Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/13652
Title: The Deoband Movement and the Rise of Religious Militancy in Pakistan.
Authors: Khan, Irfanullah
Keywords: Pakistan Studies
Studies Pakistan
Studies
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Abstract: Research studies investigating the rise of religious violence in Pakistan invariably identify Deobandis as the most violent of all religious groups in Pakistan. These studies outline a number of factors regarded important for understanding the upsurge of religious militancy in Pakistan but fails to give any explanation that why these factors led to the militarization of the Deobandis and no other religious group. The present study is an attempt to fill this gap in the available literature. The scholarly studies that attempt to explain and analyze the unprecedented upsurge of religious militancy in Pakistan have identified a number of exogenous and endogenous factors as the root causes of the said militant activism. The endogenous factors given in these studies are; Pakistan’s ideological foundations, Zia’s Islamization program and certain socio-economic changes brought about by remittances from the Gulf countries. While the exogenous factors include; Shia activism in Pakistan in the wake of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the pouring in of funds from some of the Gulf States to curtail the same, Pakistan’s military’s Kashmir policy, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and Zia’s military regime’s decision to support Afghan resistance to it, with help from U.S., Saudi Arab and Egypt. These endogenous and exogenous factors which have been termed in the present study as the enabling factors of militancy do not explain their unequal effect on different religious groups. It is the contention of the present study that the increasing resort of the Deobandis to militancy for the fulfillment their political objectives is the outcome of their religiopolitical approach. The study shows that it is the particular religio-political orientation of the Deobandis that works as a motivation for using violence and are accordingly called the motivational factors of militancy. The thesis argues that the Deobandi inclination to use violence could be explained only by taking into account these motivational factors For a better theoretical understanding of the Deobandis resort to violence the study proposes a synthesis of the primordialist and circumstantialist approaches. It is the contention of this study that the use of either the primordialist or circumstantialist approach fail to effectively explain the Deobandi inclination to use violent means for their objectives more than any other religious group in Pakistan. For probing the religio-political orientation of the Deobandis a thorough study of the writings of the leading Deobandi ulama has been undertaken. The knowledge obtained from this enormous body of literature is augmented by interviews and discussions with relevant people and at times by participant observation. It is on the basis of the knowledge thus derived that the thesis disagrees with the view that the Deoband was ever an apolitical, quietist and inward-looking pietistic movement. In this regard even the claims of the Tablighi Jamaat to complete political aloofness are found to be not entirely correct. The study gives a detailed account of the political activities of the Deobandis since the time of their ideological predecessors and shows that the ulama had never shun politics and propose that the outward political quietism was projected only for diverting the attention of the state under the British. It is further argued that the denial of any political or militant activity under inopportune circumstances and owning it when the circumstances are opportune is an important facet of the religio-political approach of the Deobandis. The study also affords an analysis of the religious orientation of the Deobandis and contends that the self-proclaimed responsibility of the Deobandis, with regard to policing the boundaries of the faith, is the outcome of their distinct religious approach. By restricting the study of rational sciences and turning madrassah from an informal space for the dissemination of a variety of Islamic learning into institutions of a restricted sectarian education aiming only at the production of self-conscious pious bodies made the products of the Deobandi madrassahs bigots inclined to use violence against the religious other. It is because of this religio-political orientation that the Deobandis not only played leading role in the sectarian violence in Pakistan but also willingly fought the proxy jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir at the behest of the Pakistani state. In the final analysis the thesis argues that the enabling factors of militancy outlined in the foregoing only explains the timing, magnitude and sustenance of the religious violence but its occurrence in the first place would not have been possible without the strong motivation on the part of the Deobandis to use violence for the fulfillment of their self-proclaimed responsibility for the upholding of Islam, as they interpret and define it. But as the enormous scale on which the religious militancy is presently occurring is because of the enabling role of the state the study proposes that its level and effect could be minimized if the state stops flirting with Islam for short term political gains. It is further proposed that the state undertakes serious, long-term and meaningful efforts for building a narrative to counter the narrative that sanctions a resort to violence.
Gov't Doc #: 15672
URI: http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/13652
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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