In recent years, countless politicians and commentators have been addressing the Quran in an attempt to understand the rise of Muslim extremist ideology. They have missed the point: the most significant factor in this phenomenon is to be found within the particular circumstances of individual nation-states. Islam as a static global and temporal entity is a myth. The reality reflects a wide variety of experience founded on the co-mingling of religion, cultural and national and international politics. It is inside this individual complexity that battle-lines have been drawn and the fight waged within Islam itself, often largely unremarked upon by the world outside. Through a consideration of the case of Pakistan, this volume seeks to place the recent surge in extremist Islam within the framework of the nation-state, and to sharpen those dangerously blurred distinctions between the Merely Offended and the Violently Offended in the course of examining the causes of offence.
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