This book explores the richness of Pakistan's religious landscape, giving attention to a number of topics: Shia flagellation processions, Urdu-language pulp fiction, streetside rituals involving animals (pariah-kites and fortune-telling parrots), and the use of sorcery to contend with the jinns that are believed to infest cities such as Lahore. Uniting these topics is an investigation of how Islamist politicians seek to eradicate sectarian diversity and repress localized forms of Muslim folk practices in the name of a standardized, uniform, and globalized version of Islam. The book looks at forms of resistance to this Islamist globalization, such as collaborative efforts by Christian, Hindu, and Muslim human-rights activists to repeal Pakistan's torious blasphemy law and assert the worth of religious pluralism.
David Pinault is an associate professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University. He received his Ph.D in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Horse of Karbala: Muslim Devotional Life in India (Palgrave) and The Shiites: Ritual and Popular Piety in a Muslim Community (St. Martin's).