The Jama‘at-i-Islami is, by far, one of the most influential Islamic movements in the world today, particularly strong in the countries of South Asia. Its influence extends far beyond the confines of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, and the writings of its chief ideologues have exercised a powerful impact on contemporary Muslim thinking all over the world. Much has been written about the movement, both by its leaders and followers as well as by its critics. Most of these writings have focused either on the Jama‘at's ideology or on its historical development in India and Pakistan. Hardly any literature is available on the evolution and history of the Jama‘at in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. This is unfortunate, because here the Jama'at has had a long history of its own, which has followed a path quite distinct from the branches of the movement in both India and Pakistan. Furthermore, the Jama‘at has played a crucial role in the politics of Kashmir right since its inception in the late 1940s, a role that has gained particular salience in the course of the armed struggle in the region that began in the late 1980s and still shows no sign of abating.
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