Book Reading: Saadia Toor "The State of Islam"

The State of Islam tells the story of Pakistan through the lens of the Cold War, and more recently the War on Terror, to shed light on the domestic and international processes behind the global 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. This extra dimension allows Toor to explain how the struggle between Marxists and liberal nationalists was influenced and eventually engulfed by the agenda of the religious right. 

"A deeply informed study of Pakistan's unfinished journey, marked by the historical suppression of its vibrant Left, Toor's book is part of the current re-emergence of a foundation for progressive politics in Pakistan. ... Read it, argue over it, and be part of the journey to renew Pakistan." - Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations

"Saadia Toor reveals a country that is nothing like the hotbed of Islamic extremism and military dictatorship we read about constantly. ... This book is a powerful antidote to reactionary stereotypes of Pakistan that dominate academic research and popular media." - David Ludden, Professor of History, New York University, author of India and South Asia: A Short History

Available at Pluto Press