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Islamic World and Near East History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Islam

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2008

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Full-Text Articles in Islamic World and Near East History

Dance And Human Rights In The Middle East, North Africa, And Central Asia, Anthony Shay Jan 2008

Dance And Human Rights In The Middle East, North Africa, And Central Asia, Anthony Shay

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

In this essay, Islam itself is first examined in order to determine how individual Muslims justify to themselves and to others the banning of dancing in various contexts. Following a brief discussion of Islam as it relates to dance, some of the myriad dance genres and contexts found in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia are discussed. Finally, I consider the many ways in which many Muslims perceive dance, and then describe and analyze the local reactions to dancing in its complexity. This approach elucidates multiple meanings that create a pattern of behavior within specific cultural contexts.