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Body of Victim, Body of Warrior : Refugee Families and the Making of Kashmiri Jihadists

ISBN: 9780520274211 | 0520274210
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Pub. Date: 3/8/2013

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This book provides a fascinating look at the creation today's Muslim jihadist. Based on long-term field work in the disputed borderlands between Pakistan and India, Cabeiri Robinson examines the fraught social processes by which people whose lives and families have been shaped by a long history of political conflict produce and maintain a modern jihad. By interweaving historical and ethnographic evidence, the author tells the story of how 'refuge-seeking' has become a socially and politically de-valued practice in the Kashmir region, and why this devaluation has turned refugee men into potential militants. She also shows how Muslim refugees have forged an Islamic notion of "rights" as a hybrid of global political ideals by adopting the language of human rights and humanitarianism as a means to rethink their position in transnational communities. "Jihad" is no longer seen as a collective fight for the sovereignty of the Islamic polity. It is rather a personal struggle to establish the security of Muslim bodies against torture and rape. Robinson describes how this new understanding has contributed to the emerging popularization of jihad in the Kashmir region, decentered religious institutions as regulators of jihad in practice, and has turned the family into the ultimate mediator of refugee youths' entrance into militant organizations. Finally, the book provocatively challenges the idea that Islamic extremism is a natural byproduct of fundamentalist conversion, Islamist ideology, or a civilizational "clash."


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