In Olivier Roy’s “Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah,” Roy recognizes two processes that can be noticed in light of globalization and the influence of the West in Islamic countries and among the Islamists worldwide. The first process is marked by greater acceptance of certain aspects of political globalization and some Islamic leaders promising to follow democratic rules. The second process is what Roy calls “Re-Islamisation,” a form of acculturation for Islamists who do not necessarily belong to “Islamist” cultures or live in a region that does not fall under Islamist cultural context to purify their religion and strengthen self-identity. However, the process requires the unlinking of culture and religion. By unlinking culture and religion, some believe that it is possible to recreate a truly global religion that transcends not just the borders of nation-states, but even the borders of cultural context.
Here, we seem to be faced not only with deterritorialization (the unlinking of culture and geographic territory or borders), but with questions of authenticity. Roy argues that Re-Islamisation is a form of some Islamists’ acculturation, or their way of preserving culture in the wake of immigration, Westernization and globalization.
But could the result of Re-Islamisation be called religious procreation? We can easily identify the way in which culture, especially popular culture, has been procreated, acclaimed, and sustained across borders (for example, Gangnam Style and KPop in Korean culture, modern Bollywood films in Indian culture). And at the same token, we see how culture becomes commodified and objectified as a result of cultural procreation and globalization. In this article, Roy recognizes that the process of Re-Islamisation just as easily results in the commodification and objectification of Islam, especially when the religion must put on a new meaning for the individual as social authorities are removed and no longer define these meanings for their followers. It becomes the responsibility of each individual to self-proclaim one’s identity as a Muslim.