The State of Islam
Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan
The State of Islam tells the story of Pakistan through the lens of the Cold War and, more recently, the War on Terror. It, inter alia, sheds light on the domestic and international processes behind the rise of militant Islam. Unlike existing scholarship on nationalism, Islam and the state in Pakistan, which tends to privilege events in a narrowly defined 'political' realm, Saadia Toor highlights the significance of cultural politics in Pakistan from its origins to the contemporary period. The book analyzes key moments in the history of Pakistan through the cultural politics that defined them, the intention being to show the intimate connection between matters cultural and matters political, and specifically to point out how they have both been inflected by the Cold War and its aftermath. The incorporation of the cultural dimension improves understanding of the values and thought processes of the people themselves. Timely and unique, this book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the roots of modern Pakistan and the likely outcome of current power struggles in the country.
Saadia Toor is Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.