Expressions of Political Theology in Art and Islam

Malcolm X-Inspired Transformations among Muslims in the US and the UK


  • Yolanda van Tilborgh


In examining the relationship between the political theology of Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, and the socio-political cultural attempts of British and North American Muslim performing artists to cope with the power structures they experience, the influence of Malcolm X appears to be mediated, personalized, and expressed in manifold ways. Besides the liberating and normalizing effects of Malcolm X and his political theology by externally directed expressions towards societies and states, I found transformative, emancipative effects among expressions directed towards Muslims and Islamic currents. On the meta- level, specific Muslim artists may have become part of the informal Anglophone network of interdependent Islamic teachers and institutions that is focussed to re-explain the most powerful mainstream of Islam and its cultural standards in the world by incorporating the inclusive symbol that Malcolm X is.