South Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan) has produced some of the greatest Islamic thinkers, such as Shah Wali Allah (sometimes also spelled Waliullah; 1702–1763) who is considered one of the originators of pan-Islamism, Rahmatullah Kairanwi (1818–1892), Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), Syed Abul A’la Mawdudi (also spelled Maududi; 1903–1979), and Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi (1914–1999), who have all played a pivotal role in shaping political Islam and have all had global impact. Islamism is intertwined with Muslim antisemitism. Some of the greatest Islamist movements have their bases in South Asia, such as Tablīghi Jamā’at—the largest Sunni Muslim revivalist (daw’a
) movement in the world—and Jamā’at-i-Islāmi—a prototype of political Islam in South Asia. The region is home to some of the most important institutions of Islamic theological studies: Darul Ulūm Deoband, the alleged source of ideological inspiration to the Taliban, and Nadwātu’l-’Ulamā and Firangi Mahal, whose curricula are followed by seminaries across the world attended by South Asian Muslims in their diaspora. Some of the most popular Muslim televangelists have come from South Asia, such as Israr Ahmed (1932–2010) and Zakir Naik (b. 1965). This paper gives an introductory overview of antisemitism in the Muslim intellectual discourse in South Asia.
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