Re-examining the place of textuality in Islamic Studies

Postcolonial State-making and the Politics of Readership

Ali Usman Qasim


Aaisha Salman

May 6, 2021


Dr. Ali Usman Qasmi joins the Reading Muslims podcast to discuss the poltiics of readership in a post-colonial context, and how this politics plays out specifically in Pakistan. He speaks to us about the epistemic paraphernalia of classic Islamic jurisprudence texts and how it is appropriated for the legal structures of the modern nation-state. He also speaks about how reading practices that align with state ideals of Muslim citizenship can be instrumental to the process of Othering marginalized Muslim identities, and how scholarship can be used to read against the grain.

Host: Aaisha Salman
Recorded: Apr 13, 2021

Ali Usman Qasim

Dr. Qasmi is a Associate Professor of History at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, which is part of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He received his PhD from the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University in March 2009, and joined LUMS in 2012. He is the author of Questioning the Authority of the Past: The Ahl al-Qur’an Movements in the Punjab (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2011). His second monograph, The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan (London: Anthem Press, 2014), was the recipient of Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) Peace Prize in 2015.

Aaisha Salman

Aaisha Salman is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. Her research explores the intersection of Islam and media histories of South Asia, with a special focus on radio and television histories in the subcontinent.

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