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Pan Islamic Connections: Transnational Networks Between South Asia and the Gulf
Published by C Hurst and Co Publishers Ltd
An absorbing comparison of 'the Islams' of Arabia and South Asia and how they interact through the vectors of trade, politics and migration.
South Asia is today the region inhabited by the largest number of Muslims--roughly 500 million. In the course of the Islamisation process begun in the eighth century, it developed a distinct Indo-Islamic civilisation that culminated in the Mughal Empire. While paying lip service to the power centres of Islam in the Gulf, including Mecca and Medina, this civilisation has cultivated its own variety of Islam, based on Sufism. Over the last fifty years, pan-Islamic ties have intensified between these two regions. Gathering together some of the best specialists on the subject, this volume explores these ideological, educational and spiritual networks, which have gained momentum due to political strategies, migration flows and increased communications. At stake are both the resilience of the civilisation that imbued South Asia with a specific identity, and the relations between Sunnis and Shias in a region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a cultural proxy war, as evident in the foreign ramifications of sectarianism in Pakistan. Islamic Connections investigates the nature and implications of the cultural, spiritual and socio-economic rapprochement between these two Islams.
Christophe Jaffrelot is Senior Research Fellow at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, and Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at the King's India Institute (London). Among his publications are India's Silent Revolution (2003) and The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience (2015). Laurence Louer is Associate Professor at Sciences Po (Paris), a Research Fellow at CERI and author of To Be An Arab in Israel (2006), Transnational Shia Politics (2008) and Shiism and Politics in the Middle East (2012).
Reviewer: Caleb Simmons
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