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MQM, JI and Imran Khan and the future of “religious” parties

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In the case of success against the Taliban at a truly basic level. That will involve elucidating the Hanafi schools dominance in the subcontinent and the alien nature of the Wahhabi sect.

There will have to be a concerted effort to identify and marginalize ALL Wahhabi/Salafi and Saudi inspired groups as “foreign”.

It is time Pakistanis started identifying such ideologically aligned groups as anti-Pakistani.

This is because most of these groups enjoy support from outside the country which makes them do things that are sometimes NOT sympathetic to Pakistan, but rather to the downfall of Pakistan so a new system can be installed that is financed by Saudi Arabia, or to make Pakistan into a second home for the Saudis.

The problem is that while people can readily identify British and U.S. interests in Pakistan, they rarely identify Saudi interests.

But there are people being funded and pushed who adhere to these ideals.

Anathema as it maybe to the liberal forces, they will HAVE to seek a orthodox Islamic challenge to the Taliban to be effective.

In the process they WILL strengthen the religious forces, but that is a route that has to be taken.

The Federal Shariat Court has been made into a “khudda line” for judges. However they have issued some notable judgements in the past.

And the reason for that maybe that the British court sysem is ALIEN to our country. It is installed, but not understood. The principles which guided the British to build it are absent. The same motivation is not there. And thus Pakistanis are unable to ADVANCE it. As a result you find a great dearth of GREAT THINKERS in law in Pakistan.

That situation is the reverse in Sharia and matters of religion. There is FAR greater thought at a deep and subtle level that happens in this native form of law making.

It is for this reason that it is INEVITABLE that the conventional British legal system WILL fail eventually in Pakistan. And a revival of sorts will have to be made that aligns it with more native sensibilities.

Perhaps the Federal Shariat Court needs to be strengthened. And an Islamic court of last resort enforced – but this time WITHOUT reliance on Saudi Arabia or any other outside country.

In the meantime I see the MQM gaining in legitimacy and escaping some of their “thuggism” background.

Already the MQM has transformed itself partially with the inclusion of some semi-famous people (in their own right) like Khushbakht Shujaat and others. And then the performance of some active workers like Mustafa Kamal.

With their support of traditional ulema against the uppity Taliban, they have also scored some important points.

And they have brought themselves national exposure – at least to the less “mutaasib” eye of the educated or “liberal” types across the country. This should lead to some high profile defections to MQM from people in Lahore and other places.

So far Nawaz Sharif and others have been really careful about criticizing the Taliban. Only when their own interests start to be affected are they starting to speak.

They will eventually escalate their response to the Taliban, but at least in the interim, the MQM has gained a mindshare advantage. Although it is unlikely to gain much mass voter support, UNLESS they target the very bottom of the rung – the “Haari” etc.

Imran Khan
Imran Khan will continue to make mistakes – by his rigidity. Now that he has allied himself with the Taliban he will increasingly find himself stuck in a narrow range. He is attracting all the pro-Taliban people to his cause. When he eventually has to badmouth them, he will lose that support immediately and may in fact also gain some notoriety for that for having “left” them.

Jamaat-ei-Islami (JI)
Jamaat-e-Islami is showing a much more “mashkook” image with the “Muhajir” leader. This also bodes badly for their short-term future. Because if any action is to be taken against them, it will be much more palatable to the Punjabi, NWFP viewer if it not a Qazi (NWFP) or a Punjabi leader who is being taken to task.

The election of a “Muhajir” leader of the JI may thus bode poorly for their short-term future.

In any case, the JI needs to be examined in depth. It should have been done immediately after Musharraf regained his senses from all the opposition (however that did not happen).

But an examination of the JI and it’s “Mashkook” image as an agency with a covert agenda (the new leader conceded in an interview that JI people keep tabs on how observant other JI members are in their Namaaz) and it’s links to foreign powers.

But this will have to be done in the ambit of religious philosophy. And Maududi’s thought will have to be examined.

In the long run, the JI needs to be tackled. Their policies and the philosophical discrepancies in Maududi’s thought needs to be highlighted by some of the traditional Ulema. The “mashkook” nature of Maududi’s links to the U.S. need to be highlighted.

Wahhabism needs to be examined at the national level. The various weaknesses in it’s ideology as highlighted by traditional Ulema as well as former-Wahhabi-linked people like Albani etc. needs to be brought to light. Variations in views on veiling of women (Albani supposedly was kicked out for saying face needs to be uncovered) needs to be highlighted.

And this needs to be taken at national level. But I don’t see the political leadership capable of doing this. I COULD see Gilani do it perhaps – although he has a corrupt background he MAY have gained some Sufi tendencies while in jail. Benazir could have done it although her being a woman perpetually infuriated the maulvis and opened another can of worms.

Musharraf of course is the other choice. But the problem is Musharraf seems to have not expended much effort in developing his Islamic philosophy skills. So he may not be the best person for that.

But perhaps the time has come to establish a “mustanad” school of thought for the country. Perhaps in a much subservient form in the form of a court.

“Islamic” political parties
The concept of an “islamic” political party is also anathema – because it uses the “garb” of religion to do the same things any political party does. In fact if it is an “islamic” group then they are in essence creating a sect. Because in Islamic history numerous “sects” had their origins in what were essentially political disputes. By appending “Islam” to their political party they are contributing to a trend of increasingly fractured sects and islamic groups in the nation. Already ulema do not agree among themselves. If they started making political parties they will have numerous small groups ALL acting essentially like sects with the passage of enough time.

And the problem starts when for realpolitick reasons these Islamic parties start to excuse the wrongs of parties that are allied to them in vision. For example the Jamaat-e-Islami refusal to accept that a group within the state which challenges the state apparatus is beyond legal. This means they are are violating Islamic tenets of supporting right and chastising wrong with their tongue if not their force of arms. It is here that the cancer of realpolitick starts spoiling the “Islamic” nature of the political party (there was a split in the JI on just this topic in the 1960s or so). If Ulema are associated with this political party then their credibility starts going down as well as they favour realpolitick alliances over right/wrong.

In the long run this tends to damage religion. In the same way that the Catholic Church damaged Christianity by mixing politics and religion. Eventually people got sick of the combination. They could no longer seek succour from religion for guidance in their life, if it was ALSO implicated in the excesses of the state.

It is for this reason that Imam Abu Hanifa and many other Imams looked down upon associations of Ulema with the sources of power. As they found it incompatible with speaking the truth. You are either a servant of the truth, or you are a servant of realpolitick. You cannot do both.

These “Islamic” parties are also NOT a replacement for islamic scholars (and thus the split in JI mentioned earlier). As political parties have a tendency to NOT criticize themselves – to give an impression of infallibility – but they are willing to criticize leading Islamic scholars (calling them “naam nihaad” scholars). This is what the JI has said about Javed Ahmed Ghamidi (a thinking Islamic scholar). Whereas an Islamic scholar will criticize HIMSELF if he finds he said something wrong sometime back.


Written by pwyoutube

May 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm

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