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Tanzeen Rashed Doha


This essay traces the dynamic encounter between Rohingya ulama (scholars), who travel as muhajir (migrants),
and Bangladeshi Deobandi Islamists, who re-enact the role of the ansar (helpers), as they explore godforsakenness
during two waves of migration in 2016 and 2017. Bringing together theological aphasia and references to
contemporary jihad, this ethnographic meditation calls into question the assumptive logics of secular historicism
and liberal humanitarianism as it confronts the deathworld of the War on Terror through Islam’s founding texts
and traditions. Drawing from Talal Asad’s reading of the secular as “conceptually prior to the political doctrine
of secularism” and a formation that contains “a variety of concepts, practices, and sensibilities,” it highlights and
unearths the secular core of liberal concepts of humanitarianism, historicity, spatiality, and geography, to specify
their uses within the discourse of the War on Terror. The ulama in the border region point to the secular and
identify it as a structuring coordinate within the discourse of liberal civil society. At the level of sensibility, the
interactions between the scholars and Islamists in the border region reveal a domain consisting of moods, anxieties,
and perceptive qualities that runs counter to the affective life immanent to secularity.

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How to Cite
Doha, T. R. . (2024). Godforsakenness . Journal of World Philosophies, 8(2). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/jwp/article/view/5864