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Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan

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Being part of a violent community in revolt can be addictive--it can be fun. This book offers a fascinating inside look at present-day political violence in Pakistan through a historical ethnography of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the most remarkable and successful religious nationalist movements in postcolonial South Asia. The MQM has mobilized much of the mig Being part of a violent community in revolt can be addictive--it can be fun. This book offers a fascinating inside look at present-day political violence in Pakistan through a historical ethnography of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the most remarkable and successful religious nationalist movements in postcolonial South Asia. The MQM has mobilized much of the migrant (Muhajir) population in Karachi and other urban centers in southern Pakistan and has fomented large-scale ethnic-religious violence. Oskar Verkaaik argues that urban youth see it as an irresistible opportunity for fun. Drawing on both anthropological fieldwork, including participatory observation among political militants, and historical analyses of state formation, nation-building, and the ethnicization of Islam since 1947, he provides an absorbing and important contribution to theoretical debates about political--religious and nationalist--violence. Migrants and Militants brings together two perspectives on political violence. Recent studies on ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, and religious violence have emphasized processes of identification and purification. Verkaaik combines these insights with a focus on urban youth culture, in which masculinity, physicality, and the performance of violence are key values. He shows that only through fun and absurdity can a nascent movement transgress the dominant discourse to come of its own. Using these observations, he considers violence as a ludic practice, violence as martyrdom and sacrifice, and violence as terrorism and resistance.


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Being part of a violent community in revolt can be addictive--it can be fun. This book offers a fascinating inside look at present-day political violence in Pakistan through a historical ethnography of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the most remarkable and successful religious nationalist movements in postcolonial South Asia. The MQM has mobilized much of the mig Being part of a violent community in revolt can be addictive--it can be fun. This book offers a fascinating inside look at present-day political violence in Pakistan through a historical ethnography of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), one of the most remarkable and successful religious nationalist movements in postcolonial South Asia. The MQM has mobilized much of the migrant (Muhajir) population in Karachi and other urban centers in southern Pakistan and has fomented large-scale ethnic-religious violence. Oskar Verkaaik argues that urban youth see it as an irresistible opportunity for fun. Drawing on both anthropological fieldwork, including participatory observation among political militants, and historical analyses of state formation, nation-building, and the ethnicization of Islam since 1947, he provides an absorbing and important contribution to theoretical debates about political--religious and nationalist--violence. Migrants and Militants brings together two perspectives on political violence. Recent studies on ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, and religious violence have emphasized processes of identification and purification. Verkaaik combines these insights with a focus on urban youth culture, in which masculinity, physicality, and the performance of violence are key values. He shows that only through fun and absurdity can a nascent movement transgress the dominant discourse to come of its own. Using these observations, he considers violence as a ludic practice, violence as martyrdom and sacrifice, and violence as terrorism and resistance.

37 review for Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abdul

    The book tells the story of how MQM was formed and what were the motivations that led a flood of youth from a certain background to join the political party. It is a portrait of Mohajir nationalism and its appeal to an urban youth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    N

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Michele

  4. 4 out of 5

    Seth Oldmixon

  5. 4 out of 5

    Addison Burns

  6. 5 out of 5

    Addi

  7. 4 out of 5

    عمرو خيري

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gladys Kaye Reyes

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amaan A

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joke

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kavya

  12. 4 out of 5

    Faiz Rabbani

  13. 5 out of 5

    TLW

  14. 5 out of 5

    Colin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  16. 5 out of 5

    daniel dillon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  18. 4 out of 5

    Noelle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abbas Jaffer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Murtaza

  21. 5 out of 5

    Soban

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nabeel Jafri

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Prof. Mohamed Shareef

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mmmarjorie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samayya

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hendrik Lohuis

  30. 4 out of 5

    Imtiaz

  31. 4 out of 5

    Alex Linschoten

  32. 5 out of 5

    PB

  33. 5 out of 5

    Iman Saad

  34. 5 out of 5

    Zainab

  35. 5 out of 5

    Azmatqaisrani

  36. 4 out of 5

    Daneyal Rabbani

  37. 4 out of 5

    Esraa Yehia

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