About Me

I am a Political Anthropologist with a broad range of theoretical and ethnographic interests in research, teaching, writing and speaking. Currently, I am Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the department of Sociology, Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul, Turkey. Until early 2022, I worked as a Senior Research Fellow at The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, previously I worked as an Associate Professor of Political Anthropology at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. Prior to that, I was a senior lecturer in politics at Monash University, Australia where I taught for five years (2009–2013). Before moving to Australia, I had taught at the Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. I embarked on this teaching career during my postdoctoral research, which I undertook at the University of Leiden by winning the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research’s (NWO) Rubicon Grant. I earned my doctorate (cum laude) in anthropology from the University of Amsterdam

Educated initially in Urdu-medium Madrasa Islāmīa ‘Arabīa (a seminary) in my native village of Dumri in Bihar, India, later I attended state-run Hindi-medium Middle and High Schools in Sheohar and Motihari. Subsequently, I joined B.N. College, Patna to complete my Intermediate degree. I earned my Bachelor’s in Sociology (Hons.) from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi where I was a university topper. To pursue my higher education, I joined Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where I received my Masters and M.Phil. (both in Sociology) degrees.

I have authored two monographs: Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace published by University of North Carolina Press, 2017 (South Asian edition by Oxford University Press, Delhi) and Islamism and Democracy in India (Princeton University Press, 2009; South Asian edition by Permanent Black) which was short-listed for the 2011 ICAS (International Convention of Asian Scholars) Book Prize for the best study in the field of Social Sciences. My third monograph on a decolonial anthropology of “religious” violence is under review.  I am also the editor of Anthropology and Ethnography Are Not Equivalent: Reorienting Anthropology for the Future (Berghahn,2021) and co-editor of three books: The Nation Form in the Global Age: Ethnographic Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare: A Long View of India’s 2014 Election (Oxford University Press, 2019); and (IL)liberal Europe: Islamophobia, Modernity and Radicalization (Routledge, 2017). In addition, I have also contributed to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, and Islam in South Asia in Practice (Princeton Readings).

Along with monographs, edited volumes and contributions to encyclopedia and handbooks, I have authored a series of research articles published in leading journals such as Anthropological Theory, The Annual of Urdu Studies, Citizenship Studies, Critical Research on Religion, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Economic & Political Weekly, Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Imroz sehmāhī, IESHR, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, Modern Asian Studies, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Politics, Religion & Ideology, Public Anthropologist, Public Culture and Seminar. I am on the Editorial Committees of International Journal of Islam in Asia, Public Anthropologist and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies where I also served as its Reviews Editor from 2010 to 2012. I also worked as Associate Editor of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. In 2015, I co-founded Journal of Religious and Political Practice.

At various universities and institutes, I have been a visitor: The Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, USA; The Graduate Center, The City University of New York; and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen, Germany.

My academic and public writings have been translated into Arabic, German, Gujarati, Malayalam, Portuguese, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and other languages.

My views have been solicited by and appeared, among others, in Al-Jazeera (English), Deutsche Welle (DW, English), TheNew York Times and The Hindu. In 2016, UNDP invited me to deliver a talk in Oslo, Norway. In 2020, I gave the TED-X talk: Twins Unknown: Islamophobia and Domophilia

On issues of public significance, I contribute actively to debates in such media as ABC, Al-Jazeera (English), Berkeley Center for Peace, Religion and World Affairs, Café Dissensus, The Caravan, The Conversation, First Post, Huff Post, Maktoob Media, Middle East Eye, Open Democracy, The Pioneer, The Polis Project, Sydney Morning Herald, The Times of India, The Wire and others.  I have given interviews in print, audio and TV to Dutch, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Turkish and Urdu media such as BBC,Channel News Asia (Singapore), Media One, NRC Handelsblad, Open Magazine, People’s TV, Press TV, Sky TV, SBS (Hindi & Urdu), Tehelka and several community radios from Australia, Slovenia and South Africa.

In the past, I wrote for the Urdu media and magazines like Qaumī Avāz, Qaumī Tanzīm, Rāshtriya Sahārā, Sangam, Chāoñ, Gulābi Kiran and contributed to leading South Asian English magazines and semi-academic journals such as Himal: South Asian Magazine, Mainstream, The Radical Humanist, The Third Concept, Business Today and World Focus.

My method of thinking includes examining prevalent concepts, and coining new ones like “Designer Democracy,” “Ditto Theory,” “Domophilia,” and “Pseudo-Democracy.” I have also identified practices like “Bibliographical Collegiality” & “Citational Nicety.”      

You correctly noticed that the menu has “Main,” not “Home” –– a term with seeds of violence. You may want to visit Academia.edu and ResearchGate where many publications are freely available to download. About my other activities and interests, including teaching & supervision, you will know as you navigate this website to have, hopefully, a pleasant experience.

My views have been solicited by and appeared, among others, in Al-Jazeera (English), Deutsche Welle (DW, English), TheNew York Times and The Hindu. In 2016, UNDP invited me to deliver a talk in Oslo, Norway. In 2020, I gave the TED-X talk: Twins Unknown: Islamophobia and Domophilia

On issues of public significance, I contribute actively to debates in such media as ABC, Al-Jazeera (English), Berkeley Center for Peace, Religion and World Affairs, Café Dissensus, The Caravan, The Conversation, First Post, Huff Post, Maktoob Media, Middle East Eye, Open Democracy, The Pioneer, The Polis Project, Sydney Morning Herald, The Times of India, The Wire and others.  I have given interviews in print, audio and TV to Dutch, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Turkish and Urdu media such as BBC,Channel News Asia (Singapore), Media One, NRC Handelsblad, Open Magazine, People’s TV, Press TV, Sky TV, SBS (Hindi & Urdu), Tehelka and several community radios from Australia, Slovenia and South Africa.

In the past, I wrote for the Urdu media and magazines like Qaumī Avāz, Qaumī Tanzīm, Rāshtriya Sahārā, Sangam, Chāoñ, Gulābi Kiran and contributed to leading South Asian English magazines and semi-academic journals such as Himal: South Asian Magazine, Mainstream, The Radical Humanist, The Third Concept, Business Today and World Focus.

My method of thinking includes examining prevalent concepts, and coining new ones like “Designer Democracy,” “Ditto Theory,” “Domophilia,” and “Pseudo-Democracy.” I have also identified practices like “Bibliographical Collegiality” & “Citational Nicety.”      

You correctly noticed that the menu has “Main,” not “Home” –– a term with seeds of violence. You may want to visit Academia.edu and ResearchGate where many publications are freely available to download. About my other activities and interests, including teaching & supervision, you will know as you navigate this website to have, hopefully, a pleasant experience.