Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 71268
The Emerging Post-Islamism and the Politics of Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami in the Contemporary Muslim World

Authors: Shahzada Gulfam

Abstract:

Islamism was considered as a new phenomenon in Muslim World to revolt against static Religious Traditionalists and the Imperialists. Islamist political parties viewed the establishment of an Islamic state within the limits of Sharia’h as their destination. The Islamists movements like Ikhwan-ul Muslimun, Jamaat-i-Islami etc. did appear with revolutionary agenda but were contained by military forces and the secular modernists of Muslim World. The Muslim rulers, historically could not respect the democratic and moral norms and equally emerged as dictators in democracies, military rule as well as in monarchies. The Arab Spring did not follow the Islamists agenda but gathered the common masses against the corrupt rulers to have a just democratic political system. The Islamic State and Sharia’h were not their immediate targets but the achievement of moral norms in Muslim societies and eradication of dictatorial rule were the basic aims. This phenomenon is named as post-Islamism. The political struggle of PAT (Pakistan Awami Tehreek) and the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) has been following the footsteps of Arab Spring and can be noted as the extension of Arab Spring in Muslim World. The results of this struggle would define the fate of Post-Islamism in Pakistan. Has Jamaat-i-Islami got the potential to reform its agenda accordingly? This paper intends to study the Jamaat’s struggle and tries to predict Jamaat’s role in post-Islamism scenario. There is a clear distinction between the people of religion and the people following the popular materialistic westernized value system. This division is also evident in political parties. Pakistan has been ruled mostly by the secular parties and rulers. The inability to establish Islamic system by replacing the imperial system has created militancy and revolt which requires the establishment of a sound model Islamic based system in the country. The political parties of Pakistan could not device a modernize agenda, equally acceptable in modernized world and addressing the prevailing issues and also having the indigenous religious and cultural roots. The inability of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan to transform its agenda accordingly to serve the post-Islamism has made it irrelevant in Pakistan’s politics. Once Jamaat leaves behind its hard position as an Islamist party and accepts the post-Islamism as beginning to create its idealized state and society, it can pursue its agenda gradually. The phenomenon of post-Islamism does not make Islamists irrelevant but invites them to listen to the priorities of masses rather than insisting on the agenda of their respective ideologues to be followed for all times. The ruling Muslim democrats and military dictators of Pakistan have been following unfair means to sustain their political power which gave rise to space for the new political parties to emerge and organize agitation successfully in Pakistani Politics. Jamaat-i-Islami could not fill that space to be an agent of Post-Islamism and could not break their chains which had been tying them to the prevailing failed democracy of Pakistan. Post-Islamists are the addressers of the rulers corruption and are struggling for reforms in system. Jamaat due to its ideological compulsions could not transform its agenda accordingly. The new scenario indicates that the Post-Islamism which emerged in Arab World can be taken as first step to establish democracy and justice in state and society and then the establishment of Islamic law and the establishment of an Islamic state should have been the next targets. This gradual agenda would have delivered public support to the Jamaat which deserved that but PTI & PAT have cashed this opportunity in Pakistani politics by strengthening their respective vote banks.

Keywords: arab spring, islamic state, islamic political parties, muslim world, post-islamism

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