Islamist political party in Pakistan

Jamaat-e-Islami (Urdu: جماعتِ اسلامی) is an Islamist political organisation and social conservative movement founded in 1941 in British India by the Islamic theologian and socio-political philosopher, Abul Ala Maududi. Along with the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, Jamaat-e-Islami was one of the original and most influential Islamist organisations, and the first of its kind to develop "an ideology based on the modern revolutionary conception of Islam".

Quotes edit

  • It [Jamaat-e-Islami] is not a missionary organisation or a body of preachers or evangelists, but an organisation of God’s troopers.
    • 1964, Haqiqat-i-Jihad, page 58, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • By 1941, in Lahore, he had founded Jamaat-e Islami, the vanguard of the Islamic revolution of his dreams. His followers would deny he had ever written such heathen verses. Mawdudi had opposed the creation of Pakistan. But once it came into existence, he worked relentlessly to turn it into his utopian Islamic state. From philosopher and ideologue, he became a strategist, a politician with a program. The Jamaat organized a highly structured network of activists to spread the message, pushing to institutionalize Islamic values at every level of society and public life, including politics. According to Mawdudi, no ruler, no system had ever been truly Islamic, because Muslims had become estranged from the true precepts of their religion, and governments that did not strictly apply the shari’a, Islamic law, were apostates. The jahiliyya, the pre-Islam age of ignorance, therefore continued, and Mawdudi’s response was the hukm, sovereign rule, of God over earth through the rule of shari’a. In its Arabic root declination, the word hukm led to the word and concept of hakimiyya: an Islamic state that was the result of the Islamization of society and state through education, the Islamization of private and public life, a totalitarian model in which God’s law was supreme and elected officials governed only under the guidance of clerics.
    • Kim Ghattas Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • These were the ideas that would later be attributed to the Egyptian thinker Qutb, but they were unmistakably Mawdudi’s. He was the missing link between Banna’s vague vision for an Islamic society and Qutb’s urgent political manifesto, Milestones. Novel and radical in their day, Mawdudi’s ideas are at the root of modern-day political Islam, radical Salafism, and jihadism. He inspired his contemporaries and the generations since, both Shia and Sunni. His profound influence on Pakistani politics is the bridge that connects the mujahedeen of Afghanistan in the 1980s to the jihadists of the Middle East. Decades later, when Western authors and journalists went looking for the clues that led to 9/11, they would settle on Qutb as the source of much of the evil, providing only a partial understanding of what had happened and why. Mawdudi’s key influence would be mostly forgotten, including his connections with revolutionary Iran. Mawdudi’s work had begun to appear in Iran, translated into Persian, in the early 1960s. The Pakistani scholar and Khomeini met in 1963 in Mecca, where Mawdudi delivered a lecture about the duties of Muslim youth that impressed Khomeini. The two men talked for a half hour at their hotel with a translator. Khomeini explained his campaign against the shah. This was the year of protests against the White Revolution, and Khomeini would soon be exiled to Iraq. Mawdudi did not believe in a revolution for Pakistan; he preached for the Islamization of society as the natural path to an Islamic state. But the majority of Pakistanis were indifferent to his message. He was also unpopular with the country’s leaders. Mawdudi was jailed four times, only narrowly escaping a death sentence thanks to the intervention of Saudi Arabia in 1953. During the elections of 1970, the Jamaat won only four of the three hundred seats in the National Assembly. But in Zia’s Pakistan, Mawdudi was suddenly useful. The pious general sought his advice, and the scholar’s views were now published on the front page of newspapers
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • Clerics were gaining influence everywhere: In the bureaucracy, civil servants sought promotions with overt expressions of religiousness; the army now held Quran study groups. Women were banned from playing sports in public; the national women’s hockey team, one of the world’s best, was forbidden from leaving the country. History was also being rewritten. Jinnah, the secular father of the nation, had a makeover: he was no longer shown in Western clothes in official portraits, only in traditional dress. References to pluralism and freedom of faith in Jinnah’s 1947 speech were scrubbed from the record. The methodical, relentless, systemwide changes were akin to a cultural revolution, unparalleled in the history of Islam in the subcontinent but cleaving closely to what was happening in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Although the Jamaat had been in awe of the Iranian Revolution, its leader saw Saudi Arabia as the more perfect model to emulate, with full segregation, banishment of women from the workplace, a ban on women driving, and the male guardianship system. Zia had caused worldwide consternation.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • In his book My Eleven Years with Fakhruddin Ahmad, Mr. Fazle Ahmed Rehmany quotes an incident which throws interesting light on the psychology of secularism and its need to keep Muslims in isolation and in a sort of protective custody. During the Emergency period some followers of the Jamaat-e-Islami found themselves in the same jail as the members of the RSS; here they began to discover that the latter were no monsters as described by the 'nationalist' and secularist propaganda. Therefore they began to think better of the Hindus. This alarmed the secularists and the interested Maulvis. Some Maulvis belonging to the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind met President.. Fakhruddin Ahmad, and reported to him about the growing rapport between the members of the two communities. This 'stunned' the President and he said that this boded an 'ominous' future for Congress Muslim leaders and he promised that he would speak to Indiraji about this dangerous development and ensure that Muslims remain Muslims.
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6 (quoting Ram Swarup and citing Fakhruddin Ahmad)
  • Today, “communalism” is one of those labels allotted exclusively to people who reject it; it is a term of abuse... Jamaat-i-Islami (whose Pakistani wing has campaigned for decades, and with success, for the desecularization of the state) attacks “communalism” in the name of “secularism”. I cannot recall a single issue of the Islamist papers Radiance [a Weekly published by the Jamaat-e-Islami] and Muslim India which failed to brandish “secularism” and denounce “communalism”. ... Imposition of an exonym, especially a pejorative one like "coummunalist", must be considered a statement of involvement in an anti-Hindu-revivalist or so-called "anti-communal" crusade...

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