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Why Jamaat-e-Islami Opposed the Creation of Pakistan!

09 September 2012

By Saeed Qureshi

Apart from the un-Islamic parties and socio-political entities that opposed the creation of Pakistan as an independent Muslim state, there were also Muslim organizations that were not in favor of an Islamic state within the British India. These were Khaksars, the Khudai Khidmatgars or Red Shirts, the Deobandi Muslim Movement (later JUI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami founded by Maulana Maududi in 1941.

Had these segments supported Quaid-e-Azam in that historic movement for carving out an independent state for Indian Muslims, the political strength and backing would have been formidable for the founder of Pakistan to claim Pakistan with greater confidence and tenacity. Besides the religio-political outfits, the feudal of West Pakistan also stood in the way of Quaid-e-Azam to strive for Muslims a separate independent homeland.

The Jamaat-e-Islami believed that a democratic state can never be Islamic because the power is in the hands of the people and not God. The pinnacle objective of Maulana Maududi behind founding a politico-religious party was the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law as was prevalent during 23 years of the caliphate of the first four caliphs. Such a government would be run by chaste, pious, and righteous Muslims. Maulana Maududi did not want Pakistan to come into being because it collided with his concept of a universal Islamic empire with sovereignty resting in God.

Yet one paramount question that boggles the mind is that when Maulana Maududi opposed Pakistan and its founder Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah tooth and nail, why he migrated to live in this state immediately after the partition. Later he said that Pakistan was destined to be become an Islamic state. What a volte face!

The fundamental argument of the Jamaat-Islami was that their concept of a universal or global Islamic empire did not fit into a territory-bound country of Pakistan. Maulana depicted Pakistan an un-Islamic state and the Quaid-e-Azam as the biggest infidel. Yet after partition despite blocking and bitterly opposing its creation, Maulana Maududi and his ideological companions had no other place to migrate except Pakistan.

They had come to Pakistan with a design to convert it into an Islamic state of their vision and bidding. That was a plan to hijack a progressive Pakistan that Quaid-e-Azam had visualized and that he had literally snatched it from both Indian National Congress and the British colonial masters.

The pinnacle objective of Maulana Maududi behind establishing a politico-religious party was to create a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law as was prevalent during 29 years of the caliphate of the first four caliphs. Such a government would be run by the chaste, pious, and righteous Muslims. It also meant transfer the global leadership from evil, immoral and unjust to the hands of righteous and faithful servants of almighty God.

Now how an Islamic state on universal level could be established with God as its sovereign without a territory or place to stand upon? The man has been deputed by God in Adam to act and rule in earth as his lieutenant. They ignored the historical fact that the prophet of Islam spread his divine mission from the territory of Medina. Even a providential empire cannot be founded in the air and the land is indispensable for carrying out such a mission or undertaking.
The Jamaat stalwarts and its founders were bitterly opposed to such titles as Muslim Nationalists or Nationalist Muslims that they perceived were like calling a prostitute a pious prostitute. Besides rejecting nationalism based on territory, they were also against socialism, capitalism, communism and even science. How could JI (Jamaat-e- Islami) discard and root out these powerful movments and replace these with a universal caliphate? Would the respective states allow them to do so? It was thus a purely utopian doctrine which was hotly contested later by Maulana Maududi's dissident companions.

Now let us suppose that if Muslims would have lived in an undivided India, would that conform to the model of an Islamic state that Maulana Maududi wanted to create. In larger context even the whole of India would not be sufficient to realize the dream or goal of Jamaat-e-Islami to found a truly Islamic empire or state where only the prototype of Khilafat-e Rashida could be established.

Would the Hindu majority allow them to remain at large to campaign and strive for an Islamic polity and state within the undivided India? It was the kind of Pan-Islamism that was advocated by Syed Jamaluddin Afghani in the 19th century and which met with miserable failure as it could never be achieved.

The gigantic refugees' problem, the building of national institutions and infrastructure, the framing of a constitution and establishing a democratic form of government were the gubernatorial challenges to which the newly born state of Pakistan was exposed. The Jamaat's strategy of turning it into a theocracy by opposing every government, in fact, triggered a process of destabilization and instability in the society.

From day one this party knew that it would be impossible for it to come into power through the democratic process of elections for realizing its myopic dream of ruling the world with Islam as the dominant religion. The Jamaat's lethal weapon has been its monolithic organization and staunchly committed cadres such as Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba. It was also adept in vicious rumor mongering, and vituperative propaganda to slander and defame its opponents.

The Jamaat's anti-Ahmadyia movement in 1953 created immense chaos and upheaval and the first selective declaration of martial law for a nascent state that was passing through the crucial process of settling down. One would question as to why the Jamaat did not launch an anti-Ahmadyia campaign in the British India as they were even then non-Muslims. For the countrywide riots and writing incendiary and hate filled literature, Maulana Maududi was awarded death sentence by the court that was finally commuted.

The Jamaat gave a tough time to Ayub Khan by staging street agitations and taking out processions forcing him to intimidate and oppress the Jamaat cadres. The collision with Military regime of Ayub Khan started when Jamaat demanded the restoration of Islamic articles in the constitution of 1962 .The Jamaat was banned in 1964 and its activists were sent to jails.That was the beginning of a process of destabilization which resurfaced from time to time in the subsequent periods.

However, The Jamaat was successful in putting the message across the country that it was a force to reckon with and that it could rock the boat by its street agitations and violent protests, literature and vilification blitz. As stated earlier, the committed and brain-washed Jamaat cadres particularly the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba were the militant wings of the party that aggressively and violently promoted the arm twisting agenda and belligerency of the Jamaat. They have been dominating the student unions in leading universities and colleges of Pakistan.

Rationally and honestly there should be no objection to Jamaat's desire to promote its concept of Islamizing the whole world and reviving the pristine era of Khilafat-e Rashida. But the main impediments in its way are the other religious outfits that would see the Islamic theology and precepts in a differ color. The sectarian cleavages in Islam would obviate any possibility of a common code to be followed by the Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The Jamaat simply puts under the rug the Saudi Arabia monarchy that cannot be defined as an Islamic model because Islam does not allow family dynasties or priesthood (Rahbaniat). Moreover The Saudi Arabia too is a geographical entity that JI wanted to deny to the Muslims of the Subcontinent on the ground that it ran counter to the sovereignty of God on earth. However, the Jamaat's rabble-rousing ability brought to it the reward in the form of the 1956 constitution written by a sympathizer of the Jamaat: the then prime minister of Pakistan and chief of the Nizam-e-Islam party; Ch Muhammad Ali.

The Jamaat has been shuttling between the two systems i.e. democracy and dictatorship in the political arena of Pakistan. It supported Fatima Jinnah as a candidate against general Ayub Khan in 1964 elections. That was in fact a negation and infringement of its own faith that democracy was not a substitute for an Islamic order whose head is always God himself. The Jamaat believes that the law in the shape of Qur'an is already there only to be implemented. In democracy, it contends, the laws are made by the human beings.

Again they participated in 1970 general elections disregarding that the Jamaat was against the western electoral system and believed in a Shoorai( consultation or collective decision-making) model in which only a body of pious Muslims is chosen to rule and implement the Quranic laws and traditions of Hadith.

Also in sheer breach of their Islamic constitution, they supported and sided with three dictators namely Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq and lately general Pervez Musharraf. To beef up the onslaught by Pakistan army in East Pakistan in 1971, they mobilized their militant outfits known as Al-shams and Al-Badr. These brigands indiscriminately and brutally killed the Bengalis who were fighting for their freedom against an army notwithstanding the contention if they were right or wrong. That was certainly the rank opportunism and sheer betrayal of its own professed creed that it would neither support western democracy nor the dictatorship but only the rule and sovereignty of God on earth and enforcement of Shariah.

Their spine-chilling atrocities through their Bengali cohorts were returned by Mukti-Behni in gruesome massacres and barbaric slaughtering of the west Pakistanis including the men in uniform. For the cessation of East Pakistan JI bears equal responsibility besides the chauvinistic and moronic military junta that was at helm during those critical times.

It also projected itself as the strongest and most trenchant ideological, political supporter and steadfast ally of General Ziaul haq, the latter day self-styled crusader who wanted to Islamize Pakistan and impose a defunct, narrow and radical model of Islam on it by brutal means.

In their unconditional loyalty and unstinted capitulation to General Zia they were able to send Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to the gallows. When Bhutto was in Rawalpindi jail they spread the rumors that the Palestinians guerrillas were planning to get him out jail. Thereafter, Bhutto's cell was fortified with concrete walls and placed under maximum surveillance. The night Mr. Bhutto was hanged; Mian Muhammad Tufail was in constant touch with General Zia.

The JI's third show of support was for general Musharraf against an elected and constitutional government. But they see in the dictators an easy prey for their narrow demands and phony objectives to be realized As such they forget the virtues of Islamic democracy and divine rule on earth and stand behind the ruthless and power hungry dictators.

The dictatorship is in fact close to the perception of fundamentalist parties like JI as a shortcut for the enforcement of an Islamic order of their choice. So let us call this an unworthy bid for attainment of base motives and grabbing of power under the guise of Islam: a religion that shuns such intrigues for self perpetuation and aggrandizement.

This party is now in coalition with Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI). What would happen to PTI with such a smart partner is a story in the making that would be unraveled in due course of time.



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