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Tolerance in Contemporary Muslim Politics

Tolerance in Contemporary Muslim Politics: Political Theory Beyond the West

Tolerance in Contemporary Muslim Politics is a European Research Council funded project that began in November 2012. Dr. Humeira Iqtidar is the Principal Investigator on the project.

Listen to a recording from the 'Perspectives on Killings By Drones' event from February 2014 here.

Project Overview

Academic research has consistently studied conflict but there is very little engagement with actually existing mechanisms of tolerance and this project breaks new ground in studying tolerance by explicitly engaging with both empirical detail and theoretical constructions in the predominantly Muslim context of Pakistan. 

The project comprises of two strands of enquiry that come together to suggest a new way of approaching political theory from non-western contexts. By investigating the political thought of two key religious public intellectuals 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 the project aims to help build a new field of study within European academia: comparative political theory.

Research Aims & Objectives

The research aim is to develop comparative insights into theoretical and political mechanisms of Tolerance in a contemporary Muslim context. Within this aim, the objectives are to:

  • Document and understand the long term implications of the Afghan war for the denizens of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan (FATA)
  • Record and store oral histories and details of social norms of the little understood tribal society in FATA
  • Record norms of working class and lower middle class interaction in three major cities of Pakistan
  • Understand and detail the mechanism of actually existing tolerance, their strengths as well as their limits.
  • Engage critically with the political thought of two key religio-political thinkers on matters of tolerance, Abul A‘la Maududi, the founder of the influential Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, one-time member of JI who has moved away from the party. 
  • Develop comparative insights into theoretical and political mechanisms of tolerance in a contemporary Muslim context. 
Project Team

The project also provides support for capacity building at both the individual and institutional level.

Dr. Humeira Iqtidar, Principal Investigator, Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

Dr. Ammara Maqsood, Research Associate, Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

Mr. Noor Akbar, Research Associate,  Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

"Perspectives on Killings By Drones" A Discussion with the victims of drone attacks in Pakistan

On 26 February, 2014 King's College London welcomed Kareem Khan (FATA, Pakistan), Noor Behram, (FATA, Pakistan), Shahzad Akbar, (Foundation for Fundamental Rights, Pakistan) and Jennifer Gibson (Reprieve) for a panel discussion with the victims of drone attacks in Pakistan. Organised by the Department of Political Economy, King's College London and Reprieve, the human rights organisation. The event was moderated by Dr Humeira Iqtidar, Department of Political Economy, King's College London. 

Listen to a recording of the discussion below:


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