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Teena Purohit: "Minorities within the Minority: Who is /is not Muslim according to Muhammad Iqbal"

This talk examines “Islam and Ahmadism” a piece written by Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) in 1935, in which he argues that the founder of the Ahmadis, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), and his followers are heretics of Islam. Iqbal made the case that Ahmadis ought to declare themselves a separate community from Muslims. In the same piece, Iqbal briefly discusses the Ismailis, whom he describes as exemplary Muslims.  I use the work of sociologists, such as Weber, Simmel, and Bourdieu to understand Iqbal’s ideas of heresy and religion and to reflect on why his political and religious vision of Islam endorses the Ismailis and denounces the Ahmadis as Muslim.
Teena Purohit joined the Department of  Religion at Boston University in Fall 2009. She received her Ph.D in Religion at Columbia University in 2007. She has taught classes on major texts of the Middle East and South Asia at Columbia University and South Asian Religions at UC Irvine. Professor Purohit’s research and teaching interests  focus on modern Islam, South Asian religions, religion and colonialism, and Sufism and theories of religion. Her first book, The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India was published in 2012 with Harvard University Press.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014. 12:00PM


Encina Hall West, Room 208


Center for South Asia




Free and open to the public