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Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland


This is an important book for anyone who wishes to understand the role of Islam on the North-West Frontier of Pakistan. Islam there is heavily influenced by the Sufi tradition and is very different to that of the Arab world. The interplay between religion, tribe and the desire for freedom is clearly brought out and these factors are, themselves, interwoven into a chronological narrative. Important figures like the Hadda Mulla and the Fakir of Ipi are discussed, as are the roles of the mulla and the way in which religious authority has been militarised over time. The treatment of the area continues post independence into the Pashtunistan question in the 1950's, establishing an essential continuity of theme and subject. The epilogue takes this to the contemporary period and discusses the Afghan Jihad and al-Qaeda.

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