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Contesting Muslim Pilgrimage: British-Pakistani Identities, Sacred Journeys to Makkah and Madinah, and the Global PostModern

McLoughlin, SM (2009) Contesting Muslim Pilgrimage: British-Pakistani Identities, Sacred Journeys to Makkah and Madinah, and the Global PostModern. In: Kalra, VS, (ed.) The Pakistani Diaspora: Culture, Conflict and Change. Oxford in Pakistan Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology . Oxford University Press, Karachi and Oxford , 278 - 316 . ISBN 978-0-19-547625-5


Against the context of work in the anthropology of pilgrimage on contesting the sacred (Eade and Sallnow, 1991; Coleman and Eade, 2004), the account here is of the changing dynamics of British-Pakistanis’ experiences of deciding to embark upon pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah. Such decisions are set in the context of socio-economic and cultural shifts towards a religiosity increasingly defined in terms of self-identity and consumerism in the West, not least when set against the expectations and religious imaginaries of their ancestors in places like Mirpur prior to Partition. The ethnography continues with an examination of respondents’ constructions (and embodiments) of Islamic cosmology, community and identity during the various sacred rituals. However, profane inferences are never far away. As we shall see, narratives of imagined unity and ‘communitas’ were also qualified by competing narratives of socio-economic and political, as well as religious and ethnic/racial, differences and divisions. All persist between Muslims during the course of Hajj and ‘umra. Finally, I assess pilgrims’ accounts of ‘reintegrating’ into ‘profane’ time and space back in the UK after returning from pilgrimage. The focus here is on the pervasive power of memories and souvenirs of sacred time and place despite changing and contested British-Pakistani expectations of a hajji(a) and divergent trajectories of Muslim religious self-identity and consciousness in late modern Britain.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: pilgrimage, Islam, globalisation, British, Pakistani
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Theology & Religious Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 13:06
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 10:50
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Karachi and Oxford
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43691

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