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One Pakistan

Published Date: May 22, 2012


Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) will organize book launch and panel discussion on “Gender based explosions: The nexus between Muslim Masculinities, Jihadist Islamism and terrorism” here on Monday at SDPI.
The book has been written by Dr. Maleeha Aslam. She is a fellow of Cambridge Commonwealth Society and Member Wolfson College, Cambridge. The United Nations University Press (Tokyo. New York. Paris) has published the book and is being distributed at home by Pak Book Corporation (PBC).
Dr Abid Qayum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI and Dr Nafisa Shah, MNA and Chairperson, National Commission for Human Development will speak on the occasion.
Dr Maleeha Aslam problematizes the gender-deficient nature of post 9/11 counterterrorism and advocates viewing both crime of terrorism, and politics of counterterrorism from a gender perspective. Gender based explosions is a pioneering attempt to merge masculinity studies into the global politics of Islamism and terrorism. Her book is the first in mainstream international literature that highlights the so far unrecognized link between gender and Jihadist Islamism, & gender and terrorism, thereby reframing and expanding our current understanding of causes of militant Jihadism and terrorism.
Author maintains that in Muslim societies, socio-economic and political oppression on one hand and culturally idealized gender constructs on the other, predispose men towards militant Islamism and terrorism. Being an unsuccessful breadwinner jeopardizes the culturally idealized masculinity not just one’s pocket, she argues. Simultaneously, counterterrorism policies exacerbate the upheaval in Muslim masculinities when men are brought under surveillance and their honor codes and kinship affiliations (for example, plight of Palestinians and drone attacks related grievances in FATA) are threatened. In this regard, this book presents unique data on Pakistani masculinities.
On the basis of her research findings, the author recommends dealing with jihadist Islamism and terrorism as gender-based and making counterterrorism and de-radicalization policies gender cognizant and gender sensitive, molding these to engage with the troubled and troublesome aspects of production of masculinities in Muslim contexts. She urges to move away from militarism focused counterterrorism to people-centered and sustainable interventions.
She is the first Pakistani gender expert whose contributions to existing scholarship on masculinity studies have been officially endorsed by the founder of contemporary masculinity studies: Professor Raewyn Connell (University Chair, University of Sydney) whose pioneering text “Masculinities” first published in 1995 is the most cited publication in it’s field.