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Engaging Politically from the Margin 269

association of Islam with extremism to hardliners, “whose

interpretations of Islam give fuel to the Violently Offended Muslim by

stressing violent punishment over opportunities for repentance, and by

their sidelining of courts of law in decisions about innocence and guilt”

(13). Her historical analysis in


begins with the Indian Mutiny

or Revolt against the British in the decade of 1857-67, the

establishment of “a true Islamic State” in the post-Partition era (29),

the civil war between East Pakistan and West Pakistan in the early

1970s, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s militant secularism, Zia-ul-Haq’s

Islamization, and then ends with the United States becoming Pakistan’s

“great Other” after the Cold War (63). Despite being confined to

Pakistan’s national politics and religious ideology, such an analysis is

crucial in the post-9/11 era, as it offers insights into global issues of

international terrorism.



, Shamsie renders herself a rooted cosmopolitan

of the type for whom Appiah and other critics have argued. Although

Appiah has been credited by scholars like Jessica Berman with the

phrase “rooted cosmopolitanism” (2001: 27), the phrase was used

earlier, and perchance first coined, by Mitchell Cohen in the article

“Rooted Cosmopolitanism.” In that article, Cohen argues “against

conceiving nationalism as an either/or proposition: either all its forms

to be condemned or all its expressions to be sanctioned” (1992: 481).

As Cohen explains, “it is not true that all nationalists have had

chauvinist views of the world and that all expressions of national

sentiment represent particularist evil” (480). Viewing “the legitimacy

of plural loyalties,” best evidenced in “trans-nationality,” as “an

important democratic principle” (482), Cohen proposes rooted

cosmopolitanism as the middle ground and an alternative to abstract

universalism, which is illusionary and untenable, and to particularism,

which is one-sided and unidevotional. Published almost 13 years after

Cohen’s piece, the final chapter of Appiah’s

The Ethics of Identity

(2005) is also entitled “Rooted Cosmopolitanism,” although the

chapter appears to repeat some ideas that Appiah has argued in an

earlier article called “Cosmopolitan Patriots” (Appiah, 1997).