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Dr Humeira Iqtidar joined King's College London in 2011. She has studied at the University of Cambridge, McGill University in Canada and Quaid-e-Azam University in Pakistan. Before joining King's, Humeira was based at the University of Cambridge as a fellow of King’s College and the Centre of South Asian Studies. She is a co-convenor of the London Comparative Political Theory Workshop and editor of the McGill-Queens Studies in Modern Islamic Thought.


Humeira's research interests bring together postcolonial theory and comparative political theory with a focus on modern South Asian Islamic thought. Thematically, her research has been concerned with the place of religion in contemporary political imagination, the politics of knowledge, and the legacies of colonialism. She is currently working on two book projects. The first focuses on non-liberal conceptions of tolerance through an engagement with 20th century Islamic thought. The second, titled Justice Beyond Rights, builds on her research with refugees and migrants from the tribal areas of Pakistan. 

Humeira's research has featured in interviews and articles in The Guardian, BBC World Service, Voice of AmericaDer SpiegelSocial Science Research Council OnlineThe DawnExpress Tribune and Open Democracy

Grants and Awards

Leverhulme Trust with Dr Layli Uddin: Red Islam: Socialist Internationalism and Islam in South Asia, 1920-1978.

European Research Council: Principal Investigator large grant, Tolerance in Contemporary Muslim  Practice:Political Theory Beyond the West. €378,000.

The project comprised of two strands of enquiry that come together to suggest a new way of approaching political theory beyond European contexts. It entailed investigating the political thoughts of two key religious public intellectuals, Abul Ala Maududi and Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, on the issue of tolerance at the same time as collecting oral histories and ethnographic interviews from population groups that live in extremely precarious contexts. Both strands explored non-liberal ideas and practices related to peaceful coexistence and tolerance.

Arts and Humanities Research Council Award with Dr David Lehmann (principal investigator) to set up an academic network exploring aspects of secularism in a comparative framework focusing on the contexts beyond the North Atlantic world. 

Selected Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

  • Humeira Iqtidar, Secularising Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan, University of Chicago Press, 2011 (South Asian edition Permanent Black, June 2011; paperback 2013). Shortlisted for the American Academy of Religion: AAR Award for Excellence - Analytical-Descriptive Category.
  • Humeira Iqtidar and Tanika Sarkar eds. Tolerance, Secularisation and Democratic Politics in South Asia, Cambridge University Press, 2018
  • Humeira Iqtidar and David Lehmann eds., Fundamentalisms: Critical Concepts in Religions (4 Volume collection), Routledge, October 2011.

Journal Articles

  • Is Tolerance LIberal? Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and the Non-Muslim Minority, Political Theory 2021, Vol. 49(3) 457–482. (open access; link)
  • Jizya Against Nationalism: Abul 'Ala Maududi's Attempt at Decolonizing Political Theory, Journal of Politics, July 2021 Vol 83 Issue 3 (link)
  • Conservative Anti-colonialism: Maududi, Marx and the Question of Social Equality, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society online first view 2021 (open access; link)
  • Thinking Across Traditions of Thought, Critical Times, 2020 Vol 3 Issue 3 (link)
  • Theorising Popular Sovereignty in the Colony: Abul A‘la Maududi’s ‘Theodemocracy’ Review of Politics, Fall 2020, Volume 82 Issue 4.(link)
  • Divine Sovereignty, Morality and the State: Maududi and his Influence, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society (with Oliver Scharbrodt) forthcoming (link)
  • Texts don't talk back: Colonialism and Political Theory, Contemporary Political Theory, online first view 2020
  • “How long is Life? Neoliberalism and Islamic Piety” Critical Inquiry, 43:4, Summer 2017 (link)
  • “Redefining ‘Tradition’ in Political Thought” European Journal of Political Theory, October 2016, 15 (link)
  • “Conspiracy Theories as Political Imaginary” Political Studies, March 2016, 64(1): 200-215 (link)
  • “Secularism and Dilemmas of Citizenship for the ‘Majority’” Citizenship Studies, 2012, 16(8): 1013-1028
  • “Secularism and Secularisation: Untying the Knots” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVII No. 35, 2012
  • “Secularism Beyond the State: The ‘State’ and the ‘Market’ in Islamist Imagination” Modern Asian Studies, 2011, 45(3):535-564 [reprinted in Osella, F and C. Osella eds., Islamic Reformism in South Asia Cambridge University Press, 2013]

Book Chapters

  • “Representative Democracy and Religious Thought in South Asia” in Karen Barkey and Sudipta Kaviraj, Democracy and Religious Pluralism, Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • “Searching for Tolerance in Islamic Thought” in Leigh Jenco, Murad Idris and Megan Thomas eds. Handbook of Comparative Political Theory, Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • “Post-Islamism in Pakistan: Islamist Spin-offs and their Contradictory Trajectories” in Asef Bayat ed., Post Islamism: How Political Islam is Changing, Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • “Cosmopolitanism, Religion and Inter-Civilizational Dialogue” in Gerard Delanty ed. Cosmopolitanism, Routledge, pp.198-209, 2012 (reprint 2018).
  • “Colonial Secularism and the Genesis of Islamism in North India” in Gareth Stedman-Jones and Ira Katznelson eds., Religion and the Political Imagination, Cambridge University Press, pp.235-254, 2010.
  • “Jama‘at-e-Islami Pakistan: Learning from The Left” in Naveeda Khan ed., Beyond Crisis: Re-evaluating Pakistan, Routledge, pp 245-273, 2010.
  • “Muslim Cosmopolitanism: Contemporary Practice and Social Theory” in Bryan Turner ed., Handbook of Globalization, Taylor & Francis, pp.622-635, 2009.