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Hamzić, Vanja (2016) 'Review of Faisal Devji, Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea (Hurst and Company, London, 2013).' South Asia Research, 36 (2). pp. 288-290.

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In today’s world of nation states, the distinct pedigrees of independent polities are often organised into two foundational trajectories: states whose traditions of collective belonging are derived from, or adjusted to, the conventional mythology of European nationalism, with its focus on (the presumed bonds of) ‘blood and soil’, and states, such as settler societies, that somehow diverge from it. In Muslim Zion, Devji provides a seething analysis of Pakistan’s foundational narratives, guided by a bold claim that this state was founded on a radical, and quintessentially modern, demand for ‘the forcible exclusion of blood and soil in the making of a new homeland for India’s diverse andscattered Muslims’ (p. 9). For Devji, this demand emerged primarily from ‘the fantasy of creating a state by purely rational means, one that was founded upon its idea alone’ (p. 39). And just what was this foundational idea? That by working in the laboratory of Pakistan, to borrow Liaquat Ali Khan’s famous phrase (p. 249), a state primarily based on religious belonging, a ‘Muslim homeland’ par excellence, could be established.

Item Type: Book Reviews
Additional Information: Final version published by Sage.
Keywords: Pakistan, Muslim Zion, Faisal Devji
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law
Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JC Political theory
K Law > KL Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica
ISSN: 02627280
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2016 10:56

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