The Islamist Politics in the Era of Neoliberal Globalization The Case of Jamaat-E-Islami Pakistan
The essentialist theoretical approaches assume Islamic movements, if got access to state power, will lead their respective societies to a kind of totalitarian state, a condition resulting into complete destruction of the existing social, political and cultural traditions and replacing them with new political institutions. Such an imagination of the Islamic movements is further ignited by the Islamic movements’ self-portrayal as the harbingers of “total” change and “radical revolution” that is normally termed as Islamic revolution. In a political sociology setting, this research focuses on an empirical example of one of the oldest Islamic movements in the Mulsim world, the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan—a religious political party founded in 1941 by Sayed A. A Mawdudi. Using multiple sources of information, this paper drags the discussion beyond essentialist assumptions of Stone Age and Islamists’ claims of bringing about radical revolution. It does so by focusing on news content data collected from two major Pakistani newspapers published in Urdu language as well as the content analysis of 1997 electoral manifesto of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The data set consists of time period 1988-2006. However, the post 2006 developments are also added to the analysis. This research makes contribution to the existing body of academic scholarship on the subject both methodologically and substantially. Whereas most of the hitherto conducted researches deal either with the history, ideology, electoral politics or Jamaat-e-Islami’s connection with global jihad. This research departs from the conventional treatment both methodologically and theoretically. Using simple descriptive statistics, this paper makes a humble attempt to measure the diverse responses of the Jamaat leaders to issues of national and global importance. It shows that how statements of its leaders and the manifesto content reflect on variety of issues that might not fit into the theoretical assumptions, stereotypical categories and textual readings by essentialists and reductionists. By bringing political practice in the analysis, the data confirms that unlike Islamophobic provocations, the mainstream political Islamists are not dragging Pakistan into a “Stone Age”. Likewise, the fears of a radical revolution, if the Islamists take control of the state, have no firm grounds.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
Copyright © MCSER-Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'mcser.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders..