Learning from the Opposition
This chapter highlights the dynamic nature of Islamism in Pakistan. It reviews the shifts in the Jama'at-e-Islami (JI)'s operational strategies as a response to its opposition to the secularism of the leftist groups in Pakistan. The changes in JI's position toward “democracy,” “imperialism,” and “feudalism” are elaborated. The mobilizations of the 1960s and 1970s, generally conceived of as leftist, had a significant influence on the state and society in Pakistan. Many ulama and religious leaders, such as Maulana Hazarwi and Maulana Rehman, supported leftist mobilizations. The National Labor Federation benefited from educated and committed organizers, within a dwindling space for labor organization in present-day Pakistan. While the argument may have been defined in theological terms, the concerns that drive the JI and other players in their decisions have often been determined by the political context in which they operate.
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