Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Local Actions, Local Voices

ISBN : 9789697340149

Anita M. Weiss
312 ページ
156 x 234 mm

This book identifies and analyzes the impact of the various ways in which local people are responding, taking stands, recapturing their culture, and saying 'stop' to the violent extremism that has manifested over the past decade (even longer) in Pakistan. Local groups throughout Pakistan are engaging in various kinds of social negotiations and actions to lessen the violence that has plagued the country since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which let loose a barrage of violence that overflowed into its borders. In so many ways, Pakistanis are engaging in powerful actions that transform how people think about their own society, impeding extremists' rants while acting on 'envisioning alternative futures'. This book, hence, focuses on finding the sparks of hope that local people are creating to counter violent extremism based on close ethnographic study of ground realities about not only what people are doing but why they are selecting these kinds of actions, how they are creating alternative narratives about culture and identity, and their vision of a future without violence. This book is also designed to celebrate what is flourishing in cultural performances, music, social activism, and the like in Pakistan today because of people's commitment to take stands against extremism.


1. Introduction
Backdrop to Extremism and State Actor Responses
Organization of the Book
2. Poetry as Resistance to Violence and Extremism
Pashto Poetry
Sindhi Poetry
3. Music and Performance
Music as a Medium for Countering Violent Extremism
Theatre and Performance
4. Using Art to Reclaim Identity and Meaning
Painting over Hate Language and Promoting Peace
Celebrating Communities through Art
5. Religion Itself Counters Extremism
Backdrop on why Violent Extremism often Focuses on Religious Differences
Religious Leaders' Efforts to Promote Interfaith Harmony and Pluralism
Efforts by Non-Muslim Religious Groups to Mobilize and Foster Empowerment
6. Innovative Educational Efforts
Educational Legacies and Current Challenges in Pakistan
Bacha Khan Educational Foundation Schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Zoya Science Schools in Southern Punjab
7. Communal and Social Actions
Groups Standing Together
Small Groups and Individual Initiatives
Activities to Reclaim and Create Cultural Space at Public Venues


Anita M. Weiss received her doctorate in sociology from UC Berkeley and is professor of International Studies at the University of Oregon, where she has taught since 1988. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial board of Globalizations, has been a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, has been Treasurer and Vice President of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS), and is on the Executive Committee of the Religion and International Relations as well as the IDSS sections of the International Studies Association. She recently stepped down, after seven years, from being Department Head of International Studies at the University of Oregon.