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

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This thesis deals with the conceptualisation of da‘wa, ‘the call to Islam’, of the British organisation the Islamic Foundation, and focuses its 25 years of publication of Islamic-English children’s literature. In order to analyse the implications of the new modalities of da‘wa in the late modern Muslim minority context, the present study applies a genealogical perspective.

The study explores the discursive order of da‘wa in history, and devotes particular attention 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? It argues that a new order of da‘wa has emerged in modernity, predominantly defined by Sunni revivalism. The study describes how the Islamic Foundation converts the post-colonial and post-migrant debates on da‘wa into a number of intellectual and pedagogic commitments. It offers an overview of the establishment of the British Muslim communities and its central concerns and debates. It goes on to describe how the Foundation has formed its discourse to accommodate interests of both the Muslim minorities and the public British society, through interfaith dialogue, research, Islamic economics, informational courses, engagement in higher education and, most notably, publication.

The thesis explores how this discursive order of da‘wa is inscribed into the children’s literature published by the Islamic Foundation. It offers a detailed analysis of the instructions, narratives, imagery and norms of both texts and paratexts. Particular attention is devoted to the tendencies of creolisation: the inherently subversive attempts to find novel forms of cultural enunciation. It turns out that the order of references authorising the children’s literature is equally shaped by Islamic literary traditions and current socio-cultural concerns and conventions. The Foundation thus negotiates Islamic revivalism with the aesthetics and pedagogic models of British-global culture. The early works were predominantly defined by internal and traditional concerns, such as faith, worship and sacred history. Recently, however, the literature has come to display an increasingly self-confident depiction of contemporary Britain, from the vantage-point of Islamic injunctions and ideals. Today, the children’s literature of the Islamic Foundation combines a markedly inclusive cultural identity with strains of exclusive, Islamic particularism.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Religions


  • discourse, genealogy, Manzir Ahsan, Khurshid Ahmad, Khurram Murad, Jama‘at-i-Islami, Islamisation, dialogue, inter-faith, minority, revivalism, migration, R.E., religious education, publication, Britain, children’s literature, Islamic, Islamic Foundation, Islam, da‘wa, creolisation, modernity, critique, Islamism, Non-Christian religions, Världsreligioner (ej kristendom)
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Nov 14
  • Almqvist & Wiksell International
Print ISBNs91-22-02046-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2003-11-14 Time: 10:15 Place: Kulturens auditorium External reviewer(s) Name: Waardenburg, Jacques Title: Professor Affiliation: Lausanne --- The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: History and Anthropology of Religions (015017025), Islamology (015017031)