Education in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, until the mid-1970s, even after General Zia came to power and the Soviet

invasion of Afghanistan began, there was the more syncretic, less purist interpretation of

Islam. This was a more modernist trend. The change after this period was perhaps

influenced by the growing dominance of purist interpretations, as well as the separation

of East Pakistan in 1971, because it showed that common adherence to Islam was not

sufficient to hold a nation together. It re-sparked the debate about identity and unity and

created a traditionalist or purist backlash.

Hunter also talked about how the Muslim world is not hermetically sealed from the rest

of the world and developments within Muslim nations occur in conjunction with

developments in the rest of the world. These developments had an impact and reaction in

countries like Pakistan. The Cold War for example had a huge impact. The third

Communist International called upon the Muslims of the east to rise up in holy war

against British imperial power, using the word "jihad . 60 years later, the west called

upon the Afghans to fight a jihad against the Soviets.

These are the debates and external developments which contributed to the development

of Islamic thought among the Muslims of India pre-Partition, and later in Pakistan.

Pakistan is facing these issues once again with renewed urgency “ the role of Islam and

national identity, and questions of modernization and faith “ and the debates continue to

involve both ˜modernists' and ˜purists'. It is important to understand this context, rather

than simply looking for a taxonomy of militant groups, because those are symptoms of

the substantial debates common to most Muslim societies today.

The Militant Movement “ Professor Mumtaz Ahmad

Mumtaz Ahmad, Professor of Political Science at Hampton University, began his talk by

saying that Pakistan has always been a uniq... Continue Reading