The political history of Pakistan is characterised by incomplete constitution-making, a process which has placed the burden of constitutional interpretation on state instruments ranging from the bureaucracy to the military to the judiciary. In a penetrating and original study of the relationship between state and civil society in Pakistan, Paula Newberg demonstrates how the courts have influenced constitutional development and the structure of the state. By examining judicial decisions, particularly those made at times of political crisis, she considers how tensions within the judiciary, and between courts and other state institutions, have affected the ways political society views itself, and explores the consequences of these debates for the formal organisation of political power.
Religion plays a pivotal role in the way women are treated around the world, socially and legally. This book discusses three Islamic human rights approaches: secular, non-compatible, reconciliatory (compatible), and proposes a contextual interpretive approach. It is argued that the current gender discriminatory statutory Islamic laws in Islamic jurisdictions, based on the decontextualised interpretation of the Koran, can be reformed through "Ijtihad": independent individual reasoning. It is claimed that the original intention of the Koran was to protect the rights of women and raise their status in society, not to relegate them to subordination. This Koranic intention and spirit may be recaptured through the proposed contextual interpretation which in fact means using an Islamic (or insider) strategy to achieve gender equality in Muslim states and greater compatibility with international human rights law. It discusses the negative impact of the so-called statutory Islamic laws of Pakistan on the enjoyment of women's human rights and robustly challenges their Koranic foundation. While supporting the international human rights regime, this book highlights the challenges to its universality: feminism and cultural relativism. To achieve universal application, genuine voices from different cultures and groups must be accommodated. It is argued that the women's human rights regime does not cover all issues of concern to women and has a weak implementation mechanism. The book argues for effective implementation procedures to turn women's human rights into reality.
Sovereign Attachments rethinks sovereignty by moving it out of the exclusive domain of geopolitics and legality and into cultural, religious, and gender studies. Through a close reading of a stunning array of cultural texts produced by the Pakistani state and the Pakistan-based Taliban, Shenila Khoja-Moolji theorizes sovereignty as an ongoing attachment that is negotiated in public culture. Both the state and the Taliban recruit publics into relationships of trust, protection, and fraternity by summoning models of Islamic masculinity, mobilizing kinship metaphors, and marshalling affect. In particular, masculinity and Muslimness emerge as salient performances through which sovereign attachments are harnessed. The book shifts the discussion of sovereignty away from questions about absolute dominance to ones about shared repertoires, entanglements, and co-constitution.
After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Sufi shrines became highly contested. Considered deviant and `un-Islamic', they soon fell under government control as part of a state-led strategy to create an `official', more unified, Islamic identity. This book, the first to address the political history of Sufi shrines in Pakistan, explores the various ways in which the postcolonial state went about controlling their activities. Of key significance, Umber Bin Ibad shows, was the `West Pakistan Waqf Properties Ordinance', a governmental decree issued in 1959. Formed when General Ayub Khan assumed the role of Chief Martial Law Administrator, this allowed the state to take over shrines as `waqf property'. According to Islamic law, a waqf, or charitable endowment, had to be used for charitable or religious purposes and the state created a separate Auqaf department to control the finances and activities of all the shrines which were now under a state sponsored waqf system. Focusing on the Punjab - famous for its large number of shrines - the book is based on extensive primary research including newspapers, archival sources, interviews, court records and the official reports of the Auqaf department. At a time when Sufi shrines are being increasingly targeted by Islamist extremists, who view Sufism as heretical, this book sheds light on the shrines' contentious historical relationship with the state. An original contribution to South Asian Studies, the book will also be relevant to scholars of Colonial and Post-Colonial History and Sufism Studies.
The re-emergence of religion as a significant cultural, social and political, force is not gender neutral. Tensions between claims for women’s equality and the rights of sexual minorities on one side and the claims of religions on the other side are well-documented across all major religions and regions. It is also well recognized in feminist scholarship that gender identities and ethno-religious identities work together in complex ways that are often exploited by dominant groups. Hence, a more comprehensive understanding of the changing role and influence of religion in the public sphere more widely requires complex, multidisciplinary and comparative gender analyses. Most recent discussion on these matters, however, especially in Europe, has focused primarily on the perceived subordinate status of Muslim women. These debates are a reminder of the deep interrelation of questions of gender, identity, human rights and religious freedom more generally. The relatively narrow (albeit important) purview of such discussions so far, however, underscores the need to extend the horizon of enquiry vis-à-vis religion, gender and the public sphere beyond the binary of ‘Islam versus the West’. Religion, Gender and the Public Sphere moves gender from the periphery to the centre of contemporary debates about the role of religion in public and political life. It offers a timely, multidisciplinary collection of gender-focused essays that address an array of challenges arising from the changing role and influence of religious organisations, identities, actors and values in the public sphere in contemporary multicultural and democratic societies.
Are secular aims, politics, and sensibilities impossible, undesirable and impracticable for Muslims and Islamic states? Should Muslim women be exempted from feminist attempts at liberation from patriarchy and its various expressions under Islamic laws and customs? Considerable literature on the entanglements of Islam and secularism has been produced in the post-9/11 decade and a large proportion of it deals with the Woman Question. Many commentators critique the secular and Western feminism, and the racialising backlash that accompanied the occupation of Muslim countries during the War on Terror military campaign launched by the U.S. government after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Implicit in many of these critical works is the suggestion that it is Western secular feminism that is the motivating driver and permanent collaborator -- along with other feminists, secularists and human rights activists in Muslim countries -- that sustains the Wests actual and metaphorical war on Islam and Muslims. The book addresses this post-9/11 critical trope and its implications for womens movements in Muslim contexts. The relevance of secular feminist activism is illustrated with reference to some of the nation-wide, working-class womens movements that have surged throughout Pakistan under religious militancy: polio vaccinators, health workers, politicians, peasants and artists have been directly targeted, even assassinated, for their service and commitment to liberal ideals. Afiya Zia contends that Muslim womens piety is no threat against the dominant political patriarchy, but their secular autonomy promises transformative changes for the population at large, and thereby effectively challenges Muslim male dominance. This book is essential reading for those interested in understanding the limits of Muslim womens piety and the potential in their pursuit for secular autonomy and liberal freedoms.
In a world where almost all societies are multi-religious and multi-ethnic, we need to study how social cohesion can be achieved in different contexts. In some geographical areas, as in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, people of different religious belonging have, through the ages, lived side by side, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in dissonance. In other geographical regions, as in Scandinavia, societies have been quite religiously homogeneous but only recently challenged by immigration. The implication in both locations is that the relation between religious minority and majority is on the agenda. In order to discuss the situation for Non-Muslims in Muslim majority societies, a consultation was convened with both Muslim and Christian participants from Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Sweden. Some of the participants work in academic settings, others in faith based organizations, some in jurisprudence and others with theological issues. This book is the result of that consultation; the articles are "works in progress," and they remain tentative. The intention with this anthology is to trigger reflection and further thinking. It presents articles that discuss issues such as freedom of religion, minority rights, secular and religious legislation, and inter-religious dialogue in Muslim majority societies. Contributors include: Kajsa Ahlstrand, Goran Gunner, Mustafa Abu Sway, Johan Garde, Yasmin Haider, Jan Hjarpe, M. Aslam Khaki, Bernard Sabella, Mehboob Sada, Guirguis Ibrahim Saleh, and Ahmad Salim This book is the second volume in Church of Sweden Research Series.
The War on Terror has been going on for over a decade and it shows no signs of winding down in near future, a war which has directly contributed to growing security regimes in frontline states. This book focuses on the legal dimensions of the War on Terror and security in Pakistan. It highlights the growth of the security state in Pakistan, and questions the growing and by-now entrenched legal security regime in the country. The book traces the roots of the present security laws in colonial and post-colonial times. One broader dimension from which the legal security regime of Pakistan is approached in this book is through highlighting specific issues concerning the legal identity of the subject such as the rights of aliens in the background of state power versus liberal constitutionalism, and the rights of terrorism suspects in the background of deploying death sentence as a tactical, psychological tool versus the absolute right to life (of every individual). By critically reflecting on the increasingly institutionalized form of the security apparatus in Pakistan, the book (indirectly) suggests the legal ways to resist the growing legal security regime and derogation from human rights. Offering a theoretically engaged and critically reflective overview of the current state of individual identity, rights and freedoms in face of a burgeoning legal regime of security in Pakistan, this study makes advances in critical legal studies and critical IR. It will be of interest to academics working in the field of security studies, South Asian Studies, particularly Pakistan, and the War on Terror.