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Islamism and Democracy in India:
The Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami
Irfan Ahmad

Book Description | Table of Contents
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"This is an outstanding historical and ethnographic account of one of the most influential Islamist movements in South Asia. It is the result of courageous fieldwork at a time of increased Hindu-Muslim tension in India. The book's thesis that even a radically antisecular Islamist movement can be transformed into supporting secular democracy is an extremely important contribution to today's global discussions. It is essential reading for political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and students of Islam."--Peter van der Veer, author of Imperial Encounters

"Irfan Ahmad's book could not be more timely or important. At a time when clichés about "Islamists" and "Islamic terrorists" abound, he demonstrates the ideological transformation of one of the twentieth century's most important Islamist movements, India's Jamaat-e-Islami, in support of active participation in a secular, plural democracy. Ahmad's work is essential reading not only for scholars, but for policymakers and concerned citizens alike."--Barbara D. Metcalf, University of Michigan

"This is the most important book written on Muslims in India in the last three decades. Ahmad traces the incremental shift of most adherents of Jamaat-e-Islami to moderation and participation in Indian democracy, showing that from its inception the movement has been thoroughly modern. He deals with an aspect of India that is frequently neglected and engages the main debates concerning the relation of Islam to democracy."--Dale F. Eickelman, Dartmouth College

"This is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of Muslim societies, providing us with a window into Indian Islamism by skillfully weaving politics, anthropology, and religion in innovative and insightful ways. What Ahmad shows is that Islamism in India has moved far beyond its founding discourses and invectives against secularism and democracy. This ethnography makes the material come alive and gives depth and context to the issues."--Ebrahim Moosa, Duke University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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