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Being Muslim and Working for Peace

Being Muslim and Working for Peace
Ambivalence and Ambiguity in Gujarat

First Edition

Other Titles in:
Sociology of Religion

January 2013 | 180 pages | SAGE India
Being Muslim and Working for Peace explores various ways in which religious beliefs, ritual practices and dynamics of belonging impact the politics of Muslim peace activists in Gujarat, and traces how their activism in turn transforms their sense of being. It challenges popular notions about Muslims in India and questions ill-conceived research designs in the sociology of religion.

More than a decade after the 2002 riots in Gujarat, this empirical typology sheds light on the diversity of Muslim civil society and Muslims in civil society. Muslim peace activists in post-conflict Gujarat experience the 'ambivalence of the sacred' as a personal dynamic; as faith-based actors, secular technocrats, emancipating women and doubting professionals, they struggle for a better future in diverse and sometimes surprising ways. By taking their diversity seriously, this book sharpens the distinction between ambivalence and ambiguity, and provides fresh perspectives on religion and politics in India today.

Religion in Conflict

Why Individuals Matter

Faith-based Actors

Secular Technocrats

Emancipating Women

Doubting Professionals

Ambivalence and Ambiguity

Epilogue: An Activist's Comments




A must read for journalists and political activists.

Mail Today

Adds to the academic discourse by focussing on Muslim peace workers and activists in the state of Gujarat.... the book is a rare collection of brave accounts of people, asserting different identities. It may inspire people in various capacities to engage with the society and work for peace...the author definitely takes the subject beyond the contour of religion and makes a sociological contribution of great significance.
The Statesman

[The book] is a welcome addition to the literature on the diversity of Muslim identity in India and should be of interest to scholars and activists alike.... One of the strengths of this book is that Susewind quotes his interviewees extensively and to great effect, highlighting their voices without constantly editorialising them for the reader.

The London School of Economics and Political Science Review of Books, 31 July 2013

Credit goes to the author Raphael Susewind for his robust empirical research on Muslim peace activists of Gujarat in the aftermath of the communal riots of 2002….By constantly highlighting the micro level of his research unit, the author has attempted to broaden the ambit of research on religion, conflict and peace….Susewind’s study is important for social scientists interested in understanding the ambivalence and ambiguity of Islamic praxis, peace activism and communalism.

Frontline, 29 November 2013

A welcome and important addition to the available literature on communal violence and conflict...a must read for all those working on the issues of conflict, peace, development, justice and religion, no matter as activist, professional, researcher, academician or policy maker. 

Biblio, March- April 2014

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ISBN: 9789353880309
ISBN: 9788132110422

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