Secularism and Secularisation

  • A good article by Humeira Iqtidar exposing all the sellouts who are trying to sell their "choran" of secularism to the Pakistani nation.

    Much has been written about secularism and

    secularisation, yet the precise modalities of their

    relationship have received little attention. The vague

    but generally accepted assumption seems to be that

    secularisation in Europe led to secularism, and

    secularism in non-western societies will lead to

    secularisation. Often the two terms are used

    synonymously. It seems particularly imperative, both for

    academic and political reasons, to think through the

    implications of these two terms and their relation. Does

    secularism inevitably lead to secularisation? Can

    secularisation happen without secularism? How precisely are secularism as state policy and secularisation as a societal process, related?

    For the last two decades but particularly since the war of

    terror began, the conflation of Islamism with terrorism,

    and secularism with democracy, has precluded any clear-

    headed discussion about secularism, democracy and Islamism

    in Pakistan. Prominent liberal activists such as Pervez Hoodbhoy and Ayesha Siddiqa, who in other contexts have done valuable work, have remained mired in an earlier history, refusing to acknowledge the differences within the range of Muslim fundamentalists and changes within Islamism, as well as in its context. All Islamists are not militants

    and all militants are not Islamists. Policy and political

    responses need to be calibrated to the actual problems

    posed by the different kinds of groups.

    Damagingly, these liberal activists have supported a military dictatorship that proclaimed “Enlightened

    Moderation” as its raison d’etre, just as an earlier one claimed Islamisation as its own, and they have championed

    sustained bombing and drone attacks in one of the poorest

    regions of Pakistan purportedly to save democracy and secularism from the generic genie of Islamism. There have been few moves by these liberals to understand the range

    of motives and strategies employed by the different

    groups or the differences between militants and others.

    Here is the complete article