Identity Politics in Central Asia and the Muslim World
London/New York, I.B. Tauris, 2001; ISBN 1-86064-261-6, 235 pp.
Nationalism was regarded as a positive force shaping "modern" societies and states but in Europe it has been overshadowed by the disasters of two world wars. Outside Europe it has continued to enjoy a heyday throughout the 20th century.
Covering Turkey, Iran, Abghazia, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Afganistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, this study lays bare the counter-forces unleashed by the project of nationalist modernization, and the stimulation of identity politics as the result of ruthless repression of minority languages, culture, traditions and religion - the life-blood of minority ethnicity. This study examines how these policies, which include Islam as the basis of nation-building in, for example, Pakistan and the post-Pahlavi Iran, have strengthened identity politics and the movements for opting out of the nation.