Popular representations of Pakistan's North West Frontier have long featured simplistic images of tribal blood feuds, fanatical religion, and the seclusion of women. The rise to power of the radical Taliban regime in neighbouring Afghanistan enhanced the region's reputation as a place of anti-Western militancy. Magnus Marsden is an anthropologist who has immersed himself in the lives of the Frontier's villagers for more than ten years. His evocative study of the Chitral region challenges all these stereotypes. Through an exploration of the everyday experiences of both men and women, he shows that the life of a good Muslim in Chitral is above all a mindful life, enhanced by the creative force of poetry, dancing and critical debate. Challenging much that has been assumed about the Muslim world, this 2005 study makes a powerful contribution to the understanding of religion and politics both within and beyond the Muslim societies of southern Asia.
Cambridge University Press; December 2005
- ISBN 9780511133909
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Living Islam
- Author: Magnus Marsden
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
In The Press
'Magnus Marsden has joined the ranks of the great ethnographers of the British Empire who described and wrote about the peoples of the Indian subcontinent with accuracy and even affection. Marsden's lucid and insightful work, based in Chitral, one of the most isolated and least known societies in the subcontinent, comes as a relief after the stereotypes and caricatures which pass for commentary in the media about Muslim societies.' Akbar Ahmed, The Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International Relations, American University, Washington D.C.