The State of Islam: Culture And Cold War Politics In Pakistan

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    Saadia Toor

    Publisher: Pluto Books

    Year: 2011

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 252 pages

    ISBN: 9780745329901

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The State of Islam tells the story of the Pakistani nation-state through the lens of the Cold War, and more recently the War on Terror, in order to shed light on the domestic and international processes behind the rise of militant Islam across the world.

Unlike existing scholarship on nationalism, Islam, and the state in Pakistan, which tends to privilege events in a narrowly-defined political realm, The State of Islam is a Gramscian analysis of cultural politics in Pakistan from its origins to the contemporary period. The author uses the tools of cultural studies and postcolonial theory to understand what is at stake in discourses of Islam, socialism, and the nation in Pakistan. Among other things, The State of Islam seeks to explain how Pakistan went from being a place where the strategic battle for hegemony was fought between two secular forces—the liberal nationalists and the Marxist cultural Left or Progressives—to one where the national discourse has become increasingly defined by the agenda of the religious right.

Toor argues how this was directly tied to the Cold War context in which political Islam was advanced, along with the marginalization and active repression of the organized Left and attempts to marginalize its alternate visions of Pakistani society.

About the Author

Saadia Toor is Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. She is the author of The State of Islam (Pluto, 2011).

What People Are Saying
"A deeply informed study of Pakistan's unfinished journey, marked by the historical suppression of its vibrant Left. Read it, argue over it, and be part of the journey to renew Pakistan." Vijay Prashad, author of the The Darker Nations, and co-editor of Dispatches from Pakistan
"Reveals a country that is nothing like the hotbed of Islamic extremism and military dictatorship we read about constantly. This book is a powerful antidote to reactionary stereotypes of Pakistan that dominate academic research and popular media." David Ludden, Professor of History, New York University, author of India and South Asia: A Short History
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Consolidating the Nation-State: East Bengal and the Politics of National Culture
3. Post-Partition Literary Politics: The Progressives versus the Nationalists
4. Ayub Khan’s “Decade of Development” and its Cultural Vicissitudes
5. From Bhutto’s Authoritarian Populism to Zia’s Military Theocracy
6. The Long Shadow of Zia: Women, Minorities and the Nation-State
Epilogue: The Neo-liberal Security State

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