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Understanding the Bengal Muslims: Interpretative Essays

Rafiuddin Ahmed (Author)
Synopsis Who are the Bengal Muslims? What are their social origins? How do they define their linguistic and regional identity? These questions are pertinent to an understanding of the contemporary debates, especially in Bangladesh, on what being a ‘Muslim’ and a ‘Bengali’ mean. The essays in this volume offer interesting insights into the social and cultural processes which contributed to the making of this community, the second largest Muslim ethnic population in the world after the Arabs. The eleven essays in this volume cover a number of topics which are particularly relevant to the ongoing debates in the region, such as conversion and Islamization in medieval Bengal, patterns of Orthodoxy and syncretism in Bengali Islam, humanism, secularism, and fundamentalism in Bengali Muslim society, the changing roles of Muslim women in a tradition-bound society, and the controversy regarding the Bengali Muslim identity. The essays retrace the roots of these debates and provide new insights into the issues and concerns of the Bengal Muslims today. The contributors include historians, social scientists, linguists, and generalists whose common concern is to produce an interdisciplinary and scholarly collection, offering fresh perspectives on the Bengal Muslims. The volume will interest historians of South Asia, scholars of Islam and religion, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists as well as lay readers.
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About the author

Rafiuddin Ahmed

Rafiuddin Ahmed is Professor of Asian Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, New York and Adjunct Professor of History, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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Bibliographic information

Title Understanding the Bengal Muslims: Interpretative Essays
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195655206
length x+271p., Index; 23cm.