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Title: Jamaat-I-Islami's Agenda of Transforming Pakistan Into an Islamic Polity: Prospects and Challenges
Authors: Gulfam, Shazada
Keywords: Social Sciences
Political Science
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: University of Peshawar, Peshawar.
Abstract: This study is an attempt to highlight the role of an Islamic political party of Pakistan - the Jamaat-i-Islami which has got an intellectual agenda derived from the thoughts of its ideologue, Maulana Maududi. The present study investigates the agenda of Jamaat i-Islami Pakistan and also examines the impact of Jamaat‘s struggle on Pakistani society, constitution, and politics. This study highlights the Islamization sense of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan. Maulana Maududi derived political meanings from the basic sources of Islam and then made his contribution to the theory of political Islam. His stance on Muslim Nationalism and the opposition of the secular program of the Muslim League‘s leadership had strengthened the Islamic basis of the ‗Two Nation Theory‖ and set up a platform for Islamist politics in Pakistan. Jamaat-i-Islami was founded on 26th August 1941 as a reformative movement aiming to protect the Islamic identity of the Indian Muslims. The Jamaat emerged as a movement, struggling for Islamic Revivalism. The Jamaat opposed composite nationalism and the creation of Pakistan as a separate Nation-state due to Islamic Revivalist thought of its ideologue Maulana Maududi. The creation of Pakistan on 14th August 1947 made Jamaat peacefully struggle for the transformation of Pakistan into an Islamic polity as its goal. In 1953, it was transformed into a political party to actively participate in electoral politics. The Jamaat‘s deviation from the traditional Ulama‘s viewpoint led her to adopt a different agenda of Islamization in Pakistan which led to the introduction of a modernized trend in politics and this trend serves as a role model for similar revivalist movements in the contemporary Muslim World. The innovative intellectual religious attempt to define Islamic politics by Maulana Maududi became the basic reason which deprived the Jamaat of the traditional Ulama‘s support who were reluctant to accept any change in tradition. The struggle of the Jamaat under different political alliances on different issues initially brought about some success in the field of Islamization in Pakistan such as the adoption of ―Objectives Resolution‖ in 1949, the 1956 Constitution for the country, and the 1973 Constitution guaranteeing the superiority of Quran and Sunnah. Diversity of viewpoints on religious politics led to the emergence of new Islamic platforms which caused division and electoral setbacks to almost all religious political parties. The Jamaat struggled for the restoration of iii democracy but at times Jamaat‘s support to the military dictators was not liked by the general public and as a result, the Jamaat is criticized for its anti-democratic stance. Islamization during the Zia era, MMA‘s provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2002-2008), and the Jamaat‘s role in KP provincial government as a coalition partner of Imran Khan‘s Tehreek-i-Insaaf after 2013 general elections have been instances of an active role of the Jamaat‘s power politics while most of the time in the political history of Pakistan, the Jamaat has been actively struggling against military dictators and autocratic civilian rulers. JUI and the Jamaat remaining partners of PML (N) and PTI respectively decided to revive the MMA before the 2018 general elections. The Jamaat‘s agenda and alliance with JUI could not impress the masses against the PTI‘s slogan of change. The Jamaat, being an ideological party, has always been at the front to promote Islamization and its pro-Pakistan stance brought the Jamaat close to the military regimes as a helping hand on the occasions of ―fall of Dhaka‖ and, Afghan Jihad. This factor has put a question mark on Jamaat‘s pro-democracy struggle. The Jamaat has, on occasions, made alliances with like-minded and secular forces in electoral politics which promoted Islamization. The Jamaat‘s reformation and moderation are within the limits prescribed by the Islamic Sharia‘h. The hunt for votes does not make it leave the original agenda of Islamization. Due to the Jamaat‘s struggle, the semi Islamist vote bank has strengthened in Pakistan against the secular and nationalist vote bank. Due to sectarian-based religious politics and opposing ethnic and secular political parties, the Jamaat could not emerge as a mainstream political party but through only a limited representation it has successfully promoted Islamization and Islamist vote bank. The Jamaat‘s international Agenda and its role in Kashmir, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan couldn‘t impress the masses. The Jamaat‘s aggressive reformation has proved to be a mismatched strategy to the role of a moderate political party. The Jamaat besides being an organized democratic and social service provider still lacks a well thought electoral strategy to acquire a major chunk of the Islamist vote bank. The challenges to the Jamaat‘s agenda certainly affect its vote bank and require a moderate development of its agenda in politics. Post-Islamism, traditionalist religious parties, and the ethnic nationalist communities pose strong opposition due to their iv respective reservations on Jamaat‘s agenda to impose Islamization of state and society. The Jamaat‘s followed Islamist ideology has got international implications. Egypt based Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon and ‗Justice and Development‘ party in Turkey are the Islamist counterparts of the Jamaat. The Jamaat is relatively less successful due to the ethnic and sectarian divide in Pakistan. The Jamaat switched over to a political party from the holy community to come to enter into power politics. Islamic political parties by adopting Islamic Revivalism are coming to power through democratic means in the Muslim World because Islamic culture and values are reviving among the Muslim masses. The synthesis of Pakistani culture is strengthening the Islamic base of society but mushroom production of religious political parties based on nominal religious differences has weakened the cause of bringing the religious leadership in power through democratic means. Secular elites and masses are afraid of religious extremism and, therefore, opposing it with full strength while the religious parties are unable to convince that their politics is not promoting this trend. Constitutionally, the state of Pakistan is bound to follow the superiority of Islamic principles but the economy and education of the country mostly depend on the westernized system. This scenario handicaps the Jamaat‘s organized machinery to move the masses on their line because Islamic based economy and education is still a distant vision to materialize in Pakistan. Generally, therefore, even the educated masses of Pakistan are unable to understand the agenda of Jamaat i-Islami. The Jamaat considers ‗immorality‗ and ‗Islamically forbidden acts‘ as a hurdle and tries to promote the religious norms to prepare the masses to support its struggle of transforming Pakistan into an Islamic polity.
Gov't Doc #: 24136
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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