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Author: Farahnaz Ispahani
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789351775522
'You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.' - Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Pakistan was carved out in 1947 to protect the subcontinent's largest religious minority. It was conceived as a Muslim-majority, albeit secular, State that would set an example for India on how to treat its minorities. But soon after Independence, even as Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah lay dying, political, religious and social leaders proclaimed it an Islamic State, drumming up a national narrative of Islamic victimhood. The result is an ever-intensifying prejudice against religious minorities in an effort to make Pakistan 'purer' in 'Islamic' terms.
Purifying the Land of the Pure is an analysis of the country's policies towards its religious minority populations, as well as an attempt to set the record straight about why Pakistan was created and where it moved away from Jinnah's modern pluralist vision to that of a purely Sunni Islamic nation. Farahnaz Ispahani brings to the subject an uncommon combination: the rigor of a scholar and the ground-level experience of a parliamentarian. A crucial addition to the literature on Pakistan.
`In these deeply intolerant times, Purifying the Land of the Pure holds up the mirror of history to trace the missteps that brought Pakistan to this pass. Farahnaz Ispahani tells an unnerving tale of how politics empowered bigotry in Pakistan, laws were used for persecuting religious minorities and liberal Pakistanis, and how an easy-going Muslim population was turned into an insufferable "puritanical" society. This is an amazing account of the manner in which Pakistan's laws were instrumental in perpetuating injustice and encouraging brute force by religious militants with impunity.'
== ASMA JAHANGIR, lawyer and human rights activist
`An extremely lucid and perceptive study of the catastrophic rise of religious intolerance in Pakistan since Partition to the present day. Farahnaz Ispahani has raised important issues about both the ideology and identity of Pakistan as an Islamic state. For anyone who wants to comprehend the gravity of the crisis facing Pakistan today, this book is essential reading.'
== FAROOQ SOBHAN, president, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, and former diplomat
`Purifying the Land of the Pure graphically depicts how Pakistan evolved gradually into a bully state between 1977 and 1988. It tells the story of how Islam was defaced and transformed into an exclusivist ideology based on Deobandi faith, shorn of the spiritual, moral and civic virtues that had enriched Islamic civilization during the past few centuries, and of how hatred of the "other" has been institutionalized. This misplaced and elusive search for purity has made Pakistan and its people more insecure, and only helped it to advance from sectarian terrorism to exporting terrorism overseas.'
== S. IRFAN HABIB, historian and author
Demography, State and Religion
Militarism and National Identity
Balancing Act: 1972-1977
Global Jihad and Pakistan's Minorities, 1988-1999
Militancy, Terrorism and Sectarianism, 1999 Onwards
About the Author