In contemporary politics, Sufis have been very much a part of the discourse, politics, and practice of Islam in the modern world. Western analysts often perceive Sufis as potential allies, and many incidents of violence against Sufis reinforce the notion that Sufism can be the antidote to intolerant and fundamentalist Islam. Yet Sufi practices and politics are much more complicated than these simple assertions would suggest.
This part of the Sufi Islam project, focused on South Asia, aims to increase our understanding of how Sufi groups have positioned themselves politically and socially in the modern world and with what consequences. This workshop will convene an interdisciplinary group of scholars to address the impact of local politics and socio-cultural processes, global policy strategies, and scholarly commitments on the development of Sufism in recent decades while placing these recent developments within a deeper historical context.