Body of Victim, Body of Warrior

Body of Victim, Body of Warrior: Refugee Families and the Making of Kashmiri Jihadists

Cabeiri deBergh Robinson
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Pages: 342
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt2jcbpc
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  • Book Info
    Body of Victim, Body of Warrior
    Book Description:

    This book provides a fascinating look at the creation of contemporary Muslim jihadists. Basing the book on her long-term fieldwork in the disputed borderlands between Pakistan and India, Cabeiri deBergh Robinson tells the stories of people whose lives and families have been shaped by a long history of political conflict. Interweaving historical and ethnographic evidence, Robinson explains how refuge-seeking has become a socially and politically debased practice in the Kashmir region and why this devaluation has turned refugee men into potential militants. She reveals the fraught social processes by which individuals and families produce and maintain a modern jihad, and she shows how Muslim refugees have forged an Islamic notion of rights—a hybrid of global political ideals that adopts the language of human rights and humanitarianism as a means to rethink refugees’ positions in transnational communities. Jihad is no longer seen as a collective fight for the sovereignty of the Islamic polity, but instead as a personal struggle to establish the security of Muslim bodies against political violence, torture, and rape. Robinson describes how this new understanding has contributed to the popularization of jihad in the Kashmir region, decentered religious institutions as regulators of jihad in practice, and turned the families of refugee youths into the ultimate mediators of entrance into militant organizations. This provocative book challenges the idea that extremism in modern Muslim societies is the natural by-product of a clash of civilizations, of a universal Islamist ideology, or of fundamentalist conversion.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95454-0
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. NOTE ON NAMES, TRANSLITERATION, AND PHOTOGRAPHS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. PREFACE: THE KASHMIR DISPUTE AND THE CONFLICTS WITHIN CONFLICT ETHNOGRAPHY
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxiii-xxviii)
  8. INTRODUCTION: The Social Production of Jihād
    (pp. 1-28)

    In this book, I present an anthropological analysis of the social production of jihād among refugees who occupy a transnational space in the borderlands between Pakistan and India. For the first four decades after the Partition of colonial India, displaced Muslims from Jammu and Kashmir placed tremendous value on the Islamic practice of a kind of migration known ashijarat(protective migration). They defined themselves asmuhājirs(refugees) and accorded spiritual value to the practice of reestablishing the Muslim family in exile. In the 1990s, a shift was discernible; more and more, Kashmiri refugees talked about the importance of becoming...

  9. PART ONE BETWEEN HIJARAT AND JIHĀD IN AZAD KASHMIR
    • ONE Between War and Refuge in Jammu and Kashmir: DISPLACEMENT, BORDERS, AND THE BOUNDARIES OF POLITICAL BELONGING
      (pp. 31-66)

      The princely state of jammu and kashmir was formed by treaty agreement between the British Colonial Government of India and the Sikh governor of Jammu in 1846. The state was ruled by the Dogra Maharajas until 1947, when internal political and armed resistance and war between the new postcolonial nation-states of India and Pakistan ended monarchical rule. The Indian Princely States were not subject to the partition of the British territories in 1947; the accession of each principality was negotiated between the monarch of the State and the leaders of both the Indian National Congress and the Pakistan Muslim League...

    • TWO Protective Migration and Armed Struggle: POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE LIMITS OF VICTIMIZATION IN ISLAM
      (pp. 67-96)

      As a young man, Nasir Waseem was displaced from his village in Rajouri District during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He had been allotted property in a Kashmiri refugee settlement in Punjab, but he had not been able to make a living from that land; instead, he supported his family by doing wage labor for a construction firm. He was living in a labor colony(kacchī ābādī)near Islamabad when he spoke with me on a sunny winter day. We were sitting cross-legged on a woven rope bed called achārpaīand sipping sweet milky tea. Thechārpaīhad been pulled...

  10. PART TWO THE HISTORICAL EMERGENCE OF KASHMIRI REFUGEES AS POLITICAL SUBJECTS
    • THREE Forging Political Identities, 1947–1988: THE SOUTH ASIAN REFUGEE REGIME AND REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT VILLAGES
      (pp. 99-136)

      In the years immediately following world war II, forced displacement was a global phenomenon. In addition to the people displaced across Europe, there were tens of millions of displaced people in East Asia and millions more in the Middle East and North Africa. In South Asia, approximately 10 million people were accommodated in refugee camps during the Partition of colonial India. Yet in 1951, Nehemiah Robinson, the Israeli delegate to the Geneva Conference of Plenipotentiaries, which drafted the final version of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, observed, “For the purposes of the Convention, there were practically no...

    • FOUR Transforming Political Identities, 1989–2001: REFUGEE CAMPS IN AZAD JAMMU AND KASHMIR AND THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE REGIME
      (pp. 137-168)

      In 1990, hundreds and then thousands of refugees began arriving in Azad Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC). AJK government representatives for the first time requested assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in protecting refugees and administering relief. The AJK government’s request amounted to an appeal that the UN recognize displaced people in AJK as prima facie refugees. The UNHCR, however, declined to become involved on the basis that Kashmiri displaced people were “internally displaced” within the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir and therefore outside of the...

  11. PART THREE BODY OF VICTIM, BODY OF WARRIOR
    • FIVE Human Rights and Jihād: VICTIMIZATION AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE BODY
      (pp. 171-200)

      In march 2000, delegates of the All Party Hurriyat Conference in Pakistan organized a public protest in conjunction with a mass strike in the Indian Kashmir Valley. The delegates, who were all members of the most influential transnational Kashmiri political parties, planned the march to publicize the arrest of several prominent political leaders in Srinagar and to demand their release. On the day of the demonstration, protesters marched through the international business district of Islamabad and past the Pakistan parliamentary buildings on their way to the diplomatic enclave (figure 4). The marchers carried banners identifying their political parties and associations....

    • SIX The Mujāhid as Family-Man: SEX, DEATH, AND THE WARRIOR’S (IM)PURE BODY
      (pp. 201-228)

      One day in murree, I was walking home with Farida Begum after meeting with a group of resettled Kashmiri refugees. The town has become a tourist destination, and in the main market street we passed restaurants roasting cuts of meat over open fires and shops selling nuts and dried apricots, carved woodcrafts, and heavily embroidered cloth. The town’s historical centrality as a transit point for people and goods between the Punjab, the North West Frontier Provinces, and the Kashmir territories made Murree a marketplace for Kashmiri luxury craft items. It also became a recruiting site for Kashmiri militant organizations in...

  12. CONCLUSION: From Muhājir to Mujāhid to Jihādī in the Global Order of Things
    (pp. 229-236)

    Kashmiri refugees have shaped the organization of violence in one of the world’s most volatile and contentious borderlands in foundational ways, but the history of forced mass migration in the Jammu and Kashmir region has largely gone unexamined. This is in part because they occupy an indeterminate geographical and political space between India and Pakistan, and in part because they disappear before analytical lenses that are focused on formal institutions, geopolitical security, and the nation-building projects of postcolonial states.

    People displaced within and from the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir have made claims on political belonging grounded in...

  13. POSTSCRIPT: And, “Humanitarian Jihād”
    (pp. 237-242)

    An earthquake quite literally changed the landscape of northeast Pakistan in October 2005. It had its epicenter near Muzaffarabad, where houses, schools, hospitals, and government buildings collapsed, and in mountainous areas entire villages were buried in landslides. The earthquake killed over eighty thousand people, injured approximately one hundred thousand, and rendered three million others homeless; half of those deaths and losses occurred in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), primarily in the Muzaffarabad district. This natural disaster brought numerous state institutions, international agencies, and voluntary organizations together in a vast humanitarian relief project. In the immediate postdisaster context, members of jihadist...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 243-274)
  15. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 275-276)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 277-310)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 311-324)