This book provides a fascinating look at the creation of contemporary Muslim jihadists. Basing the book on her long-term fieldwork in the disputed borderlands between Pakistan and India, Cabeiri deBergh Robinson tells the stories of people whose lives and families have been shaped by a long history of political conflict. Interweaving historical and ethnographic evidence, Robinson explains how refuge-seeking has become a socially and politically debased practice in the Kashmir region and why this devaluation has turned refugee men into potential militants. She reveals the fraught social processes by which individuals and families produce and maintain a modern jihad, and she shows how Muslim refugees have forged an Islamic notion of rights—a hybrid of global political ideals that adopts the language of human rights and humanitarianism as a means to rethink refugees’ positions in transnational communities. Jihad is no longer seen as a collective fight for the sovereignty of the Islamic polity, but instead as a personal struggle to establish the security of Muslim bodies against political violence, torture, and rape. Robinson describes how this new understanding has contributed to the popularization of jihad in the Kashmir region, decentered religious institutions as regulators of jihad in practice, and turned the families of refugee youths into the ultimate mediators of entrance into militant organizations. This provocative book challenges the idea that extremism in modern Muslim societies is the natural by-product of a clash of civilizations, of a universal Islamist ideology, or of fundamentalist conversion.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Note on Names, Transliteration, and Photographs
Preface: The Kashmir Dispute and the Conflicts Within Conflict Ethnography
Introduction: The Social Production of Jihad
Between Hijarat and Jihad in Azad Kashmir
1 • Between War and Refuge in Jammu and Kashmir: Displacement, Borders, and the Boundaries of Political Belonging
2 Protective Migration and Armed Struggle: Political Violence and the Limits of Victimization in Islam
The Historical Emergence of Kashmiri Refugees as Political Subjects
3 Forging Political Identities, 1947–1988: The South Asian Refugee Regime and Refugee Resettlement Villages
4 Transforming Political Identities, 1989–2001: Refugee Camps in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the International Refugee Regime
Body of Victim, Body of Warrior
5 Human Rights and Jihad: Victimization and the Sovereignty of the Body
6 The Mujahid as Family-Man: Sex, Death, and the Warrior’s (Im)pure Body
Conclusion: From Muhajir to Mujahid to Jihadi in the Global Order of Things
Postscript: And, “Humanitarian Jihad”
Cabeiri deBergh Robinson is Assistant Professor of International Studies & South Asian Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.
"Body of Victim, Body of Warrior is an exceptional account of refugee populations and the making of mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir. This book covers a great deal of contested historical ground, always with sensitivity and intelligence. Robinson's skilled ethnography is all the more persuasive in that her contemporary observations are grounded in a dense and revelatory political history." —Suvir Kaul, A.M. Rosenthal Professor at the University of Pennsylvania
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