SoSe 13: RELIGIOUS POLITICS OR POLITICISED RELIGION? STATE; IDENTITY AND RELIGION IN MUSLIM SOUTH ASIA
Sarah Holz, Dietrich Reetz
For long, rulers in South Asia have tried to negotiate the challenges and opportunities of diverse societies. Besides ethnicity and linguistic affiliation religion has been one of the main markers of ... read more
For long, rulers in South Asia have tried to negotiate the challenges and opportunities of diverse societies. Besides ethnicity and linguistic affiliation religion has been one of the main markers of identity. This has equally applied to Islam considering South Asia's past history as a Muslim empire for over 600 years currently hosting the largest number of Muslims from all sub-regions of the Muslim world. Considering this equation, this course aims at establishing an understanding of the changing dynamics of the relation between nation, state and religion in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan with reference to Islam. Should the state protect religion or should religion be protected from the state?
The first part of the course traces the historical development of religious identities and the mobilisation of Islam in the public and political sphere in British India and the three states which evolved out of the colony. Debates will center around issues such as the space religion should take up in the state, the impact of politics of religion on conceptions of citizenship, religious identity, the nation and secularism. For this analysis the activism and engagement with the state of religious political parties, religious scholars and religious movements will be crucial. Case studies from all three countries will add to the in-depth understanding of the topic.
The second part of the course tries to contextualise the debates and issues raised in the first part in the broader regional and transnational framework. How do groups and networks like the Jama'at-i Islami or Tablighi Jama'at, operating across South Asia, even globally, conceive of citizenship and belonging at the local, regional and transnational level? Where do they position themselves and how can they be approached? Is there something like an Islamic polity, can we talk about a global ummah?
" Appadurai, Arjun, "Number in the Colonial Imagination" Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament.
" Asad,Talal. Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Standford: Stanford UP, 2003.
" Awan, Samina. Political Islam in Colonial Punjab: Majlis-i Ahrar 1929-1949. Karachi: OUP, 2010.
" Breckenridge, Carol A. and Peter van der Veer (Eds.) , University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993
" Bhargava, Rajeev (Ed.). Secularism and Its Critics. Oxford: OUP, 2005
" Habermas,Jürgen. "Religion in the Public Sphere." European Journal of Philosophy 14.1 (2007): 1-25.
" Hasan, Mushirul. "Indian Muslims Since Independence: In search of integration and identity." Third World Quarterly 10:2 (1988) : 818-842.
" Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza. Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power. OUP, 2001.
" Reetz, Dietrich. Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious groups in India, 1900-1947
Tentative Weekly Topics:
1 Introduction and Overview (nation, secularism, citizenship)
2 Making of identities: Muslims in British India (communalism, changing role of ulema)
3 Making of a Nation: from Khilafat to partition
4 Making of Pakistan: Sajjada Nashins, Unionists, Ahrar and JUI
5 Clash of ideologies: politial activism of religious political parties in Pakistan (JUI, JI)
6 Activism of religious groups: Tablighi Jamaat, Ahl-i Quran
7 From Bengali nationalism to Islamic resurgence
8 Contested meanings of secularism: how secular is the Indian state?
9 Muslim minority in India: controversies and contestations of belonging and citizenship
10 One party, three countries: a comparison of ideology and goals of the JI in India, Pakistan and Bangaldesh
11 The current Islamic discourse about secularism in Pakistan
12 Religious politics of emotions: the radical Islamic "Defence of Pakistan Council" (Difa-e Pakistan)
13 Islamic neoliberalism: The "new" Justice Movement of Pakistan (Tehrik-e Insaf) under Imran Khan
14 Transregional or Transnational Networks. Towards Islamic regionalization or a global ummah?