Islamic Nationalism through the Airwaves: Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī's Encounter with Shortwave Radio, 1937-39

Henri Lauzière*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the connection between shortwave radio technology and the rise of "Islamic nationalism" through the experiences of Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī (1894-1987). A Moroccan exile in Nazi Germany, al-Hilālī wrote extensively about shortwave broadcasting in the Egyptian press and became one of the first Arab speakers on Radio Berlin. He left behind a body of evidence that provides a rare window into the political and religious thought of an avid radio listener turned on-air commentator. A close study of this material reveals that radio technology paved the way for al-Hilālī's articulation of Islamic nationalism, a concept that only came of age in the 1930s. Inspired by the new medium and its capacity to reach a mass audience in real time, al-Hilālī envisioned the umma as a modern "nation" that could be mobilized to defeat colonialism. The article thus argues that radio, like print, was an agent of ideological change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-33
Number of pages28
JournalWelt des Islams
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Islam
  • Radio Berlin
  • Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī
  • nationalism
  • shortwave radio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Islamic Nationalism through the Airwaves: Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī's Encounter with Shortwave Radio, 1937-39'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this