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Zakir Naik and His Audiences: A Case Study of Srinagar, Kashmir

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Most literature on Mumbai-based Muslim tele-Islamicist Zakir Naik offers an organizational, biographical and ideological profile. This approach has concealed the symbolic significance attached to Naik by his audiences. This paper attempts to explore not only who and what Naik is, but how and where he is located. By incorporating ethnographic and cultural studies approaches, this paper offers fresh insight into Naik and his methods of communicating religion. Taking Srinagar, a city in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, as an ethnographic site, this paper explores how Muslim individuals or groups interpret Naik in relation to their religious worldviews. The articulation of Islam by Zakir Naik through media platforms such as television and social media has contributed to a religious trend in Kashmir, in which people have discovered new ways to think about themselves and to participate in discourses about religion that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.

Affiliations: 1: PhD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India,


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