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Mullah on the Mainframe Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras cover
  • ISBN: 9780226056760
  • ISBN10: 0226056767

Mullah on the Mainframe Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras

by Jonah Blank

  • List Price: $72.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
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Description
In the post-Cold War world, Muslim fundamentalists seem to have replaced Soviet Communists as the West's bugbear of choice, and the values of traditionalist Islam are often portrayed as inherently hostile to those of a modern, pluralistic society. Jonah Blank's ground-breaking book shatters many of these stereotypes. As the first outsider to gain entry to the Daudi Bohra community (a unique Shi'a denomination numbering one million, concentrated in South Asia but spread throughout the world), Blank provides a first-hand account of a society that sees no contradiction between Islamic tradition and full-fledged modernity. The Bohras faithfully uphold orthodox Muslim practices: in matters of prayer, dress, and even avoidance of financial interest, they are highly conservative. At the same time, they eagerly adopt aspects of modern culture not in direct conflict with their core beliefs. They proudly send their children (boys and girls alike) abroad for education, exhibit greater gender equality than almost all communities of the Indian subcontinent, and have become internet pioneers, uniting members of the far-flung denomination into a worldwide cyber-congregation.

Blank shows how a premodern clerical elite has reinvigorated its society's traditions -- not by rejecting modernity, but by embracing it. In uncommonly clear language, he paints a vivid, surprising picture of one community that confounds preconceptions about fundamentalist Islam. Blank's book also suggests that many values Western triumphalists like to claim as their own are hardly limited to the West -- and that "modernity" is something far broader than a taste for sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

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Powell's Books Chicago

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2001. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good.
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0226056767. Lightly crimped corner, otherwise text clean and solid; 1.2 x 8.9 x 6 Inches; 426 pages.
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Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 426 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. BU-119
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