Your Cradle Is Green
The Islamic Foundation & the Call to Islam in Children's Literature

By Torsten Janson
December 2003
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 91-22-02046-2
395 pages, Illustrated, 5 " x 8 "
$89.50 Paper Original


How is da'wa, 'the call to Islam,' Mediated in picture books? How is Islamic revivalism converted into crash-courses in 'Cultural Awareness'? This study deals with the Islamic Foundation, and focuses its 25 years of publication of Islamic-English children's literature. In order to analyze the implications of such new modalities, it surveys the discursive order of da'wa in history. Particular attention is devoted to questions of power. Who has taken recourse to da'wa and for what purposes? To what extent do the periods of recession and intensity of da'wa reflect broader socio-historical tendencies?

This study argues that a new order of da'wa has emerged in modernity, predominantly defined by Sunni revivalism. It describes how the Islamic Foundation attempts to convert the post-colonial and post-migrant debates on da'wa into a number of intellectual and pedagogic commitments. These are both addressed at the Muslim minorities and the public British society. To demonstrate how the discursive order of da'wa is inscribed into children's literature, the present study applies a genealogical perspective. It offers a detailed analysis of the instructions, narratives, imagery and norms of both texts and paratexts. It underscores the tendencies of cultural contest and shows how the Foundation negotiates Islamic revivalism with the authorizing aesthetics and pedagogic models of British-global culture. Today, the children's literature of the Islamic Foundation combines markedly inclusive cultural ideals with strains of exclusive Islamic particularism.

Islam; Religion
Lund Studies in History of Religions, Vol. 18

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