Part or chapter of a book
Preface: Scholar with a Cause
Pakistan. A kaleidoscope of Islam
London : Hurst Publishers
ix - xx p.
Mariam Abou Zahab, Pakistan, Islamism
In 2008, French scholar Mariam Abou Zahab met with Abdullah Anas, a known Algerian Islamist and veteran of the Afghan Jihad, over dinner on the sidelines of a conference in London. At some point, the conversation turned to Afghanistan, and Abou Zahab - who was conversing with him in Arabic - mentioned how dear the country was to her heart. Ana's interest was piqued, and he asked her if she had travelled to the war-torn country during the 1980s. She replied that she had indeed spent a considerable amount of time there. "But what were you doing in Afghanistan? Were you a journalist?" asked Anas, only to see his interlocutor shake her head in denial. A few more questions followed as he tried to probe this enigmatic French woman further. Was she an aid worker there, or a scholar? he asked. She was visibly amsed and continued to answer in the negative. "So, what were you doing in Afghanistan?", Anas asked in desperation. "Jihad" replied Abou Zahab with a smile...