ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Jihad, Islam and Kashmir: Syed Ali Shah Geelani's Political Project

Jihad, Islam and Kashmir: Syed Ali Shah Geelani's Political Project

Syed Ali Shah Geelani is back at the centre stage of Kashmir politics. Based on an analysis of his Kashmir: Nava-e Hurriyat ("Kashmir: Voice of Freedom"), this article lays out Geelani's understanding of the genesis of the Kashmir conflict, his critique of Indian rule, his advocacy for Kashmir's accession to Pakistan, his opposition to independence for Jammu and Kashmir, his understanding of the relation between Islam, politics and the state, and his views on jihad, nationalism and inter-community relations. All these issues are central to the ongoing conflict in and over Kashmir. The article also discusses a central paradox: If only a minority of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir support the state's accession to Pakistan, why is it that Geelani, who has consistently advocated the state's merger with Pakistan, continues to be regarded as the icon of the Kashmiri Muslim resistance movement?

SPECIAL ARTICLE

Jihad, Islam and Kashmir: Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Political Project

Yoginder Sikand

Syed Ali Shah Geelani is back at the centre stage of Kashmir politics. Based on an analysis of his Kashmir: Nava-e Hurriyat (“Kashmir: Voice of Freedom”), this article lays out Geelani’s understanding of the genesis of the Kashmir conflict, his critique of Indian rule, his advocacy for Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan, his opposition to independence for Jammu and Kashmir, his understanding of the relation between Islam, politics and the state, and his views on jihad, nationalism and inter-community relations. All these issues are central to the ongoing conflict in and over Kashmir. The article also discusses a central paradox: If only a minority of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir support the state’s accession to Pakistan, why is it that Geelani, who has consistently advocated the state’s merger with Pakistan, continues to be regarded as the icon of the Kashmiri Muslim resistance movement?

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