Starting a Conversation

Dear All,

For all those readers and commentators who have been asking for updates, thank you for visiting and taking time out to read this blog. Just wanted to let you know that this blog was  created as part of a graduate syllabus requirement in Spring 2012 and therefore is basically situated largely on academic discourse on Shi’ism. I will try to contribute whenever I have the time. Any feedback or comments are welcome in the meanwhile.

I do realize that this is a useful space to share nuanced ideas and to start a meaningful discussion on Shi’ism, which is significantly sparse in the cyber-world presently. Much of the debates and arguments taking place on Shi’ism in the global public sphere are unfortunately all focused on  violent issues which mostly have a negative connotation ( and for a good reason too) such as politically motivated  sectarianism, Shia genocide in Pakistan,the  civil war in Iraq or associated with the Shia personality of the repressive  regimes and groups in Iran and Lebanon etc. Perhaps we need to rethink Shi’ism, highlight its universality, throw light on the actual sociology of Shi’i communities and present Shia Muslims as ordinary Muslims living ordinary lives, rather than as distinctly ‘religious’ or ‘political’ entities or statistics,who are represented by political groups and organizations. To quote my professor, Hamid Dabashi , we need to ‘alter the very language of thinking, speaking and writing about Shi’sim’ because the ‘very language we have been using about Islam and Shi’ism is an occupied territory and needs to be liberated for a wider and more welcoming feast’.

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