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Michel Wieviorka
, 
Laurent Lévi-Strauss
, 
Gwenaëlle Lieppe

Religion, culture et sécularisation

Pakistan and the languages of Islam

Farzana Shaikh

Texte intégral

  • 1 Mobasha Jawed Akbar, Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, New Delhi, Harper Collins, 2011: x (...)

1It is often assumed that the struggle to imagine the state of Pakistan since its creation in 1947 centers, above all, on the confrontation between ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’, each side seeking a monopoly over the ‘correct’ expression of Islam. Locked in mortal combat, these rival forces are judged to speak on behalf of those who imagined (and still do) Pakistan as a secular Muslim homeland and those who dreamed (and still do) of Pakistan as a model Islamic state. Today they are cast as the ideological heirs, respectively, of Pakistan’s founding ‘father’, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) and the country’s most renowned Islamist leader, Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979), who some regard as Pakistan’s ‘godfather’.1

  • 2 Farzana Shaikh, Making Sense of Pakistan, London & New York, Hurst & Columbia University Press, 200 (...)

2Yet, as I have tried to show in my recent work,2 the battle lines between these two sides are in fact more blurred than is generally acknowledged. I would argue there was, and is, much interplay between these apparently conflicting visions—an interplay that accounts very largely for what I would describe as the uncertain imagining of Pakistan. At its heart lies the nebulous and deeply contested association between the state and the many languages of Islam, which have deepened the country’s chronic ideological confusion and led to damaging and dangerous consequences.

3Together they have eroded the foundations of a plural society, pre-empted a stable constitutional settlement and blighted efforts at good governance. More ominously still, this ideological confusion has driven nuclear-armed Pakistan to pursue foreign policies that, though widely judged to pose a threat to its survival and to the security of the international community, have in fact served to compensate for the country’s poorly developed sense of national self.

  • 3 Tahir Kamran, “Problematising Iqbal as a State Ideologue”, in G. Dharampal-Frick, A. Usman Qasmi an (...)
  • 4 Iqbal’s presidential address to the All India Muslim League on 29 December 1930 in S.S. Pirzada (ed (...)
  • 5 Muhammad Iqbal, “Statement on Islam and nationalism in reply to a statement by Maulana Husain Ahmad (...)
  • 6 Ibid.
  • 7 Ibid.
  • 8 Ibid.: 157.

4This uncertain imagining of Pakistan’s national self is rooted in the country’s history. The ambiguous but ample role afforded to Islam in the creation of the state ensured that the discourses of Islam would not only mould the constitutional complexion of the new state, but also determine the priorities of public policy. The tone was set by the poet and ideologue Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), who is today widely credited in the corpus of Pakistan’s official historiography as being the first to imagine a separate Indian Muslim homeland—although he himself made no reference to Pakistan nor lived long enough to witness its creation.3 Much is made of Iqbal’s bold decision in 1930 to spell out the desirability of seeking what he called the “centralization” of Indian Muslims in a “specified territory”.4 Yet, it is the case that Iqbal justified his vision not on the grounds that Indian Muslims were a nation—he was in fact deeply hostile to the idea of nationalism5—but because, he claimed, “the life of Islam” depended on it.6 The object of Muslim power in India, he believed, was quite simply the protection of Islam as a “cultural force”.7 At the same time, with the kind of rhetorical flourish he had come to make his own, Iqbal also laid bare its political import. In his famous 1930 address to the All India Muslim League—the organization responsible for securing Pakistan—he turned to his Muslim interlocutors with the question: “Would you like Islam, as a moral and political ideal, meeting the same fate in the world of Islam as Christianity has already met in Europe? Is it possible to retain Islam as an ethical ideal and to reject it as a polity in favour of national polities in which religious attitude is not permitted to play any part?”8 What Iqbal was suggesting here it would seem is that, in his advocacy of a separate Muslim state on cultural grounds (whether inside or outside of an Indian federation), he reserved the right to call on the power equation of the Prophet Muhammad’s Islamic mission to salvage its future.

5But in doing so, Iqbal also set in motion a debate—as yet unresolved—about the precise relationship between a separate Muslim state in India and the defence of Islam. And indeed the Pakistan objective of the Muslim League would come to rest, somewhat controversially, as much on Jinnah’s claim to be the sole spokesman of an Indian Muslim ‘nation’ as on his party’s contention that it represented the sole voice of Islam in India. Such exclusivist claims are, of course, by no means uncommon to nationalist movements, which rarely show a tolerance for alternative views of their cause. But when tied to the terms of Islam with their pronounced universalist bias, they posed fundamental questions about Islam’s capacity to survive without national frontiers—questions that lay (and still do) at the heart of the contestation over Pakistan.

  • 9 For a finely grained analysis of Mawdudi’s vision of Pakistan as an Islamic state see Seyyed Vali R (...)
  • 10 Iqbal’s presidential address to the All India Muslim League on 29 December 1930, in S.S. Pirzada (e (...)
  • 11 Iqbal’s letter to Jinnah, 28 May 1937, in S.S. Pirzada (ed.), Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah’s Correspondence, (...)
  • 12 Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Lahore, Sang-e-Meel Publications, (...)

6Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the vision of a physically demarcated safe haven for Islam in India exercised a powerful influence on Iqbal. But did this mean that Iqbal was laying the groundwork for an Islamic state of the kind that would come later to be most strongly associated with his famous protégé, Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi, founder of Pakistan’s premier Islamist organization, the Jamaat-i-Islami?9 Some would argue that the jury is still out but I believe that Iqbal was, in fact, deeply ambivalent on this question. In his well-known presidential address to the Muslim League in 1930 where he made a strong case for Muslim self-determination, Iqbal moved to dispel any “fear that the creation of autonomous Muslim states will mean the introduction of a kind of religious rule in such states”.10 By 1937 however he had come to accept that “the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam” was inseparable from the demand for “a free Muslim state or states”.11 Eventually his creative genius would help marshal both ideas—the secular urge to realise Muslim self-determination and the sacred responsibility to defend Islam—as seamless components of a single demand for a Muslim homeland in India. Iqbal would not, of course, have acknowledged any tension between these apparently distinct imperatives. For Islam, he famously declared, was utterly non-dualistic: “all that is secular is therefore sacred”.12

  • 13 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution, op. cit.: 20.

7But it was Mawdudi who lent this claim real political substance and who most explicitly forged a connection between the quest for a Muslim safe haven in India and the goal of an Islamic state. During a decade-long association with Iqbal in the 1930s, Mawdudi worked tirelessly to facilitate the creation of an Islamic enclave in India. However, relations between the two soon soured over Iqbal’s support for Jinnah and over Mawdudi’s increasingly antagonistic stance towards the Muslim League, which he denounced as an ignorant “party of pagans” (jamaat-i-jahiliya).13 Nevertheless, Iqbal’s ideas left a lasting imprint on Mawdudi’s thinking. Indeed, Mawdudi’s competing vision of Pakistan, which he projected in opposition to Jinnah’s blueprint, was clearly modelled on Iqbal’s vision of a safe haven for Islam in India.

  • 14 Ibid.: 109.
  • 15 Ibid.: 110.

8Like his mentor, Mawdudi was ambivalent about nationalism, preferring to frame the quest for Muslim self-determination not so much in terms of national aspiration but in the language of Muslim power, which he regarded as a necessary condition for the survival of Islam. While he was not averse, therefore, to using the idea of the ‘two-nation theory’—which assumed that Hindus and Muslims were two nations—to underscore the religious difference between the two communities, his vision is best read as a “binary view of the world as sacred and profane”.14 For, much like Iqbal, Mawdudi’s overriding concern was to secure a sacred abode for Muslims (dar-ul-Islam) that would be distinct from zones divested of Islamic law (dar-ul-harb), which he associated with the Indian nationalist project. At the same time, Mawdudi was clearly sensitive to the implications of any plan entailing the physical division of the subcontinent for the professed unity of the Muslim community. So while, like Iqbal, he was careful to explain that his quest for a safe haven “means only a Muslim cultural home and not a Muslim state”, Mawdudi left open the possibility that a claim for Muslim cultural autonomy could end in a demand for political secession on the grounds that “if God wills it, the two may become one”.15

9Some of his supporters have since gone so far as to claim that it was Mawdudi’s insight into such Divine injunctions that led him, despite his ambivalence about nationalism and his profound hostility to Jinnah, eventually to support the creation of a separate Muslim state. Be that as it may I would argue that, like Iqbal, Mawdudi’s objective was never to engage with the rhetoric of Muslim nationhood, much less with the logic of national frontiers. Rather his aim was to establish a state governed by the laws of Islam in a physical space designated as Muslim territory. In other words for Mawdudi, as for Iqbal, the merits of an independent Muslim state had little or nothing to do with affirming the authenticity of a Muslim nation. What made an independent Muslim state imperative was the need to restore to Muslims the privilege of power both believed to be a divinely sanctioned prerogative and an indispensable condition for the protection of Islam.

  • 16 For an extended discussion of the implications of Jinnah’s position and the predicament that faced (...)

10For Muhammad Ali Jinnah, ever the pragmatic politician, these a priori positions were far more difficult to sustain. Initially he had even been reluctant to support Iqbal’s territorial scheme outlined in 1930, fearing it would divide Indian Muslims and fuel civil war. Jinnah also recognized the problem of accommodating within a separate Muslim state hundreds of thousands of Muslims who might be forced, or choose, to migrate from Indian provinces where they were in a minority. This may explain the lack of any conclusive evidence suggesting that Jinnah, at this or any other stage, backed the mass migration of Indian Muslims to a putative Muslim ‘homeland’. On the contrary, despite his vow to create a nation-state for the Muslims of India, Jinnah ended up advising Muslims (and members of other religious communities) in the weeks following the Partition of India to remain in their respective homelands. Indeed, he strongly favoured the presence of substantial numbers of Muslim and non-Muslims minorities in each of the successor states of India and Pakistan, believing they would serve as ‘hostages’ to ensure good behaviour on the part of the majority in the host country.16

  • 17 For a discussion of the relationship between theologically informed images of Muslim sacrifice and (...)

11However, these uncertainties on the part of Jinnah about the meaning of Pakistan as a designated ‘Muslim homeland’ and its relation to the idea of Pakistan as a national territory were to contribute significantly to Pakistan’s anguished history and deepen doubts about the basis of this religiously defined nation. Yet, the idea of a Muslim homeland clearly exercised (as it still does) a powerful appeal for generations of Pakistanis for whom the nation-state of Pakistan served as a modern restatement of the Prophetic Migration—complete with the sacrifices and sufferings endured by a beleaguered community that many believe was forced to abandon hearth and home.17

  • 18 See Jinnah’s presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947 in Jamil (...)
  • 19 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution, op. cit.: 106.

12But it was Jinnah’s ambivalence about the relationship between Islam and politics that was to leave the most lasting and damaging legacy on Pakistan. While he was forced to recognize, as he did on the eve of Pakistan’s independence in August 1947, the destructive force of religious rhetoric in justifying his demand for a separate Muslim state,18 and while he was by most accounts a reluctant convert to the idea of a ‘Muslim Pakistan’, Jinnah also did more than most to tighten the bond between religion and nationalism that laid the foundations of the country over which he presided as its first Governor-General. Indeed, at least one respected scholar has gone so far as to claim that “it was Jinnah who showed Mawdudi the political potential of religion” and that it was precisely Jinnah’s successful use of religious symbols in the development of the Pakistan movement that strengthened the idea that Islam was the source of all power and legitimacy—a notion that in time would embolden the advocates of an Islamic state.19 It would appear therefore that Jinnah was no less culpable than the political and military leaders of Pakistan who succeeded him in bowing to the temptation of mobilizing the language of Islam to generate power—power which lay for the most part beyond the reach of mass democratic politics and about which Jinnah was also ambivalent.

  • 20 Farzana Shaikh, Making Sense of Pakistan, op. cit.: 83–88.

13It is no wonder then that, after Jinnah’s death in 1948 within months of Pakistan’s independence, many of the country’s elites were uncertain about or hostile to his understanding of the role of Islam in defining the country’s constitutional foundations. It took lawmakers almost a decade to reach agreement in 1956 on the country’s first constitution and its laborious ratification still stands as testimony to the fierce controversy over the issue of an Islamic constitution for Pakistan—one that the final document failed to resolve.20 And there were good reasons for this. For what divided opinion at the time was not whether an Islamic constitution was justified for a country that was still home to a significant non-Muslim minority (almost 14% of the total population), but what the terms of such an Islamic constitution would imply.

14In other words, notwithstanding the divisions between so-called ‘secularists’ and ‘Islamists’ (and these were unquestionably real at times), the overriding conflict centred not on the case for and against Pakistan as a secular state, but on differences over the terms of ‘Islam’ that would govern the new state. In doing so, all relied on the language of ‘Islam’—a language fraught with a palpable lack of consensus. For while Jinnah’s worldly successors, plagued by uncertainty over the public role of religion, acknowledged Islam as a fundamental component of the country’s identity, religious parties pressed for Islam to be embodied in an Islamic state —although they too were notoriously vague about what that entailed.

  • 21 For an introduction to these two seminal thinkers and their different responses to the loss of Musl (...)

15These contestations had historical precedents, whose legacies rumble on in Pakistan. Of these many contestations, two parallel narratives of ‘Islamic universalism’ that occupied earlier generations of South Asian Muslims have resonated in the life of the modern state. The first of these ‘universal’ narratives entailed what might be described as ‘a-one-and-only-one-way’ to Islam—a view favoured by the 18th-century Indo-Muslim theologian Shah Waliullah (1703–62); the second appealed to the ‘universal’ as testimony of Islam’s universal appreciation of pluralism—a stance most vigorously pursued in the 20th century by the Indian Muslim religious thinker and politician Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888–1958).21

16Both narratives have found expression in Pakistan though not always to an equal degree. The first, positioning the ‘universal’ against ‘difference’, is common and quickly found a voice among Muslim revivalists associated with Mawdudi’s Jamaat-i-Islami. The second, placing both ‘universalism’ (that is recognition of our common humanity) and ‘difference’ in the same conceptual space, has been much rarer and the source of much uncertainty. It lies at the heart of struggles around the multiple identities (ethnic, sectarian, religious) marking Pakistanis today, which are deemed to await resolution through their incorporation into some version of the ‘universal’ Pakistani.

  • 22 Barbara D. Metcalf, “Islamic Arguments in Contemporary Pakistan”, in B.D. Metcalf, Islamic Contesta (...)
  • 23 Saadia Toor, The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan, London, Pluto Press, 20 (...)

17But the political repercussions of this uncertainty have been immense—not least for the trajectory of a broadly secular discourse in Pakistan. For, while the country has remained in the grip of a seemingly endless cycle of military and civilian administrations, each pursuing a distinct agenda, all have done so by struggling to articulate a monopoly over the expression of Islam. Again, historical antecedents played their part. Jinnah’s claim to be the ‘sole spokesman’ for Muslims, and indeed to be the sole voice of political Islam in India, was challenged by Mawdudi’s authoritarian reading of a ‘holy community of Islam’. Later General Ayub Khan, who held power from 1958 to 1969, competed with the ‘revivalist’ Jamaat-i-Islami to establish a monopoly for the discourse of ‘modernist’ Islam.22 In the late 1960s and 1970s, the Awami League’s espousal of a broadly syncretistic ‘Bengali Islam’, informed by local Hindu practices, stood in stark opposition to the authority of ‘Pakistani Islam’, shaped by the communal discourse of Hindu-Muslim conflict that was favoured by the military-dominated elite in the country’s Western wing.23

  • 24 Oskar Verkaaik, Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan, Princeton (NJ), Princet (...)

18This contestation over Islam, and indeed over the putative Islamic identity of the state, deepened with the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. For much of the following decade Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first democratically elected prime minister of a truncated Pakistan, championed a version of what is sometimes described as ‘folk’ Islam. It relied on the collaboration of an assortment of holy men (pirs), to break the hold of a so-called ‘scripturalist’ Islam favoured by the Jamaat-i-Islami and the clerical classes (ulama), but also by sections of Pakistan’s modernist elite.24

  • 25 Ian Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 270–286.
  • 26 Farzana Shaikh, “From Islamisation to Shariatisation: Cultural Transnationalism in Pakistan”, in R. (...)
  • 27 Gilles Boquérat and Nazir Hussain, “Enlightened Moderation: Anatomy of a Failed Strategy”, in R. Ka (...)

19Later Pakistan’s military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq, who held power from 1977 to 1988, pushed for a rigorously ‘legalist’ interpretation of Islam, whose strong punitive bias was intended to weaken both ‘popular’, mainly rural, expressions of Islam as well as the ‘modernist’ readings favoured by the country’s governing urban elite.25 In time it would strengthen the hold of an ulama-inspired ‘shariatized’ Islam,26 which by the late 1990s was set openly (and violently) not only to challenge Pakistan’s new military ruler, General Parvez Musharraf, and his Islam of ‘enlightened moderation’,27 but the very legitimacy of Pakistan as a nation-state.

  • 28 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “National Identities and the India-Pakistan Conflict”, in T.V. Paul (ed.), T (...)
  • 29 Barbara D. Metcalf, “The case of Pakistan”, in B.D. Metcalf, Islamic Contestations, op. cit.: 217–2 (...)

20While the formative weaknesses of the Pakistani state and its identity contributed immeasurably to the spread of this narrative of ‘shariatization’, it has gained added traction under the aegis of Pakistan most powerful state institution—the military. But the military’s repeated intervention in national politics has compelled it, much like the country’s political classes, also to become involved in managing conflicting discourses of Islam and its relation to the state. Today these discourses have become more sharply polarized and, arguably, more symptomatic of the contradictions that still haunt Pakistan. Two conflicting and rival narratives now vie for space. The first, with which the military has been more commonly associated (and which is widely shared by the country’s political elite), might be described as a Muslim ‘communal’ narrative; it is rooted in a Muslim separatist discourse of power that emphasizes Pakistan’s identity in opposition to India.28 The second is grounded in a radical reading of Islam that is more closely modelled on ‘Islamist’ lines; it seeks to project Pakistan as the focus of a utopian Islamic vision underpinned by military expansion and predicated on holy war (jihad).29

21Since the late 1980s Pakistan’s dominant military establishment has sought to reconcile these opposing discourses by relying on religious parties, both mainstream and militant. Yet the terms of this alliance have, for the most part, been inherently unstable. For, while the apparently secular-minded military looked to Islam to strengthen the Muslim ‘communal’ discourse and keep alive opposition to India—the mainstay of its power—its openly jihadist protégés invoked Islam primarily to strengthen the putative Islamic character of the state. Events after 9/11 triggered a dramatic and fundamental shift in the equation, forcing the military to consider a re-orientation away from opposition to India in favour of a more aggressive posture towards so-called ‘militant Islam’. But this re-orientation also risked weakening the Muslim ‘communal’ discourse upon which the military had long depended to secure its political fortunes and to serve as a powerful counter-narrative to stem the ‘Islamist’ tide that sought to impose a more sharply defined confessional identity on Pakistan. Bereft of this ‘communal’ counter-narrative after 9/11 the military has been forced to craft a fresh narrative resting on the claim to speak the language of a more authentic Islam.

  • 30 Gilles Boquérat and Nazir Hussain, “Enlightened Moderation: Anatomy of a Failed Strategy”, op. cit.(...)

22Among the first to enunciate the principles of this new narrative was General Parvez Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999 and ruled the country until 2008. Hailed by the international community after 9/11 as an advocate of ‘moderate’ Islam, Musharraf set out to promote his own version of Islam in the guise of ‘enlightened moderation’. However, questions still abound about its precise relation to the terms of Islam. Musharraf himself was uncertain, claiming sometimes that it aimed to promote the “true picture of Islam” while maintaining on other occasions that “it had nothing to do with Islam and its teachings [but] more to do with Muslims and their emancipation”.30 Nevertheless, ‘enlightened moderation’ soon emerged as the official counter-narrative against the ‘degraded’ Islam the military associated with some (though by no means all) of its Islamist foes.

23Since then the idea of ‘enlightened moderation’ has suffered something of an eclipse, although the broad thrust of its claim—pitting ‘right’ against ‘wrong’ Islam—still persists. Marking Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations on 14 August 2012, the head of the army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, appealed to all Pakistanis to ‘own’ the war against extremism and declared that insofar as “Pakistan was created in the name of Islam”, and insofar as “Islam preaches humanity, not terrorism”, the “war against [terrorism] is our own war, and a just war too”.31 Kayani’s choice of words and his decision to focus attention on what ‘the enemy’ represented, rather than who it was, did not go unnoticed. It led some to deconstruct the ‘hidden’ codes of his message, which were seen to confirm the military’s damaging security policy that drew a distinction between the ‘bad’ Taliban fighting the Pakistani state, who stood for ‘wrong’ Islam and the ‘good’ Taliban serving as proxies for their military masters, who promoted ‘right’ Islam.32 What was significant was the suggestion that at stake was not so much naming and shaming ‘the enemy’ but defending the ‘correct’ interpretation of Islam.

24These repeated attempts by the state to gain a monopoly over the expression of Islam have failed however to ease the chronic lack of consensus over the terms of Islam or blunt the challenge posed by the discourse of Islamist militants. Indeed, the continuing ambivalence over the state’s precise relation to Islam—reflected in extravagant claims to ensure a public role for Islam even while refusing to accept its implications—appears to have given license to Islamist militants who now seek, ever more insistently and violently, to hold the state up to its professed Islamic standards.

  • 33 Farzana Shaikh, “Will Sufi Islam save Pakistan?”, in S. Bashir and R. Crews (eds.), Under the Drone (...)
  • 34 Usha Sanyal, Devotional Islam and Politics in British India: Ahmed Riza Khan Barelwi and His Moveme (...)
  • 35 “Government to Set Up Sufi Advisory Council”, Dawn, 7 June 2009, http://www.dawn.com/news/958940/go (...)
  • 36 Katherine Pratt Ewing, “The politics of Sufism: Redefining the Saints of Pakistan”, Journal of Asia (...)

25In recent years this ambivalence over the space to be afforded to Islam in public life has come to rest in the state appropriation of Sufi Islam.33 Vigorously promoted as an antidote against versions of ‘extremist’ Islam associated with militant Islamist groups that are judged to be foreign to Pakistan, Sufism was hailed as the most ‘natural’ and ‘indigenous’ language of Islam in Pakistan. In June 2009 the then ruling Pakistan People’s Party, which had been returned to power in 2008 as head of a governing coalition, moved to lend institutional form to the language of Sufi Islam by establishing a Sufi Advisory Council led by a cleric from the Barelvi movement34 that represented the majority of Muslims in Pakistan. Known for its strong endorsement of intercessionary ritual practices associated with popular Sufism in Pakistan, Barelvi Islam now came to serve as the vehicle of choice to “combat extremism and fanaticism”.35 Although the venture met with scepticism among critics of the government, its prospects were enhanced by a noticeable shift in public opinion that pointed to a deepening interest in the potential of Sufi Islam to act as a counter-narrative to the more extreme versions of Islam that were judged to hold increasing sway over many parts of Pakistan. Yet, the empowerment of Sufism both as an expression of Islamic mysticism and a tradition anchored in local society and politics was also fraught with tension owing largely to its perceived incompatibility with the state’s historical claim to promote a ‘modernist’ agenda.36

  • 37 See David Gilmartin, Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan, Berkeley (CA), University (...)
  • 38 Sana Haroon, Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland, London & New York, Hurst & Col (...)

26This is not to say that the founders of Pakistan’s ‘modernist’ state had necessarily rejected all compromises with the purveyors of so-called ‘popular Sufism’ or spurned the support of pirs to further their ‘modernist’ project. Even one as robust in his opposition to the claims of holy men as Jinnah had found it hard to delegitimize or resist the appeal of these intermediary structures of saintly power. In vast swaths of rural Punjab and Sindh, where pirs and their descendants (sajjada nishin) exercised great influence over the local population, Jinnah had been forced in the years immediately leading up to the creation of Pakistan to recognize their power and to court their support.37 The control of Sufi pirs was no less formidable in the North West Frontier Province (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), where Jinnah was forced to rely on them to mobilize opinion in favour of Pakistan. But here, as in Punjab and Sindh, the cooperation of local Sufis came only in exchange for assurances that Jinnah and the managers of the new state of Pakistan would help guarantee the protection of their social and economic interests.38 Although left with no choice but to accede to these demands, Jinnah did so equivocally and in the uncomfortable knowledge that local loyalties resting on saintly power could gravely compromise his vision of Muslim nationalism.

27These unresolved tensions between the traditions of local Sufi Islam and the universal symbols of Islam appropriated by Jinnah in defence of Muslim nationalism persisted after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. But they also provided fresh opportunities for Pakistan’s post-colonial leadership to resort to new strategies aimed at deploying Sufi pirs in the service of the modern state. It did so by harnessing the language of Sufi Islam against the idiom of established Islam favoured by the ulama, who challenged the right of Pakistan’s modernist elite to define the country’s Islamic identity.

  • 39 Ian Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History, op. cit.: 160.

28The trend was set by Pakistan’s first military ruler, General Ayub Khan (1958–1969), who mobilized Sufi pirs to neutralize his critics among the ranks of the ulama-dominated religious opposition. Faced with their routine denunciation of his policies as un-Islamic, he sought the backing of rural pirs to promote an alternative interpretation of Islam based on a reformed and modernized Sufi Islam purged of practices branded as superstitious to shore up the fragile legitimacy of his regime.39 But in doing so, Ayub also widened the arena for competing versions of Islam, which in time further accentuated the chronic uncertainties over Pakistan’s identity in relation to Islam.

  • 40 Oskar Verkaaik, Migrants and Militants, op. cit.: 36.

29However, it was Pakistan’s first democratically elected leader, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (who became prime minister in 1973), who did most to tighten the bonds between the state and popular Sufi Islam. Although Bhutto’s Western education did much to sharpen his urbane and cosmopolitan profile, he never lost sight of his rural, albeit feudal, roots in Sindh, which shaped so much of his style of populist politics. Drawing inspiration from popular regional festivals (melas), notably those associated with the cult of the iconic Sindhi Sufi saint, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, which enjoyed mass appeal, he promoted a culture of egalitarianism to project his own modern vision of Pakistan grounded in the rhetoric of ‘Islamic socialism’.40 Ultimately, however, for Bhutto as for Ayub, the value of local Sufi Islam lay in its power to serve as a prop against the Islam peddled by his religious opponents. But it is worth noting that Bhutto’s championing of Sufi ‘folk’ Islam also aroused the ire of Pakistan’s dominant urban elite, who judged his vision to be an affront to the modern religious mentality they believed Pakistan had been created to embody.

  • 41 Muhammad Qasim Zaman, The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change, Princeton (NJ), Prince (...)
  • 42 Sarah F.D. Ansari, Sufi Saints and State Power, op. cit.: 151.

30Their concerns received a sympathetic hearing from General Zia-ul-Haq, who ousted Bhutto in a military coup before presiding over his execution. Strongly influenced by the Muslim reformist tradition associated with the eponymous seminary founded in Deoband, India, in 1867, he favoured a strictly doctrinaire approach to Islam. It strengthened the hold of the ulama, but also of a Sunni bourgeoisie that claimed to speak on behalf of the common man against corrupt bastions of rural power—namely Sufi pirs and landed magnates—who were often symbiotically related.41 But Zia, like his predecessors, was no less tempted to mould Sufism to fit the ends of his program of Islamization. Although he tended to rely more on the ‘language of the ulama’ than on the ‘symbolism of the Sufi’ to drive home his message,42 he too sought to effect a subtle ideological shift that would minimize the gap between Muslim saint and Islamic scholar, and thus ease the tension between the worship of saints and obedience to the sharia (Islamic law). By doing so, Zia may have hoped to pay his dues to the ‘modernist’ state.

31The democratic interregnum of the 1990s, dominated by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, revived the state’s pronounced engagement with local Sufism. As before, it was intended to pre-empt moves by the ulama and religious parties to challenge the politicians’ right to interpret ‘true’ Islam. But unlike their predecessors, Bhutto and Sharif confronted a more complex political landscape. The expansion of Deobandi reformism encouraged by Zia had not only strengthened ulama parties but also empowered a network of violent, Sunni sectarian, religio-political groups inspired by Wahhabi or Arabian Islam. They now represented as much of a threat to the governing classes as to the pillars of the formal religious establishment. These new circumstances presented fresh dilemmas to a leadership accustomed to shoring up its position vis-à-vis the ulama and Islamist parties like the Jamaat-i-Islami. Thus, even while both Bhutto and Sharif sought, much as in the past, to appropriate Sufi Islam as a political resource, both had now to consider new alignments in a context where the contestation over the terms of Islam in Pakistan had become more acute and where Sufi Islam itself was drawn ever deeper into the arena of these competing interpretations.

  • 43 In August 2003, while in exile abroad, Bhutto became a member of Minhaj-ul-Quran, the reformed Sufi (...)

32Bhutto appeared to be better placed than Sharif to withstand the test of these new challenges. With strong roots in rural Sindh and across Punjab—both bastions of Sufi Islam—she deftly combined the secular politics of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) with an enthusiasm for Sufism.43 Drawing on Jinnah’s secular vision, Bhutto projected Pakistan as a modern, progressive society where Muslims and non-Muslims enjoyed equal rights. Popular Sufism in Pakistan, with its inclusive culture of tolerance and its appeal across caste, class, and religion, served as a powerful motif to enhance this picture of a democratic Pakistan.

33The political landscape that confronted Sharif during the first and second tenures of his government in the 1990s was arguably more complex than that negotiated by Bhutto. Sunni sectarian discourse had intensified, and the spread of Saudi-inspired Wahhabi Islam had grown more pronounced. Both encouraged the promotion of markedly austere versions of Sunni Islam, which now sought expression in forms of religio-political activism that came to be associated mainly with Sunni militant groups. These groups proliferated in the 1990s and had a strong presence in urban, especially southern, Punjab, where they drew on solid constituencies bound together by common business interests, kinship ties, and, often, a shared experience of working in the Middle East. But the sharpening of these sectarian identities also deepened the awareness of sectarian differences—differences that hinged very largely on questions of setting the standards of ‘true’ Islam. They helped galvanize a fresh campaign against the scourge of ‘ignorant’ Islam that was judged to hold sway in Sufi shrines and sanctuaries (khanaqah). These circumstances placed significant constraints on Sharif’s engagement with popular Sufism.

  • 44 Mumtaz Ahmad, “Tablighi Jamaat”, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, vol. 4, Ox (...)

34Conscious of the hostility among his predominantly urban and largely Sunni supporters to the influence of local pirs (who were, more often than not, rural magnates and Shia), Sharif moved instead to strengthen his Muslim reformist credentials by articulating a version of Islam centred on the language of piety. Influenced by the reformist Sufism associated with the popular proselytizing movement Tablighi Jamaat,44 it served as a perfect substitute for the suspect spirituality commonly equated in Pakistan with the ‘degraded’ Islam of popular Sufism.

  • 45 Alix Philippon, La politique du pir. Du soufisme au soufislamisme : recomposition, modernisation et (...)
  • 46 Alix Philippon, Soufisme et politique au Pakistan : le mouvement barelwi à l’heure de la « guerre c (...)
  • 47 Alix Philippon, “When Sufi tradition reinvents modernity: the Minhaj-ul-Quran, a neo-Sufi order in (...)
  • 48 “Terrorism and Suicide Attacks”, video press conference of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, Minhaj-ul-Quran, 5 D (...)
  • 49 For a discussion of some theological considerations that have informed the thinking of Muslim relig (...)

35These years also witnessed the emergence of a language of piety that found its way into the discourse of Sufi masters in Pakistan engaged in re-casting Sufism along arguably Islamist lines—a trend recently described as ‘sufislamism’.45 One of the most prominent exponents of this neo-Sufi discourse is the Pakistani-born Canadian cleric, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (b. 1951). A key figure in the firmament of Barelvi Islam and a strong defender of Sufi saints,46 Qadri has attracted attention in the West for his outspoken condemnation of the violent rhetoric espoused by al-Qaida and the Taliban and for his campaigns to force the resignation of Pakistan’s elected governments in 2013 and 2014 on grounds of corruption. Through his organization, Minhaj-ul-Quran, which claims to have more than 100 branches worldwide and a massive following at home, Qadri has sought to construct a narrative of modernity informed by Sufi devotionalism.47 It is predicated, inter alia, on the unequivocal rejection of violence by militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban and to groups allied to al-Qaida, who are condemned as infidels (kufr) guilty of sin (haram).48 While Qadri’s denunciation of violence would appear to go much further than most other similar declarations by Muslim religious leaders in the aftermath of 9/11 by portraying terrorism as actively striving to deny God rather than merely an instance of passive unbelief, it was not necessarily the force of his theological nuances that held attention.49 Instead, the value of his widely publicized ruling (fatwa) lay in the possibilities it offered to an internationally sanctioned discourse to draw on a counter-narrative within Islam that categorically rejected terrorism while shoring up Pakistan’s Islamic credentials, which have been sorely tested by its involvement in a war widely perceived to be a war against Islam. By drawing upon Sufism (albeit as interpreted by his own Barelvi school of Sunni Islam), Qadri employed a discourse that could therefore be projected as both intrinsic to Islam and indigenous to Pakistan. It may explain why, notwithstanding his political opposition to the PPP-led government, Qadri’s neo-Sufi discourse still found an echo within the ranks of the PPP, which had long struggled to justify its controversial alliance with the United States by seeking, precisely, to project its government as a standard bearer against ‘anti-Islamic forces’ represented by al-Qaida and the Taliban.

  • 50 Philip E. Jones, The Pakistan People’s Party: Rise to Power, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2003
  • 51 They included the former prime minister, Yusuf Reza Gilani, custodian of the shrine of Hazrat Musa (...)

36A key part of this exercise had been the PPP’s appropriation of Sufism as not only the real face of Islam but the defining feature of Pakistan. The PPP believed it was well placed to make these claims. For in comparison to other political parties in Pakistan, it was historically far less ambiguous about the place of popular Sufism in Pakistan. There are good reasons for this. The PPP is strongly rooted in rural Sindh and southern Punjab,50 where a popular culture centred on Sufi shrines is still deeply entrenched and where the local population remains attached to an ethos that has long been wary of the excessive rationalization of Islam. It was not insignificant however that a number of serving PPP ministers and key officials of the party were also recognised as the descendants of prominent Sufi pirs and served as guardians of holy shrines dotted across much of Sindh and southern Punjab.51

37But as the PPP found to its cost, the deeply contested nature of Sufism posed immense challenges both to the state and to Pakistan’s allies abroad. Nothing testified more to the complexity of these challenges than the murder in 2011 of the pro-PPP governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, at the hands of a Barelvi zealot loyal to a popular Sufi master. It met with shock and international condemnation. But it also raised fresh questions at home and abroad about any ready association between Sufism and ‘moderate’ Islam. More generally, it appeared to confirm the obvious: Sufism, like Islam, speaks in a multitude of languages and finds many voices in Pakistan.

38It is still too early to say how Sharif’s return to a third term in power in 2013 will affect the course of Pakistan’s state sponsored experiment with Sufism. What is certain is that the new government led by Sharif’s faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, PML-N, is unlikely to embrace the language of ‘popular’ Sufism with quite the exuberance associated with the PPP. At the same time, the importance attached by Sharif to his roots in the Punjab—the site of innumerable Sufi shrines which serve as the objects of popular worship—would appear to rule out any radical break in relations between the state and local expressions of so-called ‘folk Islam’.

  • 52 Alix Phillipon, “The ‘urs of the Patron Saint of Lahore: National Popular Festival and Sacred Union (...)

39While Sharif’s first act upon his return from exile abroad in November 2007—to pay homage at the shrine of one of Pakistan’s most revered saints, Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hujweri—may well have been intended to burnish his credentials as a religious moderate, it also demonstrated his awareness of Sufism’s immense mobilizing potential. The fact that Ali Hujweri is celebrated as the patron saint of Lahore, which serves as the hub of Sharif’s constituency in Punjab, cannot therefore be easily discounted. And while none of Sharif’s cabinet ministers can claim the hallowed status of saintly descent such as was common among the senior leadership of the PPP, some of his closest political associates have long been active as promoters of shrine culture and played key roles in the management of Sufi shrines. They include Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz Sharif, currently chief minister of Punjab and the federal finance minister, Ishaq Dar, who is related to Sharif by marriage. Both men have assiduously cultivated a high profile as patrons and managers of the shrine complex (Data durbar) devoted to Ali Hujweri and both regularly preside over the saint’s annual urs (death anniversary) celebrations. Sharif himself has featured prominently on posters to mark these celebrations of Ali Hujweri, as recently as 2012.52

  • 53 Ayesha Siddiqa, The New Frontiers: Militancy and Radicalism in Punjab, Oslo, Centre for Internation (...)

40Nevertheless Sharif’s engagement with popular Sufism as a marker of Pakistani identity is likely to be severely tested as he enters his third term in office. Not only has the contestation over competing interpretations of Islam, including Sufism, grown more acute since the late 1990s, but the divisions over Pakistan’s Islamic identity have become more pronounced. Together they have helped strengthen a discourse and encouraged alliances that threaten to constrain the state’s support for Sufism. Although Sharif will no doubt be mindful of the risks of alienating his core followers in the Punjab, who are assumed still largely to subscribe to Sufi shrine culture, there is some evidence that the last decade has witnessed a significant weakening of Sufi influence in the region.53

  • 54 Ibid. See also Faisal Devji, “Red Mosque”, Public Culture, 20(1), Winter 2008: 19–26. See also, Amé (...)
  • 55 Samina Yasmeen, “Pakistan, Militancy and Identity: Parallel Struggles”, Australian Journal of Inter (...)

41Much of the pressure on Sharif’s new government, should it seek a fresh engagement between the state and the language of Sufi Islam, is likely to come from newly empowered quasi-religious groups in the Punjab, whose orientations run from Deobandi Islam to local expressions of Salafi Islam (commonly known as the Ahl-i-Hadis) and who all share a common hostility to Sufi shrine culture. Aided by provincial government officials, many of whom owe their loyalty to Sharif’s PML-N, these groups have wrought changes in the political economy of Punjab that have eroded the morals, practices and beliefs associated with local Sufis. There is evidence to suggest that in some parts of northern Punjab local Sufi pirs now co-operate with Deobandi groups in pursuit of common business ventures that extend to participation in local land mafias and illegal ‘land-grab’ operations. Elsewhere, in southern Punjab—generally acknowledged as a hub of Sufi Islam—changes in local political culture resulting from demographic shifts and greater access to education have brought changes that have led local Sufis to react more defensively against charges of moral laxity by seeking to embrace what has come to be judged as the Islamic mainstream. A recent indication was the eagerness with which respected Sufi pirs in the Seraiki speaking regions of southern Punjab sought to officiate at the funeral of the militant preacher Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who gained notoriety as the mastermind behind the capture of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in 2007.54 If these trends suggesting that the ideological distinctions that once separated Sufis from so-called jihadists are no longer tenable, Sharif could be faced with a major and possibly dangerous transformation of Pakistan’s political landscape that would limit the spectrum of alternative narratives available to combat the threat posed by Islamist militants. In that event, some have argued, the state could favour the expensive option of suppressing all challenges to its authority and expect a jihadist backlash or choose inaction, which could impose equally heavy costs by further narrowing the space for plural interpretations of Islam.55

42Whichever option is taken, the challenges confronting the state are unlikely to diminish. Furthermore, given the damage inflicted on Pakistan by the politicization of Islam at the behest of successive regimes, any renewed attempts to empower Sufism could heighten the risks of yet another dangerous gamble, deepening the faith wars that threaten to polarize an already deeply divided society. These divisions will unquestionably intensify the country’s ideological confusion and significantly accentuate the struggle between rival conceptions of Pakistan that set the country’s claim to be a homeland for Muslims against its putative obligations to serve as a guarantor of Islam.

Notes

1 Mobasha Jawed Akbar, Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, New Delhi, Harper Collins, 2011: xv.

2 Farzana Shaikh, Making Sense of Pakistan, London & New York, Hurst & Columbia University Press, 2009.

3 Tahir Kamran, “Problematising Iqbal as a State Ideologue”, in G. Dharampal-Frick, A. Usman Qasmi and K. Rostetter (eds.), Revisioning Iqbal as a Poet & Muslim Political Thinker, Heidelberg, Draupadi Verlag, 2010: 119–133.

4 Iqbal’s presidential address to the All India Muslim League on 29 December 1930 in S.S. Pirzada (ed.), Foundations of Pakistan: All India Muslim League Documents, 1906–47, II, Karachi, National Publishing House, 1970: 159.

5 Muhammad Iqbal, “Statement on Islam and nationalism in reply to a statement by Maulana Husain Ahmad, published in Ehsan, 9 March 1938”, in A.R. Tariq (ed.), Speeches and Statements of Iqbal, Lahore, Shaikh Ghulam Ali, 1973: 230.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.: 157.

9 For a finely grained analysis of Mawdudi’s vision of Pakistan as an Islamic state see Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: the Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan, Berkeley (CA), University of California Press, 1994.

10 Iqbal’s presidential address to the All India Muslim League on 29 December 1930, in S.S. Pirzada (ed.), Foundations of Pakistan, op. cit.: 160.

11 Iqbal’s letter to Jinnah, 28 May 1937, in S.S. Pirzada (ed.), Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah’s Correspondence, Karachi, Guild Publishing House, 1966: 159.

12 Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Lahore, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1996: 135.

13 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution, op. cit.: 20.

14 Ibid.: 109.

15 Ibid.: 110.

16 For an extended discussion of the implications of Jinnah’s position and the predicament that faced Muslims in Indian provinces, where they were a minority, following the creation of Pakistan see Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories, New York, Columbia University Press, 2007. See also, Tahir Hasnain Naqvi, “The Politics of Commensuration: The Violence of Partition and the Making of Pakistan”, in N. Khan (ed.), Beyond Crisis: Re-Evaluating Pakistan, London, Routledge, 2010: 61–88.

17 For a discussion of the relationship between theologically informed images of Muslim sacrifice and the idea of Pakistan as a Muslim homeland see, Tahir Naqvi, “Migration, Sacrifice and the Crisis of Muslim Nationalism”, Journal of Refugee Studies, 25(3), September 2012: 1–17.

18 See Jinnah’s presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947 in Jamil-ud-din Ahmad (ed.), Speeches and Statements of Mr Jinnah, Vol. II, Lahore, Shaikh Muhammad Ashraf, 1964: 404.

19 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution, op. cit.: 106.

20 Farzana Shaikh, Making Sense of Pakistan, op. cit.: 83–88.

21 For an introduction to these two seminal thinkers and their different responses to the loss of Muslim power in India see T.N. Madan, Modern Myths, Locked Minds: Secularism and Fundamentalism in India, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997: 128–130, 157–175.

22 Barbara D. Metcalf, “Islamic Arguments in Contemporary Pakistan”, in B.D. Metcalf, Islamic Contestations: Essays on Muslims in India and Pakistan, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004: 236–264.

23 Saadia Toor, The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan, London, Pluto Press, 2011: 26–31.

24 Oskar Verkaaik, Migrants and Militants: Fun and Urban Violence in Pakistan, Princeton (NJ), Princeton University Press, 2004: 35–39.

25 Ian Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 270–286.

26 Farzana Shaikh, “From Islamisation to Shariatisation: Cultural Transnationalism in Pakistan”, in R. Desai (ed.), Developmental and Cultural Nationalisms, London, Routledge, 2009: 593–610.

27 Gilles Boquérat and Nazir Hussain, “Enlightened Moderation: Anatomy of a Failed Strategy”, in R. Kalia (ed.), From the Rhetoric of Democracy to the Rise of Militancy, Delhi, Routledge, 2011: 177–190, and Sadaf Aziz, “Making a Sovereign State: Javed Ghamidi and ‘Enlightened Moderation’”, Modern Asian Studies, 45(3), 2011: 597–629.

28 Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “National Identities and the India-Pakistan Conflict”, in T.V. Paul (ed.), The India-Pakistan Conflict: An Enduring Rivalry, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005: 178–201.

29 Barbara D. Metcalf, “The case of Pakistan”, in B.D. Metcalf, Islamic Contestations, op. cit.: 217–235.

30 Gilles Boquérat and Nazir Hussain, “Enlightened Moderation: Anatomy of a Failed Strategy”, op. cit.: 181.

31 For the full text of General Kayani’s speech see, Inter-Services Public Relations, Press Release, 14 August 2012, www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=2124#pr_link2124 [viewed 2014-12-21].

32 Editorial, “Kayani’s Remarks”, Dawn, 15 August 2012, www.dawn.com/news/742329/kayanis-remarks [viewed 2014-12-21].

33 Farzana Shaikh, “Will Sufi Islam save Pakistan?”, in S. Bashir and R. Crews (eds.), Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan- Pakistan Borderlands, Cambridge (MA), Harvard University Press, 2012: 174–191.

34 Usha Sanyal, Devotional Islam and Politics in British India: Ahmed Riza Khan Barelwi and His Movement, 1870–1920, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1996.

35 “Government to Set Up Sufi Advisory Council”, Dawn, 7 June 2009, http://www.dawn.com/news/958940/government-to-set-up-sufi-advisory-council [viewed 2014-12-21].

36 Katherine Pratt Ewing, “The politics of Sufism: Redefining the Saints of Pakistan”, Journal of Asian Studies, 42(2), February 1983: 251–268.

37 See David Gilmartin, Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan, Berkeley (CA), University of California Press, 1988, and Sarah F.D. Ansari, Sufi Saints and State Power: The Pirs of Sind, 1843–1947, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.

38 Sana Haroon, Frontier of Faith: Islam in the Indo-Afghan Borderland, London & New York, Hurst & Columbia University Press, 2007.

39 Ian Talbot, Pakistan: A Modern History, op. cit.: 160.

40 Oskar Verkaaik, Migrants and Militants, op. cit.: 36.

41 Muhammad Qasim Zaman, The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change, Princeton (NJ), Princeton University Press, 2002: 125–133.

42 Sarah F.D. Ansari, Sufi Saints and State Power, op. cit.: 151.

43 In August 2003, while in exile abroad, Bhutto became a member of Minhaj-ul-Quran, the reformed Sufi religious network founded by Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, http://www.minhaj.org/english/tid/30 [viewed 2014-12-21].

44 Mumtaz Ahmad, “Tablighi Jamaat”, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, vol. 4, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001: 168. For two contrasting views of the relationship of Sufism to the Tablighi Jamaat see Dietrich Reetz, “Sufi spirituality fires reformist zeal: the Tablighi Jamaat in today’s India and Pakistan”, Archives de sciences sociales des religions, 135, July-September 2006: 33–51, and Marc Gaborieau, “What is left of Sufism in Tablighi Jamaat?”, ibid.: 53–72.

45 Alix Philippon, La politique du pir. Du soufisme au soufislamisme : recomposition, modernisation et mobilisation des « confréries » au Pakistan, Ph.D. thesis, Aix, Sciences Po Aix, 2009.

46 Alix Philippon, Soufisme et politique au Pakistan : le mouvement barelwi à l’heure de la « guerre contre le terrorisme », Paris, Karthala, 2011: 79–83; 230–255.

47 Alix Philippon, “When Sufi tradition reinvents modernity: the Minhaj-ul-Quran, a neo-Sufi order in Pakistan”, in C. Bennett and C. Ramsey (eds.), South Asian Sufis: Devotion, Deviation and Destiny, London, Continuum, 2012: 111–122.

48 “Terrorism and Suicide Attacks”, video press conference of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, Minhaj-ul-Quran, 5 December 2009, www.minhaj.org/english/tid/9385/'Terrorism-and-Suicide-Attacks'-the-Press-Conference-of-Dr.-Tahir-ul-Qadri.html [viewed 2014-12-21]

49 For a discussion of some theological considerations that have informed the thinking of Muslim religious scholars on war, terrorism and violence in post 9/11 Pakistan see Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Modern Islamic Thought in a Radical Age: Religious Authority and Internal Criticism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012: 287–294.

50 Philip E. Jones, The Pakistan People’s Party: Rise to Power, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2003.

51 They included the former prime minister, Yusuf Reza Gilani, custodian of the shrine of Hazrat Musa Pak in Multan, the former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi (who has since quit the party), custodian of the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam and of the shrine of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya, and the current vice-chairman and former PPP minister, Ameen Fahim, custodian of the shrine of Makhdoom Sarwar Nooh of Hala.

52 Alix Phillipon, “The ‘urs of the Patron Saint of Lahore: National Popular Festival and Sacred Union Between the Pakistani State and Society?”, Social Compass, 59(3), September 2012: 295–296.

53 Ayesha Siddiqa, The New Frontiers: Militancy and Radicalism in Punjab, Oslo, Centre for International and Strategic Analysis, Report No. 2, February 2013, strategiskanalyse.no/publikasjoner%202013/2013-02-04_SISA2_The_New_Frontiers_-_Ayesha_Siddiqa.pdf [viewed 2014-12-21]: 13–14, 29.

54 Ibid. See also Faisal Devji, “Red Mosque”, Public Culture, 20(1), Winter 2008: 19–26. See also, Amélie Blom, “Changing Religious Leadership in Contemporary Pakistan: The Case of the Red Mosque”, in M. Bolognani and S.M. Lyon (eds.), Pakistan and its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011: 135–168.

55 Samina Yasmeen, “Pakistan, Militancy and Identity: Parallel Struggles”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67(2), 2013: 157–175.

Auteur

Farzana Shaikh est historienne politique et chercheur associé au Royal Institute of International Affairs à Londres, où elle dirige le programme sur le Pakistan. Docteur en science politique de l’université de Columbia à New York, elle a mené ses recherches au Clare Hall de Cambridge. En 2012-2013, elle a été nommée chercheur à l’Institut d’études avancées de Paris, où elle a travaillé sur un projet de livre explorant la politique du soufisme au Pakistan. Elle est l’auteur de Making Sense of Pakistan (New York, Columbia University Press, 2009), et plus récemment de « Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: in pursuit of an Asian Pakistan » (in Ramachandra Guha (dir.), Makers of Modern Asia, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2014).


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