Who was the last Don from Gujarat

75 Muslim peace activists in Gujarat, India1 Raphael Susewind I. Introduction The anti-Muslim pogrom in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 is a paradigm for the connection between politicized religion and political violence in South Asia. Last but not least, it triggered considerable unrest, reflection and reorientation in the local NGO scene: many development policy activists began to deal with the factor of religion for the first time and discovered Muslims as a new target group for their interventions. At the same time, a decidedly Muslim civil society gained visibility, innovative collaborations between traditional development organizations and Islamic foundations emerged - and then collapsed again. Only many Hindu-motivated organizations, including most of the Gandhian groups, held back - which is noticeable in the home country of the Mahatma. After a brief introduction to the pogrom itself, this article traces these institutional dynamics in a first section, and then in a second section deepens the discussion on the "ambivalence of the sacred" 2 on the personal level. With the help of narrative interviews and psychometric data from Muslim peace activists3, this second section deconstructs common and catchy ideas about the connection between religion and politics and illuminates the often ambiguous shades between violence and peace. I limit myself to "faith-based actors" and "secular tech- 1 This article is based on field research in cooperation with Jan Vikas Ahmedabad and the School for International Training Jaipur / Brattleboro, financed by the Cusanuswerk with funds from the BMBF (cf. Susewind 2009). I would like to thank 21 anonymous interlocutors, my assistant Pushpa Yadav and the Modern South Asia Working Group of the German Society for Asian Studies for helpful comments. The entire study can be found in Susewind 2013. 2 Appleby 2000. 3 A contingent selection that focuses on my broader one Research project - a comparable study on non-Muslim activists would undoubtedly be an exciting addition. 76 nokrats "on two types of a broader empirical typology4; these should suffice to underpin my ultimately methodological thesis: that insights at the level of individual actors can and should complement and enrich the literature on "ambivalence of the sacred" inspired by Scott Appleby in central points. A look beyond the apparently unambiguous configurations of the institutional meso-level first shows the different ways in which the "ambivalence of the sacred" unfolds as a personal dynamic. This implies that the questions raised in the introduction to this anthology can only be answered in many different ways. Is religion being instrumentalized? Some of the people I spoke to say "yes", others say "no" - and my own observations support both hypotheses. The religiosity of certain actors can contribute to aggravating the conflict as well as to its pacification - and while my typology, with its focus on peace efforts, primarily captures the complex dynamics of the de-escalation effect of religion, many of the people I spoke to are also familiar with its violent sides. The goal of taking the diversity of the micro-level empirically seriously also implies a specific exploratory cognitive logic in which quantifying generalizing statements are neither intended nor possible. My interlocutors have had very different experiences and the stories they tell always remain their own personal ones. A lack of generalizability should not be equated with coincidence: what will be said below by and about "faith-based actors" and "secular technocrats" is based on the systematic evaluation of similarities and differences in the lives of 21 specifically selected Muslim activists. Such a typology is not related to society as a whole (or even to all Muslim peace activists), but it defines characteristic dynamics in contrast to other interlocutors within a sample and embeds them in broader political and religious contexts. 4 For the other two types - "emancipating women" and "doubting professionals" - see Susewind 2011. 77 Methodologically, this typology is based, as already mentioned, on narrative interviews and psychometric questionnaires5, collected in the spring of 2008 in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat, and in the rural Panchmahal district. The interviews focused on the autobiography of the respective interlocutors, their subjective experiences of success and their beliefs and practices. The psychometric questionnaires recorded basic psycho- and sociodynamic dispositions, 6 the intensity and relevance of group identification, 7 as well as the ability to tolerate ambiguity.8 The last section of my contribution reflects how the initially emphasized diversity, which is reflected in both the narratives and the Psychometrics shows how to order and classify beyond a priori established schemes - and outlines the insights that can be hoped for from such a typologizing methodology at the micro-level for researching the "ambivalence of the sacred". II. Gujarat 2002 Even if the term "peace" does not go into the mere absence of violence, violence remains central to every peace story - even if it is just the starting point. With recourse to extensive representations by other authors9, it is therefore important to first clarify what happened in the "Laboratory for Hindu-Nationalist Politics", as the state of Gujarat is often called, which is deeply divided in religious communalism. What are the interventions of "faith-based actors" and "secular technocrats" reacting to? 5 Parts of the Giessen test (Beckmann / Brähler / Richter 1991) and the inventory to measure ambiguity tolerance (Reis 1996) as well as scales for group identification (Jackson / Smith 1999) were used; see for more detailed information on Susewind 2013. 6 “Social resonance” between dominance and docility, “control” between undercontrolled and compulsive tendencies as well as “permeability” between permeable and retentive contact experience were recorded; cf. Beckmann / Brähler / Richter 1991 and the use of this instrument in Kakar 1997. 7 Both the strength of identification with one's own group (here: Muslims) and the relative importance of this identification option compared to national identity, linguistic identity, Gender and caste affiliation; see Jackson / Smith 1999. 8 The tolerance of ambiguities in the areas of "social conflicts", "role stereotypes" and "new experiences" was recorded; See Reis 1996. 9 See, for example, Engineer 2003, Oommen 2008, Powers 2009 or Robinson 2005. 78 On February 27, 2002, 59 people burned to death in a train compartment in the Godhra train station in the Panchmahal district, where part of the underlying field research took place . Most of the victims were Hindu nationalist pilgrims returning from a demonstration in Ayodhya, where they celebrated the tenth "anniversary" of the destruction of the Babri Mosque.10 The exact sequence of events in Godhra can no longer be reliably reconstructed; Some authors argue that the fire was started by a Muslim mob after violent verbal skirmishes and scuffles, 11 others - including an independent investigative commission under Chief Justice Banerjee - assume a technical defect in the wagon.12 As is so often the case after mass tragedies, careful forensic work does not answer all questions to the extent that it is desirable. In any case, what is more decisive for this contribution is what followed the fire in Godhra. The next day the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal, two Hindu nationalist organizations, called for a general strike. The 59 corpses were transported to the state capital Ahmedabad with media coverage and numerous politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called for "revenge". What followed was not a spontaneous outbreak of violence, but an organized pogrom13 against the Muslim communities in Gujarat, which claimed more than 2,000 deaths within three weeks and permanently expelled tens of thousands of Muslims from their homes, villages and neighborhoods.14 Many businesses run by Muslims were burned down, as well as more than 240 dargahs (Muslim shrines) and more than 180 mosques, mainly in central Gujarat.15 The brutal violence against women stands out in particular; Pregnant Muslim women were repeatedly slashed alive and their fetuses burned.16 While large parts of the state elites (from local police commanders to state ministers) supported and coordinated the pogrom, the violence itself was mostly directed against Dalits (formerly "untouchables") and Adivasis ( so-called "tribesmen") delegated, 10 An act that is rightly seen as a turning point in the relations between Hindus and Muslims in post-colonial India; a good summary and pointed analysis of the events can be found in Nandy et al. 1997. 11 Cf. Engineer 2003: 18f. 12 See Banerjee 2005. 13 See Heitmeyer 2009: 111. 14 See Heitmeyer 2009: 104 and Yagnik / Sheth 2005: 282. 15 See Ganguly / Jowher / Dabhi 2006: 11. 16 See Nussbaum 2007. 79 die sich hoped for recognition in the higher-caste Hindu-national spectrum.17 Even if the National Human Rights Commission found a comprehensive state failure of the government in Gujarat, 18 the majority of the voters in Gujarat remained unimpressed or even supported the violence: in July 2002 the parliament was passed dissolved and the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the elections in December by a huge margin.19 At the time of this article, it continues to rule the state. III. Peace work While broad sections of civil society reacted with restraint to the wave of violence, some organizations, networks and individuals came together after a brief period of shock to form a small but impressive self-proclaimed peace community. Although many of them had already been involved in development work for decades, they often broke new ground after 2002; 20 The horror at the timing and extent of the violence and the self-doubt it triggered broadened the focus of these activists and created space for a wide variety of experiments in civilians Conflict management. Immediately after 2002, the various organizations put their cultural and ideological differences aside, initially in the interests of the urgent needs for emergency shelter, food and security, and coordinated their projects in joint action platforms.21 But this unity fell apart as soon as a makeshift appearance of normality was restored . While some faith-based organizations22 continued to emphasize material reconstruction, others began with "spiritual aid" and missionary activities, and still others - as well as practically all secular NGOs - started systematic interventions in various policy areas from transitional justice to victim-perpetrator- 17 Cf. Powers 2009 : xi. 18 Cf. Ganguly / Jowher / Dabhi 2006: 10. 19 Cf. Simpson 2006: 342. 20 Cf. Powers 2009: 157. 21 Cf. Oommen 2008: 185. 22 So those organizations that explicitly focus on religious arguments in their work support; this study is based on the broad definition given by Clarke 2006. 80 dialogues up to religious education. This diversity resulted in both conflicts and exciting collaborations. Many of the classic NGOs anchored their programs in a "contact hypothesis", trying to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together in joint projects without explicitly addressing the conflict. Proponents of this approach argued that religion was instrumentalized by politicians before 2002; Consequently, it would be more promising to counter such instrumentalization with a close social network across religious group boundaries than, for example, to organize theological dialogues.23 For them, it was about the reconstruction of everyday interreligious relationships, not about a deeper engagement with possible religious or even spiritual ones Aspects of Conflict. Only a minority of civil society organizations chose other paths and explicitly dealt with communal violence. Both the majority adhering to the "contact hypothesis" and the minority of the NGO scene explicitly dealing with the conflict, however, shared a secular or secularist worldview. Just looking at their activities would therefore neither do justice to the need for spiritual help expressed by victims nor the activities of faith-based organizations that serve this need - while pursuing their respective religious agendas. A prominent example of such faith-based organizations is the Gujarat Sarvajanik Welfare Trust (GSWT), which, initiated by Muftis, Shaikhs and Maulanas, describes its mission in clear religious language: The communal riots [sic] of 2002 in the state of Gujarat was a challenge to the trust of saving human lives and their rehabilitation. The trust accepted the challenge, struggled hard and with the mercy of Allah, achieve [sic] the goal. In response to such traditional charity and in search of access to previously ignored Muslim communities, some classic NGOs began to establish collaborations with GSWT and similar religious groups.24 For them, the Trust offered a reliable grassroots partner in an environment in which most NGOs had very little Had experience: without such cooperation, they would have had decades of neglect. 23 The assumption that civic networks help prevent communalist unrest also has strong scientific supporters; See Varshney 2002 and, as a counter-position, Engineer 1995. 24 See Oommen 2008: 146-166. 81 Muslim communities can only be overcome with difficulty as a target group. At the same time, however, many NGOs also had doubts about the more problematic religious agendas of faith-based groups. In particular, only a few Muslim groups met the "contact hypothesis" criterion; rather, they only involved Muslims in their projects. This was of course less due to their different ideological orientations - on the contrary: many faith-based organizations would have liked to work with non-Muslims as well - than to structural power imbalances between minority and majority, victims and perpetrators, Muslims and Hindus. Demanding interreligious contact is much easier for NGOs from the majority society; many Gandhian and secular initiatives had little understanding of this hierarchy of power and trust within Gujarat's civil society. Of course, this does not exclude the fact that some faith-based organizations did indeed work exclusively among Muslims because they could thus combine their material projects with spiritual goals. But even in these cases, it is difficult to distinguish legitimate concerns about the nature of these goals and widespread Islamophobia. Of course, the broader religious and often conservative agenda of faith-based actors can have an undesirable influence on the identity constructions of Muslims from an NGO perspective - but the same can be said of secular organizations and their respective missions and visions. The decision about which influence is normatively rejected should be left to those affected. Many traditional NGOs, however, at least implicitly denied their target groups the competence to make such self-determined value judgments and dedicated themselves entirely to the narrative of passivity and neediness of a supposedly leaderless Muslim minority. They emphasized a lack of education, insufficient political representation, devotion to fate and paralyzing fear - an assessment that was vehemently rejected both by some secular and, above all, by faith-based Muslim interlocutors. The research results used here also repeatedly show that Muslims are very well able to withstand orthodox discourses, to transform them or only to the extent that they convince them personally; their identity is by no means revealed monocausally from contact with faith-based organizations. It is therefore both normatively and empirically important to take personal orientations and concrete actions seriously - otherwise Muslims as passive recipients of orthodox charities will be victimized again and the perception of the interaction between religion and politics will be distorted. The problem continues at the institutional meso level: many secular NGOs do not regard their faith-based partners as fully-fledged parts of civil society - but, conversely, also dismissed all non-practicing Muslims from being Muslim. In their opinion, Muslim peace activists are either not Muslims or not peace activists - the only thing left is the circular argument of a passive, needy, impersonal mass. But beyond the institutional landscape - and across their differences - different Muslims are committed to peace in different ways. How personal and political dynamics interact for them will now be examined more closely using the example of two types of actors. IV. Belief-based actors A first type of activist draws his motivation both from a strong identification with other Muslims and from specifically formulated beliefs. In the conversations with these "faith-based actors" it is first noticeable how dogmatic rhetoric superimposes their autobiographical narrative: they avoid telling personal stories as much as possible, even if they value hadiths from the life of Muhammad. Your dogma is quite simple: I am Muslim, Islam means peace, so I am a peace activist. Further explanations seem unnecessary to them. Interestingly enough, this portrayal actually mirrors the biography of some "faith-based actors" - albeit certainly not completely - namely those who assume a traditional and hereditary dispute mediator function for their community. For others - and the majority - of these activists, however, the dogma hides unpleasant contradictions and contingencies in their own biography. Event structure analyzes25 of their narratives show that dogmatic rhetoric is used omnipresent, but the causal cohesion of the narrative is created with the few pragmatic objections. The dogma therefore does not replace the autobiography and the causal mechanisms that govern the respective activity. This is a method of reconstructing the causal relationships established by the interlocutors themselves in narrative interviews; See Heise 2007. 83 vism, but rather offers a semantic foil for the interpretation and rhetorical presentation of these mechanisms.26 One interlocutor put it as an example: In the Indian context is what we have to do is [that] we have to get our organization registered. So, we have, we got the thing registered, according as to the state laws. And accordingly we are running all our welfare activities. Including peace activities, so these organizations Interviewer [interrupting]: so you became involved in all that in this way? See, I just told you, [cross-speech] No, listen, this is like a putting a question in other words: how are you a peace activist? So there is no such story. [...] this is a fact that anybody who strives for peace and he is a Muslim [pause] so there is a very clear-cut definition, so you don't need any other story. The interview with this "belief-based actor" was largely like a game of cat and mouse: I tried to evade his dogmatic lectures in order to find out the personal history of his activism - but as soon as he got the impression I was claiming him questioning the direct causality between "I am a Muslim" and "I am a peace activist", he returned to dogmatics. This helps him to reduce his imprecise, contingent and context-dependent history - including such mundane aspects as the state regulation of charitable organizations - to a few reliable "facts". Despite the uniformly non-narrative rhetoric, there is a wide variety of religious and political currents in Indian Islam among "faith-based actors": These activists found their spiritual and political home with the Tablighis, 27 Barelwis, 28 fundamentalists, traditional Sufis and many other groups. 29 Their different and rival theologies met above all in one aspect: all "faith-based actors" imagined the end of times very precisely and emphasized not only that the threatening judgment should already influence our behavior today, but that eternity as well provides a complete model of society. To a certain extent, they import an idea of ​​the 26 On rhetoric as an object of ethnographic analysis, see Carrithers 2005. 27 A pietistic-orthodox renewal movement; see Metcalf 2006 and Sikand 2002. 28 A counter-movement to the Tablighis that consciously takes up elements of Indian-Islamic popular piety; see Sanyal 1996 and Gugler 2009 (see also Gugler in this volume). 29 Cf. overview also Osella / Osella 2007 and Robinson 2007. 84 good apocalyptic life in today's times and strive to anticipate paradise on earth: Ha, we have an excellent understanding of the afterlife. [...] See, there is only one creator. It is a final thing. [...] One administration is over there. If there are two administrations, what will happen ?! [...] The same message is running throughout all the books. The same message. That there is a creator, we are the prophets, do what we say, if you want to succeed in this life and day after. This quote not only claims that earthly and eternal life should follow the same rules, since both are rooted in the same belief in Tawhid, the oneness of God. It also includes an "excellent" understanding of these rules - whereas the vast majority of other interlocutors only formulated a very unspecific hope of salvation. Such unspecific hope "is eschatology, but not apocalyptic. The focus is on the future meaning of present action. Apocalyptic imagines the future and gives it an immediate meaning of the present." 30 eschatological conceptions of the afterlife thus formulate a relatively open connection between ethical behavior and future salvation, while apocalyptic variants - those who are preferred by "faith-based actors" - offer a more hermetic interpretation: because the rules of the hereafter are well known ("running throughout all the books"), salvation is bound to their detailed observance in earthly life. The morality of "faith-based actors" - including the morality that turns them into peace activists - derives its detail from apocalyptic certainties. Last but not least, these could also explain why religious identities of "faith-based actors" have a stable influence on their political actions without the violence of 2002 significantly changing their activism (there is only one new field of activity). How should an earthly event change the apocalyptically predetermined eternity? 31 Further similarities of "faith-based actors" - and differences to other types of peace activists - can be found in the area of ​​psychometric test results. Interestingly, the scales of all "faith-based actors" show a high degree of self-efficacy as well as a high degree of depersonalization or de-individualization: they all experience 30 Schäfer 2008: 74. 31 A standard argument on apocalyptic ideas about the hereafter; cf. Hasenclever / de Juan 2007: 26. 85 behave as an acting subject, but not as an individual. Behind this psychometric commonality, however - as with the rival theologies - there are again considerable differences: although all "faith-based actors" experience themselves as collective subjects, who belongs to this collective and who does not is a very open question. The collective included all possible groups for the various activists: from the Umma (the totality of all Muslims) to members of a certain sect, Biradari (Muslim caste) or political grouping to all Muslims in a certain district (regardless of political orientation). One last thing "belief-based actors" have in common is their low tolerance for ambiguous experiences: dealing with ambiguity is not one of their strengths - probably a psychometric correlate of their stable dogmatic orientation. Overall, this type of peace activist thus reflects common stereotypical ideas about politically active Muslims - orthodox, influenced by their religion, acting collectively - but at the same time shows the considerable definitional differences that this stereotype conceals. This dialectic of supposed homogeneity and actual heterogeneity runs through the specific way in which "faith-based actors" combine religious identity and political action - from the structure of their rhetoric to the content of their psychological experience. V. Secular technocrats "Secular technocrats" are in many ways the exact opposite of the activists just presented: their political action is influenced neither by a particularly intense identification with other Muslims nor by specific theologies. However, they do not reject religion per se, but are a classic example of people who feel "religiously unmusical" 32 - that is, they are neither particularly religious nor particularly anti-religious, but primarily cannot do anything with religion. "Secular" is their preferred self-classification, even if secularism often appears just as unimportant in their narratives and is as little emotional as religion. At first glance, your stories are therefore not too fruitful for a discussion of the "ambivalence of the sacred": if there is no connection between religious identities and political action, this cannot be analyzed; neither the spirituality of "religiously unmusical" people nor the description of a non-relationship with the ingroup will fill many pages; and it cannot even be determined whether the professional skepticism of "secular technocrats" about religion as a topic of civil conflict management arises from their personal areligiousness - or whether the latter was shaped by the former. However, the example of "secular technocrats" is instructive for two overriding reasons. Firstly, the fact that Muslim "secular technocrats" exist at all is surprising - and secondly, their unexcited attitude towards religion is able to calm down some otherwise heated debates about the fate of Indian secularism. First of all to the surprise: in scientific works and even more so in public discourse, the claim can still often be found that Muslims can never really be secular or support a secular order, since they are always religious (an error that many NGO representatives also believe in Gujarat) as well as acting out of religious motivation. These assumptions do not even apply to all Islamists, 33 and certainly not to the "secular technocrats" to which this section is devoted. Because free of theological terms, personal spiritual experience or deeper ties to other Muslims, the utterances of "secular technocrats" demonstrate above all that they can do little with religion: Actually, I am not a religious person. I have no idea what faith is all about. I say that frankly. I read the Quran. Well, the message of peace is in each and any religion. Take any sacred book. [...] I also went to a Madrassah [...] but made so much hubbub there that they threw me out. "Religiously unmusical" as they experience and portray themselves, "secular technocrats" said little about religious practice. Some emphasized that the prayer ritual, like other gymnastics exercises, keeps the body flexible, others speculate that the regularity of the prayer helps to structure the daily routine - but only one of them actually prays, as part of a family ritual: I pray, I also fast during the month of Ramadan, I am learned in the Quran, I read everything. But there is no emotion. The atmosphere in my home emphasized fasting and all that in Ramadan, so it is an enforced habit. [...] [I also] go to all the places. 33 Cf. Ahmad 2009. 87 Not for puja [offering / prayer], I have no idea how this ritual works. [But] all my friends go, so I go with them and pay them [the Gods and / or the friends] respect that way, that is all. The psychometric data also show that "secular technocrats" are significantly less likely to feel like other Muslims Feel connected than other types of peace activists - and receive little attention from them in return. After all, they can do little with religion, but they react strongly to religious conflicts, the ambiguities of which they can just as badly endure as "faith-based actors". This, however, not because conflicts, as in the case of the latter, do not fit into the worldview, but rather as a psychometric correlate of their rights-based activism, in which conflicts are fought out preferentially - and not endured in their ambiguity. But what does the specific way in which "secular technocrats" as Muslims work for peace mean for current debates on Indian secularism? The answer is at least threefold. On the one hand, these activists cultivate a surprisingly pragmatic approach to secularism, which is not an expression of fixed ideological attitudes. "Secular technocrats" do not replace traditional religion with a functional equivalent of secularist ideology; Rather, they can basically gain little from any religious form - including the ideological one - and thus cultivate an actually "secularized secularism" .34 Second, this undogmatic practice, which lives secularism without elevating it as a religious equivalent, is actually nothing new, but possibly only became forget the hot contemporary debates. After independence from India, the Congress Party adopted secular concepts for pragmatic reasons, in order to provide a common framework for the diversity of Indian society.35 Indian Muslims have been part of this pragmatic story from the beginning and "whether or not Islam is compatible with secularism and democracy is not a pertinent question to most Indian Muslims. Secular democracy has been integral to their political life for more than half a century. "36 34 Cf. Turina 2007. 35 Engineer 1995: 269. Cf. on the role of" secularism "in early Indian Nationalisms also Roy 2007. 36 Ahmad 2009: 11. 88 Third, the attitude of "secular technocrats" marks a clear contrast to heated academic debates in India and elsewhere: "secularism, the argument goes, has not only failed to deliver the goods, but exacerbated the very problems that, in the first place, it was devised to overcome "37. The fundamental importance of these debates for civil and human rights issues is beyond dispute, especially in Gujarat. But the experience of "secular technocrats" justifies a perspective that emphasizes the success of long-term socio-structural secularization, even if the secular ideology falls into crisis. Although political religion is gaining importance after the ideological hegemony of Indian secularism has subsided (as the example of "faith-based actors" shows), the individualistic trend of this revivalist tradition should not be underestimated, which diversifies the connections between religious and political identities first and foremost - which causes both religious and secular currents among Muslims.38 One reason why this has so far often been overlooked is the fact that the debate about Indian secularism is based too exclusively on discourse analysis and philosophical considerations39 - however, secularism is at least also a personal practice, and this practice can be more relaxed and natural than public discourse suggests. However, this is only noticeable if the personal level of experience and action is methodically centered. VI. Surprising similarities Before "faith-based actors" and "secular technocrats" appear too clearly separable, it is helpful to uncover a tangible psychometric surprise: the characteristics of both types are not only similar to one another - as will be shown immediately - they also reflect the psychodynamic Profile of communalist violent criminals, which the Indian psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar identified in his studies on the subject40. 37 Bhargava 1998: 2. For reasons of space, I only refer to this work as an anthology that brings together many of the central texts of this debate. 38 Cf. Hasan 2008: 132. 39 Cf. similar criticism of the academic discourse by Ahmad 2009: 14. 40 Cf. Kakar 1997. 89 peels: unusually high dominance or assertiveness, positive social response or acceptance and appreciation by others ( in the case of "faith-based actors" more than for "secular technocrats") and average permeability or attention to and reaction to others.41 However, other types of Muslim peace activists differ significantly from this profile. For statistical reasons (lack of test norms for the Gießen test for India), these results should only be interpreted substantially with caution: the high dominance, for example, could simply turn out to be an artifact of a shifted distribution in the Indian cultural context. However, the similarity of the psychodynamics of Kakar's violent criminals and the two types of peace activists presented in this article can in itself be interpreted; if test norms are shifted, then probably in a similar way for both studies. Kakar's description of violent activists may therefore be more a description of a certain type of experienced, stable, ultimately technocratic activist than a consequence of willingness to use violence. Or vice versa: the form of activism as such does not allow any reliable conclusions to be drawn about substantial content - similar to the example of "faith-based actors" that it became clear that formal rhetorical and psychometric similarities can contain very different theologies and biographical experiences. This, too, is a reason to focus more on the personal level when dealing with the "ambivalence of the sacred". VII. Conclusion: The "ambivalence of the sacred" as a personal dynamic After the Iranian revolution in 1979 and September 11, 2001, many social scientists rediscovered the "recurring" religion; Their attention was mostly focused on the connection between religion (s), their political instrumentalization and violent conflicts. In the meantime, however, a research consensus has emerged that religion should be analyzed both as an independent and as an ambivalent factor in political conflicts.42 This article and the research on which it is based were aimed at 41 The depressive mood that Kakar also found in his study of violent criminals are not queried in the present study due to ethical research restrictions. 42 Cf. Wilhelmy 2006, Rakodi 2007 and Hasenclever / de Juan 2007. 90 It is up to us to underpin this consensus, which was developed mainly theoretically and on the meso level, empirically and on the micro level. Using the example of the two types "faith-based actors" and "secular technocrats", the article shows how the "ambivalence of the sacred" 43 can be understood as a personal dynamic. The research consensus, which Scott Appleby for the first time justified in detail, is a clear advance compared to flat instrumentalization theses as well as crude Kulturkampf rhetoric: both approaches cannot capture empirical variance satisfactorily, either they underestimate or overestimate religion and mostly they blind the peaceful side of the Ambivalence. The following applies: The religious peacemaker cannot decisively neutralize his violent coreligionists nor provide a remedy for all the community’s ills. But the ambivalence of religion toward violence, toward the sacred itself, is actually good news for those who recognize, correctly, that religion will continue to be a major force in determining the quality and kind of relations among disparate peoples. Ambivalence provides an opening, an opportunity to cultivate tolerance and openness toward the other.44 But this assumption can of course only be the starting point for further questions, especially questions about a more precise definition of the religious and extra-religious factors that make the ambivalence in the direction of violence or dissolve peace. A growing number of studies are dealing with such causal factors.45 They deal with demographic structures of opportunity, 46 with civil society interdependence, 47 preferences of religious authorities48 or simply path dependencies.49 Insights on the personal level of identity and action, as presented in this article , are suitable for thoroughly complicating such attempts at explanation. They show that the ambivalence of the sacred not only separates religious peacemaker from violent coreligionists (who then join forces in intermediary organizations of the same kind), but is already reflected in the personal experience, in the identity and affiliation dynamics of the peace activists themselves- 43 Appleby 2000 44 Appleby 2000: 306. 45 Cf. overview Hasenclever / de Juan 2007. 46 Cf. Schlee 2006. 47 Cf. Varshney 2002. 48 Cf. Appleby 2000. 49 Cf. Brass 2003. 91 reflects. If Appleby expanded the alleged uniqueness of the relationship between religion and conflict into ambiguity, it now also shows itself as ambiguity: "the real 'clash' is therefore within each person, 'as we oscillate uneasily between self -protective aggression and the ability to live in the world with others' ". 50 This is how" faith-based actors "support their activism with detailed moral commandments and intensive group identification; they interpret reality in dogmatic schemes and experience themselves as a collective subject - even if their religious and political practices, theological concepts and in-group definitions de facto differ considerably. In return, "secular technocrats" do not anchor their peace work in beliefs, nor do they feel particularly attached to other Muslims; they were and are "religiously unmusical" and their secularism is a relaxed, self-evident practice and not an ideological religious equivalent. What both types have in common, however, is that the socio- and psychodynamics of their activism are similar to the profile of religious violent offenders that the Indian psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar describes in his studies - and that appears more as a profile of a certain type of activism than a profile of willingness to use violence. Both types are also ignored by the mainstream of the NGO scene, which leads to the cliché of powerless Muslims passively exposed to their fate. If "faith-based actors" are usually normatively devalued and their agendas viewed critically, "secular technocrats" as "religiously unmusical" Muslims represent the blind spot in the peace efforts in Gujarat. This diagnosis is all the more surprising since "faith-based actors" are far beyond of the spectrum of faith-based organizations and "secular technocrats" not only work in traditional NGOs: the connection between religious identities and peace activism on the one hand and the institutional sketch of the peace community in Gujarat on the other is far from clear. This may be a sampling artifact, but it could also indicate that the various interactions between religion and politics on the level of identity and action must be developed empirically, not conceptually a priori, in a type-building manner. Otherwise our understanding of the "ambivalence of the sacred" will necessarily be distorted. 50 Nussbaum 2007: 334. 92 This has political implications, not least: many organizations involved in development cooperation and conflict management are beginning to deal more intensively with religion. A large-scale one is just ending at the University of Birmingham , a research program sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID), the British development aid ministry; 51 the Peace Development Group (FriEnt), an important network of German development organizations, is also addressing the topic.52 Methodologically, discourse analyzes or comparisons of institutions have so far clearly dominated these studies The results of this article suggest that this approach is not sufficient to depict the full scope of the “ambivalence of the sacred.” This breadth can only be recognized if individuals also pay more attention in the method chapters experience sameness. 51 Cf. Rakodi 2007. 52 Cf. Kaiser 2005. 93 VIII. Literature Ahmad, Irfan 2009: Islamism and democracy in India. The transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami. Princeton: Univ. Press. Appleby, R. Scott 2000: The ambivalence of the sacred. Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 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