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The Rational BelieverChoices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan$
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Masooda Bano

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450440

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450440.001.0001

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Exclusionary Institutional Preference

Exclusionary Institutional Preference

The Logic of Jihad

(p.176) 8 Exclusionary Institutional Preference
The Rational Believer

Masooda Bano

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the incentives that can lead individuals to sacrifice their lives for a collective end. It examines the motives and strategies of jihadists, illustrating the incentives that make individuals so constrain their choices under one institution that they crowd out all other possible affiliations. It first considers empirical evidence to test existing claims regarding the link between madrasa affiliation and jihad. After establishing that jihadists are drawn from across the socioeconomic spectrum (with madrasa students constituting a small fraction of the total pool) it examines the motives and decision-making processes of this diverse group. The chapter also explores the factors that win jihad mass public appeal. These questions are addressed through three main sources of data: interviews with fifty jihadists; ethnographic fieldwork within the Red Mosque during its six-month confrontation with the state; and systematic observation of the public response to the Red Mosque operation.

Keywords:   sacrifice, jihad, jihadists, madrasas, Islamic schools, Islam, Muslims, Red Mosque

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