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Conquest and Community : The Afterlife of Warrior Saint Ghazi Miyan (Hardcover) (Shahid Amin)

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Conquest and Community, by prize-winning historian Shahid Amin, is a kaleidoscopic look into one of the most divisive issues in South Asian history: the Turkic conquest of the subcontinent and the subsequent spread of Muslim rule. Covering more than eight hundred years of history, the book centers around the enduringly popular saint Ghazi Miyan, the youthful and lovable soldier of Islam to whom shrines have been erected all over the country. After detailing the warrior saint’s supposed exploits, Amin charts the various ways he has been remembered throughout the last millennium. As he shows, the charming stories, ballads, and proverbs that grew up around him domesticated the bloody conquest and made it appear both virtuous and familial. Amin brings the story of Ghazi Miyan’s long afterlife into the contemporary period through his ethnographic analysis of the still-active shrines as sites of interreligious public piety. What is at first glance a story of just one mythical figure becomes through Amin’s thoughtful treatment an allegory for the history of Hindu-Muslim relations over an astonishingly long period of time. As the Muslim conquest of India is being mobilized for dangerously polarizing political ends in India today, this nonsectarian account of religious strife will be a timely and sane contribution to the vexed historical debate.

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