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Life in Brackets: Minority Christians and Hegemonic Violence in Pakistan

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This article focusses on the Christian minority in Pakistan, and postulates that their “crisis condition” can be explained within a set pattern of rules. Within that framework, it examines three separate, but interrelated theoretical positions: The rising level of Islamic radicalism and consequent attack on minority Christians needs to be placed within the framework of a “thick” and “thin” view of religion; 2. the select “targeting” of a minority and stirring up of sectarian conflict is the outcome of a clearly thought out framework of hegemonic violence; and 3. the conscious process of “scapegoating” that establishes the majority-led in-group and out-group narrative leading to the castigation and persecution of the marginal group. The last two sections examines the scope of external intervention on behalf of this beleaguered community. It goes on to assess the coping strategies of the Christians in the face of mounting Sunni Muslim extremist violence.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK,


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