelation with liberal democracy. He argues, for example, that the Muslim Brothers have intentionally avoided making a decision on whether the ultimate arbitrators on constitutional matters in an Islamic democracy should be unelected theologians. His studies also examined the role the concepts of Western "cultural imperialism" and decline play in modern Islamist thought. Shavit has also analyzed Arab writings on Zionism, suggesting that since the late 19th century, the Zionist project has played the dual role of an enemy and a role model among both Arab Islamists and liberals.

Shavit's studies on political violence in Islam argue that the Muslim Brothers accepted juristic notions that rendered a violent revolution legitimate only to the extent that its success is assured.

Several of his works examined through field studies how advanced media technologies impact migrants, arguing that the internet and satellite television allow, for the first time in history, a separation between affinity to a territory and a sense of belonging to an imagined community. He introduced the ideal-type of "passive transnational" to describe one result of this development. Shavit demonstrated the failure of Islamic web portals and satellite channels to create a global imagined Muslim nation.

In his study on the theory of evolution in Arab thought, Shavit argues that through the impact of American fundamentalists, Islamists shifted from critically legitimizing Darwinism in the early 20th century, to fiercely attacking it by the end of the century.


Between 1997 and 2008, Shavit was a columnist, senior writer, international affairs analyst and editor for Haaretz. He later served as the editor-in-chief of the weekend magazines of Maariv and Makor Rishon, and as a literary critic for Yediot Ahronot. Today, he frequently comments on current Middle Eastern Affairs on Israeli national television.

Books in English

  • The New Imagined Community: Global Media and the Construction of National and Muslim Identities of Migrants (Brighton, Portland and Vancouver: Sussex Academic Press, 2009).
  • Islamism and the West: From “Cultural Attack” to “Missionary Migrant” (London and New York: Routledge, 2014).
  • Shari‘a and Muslim Minorities: The Wasati and Salafi Approaches to Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat al-Muslima (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
  • Zionism in Arab Discourses (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016).
  • Scientific and Political Freedom in Islam: A Critical Reading of the Modernist-Apologetic School (London and New York: Routledge, 2017).


  • "Al Qaedaʼs Saudi Roots", Middle East Quarterly, 13:4 (Fall 2006), pp. 3-13.
  • "The Arab Road to Democracy", Azure, No. 26 (Autumn 2006), pp. 30-62.
  • "Should Muslims Integrate into the West?" Middle East Quarterly 14:4 (Fall 2007), pp. 13-21.
  • "Old Fears, New Threats", Azure, No. 30 (Autumn 2007), pp. 64-88.
  • "Sheikh Google: The Role of Advanced Media Technologies in Constructing the Identity of Muslim-Arab Germans", in Jose Brunner and Shai Lavi (eds.), Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für Deutsche Geschichte 37 Juden und Muslime in Deutschland (Munich: Wallstein Verlag), pp. 255-272.
  • "Muslim Strategies to Convert Western Christians" ,Middle East Quarterly, 16:2 (Spring 2009), pp. 3-14. With Frederic Wiesenbach.
  • "Is Shura a Muslim Form of Democracy? Roots and Systemization of a Polemic", Middle Eastern Studies, 46:3 (May 2010), pp. 349-374.
  • "Why are They So? The Ideology of Muslim Fundamentalists", in Thomas Kunze and Wolfgand Maier (eds.), Einundzwanzig: Jahrundertchanchen – Jahrundertgefahren (Berlin: Verlag Finckenstein & Salmuth,), pp. 178-187 (in German).
  • "Sports in Contemporary Islamic Law", Islamic Law and Society, 18:2 (spring 2011), pp. 250-280. with Ofir Winter.
  • "The Muslim Brotherhoodʼs Idea of Democracy", Azure 45 (Autumn 2011), pp. 29- 51.
  • "An 'Integrating Enclave': The Case of Al-Hayat, Germanyʼs First Islamic Fitness Center for Women in Cologne", Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 32:1 (April 2012), pp. 47-61. with Frederic Wiesenbach
  • "The Wasati and Salafi Approaches to the Religious Law of Muslim Minorities", Islamic Law and Society, 20:4 (November 2012), pp. 416-457.
  • "The Polemic on al-wala' wal-bara' (Loyalty and Disavowal): Crystallization and Refutation of an Islamic Concept,” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, 36:3 (Spring 2013), pp. 24-49".
  • "Can Muslims Befriend Non-Muslims? Debating al-Wala’ wal-Bara’ in Theory and Practice", Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, 25:1(January 2014), pp. 67-88.
  • "A Religious Law for Muslims in the West: The European Council for Fatwa and Research and the Evolution of Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat al-Muslima", in Roberto Tottoli (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 365-377. with Qadi Iyad Zahalka.
  • "The Post-Modern Reconstitution of Islamic Memory: The Case of Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the Virtual umma", in Itzchak Weisman, Mark Sedgwick and Ulrika Martensson (eds.) Islam and the Cultural Politics of Globalization (London: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 163-184.
  • "The Lesser of Two Evils: Islamic Law and the Emergence of a Broad Agreement on Muslim Participation in Western Political Systems', Contemporary Islam, 8:3 (September 2014), pp. 239-259.
  • "The Evolution of Darwin to a ‘Unique Christian Species’ in Modernist-Apologetic Arab-Islamic Thought", Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, published on-line 5.9.14, published in the print edition 26:1 (January 2015), pp. 17-32.
  • "Theology of Migration: Towards a Comparative Conceptualization", The Journal of Levantine Studies, 4:2 (Winter 2014), pp. 9-38. Primary author, with Galia Sabar et al.
  • "Zionism as Told By Rashid Rida", The Journal of Israeli History, 34:1 (January 2015), 23-44.
  • "The Muslim Brothers' Conception of Armed Insurrection against an Unjust Regime", Middle Eastern Studies, 51:4 (July 2015), 610-617.
  • "Ramadan in Iceland: A Tale of Two Mosques", Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations (March 2016), pp. 1-21.
  • "Muslims are the New Jews' in the West: Reflections on Contemporary Parallelisms", Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 36:1 (March 2016), 1-15'.
  • "Raising Salafi Children in the West", Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, 28:3 (2017). 333-354.
  • "For Whom the Bell Tolls? Contesting Adhans in Majority non-Muslim Societies", Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 36:4 (2017), 447-464. with Fabian Spengler.
  • "Embattled Minority in-Between Minorities: Analysis of British and German Salafi anti-Jihadi Campaigns", Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, 17 (2017), 187-203.
  • "Does the European Council for Fatwa and Research Matter? The Case of Muslims in Dortmund, Germany", Journal of Politics, Religion and Ideology, 18:4 (2017), pp. 363-382. with Fabian Spengler.
  • "Being a Muslim Football Player in Europe", Soccer and Society, 20:2 (2019), 271-287.
  • "A Fatwa and Its Dialectics: Contextualizing the Permissibility of Mortgages in Stockholm", Journal of Muslims in Europe, 8:3 (May 2019), 335-358.


Shavit authored a best-selling novel, "The Dead Man," in Hebrew in 2013.

He also wrote five children books in Hebrew, two of which, "The Boy Who Read Minds" and "Like Magic", were selected on the National List of Israel's Ministry of Education. Shavit is also the author of Israel's best-selling Guide for University Students.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 24 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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