ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Ahmadiyya Question in Pakistan

From Public Polemics to Discreet Religious Existence

Revenge, Politics and Blasphemy in Pakistan by Adeel Hussain, London: Hurst & Company, 2022; pp viii+173, `2,544 (hardcover).

Religion and sovereignty are deeply intertwined in Pakistans politics in the larger context of power struggle and the agitational politics that ensues on the issue of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. In this process of establishing political legitimacy, (blasphemy) laws have played a significant role in regulating the society and in defining the citizenstate relationship in the Muslim-majority state of Pakistan. Over the span of more than 70 years, the duty to defend Muhammads honour has become central to the idea of nationhood that has resulted in high-profile assassinations as well as persecution of Muslim and non-Muslim minorities.

The scholarship on blasphemy in Pakistan emerged from two major prisms of historyfirst, its construction and development traced from the context of the British colonial rule, and second, its institutionalisation found to be rooted in the Islamisation period of the 1970s and 1980s and the rise of populist politics in the country. In Revenge, Politics and Blasphemy in Pakistan, Adeel Hussain, a legal historian, takes a long view of history in tracing the genealogy of blasphemy, beginning with the intra- and interfaith polemical debates that were taking place in the ideological landscape of the 19th- and 20th-century South Asia, marked by the binaries of majorityminority, mainstreammarginal, and superiorityinferiority frameworks.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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