An offer of pleasure

Islam, poetry, and the ethics of religious difference in a Kurdish home

by J. Andrew Bush

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ecent conflicts between Islamist and secularist parties in Iraqi Kurdistan have politicized pious and nonpious orientations to Islamic traditions. In public debate and domestic relations, tensions pervade relations between Muslims who pursue piety and those who do not. Yet affects of pleasure and joy also play a key role in the ethics of domestic relations. Evidence from the life of a Kurdish man and his family demonstrates that their orientation to Islam is inseparable from their orientation to one another. It also shows that affective pleasures linking the poetic imagination to household life are central to the ethical task of sustaining intimate relations. Within the household, Muslims with different orientations to Islam accept and accommodate one another through an “ethos of reception.” [poetry, pluralism, ethics, kinship, Sufism, Islam, Iraqi Kurdistan]