15 June, 2021

Sufiana Starved To Sickness

Zaman focuses on Islam as a fiercely contested terrain in colonial times as well as in a new Pakistan. He also scrutinises the marginalised fate of Ahmadis and Shias.

Sufiana Starved To Sickness

It was the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the Soviet-Mujahedeen war in Afghanistan (December 1979-February 1989) that triggered a plet­h­ora of debates about new mea­nings and innovative understanding of Islam. Amidst this multi-dim­ensi­onal discourse, historicity of Isla­­mic orientation of the Pakistani state occ­upies a central position and involves the vexatious question of origin, evolution and future of Islamist politics there. Muhammad Qasim Zaman, a Princeton scholar of Islam, copes with the similar perplexity of the historic positioning of Islam both at the institutional  and popular level in Islam in Pakistan: A History. The kind of empirical analysis he presents is fresh as it contains a historical account of Islam in undivided India under colonial rule and later reflects how Islam remained an indissoluble part of the state and a bone of contestation since 1947. Readers get an account of numerous Islamic sects, orientations, persuasions and the treatment of Isl­amic minorities (Ahmadis and Shias) by the state and the...

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