Secularization without secularism in Pakistan, by Christophe Jaffrelot
Research Question 41
By Christophe Jaffrelot
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Pakistan was created in 1947 by leaders of the Muslim minority of the British Raj in order to give them a separate state. Islam was defined by its founder, Jinnah, in the frame of his “two-nation theory,” as an identity marker (cultural and territorial). His ideology, therefore, contributed to an original form of secularization, a form that is not taken into account by Charles Taylor in his theory of secularization – that the present text intends to test and supplement. This trajectory of secularization went on a par with a certain form of secularism which, this time, complies with Taylor’s definition. As a result, the first two Constitutions of Pakistan did not define Islam as an official religion and recognized important rights to the minorities. However, Jinnah’s approach was not shared by the Ulema and the fundamentalist leaders, who were in favor of an islamization policy. The pressures they exerted on the political system made an impact in the 1970s, when Z.A. Bhutto was instrumentalizing Islam. Zia’s islamization policy made an even bigger impact on the education system, the judicial system and the fiscal system, at the expense of the minority rights. But Zia pursued a strategy of statization of Islam that had been initiated by Jinnah and Ayub Khan on behalf of different ideologies, which is one more illustration of the existence of an additional form of secularization that has been neglected by Taylor.