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Radical Islamism and Jihad

Repeated use of Islamic phrases underlines the extent to which the faith has been cynically used to spread violence. While Muslims argue that Islam does not condone this kind of terrorism against unarmed, innocent civilians, most do not condemn it in clear, unequivocal terms. After agreeing that such acts are un-Islamic, there is all too often a lingering "Yes, but…" hanging in the air.
It is this ambiguity that has given terror groups in Pakistan and elsewhere the space and legitimacy to operate. Now that Pakistanis have seen the true face of terrorism in Swat, and have begun to support the government in its drive to rid us of this cancer, the lesson needs to be reinforced. One way would be to dub the Channel 4 documentary and show it extensively on various TV channels in Pakistan. We need to hear ordinary people who survived or lost close relatives, and see their pain.
We need to see the horrors inflicted in the name of Islam. Above all, we need to share the agony of our neighbours. -- Irfan Hussain

The Qur’an asserts that if the use of force would not have been allowed in such cases, the disruption and disorder caused by insurgent nations could have reached the extent that the places of worship – where the Almighty is kept in constant remembrance – would have become deserted and forsaken, not to mention the disruption of the society itself:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed. (22:40)

In religious parlance, this use of force is called Jihad -- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi,  renowned Islamic scholar based in Lahore, (Translated by: Shehzad Saleem)

Can jihad be declared against a non-Muslim government that does not in any way oppress Muslims? Can such a government be told either to accept Islam or else hand over power to Muslims? This is a very crucial question. ... it should be kept in mind that in those days all states were identified with one religion or the other.  Every state was strictly identified with a particular religion, and so it was simply inconceivable that any non-Muslim government would allow Muslims to invite its subjects to God’s path.  This is why the issue was never even discussed then of how Muslims should relate to a non-Muslim state that explicitly allowed Islam to be practiced in its territory or that permitted its subjects to accept Islam and follow it.
In the view of some scholars, in such a situation Muslims must adopt the path of peacefully inviting others to the faith, making use of it to the utmost extent possible so much as to that all the adequate proofs (hujjat) of God be made known. After this, God will decide, in accordance with His practice, which He invariably does after all His proofs have been clearly established, and which can take any form. My own limited understanding leads me to believe that this opinion is in closer accordance with reason, the spirit of the shariah, and the aims and wisdom of God’s revelation. This position can be backed by Hadith reports that insist on the need for peaceful propagation of Islam before fighting can at all be envisaged. And, it must be remembered, today it is no longer forbidden for Muslims to communicate their faith to non-Muslim rulers or non-Muslims in general. -- Maulvi Yahya Nomani (Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand)

What is lost in terrorist attacks is much more than life. Driven by single-minded hatred towards all things they either don't know of, understand, or those that don't fit into the Pashto-centric world view, terrorists have destroyed chunks of history and today are dangerously threatening more. After the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in central Afghanistan because boss Mullah Omar had decreed all depiction in stone or paper of human and animal forms un-Islamic, the phrase archaeological terrorism was coined by scholars who had watched the carnage unfold. The world watched with horror as the Taliban destroyed ancient sculptures in Afghanistan. The response was a helpless, collective gasp as explosives, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons blew apart two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan, 230 km from the Afghan capital Kabul. Today, the same danger looms over Pakistan, which contains sites from the Indus Valley civilisation. -- Ranjan Roy

Islamists’ deceitful politics of death

Pro-Islamist media have been helping to ensure that the venom spreads as far as possible. In a June 16 article, Riyaz Masoor, editor, Rising Kashmir, suggested that the victims “represented the nation Kashmir and the rapists represented the state of India; it was the Hindu India raping the Muslim Kashmir.” Mr. Masoor accused the Indian Army, which until now has not been alleged to have played any role in the Shopian deaths, of going “on a raping spree.” “Let them carry a poison pill with them,” he advised the State’s women: “if, God forbid, they are caught, let them swallow the poison and embrace death and defeat the evil military man of the world’s largest democracy.”…

Last year, Kashmir’s people decisively rejected Mr. Geelani’s communal chauvinism and defeated his demand for a boycott of the Assembly elections. The candidates they elected, though, have so far shown little integrity or commitment to those they represent: both the National Conference and the PDP have sought accommodation with Islamist secessionists. They must summon up the courage to take on Mr. Geelani — or risk being swept away by the rising tide of hate. -- Praveen Swami

 

This, of course, is the dilemma of using criminals and terrorists to further the state’s agenda: they become an embarrassment or, worse, turn against their handlers. It has always struck me as ironic that people like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar use random violence against the innocent as a tool, while claiming the protection of the Constitution when they are arrested. Thus, while people like them organise terror operations targeting ordinary citizens, when caught they demand their habeas corpus rights guaranteed under the Constitution….The sad reality in Pakistan is that when the state wishes to hold an individual, nobody is beyond its reach. So when people like Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Masood Azhar and Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame are released by our superior courts on grounds of insufficient evidence, we have the right to ask what’s going on. Some of these people have publicly urged their misguided followers to commit violent acts, so to pretend they should get the benefit of the doubt is dangerous legal sophistry. Finally, the Army has taken off its gloves in the fight against extremism. And if new laws are required to combat this menace on the judicial level, Parliament must do whatever it takes. -- Irfan Hussain

History is bunk, said Henry Ford. To which another aphorism could be added: literature is literature, and shouldn't be mistaken for reality. Historical and literary precedent is freely and mistakenly being bandied about in a good deal of international commentary on Afghanistan, whose thrust is that modernity is fated to fail in that country (even if the rest of the world has embraced it). Putting material and human resources at Afghanistan's disposal, such 'liberal' opinion claims, is a futile attempt on the part of the international community. ...

Obama's Af-Pak strategy, however, brings about a shift of focus that could reverse some of the damage done. What's needed is patient and open-ended engagement with the people of the region, whether in Afghanistan or in Pakistan's tribal areas. They must be provided security, along with help in building roads, schools, hospitals and modern state institutions. That's what it will take to turn the tide against transnational jihadis operating out of the region. Leaving South Asia at peace, while Kipling's ghost could finally be laid to rest. -- Swagato Ganguly 

In a thoughtful 2002 essay, scholar Saeed Shafqat noted that groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa had profoundly influenced Pakistan’s “process of identity formation.” “Negating Islamic identity,” he argued, “is equated with opposing Pakistan.” “Over the years,” Shafqat argued, “the religio-political groups have become not only militant in responding towards imagined or real enemies — ‘the West’ or ‘India’— but have also become the champions of ‘Pakistan ideology’.”

Elite-led political organisations have failed to mount a coherent ideological challenge to this project — or to address the conditions in which Islamist groups have flourished. Lashkar recruitment in southern Punjab is known to prey on the increasingly angry children of landless peasants and the urban poor. In Pakistan’s north-west, too, disputes over land, resources and development have fed and informed the rise of the Taliban.

Handing out aid will do little to solve these crises. Writing in The Washington Post, scholar C. Christine Fair noted that the U.S. handouts had “allowed Pakistan to avoid having to choose between guns and butter.” “Such choices,” she argued, “define the democratic process. But successive Pakistani governments have successfully wagered that chronic instability and the imminent dangers of terrorism and nuclear black-marketing would leave the world with no choice but to bail them out, regardless of their failures.” She concluded: “The world needs a smarter way to help Pakistan.” -- Praveen Swami

 

What is being overlooked, meanwhile, is the fact that what the world is fighting against in the Af-Pak area is a dangerous ideology. The terrorists believe it is their manifest destiny to spread their cult around the globe, and that this agenda can be achieved through terrorism.

The US, by proposing the contact group consisting of the European Union, Russia, China, India, Iran, Central Asian Republics and Saudi Arabia, has already acknowledged the global nature of the problem. The contact group could develop a global approach, on the basis of which various nations facing the jihadi threat could offer specific help. India, on its part, has invested a billion dollars worth of aid in the development of infrastructure in Afghanistan and has lost its people to terrorism.

The US's staying power in Afghanistan, and its ability to mobilise meaningful international support, will depend on how it conceptualises the global nature of the Taliban threat, and Washington's ability to persuade the Pakistani army to accept such an assessment. While the Pakistani army was responsible to a large extent for nurturing this Frankenstein, the US, too, bears significant responsibility. Today, to save Pakistan, Afghanistan, the rest of the world, and the fair name of Islam, the jihadi threat has to be fought against in a spirit of global cooperation. And in this campaign, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the main battlefields. -- K Subrahmanyam

Let’s just say it: The U.S. first allowed Pakistan to acquire the nuclear bomb by turning a blind eye to its illicit procurement of blueprints and items during the 1970s and 1980s. Then, when the clandestine nuclear importers morphed into covert nuclear exporters, the U.S. admittedly failed to detect their proliferation activities for 16 long years. Worse still, as shown by A.Q. Khan’s release from house arrest and the collapse of international investigations, Washington has not been interested in fully investigating that ring or in bringing its ringleaders to justice.

Safeguarding WMD demands a stable, moderate Pakistan. That, in turn, calls for sustained international political investment in building and strengthening civilian institutions. But is that possible without a clear break from politically expedient U.S. policies that continue to prop up a meddling army, fatten the ISI and encourage the military, intelligence and nuclear establishments to stay not accountable to the elected government? Even Secretary Clinton was constrained to admit that “our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent.” The most likely scenario of Pakistani WMD falling into Islamist hands is an intra-military struggle in which the jihadists gain ascendancy. -- Brahma Chellaney

Conflict between Rulers and Clerics: Which way the Sunni terror monster will turn?

Kashmiris are being exploited like the Kurds of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria in history by neighbouring states and outside powers like Britain, Russia and now USA.

The point to be noted is that there appeared to be a tacit agreement that the US ( and UK) would keep the Kashmir pot boiling ( remember the recent uncouth statement in India by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that to avoid terrorist attacks like 26/11 India must resolve the Kashmir issue . Such regular statements provide oxygen to terrorists’ cause and encourage them .It is as if India stated that terror attacks in north Ireland would cease if London gave in to the demands of Irish Republican Army.)

In return the terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba have kept generally silent about the atrocities in Occupied Palestine and genocide in Gaza by Israelis with full US support and illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq in which over a million Iraqis have died. So much for the solidarity between members of Islamic Ummah of Palestine,Iraq and disgruntled Kashmir elements being trained, equipped and financed by Pakistan for its own ends, when it is quite clear that Islamabad has no intention of agreeing to an independent Kashmir.Why go far? Just look at the terrible conditions in Pak occupied Kashmir ruled from the interior ministry of Pakistan.

Steve Coll writes in Ghost Wars: “Every Pakistani general, liberal or religious believed in the jihadists by 1999, not from personal Islamic conviction, in most cases, but because the jihadists had proved themselves over many years as the one force able to frighten, flummox, and bog down the Hindu-dominated Indian army. About a dozen Indian divisions had been tied up in Kashmir during the late 1990s to suppress a few thousand well-trained, paradise-seeking guerrillas. What more could Pakistan ask.”

Saleem Sahzad wrote in Asia Times last November:  “Before the partition of British India in 1947, Punjab was seen as a loyal colony of the British and their recruits fought against the Afghans. After partition, Punjabis were seen as usurpers who divided the Pashtun tribes in the name of a new country called Pakistan. To many Afghans, Punjabis are opportunists and while they claim to be Muslims, their culture is a blend of Hinduism and Sikhism,” -- K Gajendra Singh  

 

“Kill the Non-believers wherever you find them!”

Some verses of Qur’an were revealed for specific occasions and carry instructions for similar circumstances if they ever exist again; out of context quotation of such verses in parts, by any one is misleading. Such efforts to twist the meanings, with ulterior motives, result in tarnishing the image of Islam. One such example is a part of verse 5 of Surah At-Tauba; “fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them”. It appears to indicate that the Muslims are free to kill the pagans or non believers where ever they find them. A look at verses (Qur’an, 9:1-6) in Qur’an revealed before conquest of Makka, is self explanatory....

Requirement of “Jihad Kabira” (Bigger Jihad, fighting social evils) seems to be the need of hour.... Hence initially Jihad has to be against these evils of society, to establish just Islamic welfare societies which should provide knowledge (religious and secular) justice, fair play and equal opportunities for their people, so that they do not have to look and run towards developed countries to earn the bread and butter...

There was no forced conversion as a policy of state in the light of Qur’an: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”(Qur’an, 2:256). Spain and India are the living examples with majority non Muslim population despite Muslim rule for centuries. It is not permissible in an Islamic state to start killing the unbelievers unless they are in a state of war or convicted by courts for specified offences. One has to live in peace and preach Islam by inviting them to the real message of Qur’an. ...

... someone has to find an answer to the question: Is killing of innocent civilians, women and children whether Muslims or non Muslims justified in the name of Jihad? Can the declaration of Jihad with arms be left at the discretion of few individuals or religious zealots? Or should it be the responsibility of the Islamic states keeping in view the teachings of Islam, national interests and the prevalent system of international relations (UN, OIC and other forums)? Muslim scholars and leadership through dialogue with the international community, have to analyse the reasons of this pathetic state of affairs and find out practicable, realistic and just solutions on long term basis to make the world safer place for everyone. -- Aftab Ahmad Khan

Organised Priestly Abuse of Children in Pakistani Madrasas

Remote madrasas may be turning boys into drones but then there are thousands of madrasas spread all over Pakistan’s urban centres that are producing millions of neo-drones who may not become suicide bombers but are totally unfit to live in this world. These kids need to be rescued

Priestly abuse of children has been going on for as long as there have been priests and children. But never has this been done in such an organised manner as is the case here in Pakistan. This abuse (aside from the pervasive sexual abuse) spells disaster. Just step out of a large city and all you would see around you are hundreds and thousands of little children — from six to thirty-six months old. Until these kids are of an age to observe the ways of their elders, they live and behave like untrained dogs. That’s the real Pakistan and no military or political leader is having sleepless nights over this. -- Nasir Abbas Mirza, Daily Times, Lahore

The growing Talibanization of the mind that Kamila Hyat spoke about in her column this week is a real threat to our fundamental rights and liberties. Simply put it is bigotry, intolerance, obscurantism and coercion practiced in the name of religion that feeds on (a) the fear of change being ushered in by modernity, (b) confusion about the role of religion in the society, and (c) the failure of the state to provide for the basic needs of citizens, including means of subsistence the absence of which renders people desperate and a balanced education without which they lack the tools to question and resist extreme intolerant ideas. The message of the Taliban or other religious bigots can be simple and appealing to a majority of the population that is deprived of basic needs, disempowered and consequently disgruntled. The contract between the citizens and the state is not being honoured by the state and thus the system neither provides for the basic needs of a majority of the citizens nor offers them any real prospect for upward social mobility. This problem of governance is then presented by the maulvi as a consequence of lack of religion. -- Babar Sattar

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for a Crash Plan for IDPS -- Asma Jahangir

'Nuclear Weapons Are Not Kalashnikovs'

Spiegel Interview with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

"They call everyone else a kaafir", said a typically conservative looking young man at an anti-Taliban protest in Islamabad the other day. Sporting a skull cap, a beard and ankle-high shalwaar — he spoke confidently, "They are the state, the Constitution and the judiciary and what’s worse is that they use guns to achieve their goals". Contrary to what many urban dwellers think about the "religiously" attired people, there are numerous religious schools and organisations that stand against the philosophy of the Taliban. ... ... Abu Bakr, a boy of class 8, spoke fluent English and talked about the destruction caused by the Taliban: "I think there is not a single Pakistani who says that terrorism is right because it is damaging our country and as far as I am concerned I’m really conscious about what is happening to my country".

There will always be grey areas when it comes to religion. But in a time when we need general consensus against extremists, it is important to separate the extremist fringe from the truly devout Muslims who believe in tolerance, peace and compassion for all mankind. -- Nosheen Abbas

Controversial ideologue Abdul Aleem Islahi helps make sense of Indian Mujahideen story

By January 2007, Islahi was alarmed enough by these activities to suggest (Mufti Abdul) Bashar leave his job. Bashar then started work at the magazine Nishaan-e-Rah — a name from Islamist ideologue Sayyed Qutb’s seminal work, Milestones, which fired the minds of figures such as Osama bin-Laden and Abdullah Azzam. Later that year, Bashar moved to New Delhi, resuming contact with city-based SIMI cadre — who, the Gujarat Police say, he motivated to join the Indian Mujahideen.

Islahi appears to have little sympathy for the jihadists who disregarded his advice. “These young men,” he says, “had little of the training needed to understand Islam. They did not know Arabic, and had never studied theology. And they did not understand that the purpose of Islam is not to subjugate the infidel, but, rather, to change his outlook and world view.” -- Praveen Swami

 

They are creating a widening pool of young minds that are sympathetic to militancy…. education has never been a priority here, and even Pakistan’s current plan to double education spending next year might collapse as have past efforts, which were thwarted by sluggish bureaucracies, unstable governments and a lack of commitment by Pakistan’s governing elite to the poor.

… But if the state has forgotten the children here, the mullahs have not. With public education in shambles, Pakistan’s poorest families have turned to madrasas, or Islamic schools, that feed and house the children while pushing a more militant brand of Islam than was traditional here.

The Islamic schools are also seen as employment opportunities.

“When someone doesn’t see a way ahead for himself, he builds a mosque and sits in it,” said Jan Sher, whose village in south-western Punjab, Shadan Lund, has become a militant stronghold, with madrasas now outnumbering public schools. Poverty has also helped expand enrolment in madrasas, which serve as a safety net by housing and feeding poor children.

“How can someone who earns 200 rupees a day afford expenses for five children?” asked Hafeezur Rehman, a caretaker in the Jamia Sadiqqia Taleemul Quran madrasa in Multan, the main city in south Punjab. The school houses and feeds 73 boys from poor villages.

Former President Pervez Musharraf tried to regulate the madrasas, offering financial incentives if they would add general subjects. But after taking the money, many refused to allow monitoring.

“The madrasa reform project failed,” said Javed Ashraf Qazi, a retired general who served as education minister at the time.

Suicide bombings were neither encouraged nor condemned. The ideology may be rigid, but it offers the promise of respect, a powerful draw for lower-class young men. -- Sabrina Tavernise

 

Deadly social change

So, it is lack of understanding of this background that leads people to show surprise that south Punjab, which was considered a hub of Barelvi Islam, is moving towards Deobandi and Wahabi ideologies.

A closer look, in fact, shows that a lot of Barelvis have shifted towards other ideologies and are part of the jihad industry without abandoning their original ideology. The gap between the Barelvis and Deobandis has narrowed most peculiarly in south Punjab. Is it because of the hundreds of madrasas that mushroomed in this belt especially in the 1980s? The answer is yes and no. Yes because the new madrasas, which were different from the traditional ones in the area, introduced a more dramatic curriculum that nurtured in the students an appreciation of sectarian and ideological differences. Hence, the sectarian violence in the region, which predates the current shift, dates back to the 1980s and 1990s.

The radicalisation, including sectarian violence, represents an urge for social transformation because some prominent landowners in this area are Shia as opposed to the underdogs most of whom are Sunnis. The growing radicalisation in southern Punjab shown up in the inability of the state to carry out land reforms and shift the socioeconomic and political power structure from a pre-capitalist society to a capitalist one will have its consequences in the years to come. So while the proliferation of madrasas is part of the problem it does not explain the social development in its entirety. Not to mention that southern Punjab as a sub-region has suffered due to the gradual, reverse migration of the elite to other parts of the country creating a power vacuum that is ready to be filled by another lot. -- Ayesha Siddiqa

Nonetheless, the JI Ameer’s self-created definition of Shaheed means that there is a state within a state where Taliban could be allowed to slash the throats of security forces and to shed the blood of innocent persons….

 

The music market vanished, too. All 400 shops. The owner of one had converted it into a kebab joint. "This is sharia," he spat at his grill, which hissed with more smoke than fire. Across from his stand, a barber had hung the obligatory "No un-Islamic haircuts, no shaves" sign and was taking an early morning nap, his face covered with a newspaper. This, I was told, was the price of peace.

As a Taliban insurgency gains strength in Pakistan, my country seems to be preparing to surrender. In areas where the Taliban formally hold sway, such as Swat, people have bowed to their guns. And in the heartland, in Punjab and other regions, there is a disquieting acceptance of the inevitability of the Taliban's rise to power. Over the past two years, Pakistani civil society has driven a military dictator from power and managed to force an elected government to restore our top judges to the bench. But when it comes to the Taliban, it seems incapable of speaking with one voice. - Mohammed Hanif

The Talibans’ excesses and their threats to impose their brand of Shariah on the whole of Pakistan have not gone unchallenged. Intellectuals have been very critical. But the Pakistan government seems confused. On the one hand, it has signed an agreement with the Taliban; meanwhile, it bombs Taliban targets in other parts of the country. It almost appears to be a clever move to use the Taliban threat to secure billions of dollars in aid. But perhaps such strategies too have nothing to do with Shariah. -- Ishtiyaque Danish

 

Pakistani state seems remarkably unwilling to fight back Islamic fundamentalism

“Whosoever takes part in jihad against India, Allah will set him free from the pyres of hell” Lashkar-e-Taiba ideologue Muhammad Ibrahim declared a decade ago. For years, the Pakistani state used its resources to ensure that jihadists like Ibrahim did not have to wait until afterlife to profit from their actions. Nurtured by power, Pakistan’s jihadist movement grew into a formidable beast. Now, the beast appears poised to bite the hand that has for so long fed it.

Despite the threat, the Pakistani state seems remarkably unwilling to fight back — a phenomenon that has caused no small amount of bewilderment among analysts and commentators across the world. In fact, the military-dominated state apparatus could prove to have a better comprehension of reality than its critics. Pakistan’s jihadist movement does indeed seek power, but not a state. It poses no threat to the alliance of the military and the mullah, which shaped Pakistan’s destiny. -- Praveen Swami

 

Islamist movements will succeed or fail largely "on the basis of their ability to offer a clear alternative social and economic vision from the Western model for the distressed and poor in their societies," he writes. The Islamist revolution is in its early days, he concludes, and the coming period will see considerable fluidity, tension and change.

This is one of the most substantial and useful books on Islamism to appear in a generation. It may not change many minds among those who support or oppose Islamist movements, but it will provide a combination of clarity and factual information about this phenomenon that has been sorely missing from the debate. -- Rami G. Khouri

 

Jinnah Must Be Turning In His Grave

M EANWHILE, two disquieting facts cry out for redress. The first relates to the lawyers and civil society movement which heroically defended the cause of the chief justice and Supreme Court for two years. Where are its articulate spokesmen and its agitated young cheerleaders today when the lawyers of Swat are being sidelined from their profession and the law and constitution and democracy and women and minority rights are being trampled upon by the TSNM and TTP? Indeed, where is the chief justice, Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, whose suo motu actions in defence of law and liberty have given him a legendary status but who is now silent in the face of the Taliban threat to the very law and constitution that he has vowed to defend and uphold? The second, is the role of the Pakistan Army and the PML( N). After having created and nurtured the Taliban for so long, the Army has now blithely handed over the ownership of the war against the same Taliban to the civilian order of the day. It supported the Swat deal and stood by while the Taliban liquidated civilian officials and landlords allied to the ANP during their peaceful conquest of Swat and then Buner. But it swung into action unilaterally with helicopter gunships and jets when its own soldiers were attacked by the Taliban in violation of the same deal. -- Najam Sethi

ISLAM AS AN INSTRUMENT OF DICTATORSHIP

In view of the fact that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, it became imperative for the Pakistani leadership to lend some specific Islamic character to the Constitution of Pakistan. But this ran contrary to the requirement of making Pakistan a modern democratic state, the thinking in which the same Pakistani leadership had been brought up. Pakistan’s constitutional history, therefore, has been one of struggle to make Pakistan a liberal democratic state on one hand, and to make it conform as much as possible to Islamic orthodoxy on the other. In theory, the system that evolved by virtue of the 1973 Constitution provides enough scope for a liberal democracy to take root. In practice, however, civilian and military rulers with dictatorial tendencies used Islam as their tool. The result was that Islamist elements over the years acquired extra-constitutional power and influence disproportionate to their support among the electorate. This extra-constitutional power has become a major source of instability and disruption in Pakistan, and a threat to peace in the region. -- Satish Kumar

 

This paper, first published in January 2000, provides an excellent backgrounder to the following issues:

 

Islam and the Pakistani State

 

Islam as an Instrument of Dictatorship

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    ( By Royalj )
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    ( By hats off! )
  • Good article. Care and concern for humanity is the essence of zakah that the Qur'an repeatedly...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sahab, The answer to your suggestion lies in the following statement appearing...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • It is essential nature of Islam to find Infedil as soon as Muslims get more in number, if they...
    ( By Aayina )
  • For Hindus it is not shock that Fatwa against any communal harmony is fundamental concept of Islam....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Don’t despair Sir, look how many “Muslims” are killed all over the Muslim world also for being....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I had very good respect of Ghamdhi at one stage, even though he hardly any...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Is killing is form of punishment by the creator Allah ( so defined by Muslims in Islam and....
    ( By Aayina )
  • It surprise twist, that all 56 Bhog had became Hindu, on this website. Otherwise it is new fashion on the name of BJP condem or tell ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Should we stop calling Islam a religion of peace and start calling it a religion of war? Or should we relegate the war verses to ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Neither the Taliban nor Al Qaeda nor ISIS is fighting to convert mushrikins to Islam. Nor....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! Both Darul Ulum Deoband and Tablighi Jamaat should stop embarrassing the Muslim community. If they can't ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Shaheen Nawaz what about India leaving kashmir.'
    ( By Ravinder Kala )
  • Mansoor Sahab and Siddiq Umar you, yourself accepting evil practices in every religion and dare to invite for conversion....
    ( By Surendra Kathare )
  • You people always talk about the drinking of cow urine but have you ever thought about drinking kamal's uren which is adviced by muhammad; Sheikh ...
    ( By Uttam Verma )
  • @Azaz Qamar then why you people can't able to defeat him for so many year's. ali sina's challenge is open from 1998, and too ....
    ( By Uttam Verma )
  • But Uttam will you dare to manage any of your Shankaracharya to defeat Indian Marxists ?
    ( By Azaz Qamar )