The Politics of Islamic Mysticism 

Ali Altaf Mian, Assistant Professor of Islamic studies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University
Does mystical experience have social and political significance? This presentation sheds light on the basic themes of Sufism, or “Islamic Mysticism.” It focuses particularly on how Muslim mystical practices are communal in nature and can have positive effects on society and even politics. At the same time, “Islamic mysticism” is often used to paint a limited, one-sided picture of Islam, especially in post 9/11 America. This presentation looks at the politics of Sufism, both its political resourcefulness and how it is selectively used in the current political climate.