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SOAS South Asia Institute

Muslims in South Asian Cities - Trajectories of Marginalisation

Professor Christophe Jaffrelot (KCL) / Dr Sanaa Alimia (SOAS)

Date: 20 February 2014Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 20 February 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: MUSA "Big Star, Rising Star" Speaker Series

Christophe Jaffrelot, Dr Sanaa Alimia - Muslims in South Asian Cities - Trajectories of Marginalisation

Professor Christophe Jaffrelot


Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris). He was Director of CERI (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po, between 2000 and 2008. His research interests include: theories of nationalism and democracy; mobilization of the lower castes and untouchables in India; Hindu nationalist movement; ethnic conflicts in Pakistan.

Learn more about Professor Christophe Jaffrelot

Muslims in Indian cities

Muslims have traditionally occupied the geographical centre in the cities of North India - at least in those they have built in the medieval period and during the Moghul empire. They tend, today, to experience a ghettoization process there, which can be explained by their socio-economic decline as well as by discrimination on the housing market and their will to regroup for safety reasons. Ahmedabad is a case in point. This lecture will focus on this city with special references to Juhapura, the largest concentration of Muslims in India today.

Dr Sanaa Alimia


Sanaa Alimia is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Government and Politics of South Asia and Government and Politics of Modern South Asia. Dr Alimia specialises in urban politics, refugee studies, trasnationalism, and issues of citizenship, check-posts, and bio¬politics with particular attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Her research is based on a multidisciplinary approach including the use of oral narratives and ethnography and analyzes the shared lives of Afghan refugees and devalued Pakistani citizens in ‘everyday’ urban Pakistan.

During Term 1 of 2013/14 she is acting as a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Peshawar, Pakistan where she is teaching an MPhil Course ‘Migration in a Global Racialised World c.21’. She holds a PhD from SOAS and Masters degree from the London School of Economics. She has previously taught Comparative and International Politics at SOAS and has presented on her work on Afghans in Pakistan and the urban Pakistani poor in the media, academic conferences, and public lectures.

Learn more about Dr Sanna Alimia

The Shared Lives of Afghans and Pakistanis in Pakistan

Afghan refugees and urban poor Pakistanis live shared lives in urban Pakistan. As non-citizens and part of a protracted refugee displacement, the state is often unwilling to distribute goods such as housing and utilities to Afghans. However, many Pakistani citizens also find themselves in a similar position due to structural failings and, specifically for Pakistani Pakhtuns in Karachi, because of ‘ethnicised’ discrimination. The lecture asks how do Afghans and Pakistanis attempt to reverse these marginalisations? And what are the implications of zones of belonging that cut across lines of national distinction for our understandings of urban politics today?


This is a free and open event to all. To register your interest, please email MUSA.

Organiser: Muslim South Asia Research Forum

Contact email: musa@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893