Muslims and/in Indian democracy
Irfan plans to work simultaneously on the place of Muslims in India’s democracy by positioning it in the debates on religious-cultural diversity, and theories of democracy and populism or neo-populism. To provide this study with an empirical anchoring, Irfan intends to examine some of the many cases of Muslims being lynched on the allegation of storing/eating beef or smuggling of cows and their videos shared on social media - a political phenomenon that has emerged and increased in the past approximately five years. As is well known, upholding beliefs of religious Hindus who regard cows as a holy mother, many Indian states have declared beef as illegal. To this end, Irfan plans to conduct a short fieldwork of eight to ten weeks with the family and community members of the lynched Muslims in the latter half of 2020.
One key outcome of this project is a paper co-authored with Peter van der Veer. It has been under review with the journal Nations & Nationalism since mid-February.