Sharia and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics 9780367150655, 9780429054778

This book analyses the formulation, interpretation and implementation of sharia in Pakistan and its relationship with th

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Sharia and the State in Pakistan: Blasphemy Politics
 9780367150655, 9780429054778

Table of contents :
Half Title
List of figures
List of tables
1 A tale of two saints: the politics of blasphemy in Pakistan
2 Blasphemy, apostasy, and heresy and the politics of outrage
3 Debating blasphemy: sharia and the constitution
4 Sacralizing the state and secularizing sharia: Islamic politics in the age of the nation-state
5 The administrative state chasing the Goldilocks moment: the conundrums of a Muslim nation-state
6 The fatigue of sharia and contemporary Muslim politics

Citation preview

Sharia and the State in Pakistan

This book analyses the formulation, interpretation, and implementation of sharia in Pakistan and its relationship with the Pakistani state whilst addressing the complexity of sharia as a codified set of laws. Drawing on insights from Islamic studies, anthropology, and legal studies to examine the interactions between ideas, institutions, and political actors that have enabled blasphemy laws to become the site of continuous controversy, this book furthers the readers’ understanding of Pakistani politics and presents the transformation of sharia from a pluralistic religious precept to a set of rigid laws. Using new materials, including government documents and Urdu language newspapers, the author contextualizes the larger political debate within Pakistan and utilizes a comparative and historical framework to weave descriptions of various events with discussions on sharia and blasphemy. A contribution to the growing body of literature, which explores the role of the state in shaping the religion and religious politics in Muslim-majority countries, this book will be of interest to academics working on South Asian Politics, Political Islam, Sharia Law, and the relationship of Religion and the State. Farhat Haq is Professor and Chair in the Department of Political Science at Monmouth College, U.S.A. Her research interests include ethnic politics, gender and politics, Islam and Human Rights, and militarism and motherhood.

Routledge Studies in South Asian Politics

Politics and Governance in Bangladesh Uncertain Landscapes Edited by Ipshita Basu, Joe Devine and Geoffrey Wood Constitutional Democracy in India Bidyut Chakrabarty Radical Politics and Governance in India’s North East The Case of Tripura Harihar Bhattacharyya The Security State in Pakistan Legal Foundations Syed Raza The Socio-political Ideas of BR Ambedkar Liberal constitutionalism in a creative mould Bidyut Chakrabarty The Politics of US Aid to Pakistan Aid Allocation and Delivery from Truman to Trump Murad Ali India, Democracy and Constitutional Identity Ideological Beliefs and Preferences Bidyut Chakrabarty Sharia and the State in Pakistan Blasphemy Politics Farhat Haq For more information about this series, please visit: studies/series/RSSAP

Sharia and the State in Pakistan Blasphemy Politics Farhat Haq

First published 2019 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 Farhat Haq The right of Farhat Haq to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-15065-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-05477-8 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

For my beloved father, Dr. Ihsan Ul Haque and Mohsin Masood


List of figuresviii List of tablesix Acknowledgmentsx Introduction


1 A tale of two saints: the politics of blasphemy in Pakistan


2 Blasphemy, apostasy, and heresy and the politics of outrage


3 Debating blasphemy: sharia and the constitution


4 Sacralizing the state and secularizing sharia: Islamic politics in the age of the nation-state


5 The administrative state chasing the Goldilocks moment: the conundrums of a Muslim nation-state


6 The fatigue of sharia and contemporary Muslim politics


Glossary179 Index182


1.1 Entry gate of Miani Sahib Cemetery, Lahore: Illum-ud-Din Devotee of the Prophet 1.2 Tomb of Illum-ud-Din 1.3 Entry gate to Mumtaz Qadri’s Tomb, Bara Kauh, Islamabad 1.4 Mumtaz Qadri’s Tomb

15 15 16 16


2.1 Percentage of Countries with Penalties for Blasphemy, Apostasy, and Defamation of Religion in 2011 3.1 National Vote Count and Share in Percentages 3.2 Punjab Vote Count and Share in Percentages

57 97 97


Writing a book is a solitary affair but it takes a village to nurture an author. Over many years I have been mentored and encouraged by scores of teachers, colleagues, friends, and family members. As an undergraduate, Professor Jon Krause incited in me a passion for politics. As a graduate student, Benedict Anderson tutored me in the art of comparative politics. Ira Smolensky gave me my first teaching job and became a life-long friend and a beloved uncle to my two sons. Ira died before the completion of this manuscript but at the end stage of the book, whenever my energy flagged, I  heard his exhortation: “You have got to finish this book.” Petra Kuppinger provided me with a role model of how to juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and intensive teaching loads with loads of other commitments while persisting in pursuing scholarship. Her feedback on the earlier chapters of the book was highly valuable. Emmett Haque and Richard Harrod read the first draft and provided crucial feedback. Jessica Vivian read several drafts, asked probing questions, gently steered me away from too much jargon so that I could stay faithful to my intention of making this a book accessible to nonspecialists, and provided indispensable editorial help. The Faculty and Institutional Development (FIDC) committee at Monmouth College provided me with several grants allowing me to travel for research as well as a reduced teaching load so that I  could finish writing the manuscript. I am indebted to the American Institute of Pakistan Studies for a fellowship which ­enabled me to spend four months in Pakistan to gather the material I needed for this manuscript. A  Woodrow Wilson Center fellowship allowed me to spend a year in Washington D.C., reading, discussing, and writing. I am profoundly thankful to Michael Zloof, my research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The hospitality and humor of Michael Kugelman, William Milam, and Robert Hathaway made me feel at home at the Wilson Center. The cheerful hello of Lindsay Collins as I walked by her desk to go to my office never failed to lift my spirits, and the support of Arlyn Charles and Kimberly Conner made the sprawling and intimidating architecture of the Reagan Center feel less alienating. Janet Spikes and her staff at the Woodrow Wilson library were always helpful in tracking down books no matter how obscure. I am lucky to have been born into a family with the strength and determination of my mother, Riffat Haque, the generosity and equanimity of my father, Ihsan Ul

Acknowledgments xi Haque, and the love and support of my siblings, Nighat, Masood, and Kushnood. One of the luckiest moments in my life was when I met and married Mohsin Masood. Over the last three years he has listened patiently to my ramblings during our walks as I tried to figure out the structure of this book. He read various drafts and provided valuable feedback. And for Hassan Ihsan Masood and Hamid Ihsan Masood, the lights of my life: the intellectual labor that went into this manuscript was inspired by the hope and prayer that as Muslim-Americans you may live in a world where love and compassion are stronger than hate and bigotry.


The threat of blasphemy allegations hangs like the sword of Damocles over the citizens of Pakistan. Every day, television personalities, politicians, preachers, students, professors, journalists, janitors, laborers – anyone and everyone – face the possibility of being accused of blasphemy. By law, a potential punishment for blasphemy could be the death penalty. External critics of the Muslim world see Pakistan’s blasphemy laws as yet another consequence of Islam’s failure to undertake the reformation process needed to shape it into a more modern, tolerant form. Many Muslim critics of these laws argue that they provide greedy clerics the opportunity to arouse the Muslim public’s religious passions, which the clerics cynically manipulate in order to gain greater political power. Supporters of the blasphemy laws, on the other hand, see any criticism of the laws as akin to an attack on the honor of the Prophet Muhammad and on Islam itself. This book is animated by the mission to challenge simplistic generalizations about extremism in political Islam by focusing on the highly reductive and extremist politics of blasphemy in Pakistan. The absurd turn taken by the politics of blasphemy in the last two decades illuminates several conundrums facing Muslims as they accommodate Islam in public life. First, the modern Muslim nationstate fills the paradoxical role as being the agent entrusted with the responsibility for delivering sharia, yet still subject to the suspicion and anxiety of the Muslim public regarding the motivations and intentions of the governing elite. Second, a cacophony of voices in the public sphere claim to speak for Islam, but institutional deficits create challenges limiting the ability of any actor to speak authoritatively on the contentious issues of Islamic jurisprudence. Third, the Islamist parties with greater electoral appeal show flexibility and moderation on the question of the role of Islam in public life but marginal Islamist groups with limited electoral reach weaponize blasphemy laws to arouse religious passions in order to claim a greater share of functional political power. As a political scientist, I focus on the political dynamics shaping the use of blasphemy laws, drawing on insights from Islamic studies, anthropology, and legal studies to examine the interactions between ideas, institutions, and political actors that have enabled blasphemy laws to become the site of continuous controversy. Pakistan represents the most extreme case of political turmoil created

2  Introduction by blasphemy statutes, and as such constitutes the central focus of my study, but I maintain a comparative framework and analyze how and why these dynamics work differently in other Muslim countries. The tension between blasphemy laws and the principle of free speech may appear to be a conflict of sacred values between the Islamic world and the West. However, the colonial roots of blasphemy statutes belie this ‘clash of civilizations’ model. English blasphemy laws, promulgated in order to protect a Christian nation, punished “offense to God and Religion and thereby crimes against the laws, state, and government.” These morphed into laws that punished ‘hurting religious sentiments’ when they were applied by colonial authorities in the multireligious Indian subcontinent.1 Muslims consider mocking the Prophet Muhammad or burning the Quran to be deeply injurious acts. However, what has been made of those ‘hurt sentiments’ has been path-dependent, producing violence and unrest in some Muslim countries, but not in others. The turmoil around blasphemy laws partially stems from the judicialization of politics, which encourages groups with limited electoral appeal to use the legal arena, as well as the threat of extrajudicial violence, to compete for political power. The interaction between two different legal frameworks  – sharia and liberal constitutionalism  – in defining and punishing blasphemy creates a void that entraps individuals accused of these crimes. Religious differences and disagreements have been taken into the legal arena because of the claim of Muslim states to be the sole authority in implementing sharia – a claim that is both embraced and contested by multiple groups in Muslim societies. Blasphemy statutes in Pakistan have been on the books since British rule. They were significantly modified and expanded in the early 1980s, yet they were rarely enforced until the 1990s. In 2011, the governor of the largest province of Pakistan, Salman Taseer of Punjab, was assassinated for defending a Christian woman against charges of blasphemy and for criticizing blasphemy statutes as “black law.” Several prominent religious leaders argued that the assassin had committed a justifiable homicide, because by calling the blasphemy statutes ‘black law’ the governor had blasphemed against the honor of the Prophet Muhammad and consequently had impugned the integrity of Pakistan as an Islamic state. The assertion that blasphemy statutes cannot be criticized because they are ‘God’s laws’ exemplifies for many Westerners the rigidity and intolerance of sharia law and its incompatibility with a modern society. In fact, however, the contention that blasphemy statutes are God’s law and are thus beyond any debate would be mystifying to classical Islamic jurists, for whom the claim that any man-made statute could so perfectly capture God’s will that it is beyond any discussion would be considered misguided at best and blasphemous at worst. The 2018 elections in Pakistan demonstrated the deeply contradictory politics of blasphemy laws. On the one hand, religious parties received less than 10 percent of the votes, but on the other hand a new religious party (TLP: Tehreeke-Labbyaik Pakistan) that arose specifically to guard against changes to the blasphemy statutes garnered almost half of the votes cast for religious parties. A group calling itself Tehreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah (TLYR) had emerged

Introduction 3 from the unexpectedly large turnout at the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, Governor Taseer’s assassin, who was executed in 2016. Within two years TLP, an offshoot of TLYR, emerged as one of the largest religious parties in the country. What TLP may lack in numbers compared to other more established political parties, it hopes to address by the emotional intensity of its members in fulfilling the mission of protecting the honor of the Prophet (Namoos-e-Risalet). The controversy surrounding the blasphemy statutes has become a persistent irritant for the government, which is eager to change international perceptions of Pakistan as being intolerant and extremist. Since the early 1990s, four different governments have attempted to reform the laws, but each time they have retreated in the face of opposition from religious parties. The statutes have been sacralized: they have taken on the status as the defensive frontier protecting the honor of the Prophet and the sanctity of Islam, and now even the most secular governing elite swear their allegiance to blasphemy laws and meekly claim that they simply want to improve their implementation. The inability of the Pakistani state to do what premodern Muslim states had done routinely – make laws (qanun) to address matters of public welfare (maslahat) – demonstrates the peculiar challenges faced by post-colonial Muslim states.2 On the one hand, contemporary Muslim nationstates have become the agent of delivering Islam to the Muslim public through laws, education, and the administration of mosques and madrassas, but unlike their premodern predecessors, the motivations of the governing elite with regard to their management of Islam are often questioned by the Muslim public. In order to make clear what I mean by the Pakistani state’s failure to manage the turmoil created by blasphemy laws, a brief comparison with Indonesia is warranted. The highly popular governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, found himself in the crosshairs of Indonesian blasphemy law. Despite his ethnic Chinese and Christian background, he was favored to win his campaign for re-election in 2016, when he was accused of blasphemy for challenging an interpretation of a Quranic verse that his opponents had argued prohibited Muslims from voting for a Christian. After a contentious trial, Basuki was sentenced to a two-year prison term. Blasphemy statutes were introduced in Indonesia in 1965, but were rarely used until 2004. In the last two decades there have been 130 prosecutions for blasphemy in Indonesia, with a 100 percent conviction rate. Many of the dynamics of the politics of blasphemy are similar in Indonesia and Pakistan: both places witnessed a sharp rise in accusations of blasphemy in the last two decades, courts dealing with blasphemy cases are often pressured through demonstrations and the potential for mob violence, and marginal groups who fail at electoral politics have used blasphemy laws as a platform to wield influence. The one significant difference is that the Indonesian state has been able to maintain control: it has used the legal system to adjudicate accusations of blasphemy; while in Pakistan the state has failed to manage blasphemy laws. Unlike in Indonesia, where the punishment for blasphemy is a prison term of up to five years, in Pakistan the penalty for insulting the Prophet Muhammad is death, for defiling the Quran is life imprisonment, and for six other offenses the punishment ranges from a one- to ten-year prison sentence. Though no one has been executed by the Pakistani state for the

4  Introduction crime of blasphemy, dozens have been murdered by raging crowds, and dozens more live for years in legal limbo in prison awaiting the results of appeals. It is this volatility that makes Pakistan an exceptionally revealing example of the complex interactions between the ideas, institutions, and political actors implicated in blasphemy politics. As a student of comparative politics, my aim is to use the politics of blasphemy in Pakistan as a case study for discerning some of the complex dynamics at work in contemporary Muslim politics. The first such dynamic is the claim of postcolonial Muslim states to speak authoritatively on Islam by selectively incorporating bits and pieces of sharia into modern state structures. These particular bits and pieces were first drawn out by reformists in the late Ottoman Empire and were used by early British colonial authorities as part of a process of codification that would make governing Muslim populations possible. The astounding claim made by modern supporters of the blasphemy statutes – that these laws are God’s laws, and therefore that critiquing them is akin to heresy – goes against hundreds of years of Islamic jurisprudence that made a distinction between God’s will (sharia) and human understanding (fiqh), leading even the most respected jurists to sign off their judicial opinions (fatwas) with the disclaimer that only God knows best. How a set of statutes became so sacralized that they took on the status of ‘God’s laws’ cannot be explained away as stemming from a lack of separation between state and religion in Islamic history or from the centrality of sharia in Muslim societies. The sacralization of these statutes has a more recent and colonial history. Iza Hussain tells an anecdote of the first British resident in Malaya, who in his attempt to dissuade Malay chiefs from renegotiating a treaty argued that “the Pangkor Treaty is just like the Koran, it is impossible to add a line to it, or to take a line from it” – an outrageous analogy that within 40 years became acceptable because “laws of these states had come to deliver the law of the Qur’an,” framing the expectation for post-colonial Muslim states that “the law of the Qur’an should be expressed in the shape of modern state law . . . it is the law of the state that will define, contain, and deliver Islam.”3 But the Muslim state’s ability to “define, contain, and deliver Islam” is contested by the ulama (religious scholars), Islamists, and modernists, even as they acknowledge the centrality of the state as the site for the expression of Islamicness. This focus on the state and the law as the primary expression of Islam, which is held concurrently with a deep suspicion of the motivations of the political elite and deep anxiety over the political use of Islam, creates a paradoxical situation whereby the majority of Muslims support the implementation of Islamic laws, yet many also find ways to get around these laws. This paradox makes sense when one sees the decontextualized implementation of bits and pieces of sharia in the modern legal system. The overall framework that made sharia work in premodern periods, based on prayers, fasting, and the giving of alms, shaped the subjectivities of the believers. The concept of sin and religious merits (sawab) governed believers’ relationship with God; the idea that their misdeeds against fellow human beings might go unpunished in this world but would have to be accounted for on the Day of Judgment shaped conflict mediation. Legal practices

Introduction 5 in premodern Muslim societies were grounded in social relations with a moral foundation. To administer justice (adl), adjudicating the veracity of all actors involved in the process was facilitated by techniques such as tazkiyya, which determined the integrity of the witnesses vouched for by upstanding members of the community appointed by the presiding judge.4 The modern practice of law in Muslim societies has mostly severed the connection between morality and law, producing the paradoxical outcome that the law is regarded with deep suspicion, yet is also seen as the mechanism to protect Muslims from moral threats. South Asia provides one of the best examples of what Hussain Agrama has called the ‘active principle of secularism’: the fact that the modern state “has the power and authority to decide what should count as essentially religious and what scope it can have in social life.”5 Almost two centuries ago, the British colonial authority took it upon itself to legally define who is a Muslim. In order to deny religious authority to the ulama and to simplify its own management of a sectarian religious landscape, the British government made the recitation of the kalyma (“There is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”) the legal test for Muslim-ness, relegating practices which for many Muslims were the boundaries of their maslaks (schools of thought) to the status of mere rituals. As Agrama points out, the state’s power to draw the boundaries between what is religious and what is nonreligious generates a distinctive politics of religious authenticity that constantly questions the motivations of those making religious claims, and makes religion a location of scrutiny, suspicion, and anxiety.6 The status of Ahmadis as a religious minority became the site for ‘suspicion and ongoing anxiety’ for many Muslims in South Asia, who felt that although Ahmadis may be reciting the same kalyma, in their hearts, forum internum, they were practicing heresy. For centuries, Muslim jurists had left the adjudication of forum internum for hereafter, because only God knows what is in people’s hearts. The ulama and the Islamists saw the Ahmadis as particularly dangerous foes of Islam and eagerly sought the state’s partnership in declaring Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority. But declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims did not change their practice, creating the need for the addition of Ordinance XX to the blasphemy statues, which made it a criminal offense to ‘directly or indirectly pose as a Muslim.’ This ordinance enables ‘real’ Muslims to scrutinize the actions of their fellow citizens to ensure that they are not replacing the original with a counterfeit Muslim identity.7 Scholars have documented widespread suspicion of the law and judiciary in the Muslim world. Hussain Agrama noted that the air was thick with suspicion, distrust, and skepticism in the Egyptian family courts adjudicating cases based on sharia, and found that “few people would obey court judgments without coercion.”8 Iza Hussain notes that in Malaysia people speak of Islamic law “as if it were, at one and the same time, divine and vulnerable, immutable and contested, something in which they deeply believed and a pawn in the political game.”9 One sees similar attitudes about Islamic law in Pakistan: on the one hand most citizens of Pakistan support the imposition of Islamic law, but they also find loopholes to avoid paying zakat (alms tax) or giving women the portion of inheritance

6  Introduction prescribed by the Quran. This tendency to both support Islamic law and find ways to avoid it begs explanation. It is my contention that the modern legal space, even when it purports to follow Islamic law, has become a power-field devoid of ethical content. For many Muslims, giving a false statement in court is a pragmatic decision that has nothing to do with their religion. In the premodern practice of sharia, Muslims had to fear the consequences in the hereafter for giving false testimony even if they were able to fool the judge. Although the legal realm is increasingly asked to adjudicate normative questions, once these normative claims enter the modern legal space they lose their ethical content and become a space of power and domination. This process becomes clear when we compare premodern sharia to modern Islamic laws. The implementation of Islamic law in premodern sharia was based on the activation of a person’s conscience (dhmir) to tell the truth: even if they were to gain advantages in this world by lying, they would have to account for that lie in the hereafter. “Wherever possible, the jurists establish the individual believer’s ethical responsibility for the compensation of the legal norm’s ethical deficits.”10 Sharia was not simply Islamic law, as we may understand that term, but an ethical, legal, and social framework that contained techniques to produce moral sensibilities and to adjudicate social conflicts. There were claims of fellow humans (haquq-alibad) and claims of God (haquq-Allah). The ulama (scholars) were the keepers of sharia, but the state was to implement punishments for transgression against the claims of God. Several safeguards made God’s legal claims more difficult to fulfill because ‘human beings are in need’ but ‘God cannot suffer loss or damage.’11 The modern practice of Islamic law sacralizes the state, but the state, unlike God, is vulnerable and in constant need of shoring up its legitimacy. Thus, much of the public law introduced by Muslim states as Islamic law induces the suspicion that such law is less about fulfilling the claims of God and more about supporting various political agendas, thereby making these laws “divine and vulnerable, immutable and contested, deeply believed and a pawn in the political game.”12 As the state becomes the central site for adjudicating Islam, it is implicated in the politics of Muslim religious passions. Muslims are seen as having an exceptionally strong emotional attachment to their religion. By focusing on groups who mobilize Muslim passion for the Prophet, I explore the politics of religious sentiments that both bolster the state and constrain it. The politics of religious sentiments is made especially complex and volatile in Pakistan by the fact that the very birth of Pakistan – stained as it was by the violence surrounding the partition of India – set the stage for intense competition among various groups to claim the right to narrate the meaning of the first modern Islamic nation-state. To put it bluntly, various governments in Pakistan, as well as the army, have assumed the potency of ‘religious sentiments’ and have attempted to either contain or deploy these sentiments for achieving their strategic political objectives. In 1948, W.C. Smith, one of the foremost scholars of South Asian Islam, reported a sense of excitement among the Pakistanis he encountered because they “were doing something for Islam that other present-day Muslims were not doing: they were offering it a political existence that otherwise it has not had for centuries.”13

Introduction 7 As the first nation-state that came into existence for the Muslims of South Asia, and with its inheritance of colonial legal and bureaucratic structures, Pakistan offers a beginning, middle, and end to the dynamics that came together to tie blasphemy laws into a Gordian knot. The main conundrum faced by the new state was bridging its Islamic past with the present and future of a Muslim nation-state. Islamic legal institutions had been marginalized during the British colonial rule but the traditional keepers of sharia, the ulama, had accommodated themselves to that reality by centering their energies on creating madrassas (schools), associations, and eventually political parties. The South Asian ulama were a fractious lot, divided into several maslaks (schools of thought). Their position as the keepers of sharia was challenged both by the so-called modernists emerging out of Aligarh University, and by the Islamists, who had much in common with the ulama but who were better able to impart religious knowledge to the growing literate middle and lower middle class with their own books, pamphlets, journals, and newspapers. Thus, the Islamic public sphere was and is a hotly contested arena. The perceived emotional attachment to religion and the politics of the sentiments it may produce is yet another area where the politics of blasphemy is revealing in Pakistan. Writing about Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, Saba Mahmood has argued that there is a disconnect between the Western Protestant notion of religion as beliefs that one adopts freely, and the Muslim practice of their religion as habitus. Mahmood claims that “For many Muslims, the offense the cartoons committed was not against a moral interdiction but against a structure of affect, a habitus, that feels wounded. This wound requires moral action, but the language of this wound is neither juridical nor that of street protest because it does not belong to an economy of blame, accountability, and reparations.”14 Blasphemy politics in Pakistan complicates these assertions made by Mahmood. The Danish cartoons caused genuine emotional pain for Muslims in Pakistan, but there were also organized attempts to translate that pain into political power. Religion-as-belief was the framework used by the British civil law to manage religious conflict, but it is not simply a Protestant misrecognition of the Muslim practice of faith: there are intense debates within Islam about the primacy of beliefs (ageeda) versus the centrality of passion for the Prophet. The Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith maslaks insist on punishing blasphemous speech and actions because they want to protect the creedal integrity of Islam. For these groups, rebelling or mocking the Prophet as the messenger of God is the same as denying God’s existence. The Barelvi maslak, on the other hand, sees practices that induce deep love for the Prophet as being central to Islam. The effect produced by rituals such as visiting saints’ tombs, marking birth and death anniversaries of the Prophet and other holy persons, singing in praise of the Prophet (naat), sharing food in the name of the Prophet and other holy persons – for Barelvis these constitute the heart of Islam. The Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith see these rituals as shirk, or a violation of the central creed of Islam that no one may share the divinity of God (tauheed). The politics of blasphemy statutes have scrambled the general perception of Barelvis as practicing a version of Sufi Islam and therefore being relatively moderate.

8  Introduction A startling turn in Barelvi politics occurred when deep devotion (ishaq) for the Prophet was turned towards the violent defense of 295-C, the blasphemy statute of the Pakistan Penal Code. Those who kill out of love of the Prophet, such as Mumtaz Qadri, Governor Taseer’s assassin, for instance, earn the status of sainthood, while those who advocate mercy for anyone accused of dishonoring the Prophet – albeit on the grounds that the Prophet was an exemplar of compassion and forgiveness – are treated as enemies of Islam. The militant turn of Barelvi politics took off during Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral as the crowd chanted “­Labbyiak-ya-Rasool-Allah” (“Oh Prophet of God, I am at your service”).15 The chant became the brand for the movement spawning TLYR (Tehreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah) and TLP (Tehreek-e-Labbyiak Pakistan). The ability of Khaddim Hussain Rizvi, one of the top leaders of the militant Barelvi TLP, to make young men weep out of love for the Prophet and to lead them in a chant  – “Behead anyone who dares insult the Prophet” – brings together what was generally seen as the opposing postures of Sufi-inflected interiority of a heart full of devotion with Jihadi-inflected aggression against enemies. The formula appeared to work because TLP emerged as the largest political force among the Barelvis, capturing half the votes cast for all religious parties during the 2018 election. But the TLP has not cornered the market over best way to practice ishaq-e-Rasool: rivals like the charismatic Tariq Jameel criticized the aggression of the TLP and urged Muslims to purify their hearts from hatred and follow the example of the Prophet and reach out to all, even kaffirs (nonbelievers).16 Pakistan, as a post-colonial state, inherited a liberal constitutional infrastructure and representative institutions that provide the ulama, modernists, and Islamists a venue to argue for their versions of an Islamic state, and to compete for votes. But more often than not, those designated as ‘natural leaders’ by colonial states – the local and regional elites representing particularistic identities of ethnicity, locality, and kinship – had the greater claim to the hearts and minds of Muslims when it came to electoral democracy. The ulama and the Islamists have political parties of their own, but they have not broken a ceiling of about 10 percent of the popular votes for all of the ‘Islam-pasand’ (pro-Islam) parties, and in a winner-take-all electoral system this has translated into few seats in the parliament.17 The coalition politics produced out of this electoral reality adds further complexity to the political calculus of the ulama and the Islamists. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Saudi bid for leadership of Sunni Islam, the growing insurgency in India-held Kashmir, the rise of the Taliban, and the war against terror in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, opened up other fields of competition for ulama and Islamist organizations in the shape of militant splinter groups. Besides the electoral arena, ulama and Islamist organizations fiercely compete with each other over differences in beliefs (aqeeda), and control of madrassas, mosques, and visual public spaces in the shape of posters and graffiti and appearances on electronic media. Social media has become an important front in inter- and intra-maslak competition where tech-savvy young devotees push for greater clicks for their most effective khattibs (preachers). This highly competitive political space with shifting alliances is a key factor in the politics of blasphemy.

Introduction 9 How do we make sense of the beatification of a killer of one of the highest government officials of an Islamic state by a group of clerics who took pride in their support for the state of Pakistan at a time when their rival maslaks opposed the notion of a separate homeland for Muslims of subcontinent? The first chapter moves towards answering that question by contrasting the stories of two men considered to be ‘saints’ by many Pakistanis: Illum-ud-Din, a 19-year-old who was executed for murdering a supposed blasphemer in 1929, and Mumtaz Qadri, who was executed for the same reason in 2016. These two figures provide us with a beginning and end of a tangled tale involving the state’s management of Islam and various groups’ use of the legal arena to claim ‘ownership’ of Islam. Governor Salmaan Taseer’s father had donated the shrouds for Illum-ud-Din’s burial in 1929; in 2011, Governor Taseer was killed by Mumtaz Qadri – called by his supporters ‘the Illum-ud-Din of our time.’ The 87 years that separate these two events tell a story of the sacralization of the state and the secularizing of sharia, and the results have earned Pakistan the dubious distinction of being the state with the most murders committed in the name of protecting Prophet’s honor. In this chapter, I provide two narratives: the first is about the evolution of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, from the British-made Indian Penal Code 295-A, which punishes speech, writing, or signs that outrage religious feelings, to the expansion of blasphemy statues in the early to mid-1980s. Second, I use hagiographies and newspaper accounts written in Urdu, as well as discussions in electronic media, to illustrate the path that made Illum-ud-Din the ‘patron saint’ of Pakistan because, according to writers of his hagiographies, he solidified support for the partition of the Indian subcontinent and thus for the creation of Pakistan. The claim of Qadri’s ‘sainthood,’ on the other hand, is highly partisan, and has been used by the Barelvis to flex their political muscles against the government, and even more importantly against the rival maslaks of the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith. The second chapter explores the legal and political dynamics of blasphemy laws, first focusing on how individuals accused of blasphemy either disappear in the legal labyrinth or are killed without any judicial process regarding their guilt or innocence. I rely on interviews with victims of the abuse of blasphemy laws their lawyers, and on case files collected by Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS), an NGO based in Lahore that allowed me to examine several cases from the FIR (First Information Report), to conviction, to appeals, to tell this story. By the 1990s, after many riots, fiery sermons, parliamentary debates, a constitutional amendment, and scores of court cases, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims. By the mid-1980s, the expansion of blasphemy statutes essentially criminalized Ahmadis practicing as Muslims. The expansion of blasphemy statutes to criminalize ‘mimicking a Muslim’ contributed to greater sectarian ­conflict – because if Ahmadis could be declared non-Muslim, why not the Shia? The Ahmadiyya controversy brought theological claims into the legal arena, a central thread in the Gordian knot of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. By ­comparing the status of Ahmadis in Pakistan and Indonesia and the Bahá’í in Egypt, I argue that what are often seen as ‘sharia-inflected’ blasphemy laws are in fact the outcome of a statist project

10  Introduction of managing religion and majority/minority relationships. Managing religion and majority/minority relationships in Pakistan has been a failed project, landing individuals accused of blasphemy in a legal purgatory without the protection of secular laws or access to religious mercy. The third chapter takes us into contemporary debates about blasphemy. Nothing epitomizes the gulf between the West and the Muslim world more than the clash over the values of freedom of speech versus protection of religious sensibilities. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have earned it the international infamy so feared by its political elite. The secular modern elite, who read English newspapers, see the often-horrific abuse of blasphemy laws to be a result of religious bigotry fanned by uneducated and venal mullahs, and an indication of the failure of the project to create a secular democratic polity. Those who support blasphemy laws read Urdu newspapers, and see these laws as essential but inadequate protection against an international conspiracy to malign Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. My central aim in this chapter is to complicate this polarized debate by bringing in the cacophony of voices one hears around this issue in Pakistan. Drawing on Urdu and English newspaper reporting of blasphemy from 1990 to 2016, I explore the difference in coverage to illustrate what is on the minds of readers of Urdu newspapers when it comes to blasphemy laws. I then turn my attention to the debate between Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, a lawyer by training and one of the most vociferous defenders of blasphemy statutes, and Wahiduddin Khan, a scholar trained in traditional Islamic learning who urges Muslims to respect the Western tradition of freedom of speech. Their Urdu publications allow us to explore dimensions of the internal debate among Muslims. I then move to electronic sources, focusing on sermons available on YouTube to discuss the dispute between two leaders of the Barelvi group: Tahir-ul-Qadri, an established scholar and politician, who has been challenged by an upstart preacher, Hanif Qureshi, for not accepting that Governor Salmaan Taseer is shatim-e-Rasool (a blasphemer). The fourth chapter relies on recent scholarship on sharia to address the puzzle of why secularly trained lawyers insist on a rigid interpretation of sharia, while scholars trained in Islamic jurisprudence support a more flexible interpretation. By tracing the evolution of sharia from its pre-colonial past to post-colonial present, I argue that when the state, rather than a community of scholars, became the custodian of sharia, it lost the flexibility and plurality that had served the Muslim community well for over a thousand years. What does sharia say about blasphemy? This chapter illustrates the impossibility of answering such a question. I start with an account of the evolution of sharia in the first millennium of Muslim history to establish that scholars, rather than governments, played the central role in Islamic jurisprudence. I also discuss the Ottoman codification of sharia, the Mecelle, which resulted in a profound change in what constituted Islamic law. As Noah Feldman points out, “during the classical period the answer to the question ‘where is the law?’ would be answered by pointing to scholars and saying, ‘the shari’a is with them.’ After the Mecelle, the same question would be answered by pointing to the code itself and no longer those who were empowered to apply it.”18 The British colonial government reframed

Introduction 11 sharia as Muslim personal family law, and post-colonial Muslim states continued the practice of limiting the jurisdiction of sharia to family law by taking criminal and commercial cases out of religious courts. The criminal codes, the so-called hudud laws, were brought back by some authoritarian Muslim states in the 1970s and 1980s, but in a manner that exemplified the misuse of sharia and that earned it the reputation of punitive rigidity. Muslim states leaned heavily on appeals to Islamic norms to enhance their legitimacy, but Islamic laws formulated by these states no longer had an ethical hold over Muslim citizens. The fragmentation of authority is one of the central features of sharia politics in modern times. The ulama and the muftis no longer work in concert with judges to control the application of sharia. Parliaments, judiciaries, and the executive branches of modern Muslim states each stake their claim to sharia, as do Islamist parties, the ulama, and the Muslim intelligentsia. Chapter Five examines how the administrative state in Pakistan has attempted to follow what we might call the ‘Goldilocks principle’ in getting Islam right: not so hot that it damages the regime, but not so cold that it fails to serve the state’s aims. It is just right when it provides plentiful symbolic capital without making unduly heavy claims on state institutions. My task in this chapter is to analyze how and why the management of Islam became too hot by the late 1990s, essentially making it impossible for the Pakistani state to address the law-and-order nightmares created by blasphemy laws. I draw on reports of the Islamic Ideology Council and interviews with its current members about blasphemy, as well as legislative and administrative measures taken by several governments in Pakistan, to address the problematic parts of blasphemy statutes and to highlight the constraints faced by the state in managing blasphemy statutes. I use declassified documents available at the National Documentation Wing of the Cabinet Division in Islamabad, where I found highly revealing information on the executive branch’s handling of religious issues, to document concretely why, by the 1990s, blasphemy had become an administrative nightmare for the state. As far as I know, this is the first time this archive has been used to analyze the state’s management of Islam, particularly during Zia-ulHaq’s regime. In order to reproduce ‘seeing like the state,’ I analyze the files of the Central Cabinet in Islamabad from 1952–1986 (materials are declassified after 30 years), which contain minutes of cabinet proceedings, various commentaries on the topic by relevant officials, usually handwritten in the margins, copies of reports, newspaper clippings, and other relevant documents. I examine three files entitled “Scheme for supervision and control of religious institutions and religions activities,” “Observance of Weekly Holiday on Friday instead of Sunday,” and “Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr Ordinance” to illustrate the management of Islam by the ruling elite. Finally, I analyze the Council of Islamic Ideology and the Sharia Court as two bureaucratic agencies that have produced hundreds of reports, but have failed to speak authoritatively on matters of Islamic laws. The second part of the chapter argues that the Pakistani state’s failure to control religious conflict promoted perverse incentives and created a political space that connects marginal groups working on their particular brand of religious

12  Introduction extremism, madrassas and mosques, criminal gangs, and mainstream political parties, in ways that makes managing religion a highly complex enterprise for the state. I conclude this chapter by discussing my interview with a top state law enforcement officer, who admitted that they cannot reform blasphemy laws, so instead they find loopholes in the way the law is implemented. Is it possible to restore a connection between sharia as an ethical system and modern Muslim politics? The critics of Muslim world have often demanded ‘where is Islamic reformation?’ as a way to assert that Muslims are too wedded to their past to forge a modern, democratic, and tolerant politics. A comparative approach to the Muslim world is the best antidote to the faulty but persistent notion that Muslims exist in a historical vacuum that makes Muslim politics immune from the political, social, and economic forces of modernity. Muslim politics is not solely or even predominately determined by a set of theological precepts; instead, like politics in all modern nation-states, it is shaped by geopolitics, economic and social conditions, and the process of defining the nation and constructing the state out of circumstances shaped by specific historical trajectories. The purpose of this chapter is to first outline, albeit simply, the conceptual and organizational challenges of transforming premodern Sharia practices to address contemporary Muslim needs. The second part of the chapter argues that sticking with democracy, even when the victors are supposedly anti-democratic Islamists, provides the best path for accommodating Islam in the public lives of Muslims. Is it possible to restore a connection between sharia as an ethical system and modern Muslim politics? I conclude by listening in to a robust debate among mostly Muslim scholars who are working towards keeping maqasid al-sharia (purpose of sharia) as an ethical guideline for contemporary Muslim societies.

Notes 1 Hamilton, The Indian Penal Code: With Commentary. 2 Shahab Ahmed argues that Muslim rulers’ legitimacy derived precisely through “enacting such specific laws (juzviyyat) as are needed for the welfare of men in given temporal circumstances on condition that these laws preserve din, life, intellect, family, property, and honor.” Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, 469. 3 Hussain, The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State, 3–4. 4 See Agrama, “Justice Between Islamic Sharia and Liberal Law: Remarks on the Egyptian Context.” 5 Agrama, Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt, 72. 6 Ibid., 33. 7 Siddiq, “Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan,” 275. 8 Agrama, Questioning Secularism, 34; also see pp. 130–59. 9 Hussain, The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State, 6 (emphasis in original), pp. 3–4. 10 Johansen, Contingency in a Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh, 73. 11 Ibid., 214. 12 Hussain, The Politics of Islamic Law, p6

Introduction 13 13 Smith, Islam in Modern History, 217. 14 Mahmood, “Religious Reason and Secular Affect: An Incommensurable Divide?” 848. 15 The word Labbyiak holds emotional resonance. Muslims who perform the Hajj chant “Labbyiak Allahumma Labbyiak,” (“Oh my Lord, here I am at your service”) and the Shia chant “Labbyiak Ya Hussain” during the Muharram processions. 16 Jameel, “About Asia Maseeh Case Latest Bayan” (Molana Tariq Jameel’s Latest Statement on Asia Maseeh), 17 The one exception was the 2002 election in which Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won 56 elected seats out of 272. 18 Feldman, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, 63.

References Agrama, Hussein Ali. “Justice between Islamic Sharia and Liberal Law: Remarks on the Egyptian Context.” In A Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East, edited by Soraya Altorki, 363–91. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. Agrama, Hussein Ali. Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Ahmad, Ahmad Atif. The Fatigue of the Shari’a. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Ahmed, Shahab. What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. Feldman, Noah. The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. Hamilton, William Roberts. The Indian Penal Code: With Commentary. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Company, 1895. Hussain, Iza R. The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority, and the Making of the Muslim State. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. Jameel, Molana Tariq. “About Asia Maseeh Case Latest Bayan” (Molana Tariq Jameel’s latest statement on Asia Maseeh). Accessed December  12, 2018. watch?v=l4wM8BZps94. Johansen, Baber. Contingency in a Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh. Boston: Brill, 1999. Mahmood, Saba. “Religious Reason and Secular Affect: An Incommensurable Divide?” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 4 (Summer 2009). Siddiq, M.N. “Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan.” Law & Inequality 14, no. 1 (1996): 275. http:// Smith, W.C. Islam in Modern History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957.

1 A tale of two saints The politics of blasphemy in Pakistan

In August 2015, I was at the end of my research trip to Pakistan, where I had been immersed in the details of dozens of cases of blasphemy. The trip had taken an emotional toll on me: I had grown up hearing stories about the compassion and mercy shown by the Prophet to his enemies, and could not square that with so many cases of obvious injustice committed in the name of protecting his honor. On a whim, I decided to visit the tomb of Illum-ud-Din (1908–1929) in Miani Sahib, a large graveyard in the middle of Lahore. Like hundreds of other shrines in the Indian subcontinent, the path to the grave of Illum-ud-Din is lined with stalls selling the necessary accoutrements for visiting the saints – rose petals, garlands, and incense sticks. Illum-ud-Din’s tomb looked like many other such shrines dotted along the subcontinent, except that this one prominently displayed a copy of the deceased’s arrest report for murder, and newspaper clippings discussing his trial. Illum-ud-Din was a 19-year-old carpenter who killed a Hindu publisher, Mahashay Rajpal, for publishing a book called Rangila Rasul.1 By paying for this crime with his life, Illum-ud-Din became a shaheed (martyr) for the cause of Namoos-e-Risala (the honor of the Prophet). There are a dozen hagiographies published in Urdu lionizing Illum-ud-Din as both a ghazi (warrior) and a shaheed (martyr).2 In January 2017, I found myself on the road to another gravesite, ostensibly that of another saint, Mumtaz Qadri. In 2011, Qadri assassinated Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, for the supposed crime of dishonoring the Prophet Muhammad by advocating the reform of blasphemy laws. Qadri was in turn executed for murder in 2016, but he received widespread support for his action. Salman Taseer is perhaps the most famous target of the vigilante terror stemming from the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, but he was not its first or last casualty. I approached Qadri’s grave with some reservations: for over two years I had been examining the devastated lives of numerous victims of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, and I felt that visiting the grave of a perpetrator of this violence might be disrespectful to them. However, my misgivings morphed into curiosity when I saw the scores of people who had come to honor what was, from their perspective, the shrine of an ashiq-e-Rasool (devotee of the Prophet), and were listening solemnly to a soulful hymn sung by a blind cleric.

Figure 1.1 Entry gate of Miani Sahib Cemetery, Lahore: Illum-ud-Din Devotee of the Prophet

Figure 1.2 Tomb of Illum-ud-Din

Figure 1.3 Entry gate to Mumtaz Qadri’s Tomb, Bara Kauh, Islamabad

Figure 1.4 Mumtaz Qadri’s Tomb

A tale of two saints 17 These two figures provide us with a beginning and end of a tangled tale of how a set of statutes, the so-called blasphemy laws, became so sacred in Pakistan that criticizing them could make one a target for murder. The supporters of Qadri call him ‘the Illum-ud-Din of our time,’ but there are significant differences between the actions of the two assassins and in the reactions they elicited from the Muslim community. Illum-ud-Din killed Rajpal because of his publication of the book Rangila Rasul, which deliberately mocked the Prophet. Salman Taseer had proclaimed his love for the Prophet, but had criticized the vague wording and highly problematic implementation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Illum-udDin had taken his action at a time when resurgent Hinduism, represented by the proselytizing movement Arya Samaj, was adding to the insecurity of the Muslim minority in colonial India. At the time of Qadri’s action in 2011, however, Islam was the official religion of the Pakistani state. Governor Taseer had come to the defense of Aasiya Bibi, an impoverished Christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy on the basis of questionable evidence, and who posed no threat to the sanctity of the Prophet or the integrity of the Muslim nation. That is precisely the charge made against her, however, by the numerous books, articles, and newspaper op-eds that defended Qadri’s murder of the governor. The purpose of this book is to understand how we got here. Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 295-C is central to this story, although it is not its beginning. Passed in 1986 by the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq, PPC 295-C punishes with death or life imprisonment any person who “by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”3 PPC 295-C has its origins in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) statutes passed by the British colonial government before independence, and particularly in IPC 295-A, passed in 1927, which imposes a three-year prison term or fine for anyone who “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class.”4 But the statutes themselves are only a manifestation of the complex social and political dynamics that have made blasphemy laws such a Gordian knot for the Pakistani state that even after one of its own officials was assassinated, and even after dozens of its citizens were killed by mobs, the laws remain sacrosanct and impervious to reform efforts. This chapter  outlines the beginnings of the path that led us to this point. I start by focusing on Chapter XV of the Indian Penal Code, Offenses Relating to Religion, which was enacted by the British colonial state. This will provide the foundation for our discussion of Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes, illustrating how ‘native religion’ was understood and managed by the colonial state, and how this history impacted the post-colonial state of Pakistan. I move next to the circumstances that led to the expansion of these statutes, and in particular to IPC 295-A in 1927. This statute can be directly tied to the publication in 1924 of Rangila Rasul, a book that was considered a ‘scurrilous attack’ on the Prophet Muhammad. The event was central in making a saint out of Illum-ud-Din, and it is illustrative of the competitive and turbulent public arena in which various

18  A tale of two saints Islamic groups competed vigorously for the right to define ‘true Islam.’ Finally, I discuss one of the results of Pakistan’s expansion of blasphemy statutes in the 1980s: Taseer’s murder and the widespread (although not universal) veneration of Qadri. What is remarkable about the casting of Illum-ud-Din and Mumtaz Qadri as saints is that they come to this status ostensibly by protecting a set of laws that were first made by the British colonial government and were later expanded by the military regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. This is paradoxical, because the Sufi tradition in Islamic history calls for moving beyond human law to an understanding of the essence of God through the mediation of the saints and the comprehension of the ultimate truth and oneness of God. A prominent feature of Muslim history has been “the struggle to arrive at a coherent working relationship in society between the respective truth-claims of law and Sufism”5 (a struggle we will see below in the ongoing contestation between Barelvis, on the one hand, and Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith, on the other). Moreover, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are not sharia laws, no matter what their proponents might claim. What, then, can we make of Sufi-inflected groups claiming the status of sainthood for two young men who murdered ostensibly out of love for the Prophet? To say that blasphemy laws are Western and modern and have nothing to do with Islam is inadequate, because those who killed on behalf of these laws, and the millions more who approved of their actions, believed that they were serving the cause of Islam. To say that these two young men killed because Islam is an intolerant religion is inadequate, because it gives us no way of understanding how it is that Christianity, once known for its religious inquisitions, became tolerant, while Islam, historically known for its ability to accommodate differences, became so intolerant. Pakistan’s history saw the entanglement of two different traditions: sharia as it was practiced before the arrival of the British, and the English laws made for the colony. This brought together two sets of “deeply rooted, historically conditioned attitudes about the nature of law, about the role of law in society, about the proper organization and operation of legal system, and about the way that law is or should be made, applied, studied, perfected, and taught.”6 Contemporary blasphemy laws in Pakistan, as a result, are neither purely Islamic nor purely modern-secular. The original legal framework for blasphemy laws, as set by the British, was grounded in the colonial understanding of how best to manage a religiously diverse population sensitive to apparent injury to their religious sentiments. After the Muslims of the subcontinent had a modern nation-state of their own, the colonial legal framework stayed mostly intact, but now Islamic concepts were brought into the legal arena and were used to justify expanding the blasphemy statutes. The bitter fruit produced by the selective incorporation of ‘Islamic’ laws into Chapter XV of Pakistan’s Penal Code has earned the country much notoriety – but it also provides a revealing look at the broader dynamic of the consequences for Muslim politics when a truncated and reframed sharia is functionalized to serve the interests of the state, or of political actors.

A tale of two saints 19

Colonial secularity and the ‘religious passions of the natives’ For the chroniclers of Illum-ud-Din’s life and death, the passage of IPC 295-A in 1927 was the singular service he rendered to the sanctity of the Muslim community in the subcontinent. This is a problematic assertion, however, since the statute was passed almost two years before Illum-ud-Din murdered Rajpal. I will take up that issue shortly, but let’s first briefly examine the origin of Chapter XV, Offenses Relating to Religion, in the 1860 Indian Penal Code drafted by Lord Macaulay. Section 295 of this Chapter prohibited the destruction, damage, or defilement of any place of worship or any object held to be sacred by any class of person; a note clarified that ‘objects’ did not include animate objects, and thus “killing a cow by a Muslim within sight of public road” could not be prosecuted.7 This proved to be highly problematic. In 1888, when a court declared that cows were not sacred objects, Cow Protection Societies sprang up in in most parts of India, and became one of the most highly charged symbols of Hindu nationalism.8 Section 296 prohibited the disturbance of any lawful performance of religious worship or ceremonies; section 297 prohibited trespass of any place of worship or cemeteries with the intent to wound the feelings of any person, or of insulting the religion of any person; and section 298 prohibited uttering any word or making any sound or gesture or placing an object in the sight of a person with the deliberate intent to wound his religious feelings. I want to highlight two points from the discussion that surrounded the passage of these statutes. First is what I term ‘colonial secularity,’ by which the British colonial government adopted a policy of neutrality towards religion, not because they were importing secular English norms into the colony, but because neutrality was seen as the most pragmatic means of managing religious passions in India. Lord Macaulay argued that the inclusion of laws preventing injury to religious sentiments was crucial because “there is, perhaps, no country in which the Government has so much to apprehend as in India, from religious excitement among the people.”9 He goes on to say that “the religion may be false, but the pain which such insults give to the professors of that religion is real. It is often as real a pain and as acute a pain as is caused by almost any offense against the person, against property, or against character. Nor is there any compensating good whatsoever to be set off against the pain.”10 But there were also others, such as a certain Mr. Thomas, who worried that if “the Criminal Courts were to be at all times open to the zealots of different sections on every trifling occasion the result would be to foster bigotry, and to keep the religious animosities of sects at its height, as well as to interfere with individual security and peace.”11 Mr. Thomas was right to worry: the availability of legal remedies was eagerly seized upon by partisans of various kinds to argue their case for religious injury. Second, the discussion around the statutes makes it clear that England itself was a Christian nation where there was no separation between church and state. Discussing blasphemy and English law, the document states that in England, blasphemous words “were not only an offense to God and religion, but a crime against

20  A tale of two saints the laws, state, and Government, and therefore punishable.”12 As we will see in Chapters Two and Three, many contemporary defenders of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan invoke this same logic, whereby insulting the honor of the Prophet Muhammad is akin to dishonoring the Pakistani state, and as such is an act of treason. The report goes on to say: “In 1698 a statute was passed to suppress blasphemy and profaneness by which any person who has ever professed Christianity was made incapable to hold any public office if he should deny any one of the Holy Trinity to be God, or shall assert or maintain that there are more gods than one, or shall deny the Christian religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of divine authority.”13 The difference in attitude towards offenses against religion in England versus the colony comes out clearly on the question of religious conversion. The most strenuous objections to criminalizing insults to religious feelings came from English Protestant missionary organizations, who pointed out that the “feelings of the weaker, i.e., the losing party . . . will certainly always be deemed wounding; nay they will be regarded as insult” which would interfere with their work of conversion.14 The authors of the code reassured the missionaries that the intention to wound must be deliberate to be considered an offense, and thus proselyting would not be considered a crime. The report points out that, because English laws assume the truth of Christianity, therefore in England “conversion is not regarded as a legitimate object . . . (but) the laws and the legislature of this country cannot assume the truth of any religion.”15 Wounding religious feelings was permissible for a ‘legitimate’ objective such as conversion.

Nationalizing religion Despite Lord Macaulay’s views that the problem of ‘religious excitement’ was exceptionally acute in the Indian subcontinent, religion, and conflicts over religion, were key to the formation of European political identities. Anthony Marx points to the “cohesive effects of exclusion and intolerance” and their role in the beginnings of European nationalism.16 He argues that in the early modern era in Europe, religious passions helped state rulers build the popular support they needed to raise revenues, fight wars, and strengthen state institutions. “Nationalism emerged when the masses were invited into the political state or invited themselves in. But the invitation did not come inclusively from books, enrichment, or schooling but rather from sectarian conflicts, enraging sermons, and callings. The passions of faith were the stuff of which the passion for the state was built.”17 Remembering the exclusion and illiberalism at the foundation of liberal democracies is crucial, argues Marx, otherwise it keeps alive the false notion of a tolerant, secular West facing threats from non-Western religious fanatics. Peter van der Veer makes a similar point: in his comparative study of religion and modernity in Britain and India, he demonstrates the religious roots of British public spheres, and argues that anti-Catholic agitation and Bible societies had as large a role to play in British nationalism as did Cow Protection Societies in Indian anti-colonial nationalism.18

A tale of two saints 21 Secularity, as the separation of church and state, came gradually and incompletely to Great Britain from the mid-19th to the 20th century, with the inclusion of Catholics, the rise of evangelical movements, and the ascendency of liberal thought. By the end of the 19th century, race had taken “precedence over religion as the dominant element in British nationalism,” with the state taking on the ‘moral’ duty of the ‘white man’s burden’ to civilize the natives.19 The schisms between Protestants and Catholics, liberals and Evangelicals were smoothed over in the 19th and early 20th century in the service of a superior race’s mission to civilize. Religious neutrality may have been the watchword for the British in India, but their rule had profound consequences on what constituted religion. In Chapter Four I will discuss the changes in sharia brought about under the tutelage of colonial rule. Here I  want to limit my remarks to the constitutive dynamics of colonial adjudication of religious conflict in fixing the scope of religion. When Muslim groups attempted to keep other Muslim denominations out of their mosques, for example, the courts thwarted those attempts by arguing that anyone who recites the kalyma (the profession of faith) was a Muslim in the eyes of the law even if he/she engages in divergent ritual practices.20 The distinction between belief and practice became strained when disputes arose over the status of Ahmadis as Muslims. The Ahmadiyya movement, founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the 1880s, was controversial because of its founder’s claim to be a Messiah, a claim that rubbed against the basic article of faith among Muslims that Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet (Khatem-e-Nubuwaat). The colonial courts sided with the Ahmadis when they sought access to Deobandi mosques, but ruled against them when they sought to pray behind their own Imam, asserting that “according to Muhammadan law they were not entitled to form a separate congregation.”21 But the court faced a more serious challenge in adjudicating what constituted Islamic when a Muslim woman whose husband had become an Ahmadi asked the court if her marriage were dissolved. A basic tenet of the Muslim faith is that if a spouse becomes apostate the marriage is dissolved. The ulama had given her the fatwa that her husband was no longer a Muslim and thus her marriage must be dissolved. The lower court deferred to the ulama’s authority, but the High Court overruled on the grounds that the ulama consulted were not of great reputation, and that the recent origin of the Ahmadiyya movement made the ulama partisan rather than disinterested jurists. One of the justices stated more bluntly that the “court’s ‘exceptional’ intervention into the question of apostasy – a matter of ‘Muhammadan theology’ ” – was warranted since “civil rights and [the] legal status of parties” flowed from the decision and “we must decide it ourselves.”22 The colonial legal interventions into intra-religious disputes among Muslims resulted in the “idea of a single Muslim public composed of individuals who are united by a commonality of beliefs.”23 Religion – rather than language, territory, ethnicity, or caste – became the defining element of political identity in British India. The majority of the Indian political elite in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries believed that their religious traditions provided them with the cultural resources necessary to modernize,

22  A tale of two saints though there were disagreements over what should be kept and discarded from these traditions. Religion was reimagined to respond to the twin challenges of the ‘superstition and backwardness’ of social customs, and the imposition of alien British norms and institutions. To revive the Muslim community, much attention was paid to inculcating discipline among the people to bring their desires (nafs) under the control of their intellect. This discipline could emerge from following religious edicts to foster piety (taqwa), or from acquiring English education and mannerisms. As Gilmartin points out: “Individual rationality and self-control were, in fact, central to the whole educational process that sought to define a new sense of Muslim community in colonial India shaped not symbolically by the state, but by the self-controlled individuals.”24 The revival of the community depended on strengthening associational (anjumins) activities, which in turn enhanced the role of the public arena for reforming identities as religious communities. Hindus and Muslims were the two most significant community identities emerging out of this process between the 1880s and the 1940s, and rivalries developed during this period – both between these religions and among various groups within each religion, over “proper behavior (particularly relating to religious ritual) as practiced by ordinary people.”25

An Islamic public sphere The ulama (Islamic scholars) in the Indian subcontinent were buffeted by several crosswinds in the colonial period: they lost their roles as keepers of sharia when the British codified part of it as Muslim Family Law and ignored the rest, while their status as alim (those with knowledge) was challenged by modernist Muslims, many of whom were convinced that the jahil maulavis (ignorant clerics) were responsible for the decline of the Muslim community in India. As I will show in greater detail in Chapter Four, Indian Muslims were on the frontline of reckoning with the loss of political power and the onset of modernity; here I want to briefly discuss the variety of responses to these twin challenges, and to focus particularly on three movements that played a central role in blasphemy politics in Pakistan: the maslaks of the Deobandis, the Barelvis, and Ahl-e-Hadith. Revival, restoration, renewal, and reform (islah) were the watchwords for almost all of the responses to the upheavals of the colonial period. The madrassa (school) became the primary organizational form for revival, and madrassas spawned multiple branches, factions, and eventually political parties. One of the most influential of these seminaries was the Dar-ul-Ulum (House of Knowledge), a madrassa founded in 1866 in the provincial town of Deoband, whose followers became known as Deobandis. Its aim, and that of the Deobandi movement, was to revive Islamic learning by focusing on the Quran and Hadith, to purify Muslims from the corrupting influence of social customs, and to train future Islamic scholars.26 For the founders of the Deobandi movement the abolition of the Moghul Empire in 1858 left Muslims adrift, and reinforced the role of the ulama as the guardians of sharia. As reformists, they subscribed to the need for ijtihad (independent reasoning) but within the confines of classical sources of Islamic law,

A tale of two saints 23 adherence to the Hanafi law school (taqlid), and learning through the classical form of master-apprentice relationship. The Deobandis’ fealty to Islamic tradition did not prevent them from running their madrassas along modern lines, providing instruction in religious and secular subjects, which in turn produced the variety of political and semi-political bodies of religious scholars that continue to play a significant role in the politics of South Asia. The Barelvi maslak emerged as a rival to the Deobandis in 1904. It was formed in reaction to what they saw as a need to defend traditional practices from the attacks of the Deobandis. The Barelvis acknowledged the importance of the Quran and Hadith, but made the exemplary life of the Prophet Muhammad the pillar of renewal for the Muslim community. Ishaq-e-Rasool, the deep and abiding love for the Prophet, is based on the belief that God made Muhammad out of his light (noor), and as such the Prophet continues to be present and active in believers’ lives.27 Veneration of the Prophet leads to the veneration of other saints: thus the observance of annual death anniversaries (urs) around Sufi shrines, the celebration of the Prophet’s birth (Eid-Milad-Nabi), and the emphasis on dreams and knowledge of the unseen (Illum-e-ghaib). Fealty to particular saintly orders are characteristic of the Barelvis, and have contributed to the popularity of their movement in the Indian subcontinent. These practices greatly annoy the Deobandis, who see them as skirting too close to shirk (polytheism). The founder of the Barelvi movement, Ahmad Raza, claimed allegiance to the Qadiri, the Chishti, and the Naqshbandi – the three most important transnational Sufi orders. There were many other significant movements for Islamic revival in the Indian subcontinent, but I will limit myself to a brief introduction of one other maslak that became significant for the story of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.28 One of the more austere reform movements came to be known as Ahl-e-Hadith (AH) by its supporters and ‘Wahhabi’ by its critics. The founding figures of this movement had strong connections in Hejaz and Yemen, and were influenced by the Salafist ideals of returning to the original sources of the Quran and Hadith, and shunning the traditions that had come down through the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The local custom of visiting shrines was viewed as the most heinous of these traditions, because it challenged the oneness of God (tawhid).29 AH’s rejection of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence made it an anathema for Deobandis, who were grounded in the Hanafi legal traditions, while its militant stance against ceremonial celebrations of the Prophet’s birth and the veneration of saints pitted it against the Barelvis. Both Deobandis and Barelvis, as Sunnis who followed the Hanafi tradition, banded together against the AH, branding it ghair muqallids (heretics that do not follow tradition). Although the AH were small in numbers and mostly came from middle-class urban areas, they incited widespread and fierce reactions. As Yoginder Sikand points out: “In many places Hanafis refused them admittance to their mosques, schools, and graveyards. Marital ties with them were forbidden, and in some places followers of the Ahl-e-Hadith even faced physical assault.”30 The term Wahhabi, often used for AH, had a deeply negative connotation in the Indian subcontinent until the 1970s. For the British, the Wahhabis were dangerous religious zealots posing a challenge to their rule,31

24  A tale of two saints while for Muslims the term connoted extremists bent on destroying sacred sites such as the Prophet’s tomb. Until the 1910s, the three movements I  described above focused on writing scholarly tracts, engaging in theological debates (manazra), setting up separate mosques and madrassas, and competing with other Muslim organizations for the right to define the normative content of Islam. By the early years of the 20th century, however, the pan-Islamic Kilafat Movement brought these groups, as well as many others, into a larger and more active political arena. The Kilafat Movement was an international campaign to protect the Ottoman Caliphate from dismemberment by the British, and its public protests and political activities against the colonial power were centered in the Indian subcontinent. Before the 1910s, the majority of the ulama had displayed passive resentment against the British rule; it was the fate of the last Muslim empire, and the future of the Islamic Caliphate, that brought the ulama out of the seminaries where they had found refuge from colonial control, and thrust them into more explicitly political and public roles.32 Gandhi’s brilliant political strategy of marrying the cause of the Caliphate in Turkey with the goal of freedom from colonial rule in India created a long-lasting partnership between a portion of the ulama from the Deoband Seminary and the Congress Party.33 This was the first time that the technique of mass political agitation through passive resistance was used on an all-India basis. The ulama played an important role in taking the anti-colonial political struggle to the streets, mosques, and bazaars. Although the period of collaboration between Hindus and Muslims ended with the failure of the noncooperation and Khilafat movements by the end of the 1920s, it created a template that has had a lasting impact for Muslim politics in South Asia. The public arenas in the towns and cities of colonial India from the 1880s to the 1940s, as Sandria Freitag’s scholarship shows, were “becoming an alternative world to that structured by the imperial regime, providing legitimacy and recognition to a range of actors and values denied place in the imperial order.”34 The British had relied on the ‘natural leaders’ of communities to manage its relationship with the natives, and although communities were generally defined in religious terms, the colonial government had no use for religious leaders. Instead, the natural leaders were considered to be the top layer of the shurfa (well-born) in the cities, and landlords in the rural areas. But as religious issues such as Cow Protection campaigns and protests over scurrilous attacks against the Prophet Muhammad increasingly came to the fore, these ‘natural leaders’ could no longer manage the natives. In 1913, when part of a humble mosque used by lower-caste Muslims had to be moved to build a road, the colonial authorities confidently demolished the dalan (bathing area) because they were assured of little reaction by “respectable and orthodox Muhammedans.” But a burgeoning Urdu press in UP (United Provinces, now Utter Pradesh) and local activists came together to prevent further demolition of the mosque. The Lieutenant Governor, James Meston, saw the protestors as troublemakers egged on by ‘an insignificant maulvi (cleric)’ but worried about the future possibility of “energetic, clever, ambitious, sometimes personally embittered men, whose aim is to displace the natural leaders of the Muhammedan community, and to become for a time the leaders themselves.”35

A tale of two saints 25 The 1920s and 1930s were punctuated by several events that led to the greater politicization of religious identities and contributed to a growing rift between Hindus and Muslims, which eventually led to the partition of the Indian subcontinent. The emerging Muslim public sphere in the 1920s and 1930s was ­competitive, fluid, and volatile, providing opportunities to multiple actors, organizations, and agendas. Individuals competed for influence through books, pamphlets, ­newspapers, and magazines. The print media was influential in making careers of ­individuals, bringing publicity to particular issues, and molding public opinion.36 The shurfa (well-born) – whom the colonial government considered the ‘natural ­leaders’ – continued to play a prominent role in the public arena because they had the pedigree, the status, and the skills to deliver public addresses, preside over meetings, and liaise with colonial officials. However, increasingly the streets, the bazaars, and the pulpits of mosques and temples became the spaces where a­ mbitious and talented orators, community organizers, clerics, and ‘restless young men’ contributed to the notion that Muslims, as a numerical minority, were under threat from an increasingly militant Hindu public.

The Rangila Rasul controversy and the making of a saint It was not only Muslims who imagined the nation in religious terms: a variety of Hindu reformists advocated for the revival of the original spirit of their traditions, and for discarding practices that had, they argued, weakened the community to the extent that it had been colonized first by the Muslims and then the British. Arya Samaj was one such movement. It was founded in 1875 by Dayananda Saravasti, who claimed that “Vedic religion was a universal, rational religion of an Aryan people,”37 and that it was a monotheistic religion containing all the scientific knowledge that Europe was only now discovering. The central importance of Arya Samaj for our story lies in its rejection of the caste system, and its claim that all inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent were Hindus who must be brought back into the fold through shuddhi (‘purification,’ which in practice included conversion). By the 1920s, Arya Samaj was engaged in a pitched battle with Muslim organizations over the issue of converting ‘marginal’ Muslim communities. The battle was fought through print media, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, gatherings of various associations, public lectures, and public protests. The publication in 1924 of Rangila Rasul, ostensibly a biography of Prophet Muhammad, became the match that lit this combustible politicization of religious identities. The very title of this pamphlet was insulting to most Muslims: the word Rangila has several connotations (ribald, colorful, jovial, libertine), and Rasul refers to the Prophet. The content of the publication further inflamed the tensions between the Hindus and Muslims of Lahore. It was published in Urdu (the language most associated with Indian Muslims), and it ostensibly followed some of the conventions of the genre of Islamic literature on the Prophet’s life (serat), such as opening with venerating couplets (naat); the author maintained the conceit of writing as an admirer of the Prophet. The most provocative parts compared the Prophet’s sexual mores to the founding figures of other religions. The pamphlet contended

26  A tale of two saints that the founder of Arya Samaj, Swami Dayanand, was symbolized by his dedication to the Vedas and his life-long celibacy, Ram Krishna was symbolized by his flute, and Muhammad was symbolized by his many wives.38 The pamphlet was published in May of 1924, and sold so briskly in Lahore that it warranted a second publication after the first thousand copies were sold. By July, the protests against the pamphlet led the Punjab Government to bring charges against the publisher under IPC 153-A, which prohibited speech resulting in enmity between different groups.39 The publisher’s defense rested on a twofold argument: first, that the intent of the author was to bring attention to social problems such as under-age marriages and polygamy, and second, that the content was based on what had been established by historians to be accurate about Muhammad’s matrimonial life. Magistrate Phailbus, hearing the case against the publisher Rajpal, acknowledged that some of the material was based on historical fact. He went on to argue that the language, tone, and style of the pamphlet, the innuendos used to discuss the Prophet’s personal life, and the offensive comparisons between the Prophet and other religious figures was meant to “make a wanton attack upon the Prophet of Islam, to hold him up to ridicule and contempt . . . to wound the feelings of his followers.”40 The publisher was given 18 months’ rigorous prison term and a fine, but the judgment was appealed to the High Court of Lahore. This raised the profile of this case in ways that would result in the modification of the Indian Penal Code to explicitly prohibit insults to religion. The appellant argued against the penalty given to Rajpal on two grounds: first, that the term creating ‘enmity between different classes’ in IPC 153-A referred to races rather than religious communities, and second, that the purview of the law did not extend to satiric writings about deceased religious leaders. Justice Dalip Sing rejected the first argument, but agreed that IPC 153-A did not cover “polemics against deceased religious leaders.” The judge argued that this statute was meant to protect the community as it was presently constituted. The judge recommended that a clause be added to IPC 295 which would specifically addresses this gap, and would punish the publication of material meant to “wound the religious feelings of any person or of insulting the religion of any person.”41 The Legislative Assembly took up the issue of expanding IPC 295 in order to address the growing disturbances created by the publication of Rangila Rasul. The wide-ranging and robust debate in the Assembly provides a window into the complexity of the tasks it faced: managing religious sentiment while balancing the need for social and religious reform with that of carving modern citizens out of colonial subjects. Lajpat Rai, for instance, worried that the proposed bill could be ‘retrograde,’ preventing necessary social reforms, and asked that a distinction be made between legitimate scholarly research and the interpretation of religious texts necessary for social reform.42 Jinnah too urged that “those who are engaged in historical works, those who are engaged in the ascertainment of truth and those who are engaged in bona fide and honest criticism of a religion shall be protected.”43 Hari Singh Gour wondered what would be protected by the proposed change, and suggested that if it was religion then “perhaps it should be called the law of blasphemy.”44 M.R. Jayakar argued that “when the peace, harmony and

A tale of two saints 27 goodwill of the community are disturbed in the name of religion, an offense is committed against the State. It is not an offence against religion.”45 There was a concern that legislating tolerance was a fool’s errand: Thakur Das Bhargava noted that “if India was constituted of inhabitants like those who come into this Assembly there would be no trouble.”46 Others hoped that this would be a temporary measure, and some even proposed that the law expire after 1930.47 Lawmakers had felt an urgency in passing IPC 295-A because Rangila Rasul was not the only publication that was seen as attack on the Prophet Muhammad, nor was Rajpal the only publisher involved. During this period, the already highly volatile atmosphere between Muslims and Hindus was inflamed by a vernacular print media that thrived on sensational coverage of these controversies, and often aided and abetted the hostilities. Beginning with the Rajpal controversy, we also see a significant change in those who had influence over public arenas, which became increasingly shaped by insurgents rather than the people whom the British colonial government considered to be the ‘natural leaders’ of their communities. Here we see a significant difference from the functioning of the ‘public sphere,’ as conceived by Habermas, which is described as a space free of state intervention yet able to influence government policies through the force of public opinion. The public sphere in India under the colonial regime had a different dynamic: although western-educated Indians had an increasing share of representation in the legislative assemblies and government bureaucracies of the colonial state, the public arenas were dominated by vernacular leaders who used popular culture and shared indigenous values for political mobilization. The Rajpal controversy is an example of the ‘insurgent public’ interacting with the rational-legal institutions of the British state, including legislative councils that had elected representatives of Hindu and Muslim communities.48 The interaction was turbulent, as evidenced, for example, by the attacks on Justice Dalip Singh for acquitting Rajpal, which led to widespread calls for his resignation and an attack on his impartiality by the magazine Muslim Outlook. The publisher of Muslim Outlook was given six months’ prison term and a fine for this attack, which added fuel to the increasingly polarized public debate. One of the more potent members of the insurgent public, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, bemoaned that “the law had given a proof of its potency . . . by sending two poor Muslims to prison.”49 The 1927 Legislative Assembly represented a wider electorate than had previous councils; the 1909 and 1919 constitutional reforms had expanded the franchise and included greater number of Indians elected to the body.50 The legal proceedings of the Rajpal case were avidly followed by the Urdu and Hindi press in the Punjab, often forming the basis of speeches, sermons, and even poetry, which was then recited in public gatherings. The lawmakers were aware of the tumult created by the controversy as they debated expanding IPC 295 to prevent further disorder. The result of their deliberations was IPC 295-A, which stated: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. – Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class

28  A tale of two saints of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.51 However, the passage of IPC 295-A in 1927 did not put to rest the controversy over Rangila Rasul. Rajpal had been acquitted on appeal, but after two unsuccessful assassination attempts by two Muslim men, he was murdered by Illum-ud-Din in 1929. There are several biographies, a feature film, and numerous newspaper and magazine accounts of Illum-ud-Din’s story. According to these accounts, Illum-ud-Din is the patron saint of Pakistan because his legacy solidified support for the creation of two nations in the Indian subcontinent. These books first narrate a highly selective history of the subcontinent, wherein Muslims were swindled by the British and betrayed by Hindus, who had decided to destroy Islam through movements like the Arya Samaj and shuddhi. Publishing insulting pamphlets against the Prophet Muhammad was the tool they had selected to destroy the integrity of Muslims as a community. In the face of these dangers, a young, illiterate carpenter’s son decided to avenge the insults to the Prophet by offering his life. The biographies point to signs that made Illum-ud-Din a candidate for sainthood: Ghulam Ahmad Qadani, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement and a ‘false Prophet,’ died the same year Illum-ud-Din was born, and a faqir had told Illum-ud-Din’s mother “this boy will accomplish a special mission; try to dress him in green colors.”52 These books point out that there was no legal remedy available at the time to Muslims for the harms they suffered: Rajpal was released on the grounds that there was no criminal punishment for injuring religious sentiments. It was through the miracle of Illum-ud-Din’s passionate love for the Prophet that the British were forced to finally formulate such a law, IPC 295-A. I will use two accounts of Illum-ud-Din’s life, published in Urdu, to illustrate how this young carpenter came to be regarded as a patron saint of Muslim nationhood in the Indian subcontinent. The first account, by the journalist Zafar Iqbal Nagina, was published as a series in the daily Urdu newspaper, the Jang, in 1987. Nagina complied it in a book form in 1988 because, he tells us, he had a dream where he was present as a reporter at Illum-ud-Din’s murder trial and he decided that he needed to write this book to show the world the glory of the Prophet, and to demonstrate the determination and bravery of those who love the Prophet. Illum-ud-Din, he said, accepted the noose of the hangman without any hesitation in order to protect the honor of the Prophet; this should serve as a warning to those who insult the Prophet and “the readers and listeners of this account of his life may earn religious merit (sawab) by reading this book.”53 Nagina tells us that he complied his account of Illum-ud-Din’s life and martyrdom through archival research of newspapers, particularly Zamindar, the most popular Muslim newspaper of British India. Nagina also drew on the recollections of Illum-ud-Din’s relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Nagina writes his account in the form of a novel, taking us into the neighborhood and life of Illum-ud-Din,

A tale of two saints 29 providing sketches of his ancestors, father, mother, brother, and friends, recreating dialogues and giving us glimpses into the inner states of the characters. The narrative takes us from Illum-ud-Din’s birth to his coming upon a political gathering at which passionate speeches were moving the audience to tears. As a Punjabi speaker, he could not understand much of the content of the speeches, which were in Urdu, so he kept asking what the gathering was all about, and why were people so upset. Finally, one of the speakers used Punjabi to declare that Rajpal ought to be killed (wajab-e-qatal) as someone who had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Illum-ud-Din is presented as a simple young man who is taken up by the idea that someone has written an insulting book about the beloved Prophet. He is reported to have a dream in which he hears a holy man tell him: “you are still sleeping, and enemies of Islam continue to conspire against the honor of the Prophet, hurry up.”54 His best friend Sheeda tells Illum-ud-Din that he had the same dream, and they both agree to let a coin toss determine who gets to fulfill this mission. Illumud-Din wins the toss, much to the disappointment of Sheeda. Nagina’s narrative then describes Illum-ud-Din’s determination to kill Rajpal, the murder and arrest, the enormous crowds that gathered to claim body of Rajpal from the autopsy, the growing tension in Lahore, and the government’s attempt to control the crowds. The account then moves abruptly back in time to 1924: it describes Rajpal’s publication of the pamphlet Rangila Rasul, his trial and appeals, and the successful legislation of 295-A, ensuring that the founders of great religions will be respected. We are told about the emotional entreaties of Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari, who tells a crowd that the Prophet’s wives, the mothers of us all (Ahl-Bait), are pleading with us to protect their honor. But Nagina also quotes Zafar Ali Khan, the editor of Zamindar, appealing for calm after Rajpal was killed, arguing that he was murdered by someone who just happened to be Muslim – it was an individual act where the passions of a young man overtook his senses.55 The second part of Nagina’s book reproduces the legal documents associated with the murder. We see the account given by Illum-ud-Din to the police, where he says that when he was caught by the employees of Rajpal he told them that he was not a thief, and that he had not killed Rajpal. The fact that Illum-ud-Din pleaded not guilty in court stands in tension with Nagina’s account of a young man at peace with his actions and eager to embrace his impending hanging; the tension is resolved when it is revealed that Illum-ud-Din, a few days before his hanging, asked forgiveness for the sin of lying in the court, a sin he had committed because his father pleaded with him. Nagina tells us that, so eager was Illum-ud-Din for his martyrdom, he wanted to put the noose around his own neck, but was told by the authorities that such an act would be considered suicide and therefore could not be allowed. Illum-ud-Din is portrayed as centered, calm, and eager to accept death; his last wish is to offer a prayer. The authorities realize that his funeral could create political unrest, so they quickly bury him in a common grave without any of the Islamic rituals. At the request of Muslim luminaries like Iqbal and Sir Shafi, the Governor of Punjab allows the body to be exhumed after 13 days, and provides a special train to get the body back to Lahore. One of the largest

30  A tale of two saints funerals in the history of Lahore was carried out without any unpleasant incidents because Muslim leaders ensured that the funeral was peaceful. At the conclusion of the funeral, the leaders sent a letter of appreciation to the governor of Punjab for allowing them to bring Illum-ud-Din’s body back to Lahore to give it a proper burial. In Nagina’s account, the funeral becomes an event where the heart and the mind of the community meet: passion for Illum-ud-Din does not lead to disorder, as was feared by the colonial government, but rather becomes an opportunity to show the discipline and unity of the community. Nagina’s account clearly forms the foundation of all the other biographies of Illum-ud-Din sold at Urdu Bazaar Lahore. It is the modifications and additions to his account that are most telling about how the figure of Illum-ud-Din became the patron saint of Pakistani nationhood.56 A more recent account of Illum-ud-Din’s life, by Khola Mateen (2008) takes much of the material from Nagina’s book, but makes significant changes. In the preface, Mateen gives a long excerpt from Justice Nazir Ahmad’s defense of the blasphemy statutes in Pakistan as a means to protect the rule of law by instilling in citizens the habit of using the legal arena against those who are accused of blasphemy, wherein the accused gets a lawyer and a right to appeal. The Justice argues that repeal of the blasphemy statutes, as demanded by some, would take us back to the old ways of killing the accused on the spot.57 Mateen ends her introduction by warning against “those fools who want to eliminate 295-C at the behest of the Americans, who would stop those who would want to take the law into their own hands and punish those who dare to insult the Prophet.”58 In her telling, Illum-ud-Din kills Rajpal, goes to wash off the blood, worries that he may not have killed him, comes back to ensure that he has, and loudly proclaims that he has taken revenge for the Prophet as he is caught by Rajpal’s employees. When Illum-ud-Din’s father hears the news, he announces: “I would be disappointed if my son had not rendered this great service,” and his mother says, “If I had seven sons and all of them sacrificed themselves for the honor of the Prophet, it would make me happy.”59 Mateen does not reproduce any of the legal documents. She argues that Muslim lawyers wanted Illum-ud-Din to plead not guilty so that his life would be spared, but he refused to lie, and instead in his statement he said: “I have not killed a man.” Illum-ud-Din is not denying killing Rajpal, according to Mateen, but rather he is saying that he has killed the devil (sheetan).60 Unlike Nagina’s account, Mateen’s book clearly appropriates Illum-ud-Din’s life and death for the cause of protecting Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. It uses terms like shatim and maloon, which have been applied to those accused of insulting the Prophet in blasphemy discourse in the last three decades, and which are terms that were not common in the press coverage of Illum-ud-Din’s case in the 1920s. It includes polemics against the Ahmadiyya minority community, and court decisions from the 1990s declaring them non-Muslim, to include them in the category of those who stand accused of insulting the Prophet. The book repeats the defense often made of the blasphemy statutes – that they prevent vigilante justice and protect the rule of law – but the predominant tenor of the account is praise for those who sacrifice their lives for the love of the Prophet. Mateen gives

A tale of two saints 31 more space than does Nagina to the fiery rhetoric of the leader of the political movement Ahrar, Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari, and drops the statement made by Zamindar’s Zafar Ali Khan that Illum-ud-Din’s act was not representative of all Muslims. Nagina’s account was closer to the historical account, although he took a lot of creative license to recreate dialogues and imagine the inner states of the characters. His inclusion of the original legal documents and newspaper accounts gives us a glimpse of contemporary criticism of Illum-ud-Din’s actions by some Muslim leaders. In Mateen’s account, in contrast, there is uniform praise from Muslim leaders for Illum-ud-Din’s action, and his parents are speaking the language of the Muslim nation, in which mothers are typically ready to sacrifice all their sons. Mateen’s story of Illum-ud-Din’s stay in the prison includes more miracles, whereby those who supported him witnessed blessings in their lives long after the event, and those who opposed him faced misfortunes. Even though Nagina’s account is highly critical of Rajpal, nonetheless we get glimpses of his humanity, particularly around his death and the sorrow felt by his supporters. In Mateen’s telling, Rajpal is not a human – he has become a devil not worthy of anyone’s sympathy. As Mateen’s account demonstrates, the memory of Illumud-Din as a saint is now fully appropriated by the Khatem-e-Nubuwaat (Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet) and Namoos-e-Rasool (protecting the honor of the Prophet Muhammad) movements, for whom his legacy embodies the sacral status of PPC 295-C. The accounts of the funeral of Illum-ud-Din, as told by Nagina and others, emphasize how the ceremony unified the Muslim community around the love for the Prophet. A variety of Muslim public figures who otherwise had political and ideological differences gathered at this event, and thereby created the foundation for a new Muslim nation in the subcontinent. The stories of the funeral also highlight the fears that the colonial government had of a highly charged political gathering of grieving Muslims, and the discipline shown before, during and after the funeral by the thousands who gathered to bury Illum-ud-Din. This public display of love and sorrow for Illum-ud-Din, as remembered by biographers 60 years later, combined with discipline of the crowd provided, as David Gilmartin has formulated a definition of a Muslim community that was “a counterpoint to the rationalist discourse of the Ulama and the political machinations of responsible and sharif Muslim politicians. Perhaps most important, it suggested a community not only ‘imagined’ in the language of Press but one symbolically acted out in the disinterested and purely emotional actions of ‘restless’ and ‘excited’ male youth – public actions that embodied in a sense, the inner world of all Muslims, no matter how outwardly controlled and respectable.”61

Mumtaz Qadri: An Illum-ud-Din for our time In 2016, we saw another Illum-ud-Din in the making in the figure  of Mumtaz Qadri. His victim, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, exuded youthful vigor thanks to his good looks and colorful personality. A close personal friend of President Zardari, Taseer was a favorite guest of the ubiquitous news talk shows in

32  A tale of two saints Pakistan, where he criticized his political opponents with gusto and showed no remorse for his unorthodox lifestyle. In 2010, he made the fateful decision to champion the cause of a poor Christian woman, Aasiya Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy by a group of Muslim women while they were picking berries in a village in central Punjab. Aasiya was convicted, and was sentenced to death in 2010. Salman Taseer visited Aasiya Bibi in prison and assured her that he would fight on her behalf. Taseer’s party had attempted a reform of the blasphemy laws in the 1990s, and had failed; in 2006, General Musharraf had promised a revision of the laws, but had not delivered. Taking this issue on was a risky move. Taseer conducted a vocal media campaign to highlight abuses of the blasphemy laws, through which often poor and minority community members were ensnared into court cases, long prison sentences, and were sometimes even lynched by angry mobs simply because someone had reported that they had seen the accused burning pages of the Quran or making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. It was the first time since the blasphemy ordinance PPC 295-C had been introduced in 1986 that a prominent politician had taken a clear position against well-documented abuses of this law. Taseer’s stance created a firestorm of controversy, and prompted many Islamists to accuse him of being Gustagh-eRasool (impudent to the Prophet) and thus wajib-ul-qatal (deserving of death). The Islamists also warned that they would not tolerate any mercy shown to Aasiya Bibi, and they would oppose any modifications to 295-C, which they argued would be akin to challenging God’s law. Despite being the governor of Pakistan’s largest province, and a close personal friend of the president, Salman Taseer was left to fend for himself by the Pakistan People’s Party as the controversy gathered force. Sherry Rehman was the only prominent member of the governing party and member of Parliament who took a public stance, introducing a bill to modify 295-C in parliament. As the voices calling for the death of Salman Taseer grew shrill, he defended himself by insisting that, as a Muslim, he could not imagine insulting the Prophet, and that he was merely criticizing a man-made law. Despite the growing threat against his life and political career, Salman Taseer refused to back down, and in a poignant last tweet62 before he was brutally gunned down in January 2011, he quoted lines from an Urdu poem: “My determination is so strong that I am not afraid of external flames. But I do fear the fire simmering inside the flower. It is this fire that can burn down the garden.” The assassin, who emptied 26 bullets into Salman Taseer’s body, was his own bodyguard, Malik Mumtaz Qadri. The Prime Minister, amidst growing street protests and death threats against Sherry Rehman and anyone who supported modifying the law, announced that the government had no intention of changing the law.63 We know very little about the motivation of 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, because he made no public statements, although he did tell the court, at a closed hearing, that he killed Salman Taseer because the governor had insulted the Prophet Muhammad by calling for the release of Aasiya Bibi and by criticizing the blasphemy law. Showered by rose petals (a traditional gesture to show love and respect), Mumtaz Qadri was lionized by his supporters as a ghazi (a

A tale of two saints 33 Muslim solider triumphant in the battle against the enemy). Salman Taseer was maligned by Islamist groups, who proclaimed that Muslims must not mourn his death because he was a blasphemer. His own party quickly shelved any plans to revise 295-C, and Sherry Rahman had to go into hiding because she was next on the list of those who were wajib-ul-qatal. In one of those historic ironies, it was the father of Governor Salman Taseer who had paid for the shroud of Illum-udDin 80 years earlier. After three years of bitter debate over the guilt or innocence of Mumtaz Qadri, the state executed him on February 29, 2016. Qadri had been affiliated with the Barelvi movement, and it was the political wing of the Barelvis, Sunni-Therik (ST), and Shabab-e-Islami (SI), who took custody of his body and planned his funeral, which attracted a crowd that may have exceeded the one for Illum-udDin. But Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral was a more partisan affair than that of Illumud-Din. It provided an occasion for the Barelvis to flex their political muscles against the government, but even more importantly against the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith. The social media wings of the ST and SI prepared dozens of videos showing the enormous crowds at the funeral, punctuated with stories of Qadri’s last meeting with his family, his refusal to ask for mercy, his fasting before his death, and the pristine condition of his corpse. His five-year-old son was dressed up in the same outfit worn by the members of ST, and was featured singing hymns in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. The Facebook pages of ST and SI were full of exhortations by the younger devotees of Mufti Hanif Qureshi to take advantage of the unexpected turnout at Qadri’s funeral with a Long March on Islamabad to demonstrate the political power of ‘lovers of the Prophet’ (Ashaq-e-Rasool). To get to Qadri’s grave one has to travel through the bustling bazaars of Bahra Kahu, a town thirteen kilometers from Islamabad, with unpaved roads, shopkeepers’ wares spilling out on the pavements, and bicycles, rickshaws, motorcycles, dogs, and donkeys sharing the road with an ever-increasing number of cars. One has to follow the winding road for several kilometers, and if you think you may be lost, you can ask the vegetable hawkers or rickshaw drivers about the tomb of Qadri – their eagerness to give directions conveys their approval of your destination. Qadri’s tomb is at the end of the road, under the shadow of hills, with enough land around it that one can see the possibility of annual urs (commemoration of death anniversary). The grave itself is encased in a large mausoleum, inside a spacious enclosed compound. I visited the site in January 2017, less than a year after Qadri was buried there. There were signs of ongoing construction, plans to build a mosque and a seminary64 were underway, and banners proclaimed a new movement: “we are here for you, oh Prophet” (Labbyiak-ya-Rasool-Allah) which had been initiated at the funeral of Qadri. Attaining sainthood for Qadri is part of the political project of the Barelvis. In Chapter Three I will outline how this played out internally: upstarts like Hanif Qureshi staked a claim to Qadri’s actions when he was in prison, and claimed his body after he was executed, in order to challenge other established figures within the Barelvi movement. But the Barelvis have also found in the blasphemy laws a framework that helps them compete with their rival maslaks, the Deobandis and

34  A tale of two saints Ahl-e-Hadith, and allows them to assert themselves as the better custodians of the Islamic State of Pakistan. The fact that Qadri’s execution and the government’s desire to reform the blasphemy laws have pitted Barelvis against the state is a conundrum for many in the movement. The prominent display of Pakistani flags around Qadri’s mausoleum declares the Barelvis’ fealty to the Pakistani state.

Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Hanif Qureshi, and the politics of emotion The two saints in this chapter benefitted from two promoters, who in turn profited from the saints’ lives in their political rivalries. Illum-ud-Din’s most visible advocate was a Deobandi leader, while Qadri’s was a popular rising star in the Barelvi movement. These men made use of the assassins both to advance their movement’s cause and to strengthen their own position within the internal politics of their movements. Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari (1891–1967), the leader of the political party Ahrar quoted approvingly by the two authors of Illum-ud-Din’s biography, was an ally of the Congress Party, and opposed the demand for Pakistan as a separate homeland for Muslims. He was a brilliant orator who also claimed the title of Amir-e-Shariat, thereby asserting his mastery of Islamic laws. He was affiliated with the Deoband seminary and opened a school in the city of Gujrat in Punjab in 1920. The Khilafat and non-cooperation movements drew him into politics and landed him in prison from 1921 to 1924.65 He remained an ally of Congress and a foe of the Muslim League, declaring that “The Muslim state demanded by the League was destined to be neither Islamic nor sovereign, but a ‘Ghulamistan,’ or the abode of slaves.”66 Bukhari played a prominent role in the Rangila Rasul controversy, launching agitations in Lahore in 1927 against those who dared to insult the Prophet (Tahrik-e-Shatam-e-Rasul). In 1929, he founded the party Ahrar, and launched a many-front battle against the Hindu Arya Samaj movement, the Barelvis, the Ahmadiyya, and the Shia. Ahrar’s style was highly confrontational. Bukhari took pride in taking the fight to the enemy: in the early 1930s, he actively campaigned in Kashmir against the Ahmadiyya movement, and often confronted their leaders in public meetings. As Reetz points out: “In 1934, he conducted a public prayer meeting at the very seat of the Ahmadiyya in Qadiyan, heaping insult and abuse on them, which ultimately led to the issuance of prohibition orders and his arrest.”67 In 1939, he launched attacks on the Shia community in Lucknow. Ahrar wrapped their highly sectarian politics into anti-imperial and anti-rich rhetoric. Thus, the Ahmadis came under attack for their presumed refusal to acknowledge Muhammad as the Seal of Prophecy, but also for their pro-British stance; the Shia of Lucknow were attacked for their wealth and privilege; and the Muslim landed elite were often attacked for their irreligiosity and tendency to patronize saints’ shrines. Mufti Hanif Qureshi, the Barelvi leader who holds the dubious distinction that it was his fiery speech that convinced Mumtaz Qadri to kill Salman Taseer,68 wanted to establish beyond any doubt that Qadri had earned the highest place among the

A tale of two saints 35 saints. In dozens of videos on the internet, he has made the beatification of Qadri his main mission. Before Salman Taseer’s assassination, Hanif Qureshi was a mid-level preacher (khattib). His ability to recite Arabic Quranic verses, interpret Hadith in Urdu, and slip into highly colloquial Punjabi when he wants to either insult his opponent or to declare his love for the Prophet, ensure him a sizeable audience. As I  will show in greater detail in Chapter  Three, however, Qureshi had higher ambition: he wanted to become the top leader of the Barelvis, and in Mumtaz Qadri he found the means to live out this ambition. The political careers of Bukhari and Qureshi illustrate two points I  want to highlight: events like the publication of Rangila Rasul or the assassination of Salman Taseer provide the political opportunity structures used by various leaders and groups to claim space within the highly competitive Islamic public sphere. The Rangila Rasul controversy created common cause among various Islamic groups and actors, but it also provided Bukhari a means to distinguish himself through an appeal to the heart of the Muslim community. Bukhari illustrates the complex politics of emotions at work. The idea that Muslims are emotional about their religion was an article of faith among the British, and some Hindu leaders also criticized the ‘over-emotional’ reaction of Muslims to the Rangila Rasul controversy.69 Ulama had urged the government to pass a law making insulting the founders of religion a crime, because otherwise “the entire responsibility of exciting religious feelings and making law subservient to feelings” would lie with the government.70 The poet Iqbal, one of the most powerful figures in Muslim politics at the time, had pleaded with a crowd of ten thousand gathered in one of the largest mosques in Lahore that, although the publication of Rajpal’s book “had wounded the most delicate part of Muslims’ heart,” they should allow the government time to resolve the problem.71 But Bukhari brought an uncompromising attitude towards those who insult the Prophet. He not only made the most anguished, and therefore most effective, appeal to protect the honor of the Prophet and his family, he also argued that if Muslims hear Hindus in a public arena using obscene language against the Prophet or his family, they should kill them then and there.72 As we will see in the next two chapters, Bukhari continued to play a central role in inciting passions – ostensibly to protect the honor of the Prophet, but also to aggressively compete with rival Islamic parties. For Qureshi and the Barelvi organization, the assassination of the governor presented a dicey political situation. Salman Taseer belonged to the Pakistan People’s Party, which was on generally friendly terms with the Barelvis. Some Barelvis, such as Tahir-ul Qadri, defended the governor from the charge of blasphemy, but Hanif Qureshi took advantage of this political opportunity to challenge the leaders within his own maslak, and to compete with rival organizations. After Qadri’s execution, the unexpectedly large turnout for his funeral created yet another political opportunity eagerly seized by the ‘restless younger men’ who complained that, though the Barelvis represented the majority sentiment in Pakistan, their leaders had failed to turn that majority into political power. Mumtaz Qadri was executed by the government of Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Muslim League (N), which had ties with rival Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith organizations. Before

36  A tale of two saints Qadri’s execution, the leader of ST, the Barelvi political wing, often called on the Chief of Army staff to intervene, and after the funeral Barelvis complained that their loyalty to the army and the nation had been ignored.

Maslak as political identity In order to make sense of the exceptionally tumultuous politics of blasphemy in Pakistan, we need to understand how maslak works as a political identity. The Urdu word maslak refers to a school of thought, or a path one follows. In a comprehensive study of Islamic groups in the Indian subcontinent, Dietrich Reetz delineates the connections between educational institutions, faith and revival movements, and political parties.73 What may appear to outsiders as a narcissism of minor differences can, in the right context, become highly significant boundaries that define one’s social and political identity. For example, all maslaks agree on the centrality of Prophet Muhammad for Muslims, but as Reetz points out: Every movement highlighted something else in the Prophet. He and his life experience were a mirror of their own identity, legitimizing their concept of Islam. The Deobandis emphasized the successorship of the “ulama” to the Prophet, for the Barelwis he was the object of love and mystical devotion, for the Firangi Mahallis and Tablighis he was the model of detailed emulation and imitation, for the Ahl-e-Hadith he was the immediate source of religious knowledge freeing them from the law schools, for the modernists Aligarh group he was a historical figure and worldly statesman.74 Until the 1980s, there were overlapping and shifting alliances between various maslaks; for example, although there were strong disagreements between Barelvis and Deobandis, they stood together in their opposition to Ahl-e-­Hadith. In many contemporary accounts, the Deobandis are presented as oriented towards sharia, and Barelvis as following the Sufi tradition of saint-veneration, but the gap between the Sufis and the scholars of sharia has never been as wide as contemporary accounts suggest.75 Many of the top scholars of the Deobandi movement claimed allegiances to the Sufi order, and acted as Sufi shayks (mentors) to their followers.76 Until the 1920s, differences between the Shia and the Sunni were not very pronounced, and the Ahmadis were seen as yet another sect within Islam. With the formation of Pakistan as the first nation-state for Muslims, the political ground shifted. Who is the right kind of Muslim became a political and, by the 1970s, a legal question. Though the majority of Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith had opposed the idea of Pakistan, they found in the new state a more advantageous place to expand their influence. Both of these movements had been active in anticolonial politics, and both had also cultivated connections with the transnational Muslim community – for instance, they sought the help of the Afghan king and of Turkey to oust the British from India as early as 1915.77 These historical connections were revived in the last three decades to fight jihad in Afghanistan, Kashmir,

A tale of two saints 37 and in the cities of Pakistan. Barelvis, meanwhile, have found themselves losing ground78 – literally when rival maslaks took over their mosques, and figuratively as the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith, flush with Saudi cash, gained ever-greater influence over the question of what is Islamic. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent flourishing of jihadism greatly boosted the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith, who also benefited from Saudi Arabia’s patronage of their style of austere Islam. The aftermath of the Iranian revolution added further turbulence to this growing storm of sectarianism. The Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith spawned militaristic anti-Shia organizations that routinely targeted Shia places of worship, leading to counter-responses from the Shia organizations. The Barelvis have formed alliances with Shia organizations, which added fuel to their rivals’ claims that they are outside the pale of mainstream Islam. The Deobandis, Barelvis, and Ahl-e-Hadith have engaged in intense competition over mosques, madrassas, and shares of the increasingly religious public sphere. In the 1990s, Deobandi-inspired extremist groups seized Barelvi mosques, assassinated their leaders, and attacked their shrines. In 2006, 49 of the top Barelvi ST leaders and supporters were killed in a bomb attack at a ceremony marking the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi, a Barelvi who was the first Muslim jurist in Pakistan to issue a fatwa against suicide bombing, was assassinated in 2009 by a member of the TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), a Deobandi-influenced militant group. In 2010, two of the most important shrines revered by the Barelvis – Data-Darbar in Lahore and the tomb of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi – were attacked by the TTP. In response, the Barelvis vowed to eliminate the ‘Talibanization’ of Pakistan, and attempted to rally together under an umbrella organization, the Sunni Ittehad Council. For Barelvis, the blasphemy statutes, particularly 295-C, provide a coming together of law and passion for the Prophet in ways that they find politically advantageous. All of the Islamic groups support keeping blasphemy statutes, and many non-Barelvis had used Salman Taseer’s support of Aasiya Bibi to organize rallies and rail against liberal Muslims and the infidel West. The Barelvis, however, have made the protection of 295-C the center of their politics. Mumtaz Qadri’s affiliation with the Barelvis was taken on by ambitious leaders like Hanif Qureshi as a providential help in their struggle to claim political power and to vanquish rival maslaks.

Blasphemy and heresy and the post-colonial Muslim state Love of the Prophet is central to the tale of two saints I have told thus far. Muslims express their love for the Prophet in a variety of ways. The Deobandis revere the Prophet by attempting to follow the instruction of religious scholars; the Ahl-eHadith show their admiration of the Prophet by forgoing the four schools of law and sticking closely to him and his companions as the source of religious guidance; and for the Barelvis, veneration of the Prophet is a central pillar of faith. These differences have been transmuted into highly sectarian and often violent conflicts, and we have now come to the point that statutes originating in colonial

38  A tale of two saints rule as ‘offense against religion’ have become so sacred that merely pointing to their defects becomes blasphemous. I discovered the sanctification of Mumtaz Qadri accidently as I was conversing with someone who worked for an NGO in Islamabad, and whom I knew to be a staunch supporter of PPP, the party of the slain governor Salman Taseer. He mentioned that Mumtaz Qadri was buried in his hometown and that a successful fund-raising was underway to build a huge complex around the grave. For the next few minutes after that revelation our conversation derailed a bit; I assumed that as a ‘westernized’ young man and a PPP supporter he shared my disapproval of making a saint out of a murderer. However, he became agitated when I speculated that the Barelvis were using Qadri’s death for political gain. He dismissed the role of the Barelvis as ‘know-nothing’ clerics, but argued that Qadri’s love for the Prophet was genuine even though his actions were wrong. He then quoted a Hadith to say that once Qadri was hung for his murder of Salman Taseer (bloodfor-blood) his sins were washed away leaving behind the pure love of Prophet. Far from disapproval, my interlocutor had visited Qadri’s tomb, not as a critic but as a devotee. Everyone who visits the tomb of Mumtaz Qadri is not a supporter of the Barelvis, but the Barelvis have taken possession of the ‘martyrdom’ of Qadri as an entry point into electoral politics. Gauri Viswanathan draws our attention to the shifting relationship between blasphemy and heresy, or what she terms a distinction between manner and matter: If blasphemers are defined as those who commit verbal offense in shocking, vile, and crude language or imagery but without necessarily attacking points of doctrine, heretics on the other hand are those whose alternative interpretations of fundamental religious truths substantially undermines the stable foundation on which those truths stand, regardless of whether the language they use is tasteless or not. Heresy is the site of competing interests and doctrines.79 Over the years heresy became a moot point in the West but blasphemy retained currency as “religious offense that impugns communities rather than doctrine.”80 What had begun as the British attempt to manage a diverse colony with the passage of Chapter XV, Offenses Relating to Religion, in the 1860 Indian Penal Code transformed into a general strategy in the West for balancing freedom of expression with regulation of bigotry in pluralist settings. Within a few years of the creation of the new Muslim nation-state of Pakistan, the question of Ahmadis’ status as Muslims made it clear that for a post-colonial state, managing religious differences was a much trickier proposition. Unlike the British state that could take its Christian heritage for granted while burnishing its credentials as a liberal constitutional polity that aimed to punish ‘religious offense that impugns communities,’ the Pakistani state had to construct its identity as the first Muslim nation-state while assuring the world that it aimed to treat religious minorities as equal citizens. In Pakistan, blasphemy and heresy collided in an explosive manner. Over time the very existence of the Ahmadis was viewed

A tale of two saints 39 by their opponents as a provocation, a threat to the fundamental creed that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet sent to humanity. As I will document in the next two chapters, the administrative state first took an ‘imperial’ attitude towards the Ahmadi controversy by issuing a report – the so-called Munir-Kiyani judicial inquiry report – that chastised the inability of the ulama of various maslaks to provide a common definition of who is a Muslim. The Pakistani state’s management of the Ahmadi controversy prepared the ground which bore the bitter fruit of religious intolerance exemplified by the victims of false accusations of blasphemy. Managing heresies and religious differences internally was made more complex for the Pakistani state with events such as the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, the Danish cartoon controversy, and the release of the video ‘The Innocence of Muslims.’ The perception that the Prophet Muhammad’s reputation was under assault in the West became entangled with the doctrinal difference among various maslaks in ways that sacralized Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes.

Notes 1 The pamphlet’s author was Pandit Chamupati, but the publisher did not reveal his name. For background on this incident, see Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan: A Historical Overview, 10–14, published by the Center for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad. 2014., 2 I am relying on these two books for this account: Zulifikar, Ghazi Illum-Ud-Din Shaheed, and Mateen, Shaheed-e-Namoos-e-Risalat: Ghazi Illum-ud-Din. 3 295-C. “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” Pakistan Penal Code Sec. 295-C ins. by the Criminal Law (amendment) Act, 111 of 1986. 4 Pakistan Penal Code, accessed August 20, 2017, ruptioninitiative/46816797.pdf. 5 Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of being Islamic, 24. 6 Merryman, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and America, 2. 7 Hamilton, The Indian Penal Code: With Commentary, 286. 8 Sandria Freitag shows that Cow Protection Societies “represent the first phase in a development that quickened in the early 20th century by which ‘community’ conveyed to its partisans a broad, encompassing ideological identity.” Freitag, Collective Action and Community: Public Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India, 149. 9 Hamilton, The Indian Penal Code: With Commentary, 285. 10 Ibid., emphasis added. 11 Ibid., 290. 12 Ibid., 284. 13 Ibid., 285. 14 Ibid., 291. 15 Ibid., 292. 16 Marx, Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism, 33–8. 17 Ibid., 197. 18 van der Veer, Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain, 53. 19 Ibid., 36–40.

40  A tale of two saints 20 Assad Ahmad shows that: “In their legal clashes with the Ahl-e-Hadith, the Hanafis consistently attempted to argue that their antagonists were ‘Wahhabis’ and therefore not really Muslims. The courts by and large followed Justice Mehmood’s arguments in Ramzan, where he determined the Ahl-e-Hadith were Muslims. The fact that they pronounced the kalyma was for the most part sufficient to prove Muslim identity. The marginalization of ritual differences enabled the judges to discount accusations of heresy.” Ahmad, Adjudicating Muslims: Law, Religion and the State in Colonial India and Post-Colonial Pakistan, 110. 21 Ibid., 111. 22 Ibid., 115. 23 Ibid., 110. 24 Gilmartin, “Democracy, Nationalism and the Public,” 129. 25 Frietag, Collective Action and Community: Public Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India, 293. 26 Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860–1900. 27 The founder of Barelvi movement, Ahmad Raza, “believed that the Prophet could help whoever he wished, in whatever way he saw fit, from his tomb. (He also had the capacity to travel in spirit to other places.) While most Sunni ulama believe that the Prophet will intercede with God on Judgment Day for ordinary Muslims, Ahmad Riza believed that the Prophet’s intercession is ongoing from the grave.” Sanyal, Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: In the Path of the Prophet, 99. 28 The so-called Aligarh movement, based on an educational association and eventually a university, provided the most serious challenge to the ulama’s control of Islamic education. The Aligarh movement founded by Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan not only pulled the best and the brightest of the Muslim elite into a more ‘secular’ education, he also took it upon himself to provide a reformist/modernist interpretation of Islam, arguing that “Islam, stripped of its theology, is a perfectly simple religion. Its cardinal principal is belief in one God and belief in Muhammad as his apostle. The rest is mere accretion, superfluity.” Quoted in Smith, Modern Islam in India, 28. For a comprehensive account of Islamic revival movements see Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900–1947. 29 It is important to note that in practice these movements were not always so clearly delineated along these theological issues. The Barelvis saw the importance of sharia, and the Sufi genealogical connections were important for Deobandis. In general, the beginning of these movements had overlapping ideas, but with the passage of time the boundaries got harder. As Yoginder Sikand remarks: “In marked opposition to Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab’s position on Sufism as wholly ‘un-Islamic,’ some late 19th century pioneers among the Indian Ahl-i Hadith, such as Nazir Ahmad Dehlvi, Siddiq Hasan Khan Bhopali and Daud Ghaznavi, were Sufis in their own right.” In “Ulema Rivalries and the Saudi Connection,” p. 2. 30 Ibid., 3. 31 See Stephens, “The Phantom Wahhabi.” 32 Haq, Muslim Politics in Modern India: 1857–1947, 2‑24. 33 Turkey’s Sultan Abdul Aziz’s claim to be the universal Caliph of Islam was generally accepted by the Indian ulama; he was the first Ottoman Sultan in whose name the Friday sermon (khutaba) was read in Indian mosques. After 1918, the energies of the Indian ulama were focused on forcing the British to keep the institution of the Caliphate intact. A Caliphate Conference was held in November 1919, which then gave birth to the All-India Caliphate Committee. Although the Khilafat Committee lingered on, making its platform the liberation of the Hijaz from foreign influence, its central purpose was destroyed by the Turkish National Assembly’s decision to abolish the Khilafate altogether in 1924. See Minault, The Khilafat Movement. 34 Freitag, Collective Action and Community: Public Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India, 6.

A tale of two saints 41 35 Ibid., 72, emphasis in original. 36 “In the last 30 years of the century, over 700 newspapers and thousands of magazines in Urdu were started. In Upper India, at the beginning of the 20th century 2000 to 5000 books were being published in Urdu every decade and there was a newspaper circulation of tens of thousands.” Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900–1947, 48. 37 van der Veer, Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain, 50. 38 See Thursby, Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India, 40–5. 39 Text of Indian Penal Code 153-A, accessed August 20, 2017, doc/345634/. 40 Thursby, Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India, 46. 41 Ibid., 47. 42 Nair, “Beyond the ‘Communal’ 1920’s.” 43 Ibid., 331. 44 Ibid., 332. 45 Quoted in Ibid., 333, emphasis in the original. 46 Quoted in Ibid., footnote 61, 336. 47 See Stephens, “The Politics of Muslim Rage.” 48 The term ‘insurgent public’ expands Habermas’ concept of the Public Sphere as a space where the emerging class of bourgeoisie deliberated on issues of public concern away from the control of the state to include any groups, particularly those who had previously existed at the margin of the political system such as women or racial minorities. See Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 20–1. 49 Quoted in Nair, 323. She also points out that “When leaders in a series of public meetings in Delhi and Lahore referred to the sharia permitting death for defamation of the Prophet, members of the Hindu press began demanding that the preaching of violence be checked.” 50 The constitutional reforms of 1919 and 1935 increased the number of voters significantly. In in 1919 the electorate was 5.4% of the population; by the time the 1937 election came around it was 27.6%. The balance between elected versus nominated legislators changed after the 1919 reform. Out of the over one thousand representatives in the state and federal chambers, 768 were elected and 253 nominated. See Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 41. 51 Indian Penal Code, 295 A, accessed August  20, 2017, doc/1803184/. 52 Zulifkar, Ghazi Illum-ud-Din Shaheed, 59. 53 Nagina, Ghazi Illum-ud-Din Shaeed, 2. Emphasis added, my translation. 54 Ibid., 23. 55 Ibid., 41. 56 A third biography, Farhan Zulifkar’s Ghazi Illum-ud-Shaheed, published in 2008, is lengthier (320 pages) compared to Nagina’s 135 pages because he includes chapters on the causes of Muslim decline in the subcontinent, Islamic punishment for insulting the Prophet, and a lengthier discussion of Arya Samaj and the shuddhi movement. Zulifkar also includes copies of the original legal documents, but unlike Nagina, who had included them at the end, almost as an appendix, he uses them in the middle as a way to provide a consistent story with a coherent timeline. Zulifkar also provides a more detailed and laudatory account of Jinnah’s contribution to the defense of Illumud-Din in the appellate court, and gives a lengthier account Illum-ud-Din’s prison time in Mianwali, the city where he had been transferred after his conviction. We are told the same story about Illum-ud-Din asking the Prophet Moses for forgiveness for lying under oath. We get an account of his meeting, one by one, with his family and friends. He counsels his mother to rejoice after his death because she had the good fortune to birth a son who was getting an honorable death. The prison employees witness heavenly lights coming out of his cell, and the illiterate Illum-ud-Din starts to recite

42  A tale of two saints

57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

69 70 71 72 73 74 75

76 77 78 79 80

Persian poetry and shows that he knows the Quran better than well-known scholars. He reports several ‘miracles,’ such as the Sikh physician who presided over the exhumation of Illum-ud-Din’s body converting to Islam once he saw that body was fresh despite being under ground for two weeks. Mateen, Shaheed-e-Namoos-Risalat: Ghazi Illum-ud-Din, 7. Ibid., 14. Ibid., 33–4. Ibid., 36–7. Gilmartin, “Democracy, Nationalism and the Public,” 136. Rehman, “Salmaan Taseer on Twitter.” Walsh, “Pakistan MP Sherry Rehman Drops Effort to Reform Blasphemy Laws.” See Hashim, “In Pakistan a Shrine to Murder for ‘blasphemy.’ ” Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 255. Jalal, Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850, 405. Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 257. The five-minute video clip is now proudly displayed by a media outlet calling itself Bralvee online. In the video, Hanif Qureshi tells the government that if they cannot take care of a blasphemer, there are plenty who can come forward and do the job. “You will not be able to recognize his bullet-ridden body,” he claims. At the end, he says that they are not the kind who conduct suicide missions against the army or target the police, but anyone who defends a blasphemer should be ready to face the consequences. Accessed May 16, 2016, Stephens, “The Politics of Muslim Rage,” 56. Account of a meeting of ulama held in 1927, quoted in Gilmartin, “Democracy, Nationalism and the Public,” 134. Stephens, “The Politics of Muslim Rage,” 53. Gilmartin, “Democracy, Nationalism and the Public,” 135. “Deobandi, Barelvi, Nadwa, Firangi Mahal, Aligarh with faith and revival movements: Ahl-e-Hadith, Ahrar, Khaksar Tablighi Jama’at and Ahmadiya.” Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 54–81. Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 129. See for example, Syed et  al. eds. Faith-Based Violence and Deobandi Militancy in Pakistan, an edited volume that presents many useful insights into contemporary radical movements but maintains this problematic simplification between peaceful Sufi Barelvis and extremist Deobandis. Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere, 126. See Metcalf, Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom. For a nuanced discussion of the takeovers of mosques see Khan’s “Mosque Construction or the Violence of the Ordinary.” Viswanathan, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief, 242, emphasis added. Ibid., 248.

References Ahmad, Assad. Adjudicating Muslims: Law, Religion and the State in Colonial India and Post-Colonial Pakistan. PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2006. Ahmed, Shahab. What is Islam? The Importance of being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. Center for Research and Security Studies. Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan: A Historical Overview. Islamabad: Center for Research and Security Studies, 2014.

A tale of two saints 43 Freitag, Sandria. Collective Action and Community: Public Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989. Gilmartin, David. “Democracy, Nationalism and the Public: A  Speculation on Colonial Muslim Politics.” South Asia XIV, no. 1 (1991): 123–40. Hamilton, William Roberts. The Indian Penal Code: With Commentary. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Company, 1895. Haq, Mushir. Muslim Politics in Modern India: 1857–1947. Delhi: Meenakshi Prakashan, 1970. Hashim, Asad. “In Pakistan a Shrine to Murder for ‘blasphemy.’ ” Al-Jazeera News, February 10, 2017. Accessed August 20, 2017. pakistan-shrine-murder-blasphemy-170206103344830.html. Indian Penal Code 153-A. Accessed August  20, 2017. 345634/. Jalal, Ayesha. Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850. New York: Routledge, 2001. Khan, Naveeda. “Mosque Construction or the Violence of the Ordinary.” In Beyond Crisis: Re-evaluating Pakistan, edited by Naveeda Khan, 482–515. New York: Routledge, 2010. Marx, Anthony. Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Mateen, Khawja. Shaheed-e-Namoos-e-Risalat: Ghazi Illum-ud-Din. Lahore: Urdu Bazar, 2010. Merryman, J.H. The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and America. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985. Metcalf, Barbara. Husain Ahmad Madani: The Jihad for Islam and India’s Freedom. London: One World Publications, 2009. Metcalf, Barbara. Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860–1900. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Minault, Gail. The Khilafat Movement. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. Nagina, Zafar Iqbal. Ghazi Illum-ud-Din Shaeed. Lahore: Jang Publishers Press, May 1988. Nair, Neeti. “Beyond the ‘Communal’ 1920’s: The Problem of Intention, Legislative Pragmatism, and the Making of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.” The Indian Economic and Social History Review 50, no. 3 (2013): 317–40. Pakistan Penal Code. Accessed August  12, 2017. tioninitiative/46816797.pdf. Reetz, Dietrich. Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900–1947. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Rehman, Atika. “Salmaan Taseer on Twitter: Last Man Standing against Blasphemy Laws.” The Express Tribune Pakistan, January 4, 2012. Accessed December 14, 2018. Sanyal, Usha. Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: In the Path of the Prophet. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2005. Sikand, Yoginder. “Ulema Rivalries and the Saudi Connection,” p. 2. Accessed July 28, 2017. Smith, W.C. Modern Islam in India. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957. Stephens, Julia. “The Phantom Wahhabi: Liberalism and the Muslim Fanatic in MidVictorian India.” Modern Asian Studies 47, no. 1 (2013): 22–52.

44  A tale of two saints Stephens, Julia. “The Politics of Muslim Rage: Secular Law and Religious Sentiment in Late Colonial India.” History Workshop Journal no. 77 (Spring 2014): 45–64. Syed, Jawad, Edwina Pio, Tahir Kamran, and Abbas Zaidi. Faith-Based Violence and Deobandi Militancy in Pakistan. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2016. Thursby, Gene R. Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India: A Study of Controversy, Conflict and Communal Movements in Northern India, 1923–1928. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975. van der Veer, Peter. Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. Viswanathan, Gauri. Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. Walsh, Declan. “Pakistan MP Sherry Rehman Drops Effort to Reform Blasphemy Laws.” The Guardian, February  3, 2011. pakistan-blasphemy-laws-sherry-rehman. Zulifkar, Farhan. Ghazi Illum-ud-Din Shaheed. Lahore: Tareef Printers, 2008.

2 Blasphemy, apostasy, and heresy and the politics of outrage

Junaid Hafeez: a homo sacer? Let us now observe the life of homo sacer. . . . He has been excluded from the religious community and from all political life: he cannot participate in the rites of his gens, nor (if he has been declared infamis et intestabilis) can he perform any juridically valid act. What is more, his entire existence is reduced to a bare life stripped of every right by virtue of the fact that anyone can kill him without committing homicide; he can save himself only in perpetual flight or a foreign land. And yet he is in a continuous relationship with the power that banished him precisely insofar as he is at every instant exposed to an unconditioned threat of death. He is pure zoē, but his zoē is as such caught in the sovereign ban and must reckon with it at every moment, finding the best way to elude or deceive it. In this sense, no life, as exiles and bandits know well, is more ‘political’ than his.1

Perhaps it was the fact that Junaid Hafeez, the young man accused of blasphemy, also liked Love in the Time of Cholera, one of my favorite novels; or maybe it was because he came from the ‘backward’ region of Western Punjab, excelled academically, and was admitted into one of the best medical colleges, but after three years decided to give up the much-coveted prize of a medical degree to study English literature; or maybe it was his thin frame, handsome face and youth that reminded me of my son and therefore made me feel deeply for his plight.2 Whatever the attraction, here I was looking around nervously in a cavernous restaurant in Multan to check for any gunmen hiding behind the rotund columns as I talked to Shahbaz Gurmani, Junaid Hafeez’s lawyer. Hafeez’s first lawyer, Rashid Rahman, had been gunned down a year previously, and unknown assailants had also fired several shots at Gurmani’s house.3 In a three-hour interview, Gurmani told me a tangled tale of professional jealousies, personal vendettas, and petty academic politics. He described a toxic brew of piety, commerce, and sectarianism that could conjure up a crowd of angry men in an hour, and police authorities who take those accused of blasphemy into ‘protective custody’ and are compelled to lodge a ‘First Information Report’ (FIR) which condemns most of those accused of blasphemy to lengthy prison stays, even before their case is heard by the courts.4 Here are the bare facts as they were

46  The politics of outrage told me by his lawyer: Hafeez was a temporary lecturer in the English department at Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) in Multan, where he was also completing his MPhil in English literature. His thesis advisor and mentor, Professor Shirin Zubair, was contesting University Syndicate elections in which she was pitted against someone who had the support of the Islamists on campus. Hafeez was actively campaigning for Zubair; he had also emerged as a well-liked lecturer who challenged orthodoxies and encouraged his students to think critically. One day, pamphlets were distributed among the students at BZU that claimed to show evidence of blasphemy committed by Hafeez and Zubair. Soon there was a crowd shouting slogans against the two and demanding that the university take action. Zubair left the city in a hurry, and then left the country. Hafeez was counseled to leave too; he boarded the bus to Lahore but was arrested at the bus station. The police lodged an FIR against him; out of thousands of lawyers in Multan, only Rashid Rahman, who was known for his advocacy of landless laborers and work for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), stepped forward. He was threatened by some fellow lawyers, who told him to stop defending Hafeez or he would face dire consequences. He was assassinated within a year of taking up the case. Reading online discussions by the students of BZU gives a glimpse of a fractious cultural landscape, wherein some saw Hafeez as a brave teacher taken down by cowardly opponents, and others saw him as an arrogant agitator who trampled over the religious sensibilities of his students by making fun of God and the Prophet. Facebook became a character in the story; students debated questions such as what the ‘Like’ button on Facebook really signifies (does it mean you like what is being said or does it mean you want discussion over the matter?). Gurmani, with an air of despair, pointed out that there was no investigation of the claim that Hafeez was responsible for uploading scurrilous material about the Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page. Hafeez has been living in a solitary confinement for the past three years. His father travels two hundred kilometers every Monday to see him, and his mother has stopped attending any weddings and cannot sleep through the night.5 His court hearings are regularly postponed, and the lawyer can see no end to his judicial confinement anytime soon. There are dozens of prisoners accused of blasphemy living in solitary cells and waiting for their day in court. There were few cases of blasphemy before the mid1980s; but by the late 1980s, Muslims, Ahmadis, and Christians were increasingly ensnared in accusations of blasphemy. The most notorious cases that tend to grab headlines around the world involve Christians accused of insulting the Prophet under Pakistan Penal Code 295-C. However, since 2015, some of the most wellknown victims of blasphemy accusations have been Muslim religious scholars.6

Blasphemy, heresy, apostasy, and defamation of religion: in search of public order For modern Muslim nation-states, Islam constitutes a central pillar of public order, building legitimacy for the state and managing the religious passions of its

The politics of outrage 47 population. Hussein Agrama argues that “the notion of public order is involved in constituting and authorizing social life more broadly and more intimately, and that this, in turn, evokes the state’s in-principle right and responsibility to regulate more broadly and more intimately.”7 From this perspective a ‘secular’ state’s ban on wearing a headscarf in public schools is not fundamentally different from a ‘religious’ state’s injunction that women must cover their heads in public. Thus, the fundamental constitutional right of freedom of religion is often not simple in practice. In both instances the state is drawing boundaries around what is permissibly religious and dictating what might otherwise be seen as individuals’ rights to decide what they wear. One way modern nation-states have managed religion is by making a distinction between freedom to believe and freedom to practice. But as Saba Mahmood has pointed out, the “distinction between private religious belief (forum internum) and its public manifestation (forum externum) allows the state mechanisms to regulate the lives of religious minorities in ways that could be highly intrusive, inconsistent and at times down-right absurd.”8 In this chapter, I want to explicate the liberal constitutional dynamic which, far from protecting religious minorities or individuals like Junaid Hafeez, creates a void that has meant that those accused of blasphemy have been “reduced to bare life stripped of every right.”

What is the meaning of Pakistan? Many of those who were horrified by the brutal murder of Governor Taseer, as well as by the persecution of religious minorities through the misuse of blasphemy ordinances in Pakistan, longingly recalled what they deemed to be the secular vision of Muhamad Ali Jinnah, the ‘founding father’ of Pakistan, in the words he spoke at the first Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly: You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England, conditions some time ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. . . . Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. . . . Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus, and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.9 The dwindling liberal secular voices in the public arena in Pakistan stress the last four sentences of the above quotation, but I included the longer version because I  want to draw attention to Jinnah’s rather optimistic assumption that a liberal

48  The politics of outrage constitutional polity would triumph over religious distinctions. It may seem ironic that the man who had led a movement to create the first Muslim nation-state was now counseling his fellow citizens to throw religion out of public life. Faisal Devji contends that Jinnah was influenced by the liberal enlightenment idea that, through force of will, a people can overcome the limitations of history, culture, and geography to usher in a new future.10 “Unity, Faith, and Discipline,” Jinnah’s credo, was intended to provide the Muslims of the subcontinent the power to overcome their current backwardness, and to leap into a bright future. The ‘faith’ Jinnah relied on was not religious, but rather referred to the certainty that a different, more progressive future was possible. When Jinnah did engage in ‘religious talk,’ as he did in the 1939 Eid message, he reminded the substantial number of Muslims who had given him the title of Great Leader (Quaid-i-Azam) that “no injunction is considered by our holy Prophet more imperative or more divinely binding than the devout but supreme realization of our duty of love and toleration towards all other beings.”11 Jinnah was not alone in his optimistic view that, since Muslims had now achieved a separate homeland, they should contain religion to their private lives and get on with the business of creating a viable and secular (progressive) state. In general, those who were charged with running this newly created homeland for the Muslims of South Asia – the famed civil servants trained by the British and the top leadership of the Muslim League – were fearful of the religious passions of the masses, were intent on containing such passions, and were hopeful that they could use religious sentiments for good purposes, such as creating educated, tolerant, patriotic Muslims. Growing up in Pakistan, one often hears a slogan in Urdu that asks: “What is the meaning of Pakistan?” The answer is provided by the recitation (profession of faith) of kalyma: There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God. As I discussed in Chapter One, the British colonial government had used the recitation of kalyma as the legal criterion for determining who was a Muslim. By 1974, as a constitutional amendment was proposed to declare Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority, kalyma could no longer provide a coherent framework for a common Muslim national identity.12 By this time, South Asian Muslims had been vigorously debating matters related to faith for over a century and a half. The last five decades of colonial rule in India (1890–1940) witnessed the emergence of a vibrant public arena with multiple groups debating what to bring from the Islamic past to inform the present and future of Muslims in the subcontinent. Many of these groups did not support the idea of a separate Muslim nation-state in the Indian subcontinent. Attaullah Shah Bukhari, the leader of the Ahrar political party, for example, was a staunch opponent of the Muslim League, the party that was spearheading the fight for a separate homeland for Muslims. The creation of a Muslim nation-state was a novel project that raised many questions about the nature of both the nation and the state. What made Muslims a nation? If it was their religion, then what was the status of religious minorities? Given the exceptionally pluralistic Islam in South Asia, did this Muslim nation include all maslaks? What kind of a state would Pakistan be? How must one construct an

The politics of outrage 49 Islamic state out of the administrative and representative institutional infrastructure inherited from the colonial rule? In his address to the first session of the Constituent Assembly of the newly created Pakistan, Lord Mountbatten reminded the assembly of the commitment made by the leadership of India and Pakistan to: safeguard the legitimate interests of all citizens, irrespective of religion, caste, or sex. In the exercise of their normal civic rights all citizens will be regarded as equal and both Governments will assure to all people within their territories the exercise of liberties such as freedom of speech, the right to form associations, the right to worship in their own way and the protection of their language and culture.13 Mountbatten then appealed to Muslim history: “May I  remind you that at the time when the East India Company received its Charter, nearly four centuries ago, your great Emperor Akbar was on the throne, whose reign was marked by ­perhaps as great a degree of political and religious tolerance, as has been known before – or since.”14 Jinnah had a reminder of his own for Mountbatten: in his response as the President of the Constituent Assembly he pointed out that: The tolerance and good-will that the great Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians handsomely after he had conquered them. He showed to them the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs.15 Two concepts became foundational for Pakistan as a Muslim or an Islamic state: the Sovereignty of God and the Repugnancy Clause (the principle that no laws ought to be passed that are repugnant to Islam). “Sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone,” was the headline in the largest English daily newspaper in Pakistan on March 2, 1949.16 This rather startling headline was referring to the ‘Objectives Resolution’ passed by the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan as a statement of principles that would guide the formation of the constitution.17 The Constituent Assembly was made up of members elected during the 1946 elections, which meant that it had several elected Hindu representatives from the Congress party, making it one of the more religiously diverse assemblies compared to what came later. The Assembly debated the Objectives Resolution for five days, with the non-Muslim members actively participating and proposing several amendments. Eventually, however, all amendments were rejected and the Resolution passed with all of the Muslim members voting in favor and the non-Muslim members voting against it. Mr. Bhupendra Kumar Datta, a Bengali politician, proposed most of the amendments. The gist of the opposition was that mixing religion with politics was a dangerous idea, that there was no consensus regarding what sharia was and who should interpret it, that the resolution was

50  The politics of outrage empowering the state rather than the people of Pakistan, and that it was discriminatory towards non-Muslims. Most of the enthusiastic proponents of the Objectives Resolution saw it as a revolutionary document that “may prove to be a laboratory for the purpose of demonstrating to the world that Islam is not only a progressive force in the world, but it also provides remedies for many of the ills from which humanity has been suffering.” The resolution would enable Pakistan to create an enlightened polity because: “It is God-consciousness alone which can save humanity, which means that all power that humanity possesses must be used in accordance with ethical standards which have been laid down by inspired teachers known to us as the great Prophets of different religions.”18 Several speakers proclaimed that there was no possibility of creating a theocracy in an Islamic state because Islam did not recognize “either priesthood or any sacerdotal authority.”19 They argued that the recognition of the sovereignty of God is the only way to prevent the ‘deification of the State.’20 The supporters were vehement in their denial that the Objectives Resolution would result in discrimination against religious minorities. “It gives the minorities a very great guarantee, a very strong security, against the tyranny of the majority, because the majority who happens to be in power will have to exercise this authority as a sacred trust from one who is the Sovereign of the minorities and of the majority.”21 Minorities were urged to not equate bad behavior of Muslims with the true nature of Islam. “[The] Muslims have, during their period of decline, earned for themselves an unenviable reputation for intolerance. But that is not the fault of Islam. Islam has, from the beginning, proclaimed and inculcated the widest tolerance.”22 Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, the representative of the ulama, maintained a forward-looking posture towards the resolution. Quoting Jinnah rather than classical Islamic jurists, he asserted that: “The loftiest ideal before the Islamic State is to rise above all geographical, racial, national, professional, and sectarian prejudices and to form a Government on the highest principles of humanity.” Contrary to other Muslim members, however, he also pointed out: It is evident that a State which is founded on some principles, be it theocratic or secular (like the USSR), can be run only by those who believe in those principles. People who do not subscribe to those ideas may have a place in the administrative machinery of the State but they cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of framing the general policy of the State or dealing with matters vital to its safety and integrity.23 He also made an indirect reference to the status of non-Muslims as zimmis by asserting that “non-Muslims should not be burdened with taxes which they cannot afford to pay.”24 There was a remarkable sense of optimism regarding the potential hidden in the Objectives Resolution for creating a tolerant, democratic, and liberal polity. So soaring was the rhetoric that it led Begum Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah to say: “There has been a tendency in some of our speeches already to

The politics of outrage 51 give ourselves cries of deliverers of mankind and saviors of the world. . . . Let us not parade our superiority till we have become superior.”25 Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, wanted to reassure the international community that the passage of the Objectives Resolution recognizing the sovereignty of God should not be misunderstood as a step towards creating a ‘sectarian’ and ‘intolerant theocratic’ society, since “democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, equality before the law of all citizens, irrespective of race or creed, are also articles of faith with us.”26 Thus, for most of the leaders of the Muslim League, the passage of the Objectives Resolution was seen as a forward movement, indeed as the creation of an ideal polity that would be informed by the ‘spirit’ of Islam without being chained to specific laws or institutions of the Islamic past. I.H. Qureshi, who became a minister of law in 1954, insisted that Islam is not a code of certain rigid laws or even legal concepts  .  .  . but a dynamic force, a concept of life, not of law, guidance for the springs of thought and actions and not a static code of actions. In other words, Islam is a live and dynamic ideology and not a dead, unprogressive, and static collection of injunctions and prohibitions. It requires a new interpretation at every stage of our development and cannot be content merely with precedents and past usages.27 However, the declaration that sovereignty belongs to God did not address the fundamental question facing Pakistan at this point: what kind of political community would it be? Who belongs to this community, and who is outside of it? No doubt India was facing some of the same questions regarding its national identity, but for Pakistan this issue was more tangled, and the resources available to construct a sense of nationhood were more meager, than what was available to India. The creation of Pakistan was a fantastic achievement for the Muslim League’s leadership; it was both impressive and unbelievable, prompting Jinnah to declare: “This mighty sub-continent with all kinds of inhabitants has been brought under a plan which is titanic, unknown, unparalleled.”28 The majority of the Muslim League’s top leadership came from ‘Muslim minority’ provinces of India, and with the creation of Pakistan they had come to govern areas of the subcontinent where they had no cultural roots or political constituencies. They had argued that Hindus and Muslims constitute two separate nations and thus must have their own states, but millions of Muslims continued to live in the ‘Hindu’ state of India, and the possibility that all of them would come streaming into Pakistan was a nightmare given the already unfolding human tragedy of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Punjab, where millions were forced to leave their ancestral homes and move because overnight they found themselves on the wrong side of the newly created nationstate boundaries.29 Then there was the implausible shape of the new country: two wings, East and West, separated by a thousand miles. In 1948, as the first governor-general of Pakistan, Jinnah in a radio broadcast to the Australian people said that students

52  The politics of outrage from abroad must wonder: “How can there be unity of government between areas so widely separated?” His answer was that it was “faith in Almighty God, in ourselves, and in our destiny.”30 But faith, if understood as belief in God or iman, was not enough to keep the two wings together. East Pakistan, with 55 percent of the population, refused to play second fiddle to West Pakistan (Punjab), which became the political center of the new country. Before the partition of the Indian subcontinent, the Muslim League’s politics centered on protecting the rights of Muslim minorities from the ‘tyranny of the majority’ through institutional means such as separate electorates and weightage. After partition, and in view of the lacerating reality of violence, rape, and the displacement of religious minorities in Indian and Pakistan, the protection of minorities became an even more pressing matter. But the Hindu members of the Constituent Assembly, most of them from East Pakistan and therefore determined to advocate not only as religious minorities but also from their position as part of the numerical majority of Bengalis, argued that what they wanted was not separate electorates but rather the recognition that they were loyal citizens of Pakistan. The leadership of the Muslim League was eager to extend equal rights to minorities in order to squash any criticism emanating from their political foes that they had created an intolerant polity that would not accommodate non-Muslims as equal citizens. However, the stubborn logic of electoral math became a hurdle in this desire to treat all inhabitants as equal citizens. East Pakistan not only had the numerical majority, it also contained the majority of the non-Muslim inhabitants of the new country, since most Hindus and Sikhs had fled West Punjab and Sind.31 This meant that the claim of equal treatment for all, as expressed by one-person one-vote, could have had a direct and decisive impact upon the Bengali representation in the National Assembly. The Muslim League had been fighting for a separate electorate under the British since 1906 on the grounds that under a common electoral system, Muslims had slim chances of gaining any seats. But now the Hindu minority was refusing separate electorates, which they saw as a sign of ‘less than equal’ status. As one Hindu member of the Constituent Assembly put it: “we want to be united with you. We want that there should be one electoral roll for both the Hindus and Muslims. This will accelerate the growth of a nation, i.e., the growth of Pakistan.”32 However, the Muslim League in East Bengal feared that Hindu politicians would have considerable leverage in the Provincial Assembly under a joint electorate, and they would use that leverage against their traditional foes, the Muslim League. The non-Muslim religious minorities were most concerned about their status as equal citizens in Pakistan after the passage of the Objectives Resolution, but the greatest challenge to the public order came from the ‘Ahmadiyya question,’ which created an entanglement between heresy and blasphemy in ways that sacralized the blasphemy statutes and made a whole community vulnerable, its members potential “homo sacer, reduced to bare life stripped of every right.” In the following section I describe the first set of riots focused on the demand that the Ahmadiyya community be declared non-Muslim. This picks up on the theme introduced in the last chapter: intense competition among various maslaks for a share of the

The politics of outrage 53 Islamic public sphere. Now, however, this competition was taking place within an ostensibly Islamic state. But the sordid history of anathematizing the Ahmadiyya community has very little to do with Islamic history and a great deal to do with the gap that a liberal constitutional framework leaves between the demands of public order and the freedom of religion.

An Islamic state and the making of a pariah community The so-called ‘Punjab Disturbances,’33 a term given to agitation demanding that Ahmadis be declared non-Muslim, is one of the pivotal moments in shaping the contours of the ‘Islamic State’ in Pakistan. The ulama and Islamists who had opposed the Muslim League’s movement for Pakistan were on the defensive, and none more so than Ataullah Shah Bukhari, the leader of the Ahrar political party.34 Never large in numbers, Ahrar had nevertheless played a significant role in the urban politics of the Punjab since the 1920s, riding on the charisma of Bukhari and a reliance on highly confrontational politics. Deprived of half of its cadres with the partition of the Punjab, and under the constant surveillance of the CID (Central Intelligence Department) because the bureaucracy saw them as agents of the Indian state, Ahrar seemed destined for the dustbin of history while its arch adversary, the Ahmadiyya community, was faring well in the new country. The Ahmadis had bought a large tract of land in Punjab to create a city of their own, Rabwa, and the second-most powerful man in government was their own: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Zafarullah Khan. Though never as high as their opponents suggested, the Ahmadis were well-represented within the prestigious civil service and the higher ranks of the military. To address this ‘intolerable’ situation, in 1949 Ahrar declared itself a nonpolitical organization that would concentrate on a purely religious matters and whose central mission would be khattem-e-nubawat (End of Prophecy with Prophet Muhammad). For the next three years, Ahrar held variety of tablighi (missionary) gatherings meant to make the nation aware of the danger posed by the Ahmadis to Islam and to Pakistan. When millions of people were still living in refugee camps and there was a strong sentiment that the property evacuated by the Hindus and Sikhs who had fled to India was given out based on political connections rather than on need, Ahrar ceaselessly propagated the view that Ahmadis had bought thousands of acres of land at a ridiculously low price in order to create an exclusive city of their own. Bukhari, in his fiery speeches, pointed out that all Ahmadis swear allegiance to their spiritual leader (Kalifa), and claimed that therefore Ahmadis can never be truly loyal to the state. These allegations had great traction in the tumultuous post-partition years when everything appeared to be disorderly and chaotic. Jinnah, the founding father, had died within a year of partition, by 1950 there had already been a failed coup, and Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951. Ahrar’s more colorful claims that the Ahmadis were training paramilitary forces in their city to eventually take over the government of Pakistan gained greater credibility when in May 1952, the Ahmadi Foreign Minister, Zafarullah Khan, attended the annual

54  The politics of outrage gathering of the Ahmadiyya community as the chief guest and speaker. Opponents organized a gathering of their own within two weeks of the Ahmadi meeting, and for the first time since Ahrar had started their agitation against the Ahmadis, the ulama and the Islamists presented a united front and organized a committee (Majlis-i-ʻAmal) which demanded that the Ahmadis should be declared nonMuslim and should be removed from important government positions, while their city, Rabwa, should be opened to all Muslims. The committee presented a united front of all maslaks and religio-political parties and promised to launch a ­country-wide ‘direct action’ movement to ensure that their demands were met by the government. By the end of March 1953, dozens of people had been killed, hundreds injured, a police officer lynched, a soldier killed by a bomb, and the city of Lahore put under martial law. Three prominent figures including Maududi, the founder and leader of the Islamist party, were given death sentences for their role in what came to be known in the bureaucratic parlance as the ‘Punjab Disturbances.’ The drama of these ‘disturbances’ played out in the inner city of Lahore, in the same neighborhood where Illum-ud-Din had heard a fiery speech and decided to take Rajpal’s life. This was the same neighborhood where in the mid-1930s the Shahidganj mosque agitation had brought thousands of Muslims into the streets to protest the ‘appropriation’ of the mosque by Sikhs, and where Ahrar had challenged the Barelvi leadership of the protest by cooperating with the police to force them out of public meetings.35 Some of the law enforcement officers managing this anti-Ahmadi agitation remembered the lessons of the Shahidganj protest and did not want to enter the narrow alleyways of the Walled City in case of rioting. They were willing to use the inner city neighborhood as a safety valve as long as the protest did not spill out to other parts of the city.36 The bureaucratic elite had raised concerns about Ahrar’s activities earlier and were feeling vindicated that they had a better formula for managing religious passions. The Home Secretary had worried in 1951 about “ignorant people cutting each other’s throats,” and in 1952 warned that The orthodoxy of the Ahmadis is heterodoxy of the non-Ahmadis. . . . Is it the intention to make this country a battlefield for warring groups and religions with the ultimate object that the vanquished will either perish or will be converted? The hydra which the Ahrar are trying to raise should be killed before it is hatched otherwise it will devour our freedom and all else that we cherish.37 Unlike the bureaucrats, who maintained an imperial distance from the ‘religious passions of the masses,’ politicians faced a more complex political calculus. The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab were political rivals who understood that the agitation around the Ahmadi issue provided them with opportunities and risks. The accounts of the time often mention the Prime Minister’s personal piety and sympathy with the anti-Ahmadi ulama. As a liberal constitutionalist, the Prime Minister had to show the world that there was freedom of religion for

The politics of outrage 55 Ahmadis, but as a devout Muslim he felt that the ulama were right in their stance that Ahmadis were not Muslims. A way out of this conundrum was suggested by a confidential communiqué issued by the Prime Minister’s house. Invoking section 298 of the Penal Code, it suggested that the claim of Mirza Ghulum Ahmad (founder of the Ahmadis) to be both a Muslim and a Prophet insults the religious feelings of Muslims, and therefore the propagation of this message should be banned.38 The Punjab Chief Minister, Daultana, emerges as a Machiavellian figure in this story; he either actively fanned the flames of the agitation against the Ahmadis or passively watched his province become engulfed by sectarian conflagrations because his chief concern was to protect his political base. An inquiry commission consisting of two judges, Munir and Kiyani, held hearings on the causes of the Punjab Disturbances. Their report, based on the testimony of witnesses as well as thousands of pages of written statements, hundreds of books, pamphlets, journals, and newspaper articles, became a noteworthy document in the annals of government management of religion.39 The judges found that the hesitant, equivocal, and vacillating response of the politicians – in the face of increasing religious agitation – was the principal reason for the riots. In contrast to unreasonable ulama and unprincipled politicians, the Report’s state-centered law-and-order narrative portrays bureaucrats and the civil administration as the voice of reason.40 The justices decided to write a lengthy account describing what it means to be an Islamic state and to be a Muslim, and concluded that the ulama were unable to guide Muslims in these matters because they lacked a clear definition of who is a Muslim. The haughty stance taken by the Munir/Kiyani inquiry towards the ulama and the Islamists united these otherwise fractious maslaks. Put together in a jail in Lahore, the ulama and Islamists showed “a rare display of sectarian harmony,” debating their differences in friendly manner and participating in the rituals of rival maslaks they had often excoriated as unorthodox.41 The Munir/Kiyani charge that Islamic scholars could not agree on the fundamentals of faith had a lasting impact. A rhetorical stance taken by groups supporting Pakistan’s blasphemy laws is to insist that there is no debate about their position in Islamic jurisprudence. In meeting the standard of modern legal procedures, these groups imposed fixity and uniformity on a tradition that was historically defined by its contingency, plurality, and diversity. Another lasting legacy of the Munir/Kiyani report came from its demand that rather than leaving it to the ulama to define who is a Muslim, the state should take the lead and provide clear criteria for defining the boundaries of the Muslim community. This was asking for trouble. First came the constitutional amendment of 1974 that declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslim for legal and constitutional purposes, then came the expansion of the blasphemy statutes to make the constitutional amendment justiciable, then came the question of balancing the rights of Ahmadis as a religious minority that claimed to be Muslim with the claim

56  The politics of outrage of the Muslim majority that they own Islam – all of this leading the state and the nation down a rabbit hole that has made it impossible to reform a loosely written and badly implemented set of laws. To set the scene for the exceptionally problematic politics of blasphemy in Pakistan we now turn to an examination of these laws in three other Muslim countries: Indonesia, Egypt, and Turkey. I  will then use the example of Tunisia to show that under certain circumstances Islamist parties are willing to give greater grounds to freedom of expression.

Blasphemy laws in comparative perspective For those who would see a ‘clash of civilizations’ between Islam and the West, the battle between the freedom of speech cherished by the West against the demand for the protection of religious sensibilities by the Muslim world illustrates the most recent iteration of this clash. Although Pakistan has become the poster child for the abuse of blasphemy laws, Indonesia is a close second and Egypt is often in the headlines, while recently even Turkey has joined the fray. The blasphemy controversy fits snugly into what Amelie Blom describes as “the game of Spotting the Islamic Rage Boy” – a bearded young man with raised fists and blazing eyes – “shouting frenzied slogans against the ‘Danish cartoon,’ the Pope’s salvo on Islam, Israeli repression in Palestine, and the granting of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, etc.”42 For the ‘clash of civilizations’ discourse it matters little where on the Muslim landscape the Rage Boy is standing, since Islam represents an essentially illiberal and anti-modern Other. But the roots of blasphemy laws sprout out of the Western Christian heritage, and the charge of ‘defamation of religion’ traces its origin to liberal constitutional mechanisms used to manage religion. The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life defines blasphemy as “remarks or actions contemptuous of God or the divine,” apostasy as “abandoning one’s faith, including by converting to another religion,” and defamation as “defamation of religion or hate speech against members of religious groups.” A 2011 report by Pew finds that almost half of the countries in the world have laws governing one or two or all three of these on the books. 32 countries penalize blasphemy; other than eight European countries and Singapore, all the rest are Muslim-majority countries. All 20 countries penalizing apostasy are Muslim-majority countries, but laws against defamation of religion comprise the largest category, and are spread in all four corners of the world.43 It is not surprising that laws against defamation or hate speech are most prevalent, because they tend to fit within the liberal constitutional project of balancing religious freedom, protecting minorities, and limiting speech that may incite violence. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) grants ‘public order’ and ‘national security’ exceptions to the signatories when it comes to freedom of expression, allowing that “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedom of others.”44 The UN Human Rights Committee has issued several comments and

The politics of outrage 57 clarifications to ensure that “the domestic laws of acceding nations may restrict freedoms of religion and expression only for the non-discriminatory neutral purpose of protecting their citizens.”45 First, it is important to acknowledge that the existence of blasphemy statutes may or may not have political relevance. In the United States, anti-blasphemy laws remain on the books in a few states, but the Supreme Court has declared blasphemy bans to be unconstitutional.46 In Indonesia and Pakistan, the blasphemy statutes have been on the books for decades, but it has only been since the 1990s that they have frequently been invoked. What made blasphemy a clash of values between the West and the Islamic world has much to do with a series of high-­ profile events that grabbed international attention. It started with the hullabaloo over Salman Rushdie’s publication of Satanic Verses, and then predictably every so often an event like the 2005 Danish cartoon, or the 2012 release of the film Innocence of Muslims, or the Charlie Hebdo shootings in 2015 roils the water, and in some but not all Muslim countries we see protests and sometimes rioting, and the coming together of free speech advocates and Christian right-wing groups as warriors on the side of Western values. This perpetual ‘outrage machine’47 connects to political agendas in both the Muslim world and the West, but here I confine myself to the discussion of four Muslim countries. In Turkey, which has had decades of assertive state control over religion, along with a project of westernizing Islam, there are no blasphemy or apostasy statutes, but there are codes punishing the defamation of religion. Article 216, section three of the Penal Code states: “Any person who openly disrespects the religious belief of a group is punished with imprisonment from six months to one year if such act causes potential risk for public peace.”48 In the last several years this statute has been occasionally used to bring charges against prominent artists or journalists. One such prosecution occurred in 2013, when the famous pianist and atheist Fazil Say was charged with insulting Islamic values in Twitter messages. Given that Turkey is ruled by the Islamist AKP party, the recent prosecutions have revived fears that Islamists are showing their true anti-democratic and anti-free speech colors. However, I see no reasons why Erdoğan’s turn towards authoritarianism

Table 2.1 Percentage of Countries with Penalties for Blasphemy, Apostasy, and Defamation of Religion in 2011 Countries

Blasphemy Apostasy Defamation of Religion

Americas (35 countries) 0% Asia-Pacific (50 countries) 18% Europe (45 countries) 18% Middle East-North Africa (20 countries) 65% Sub-Saharan Africa (48 countries) 4%

0% 10% 0% 55% 8%

17% 34% 80% 75% 27%

World Total (198 countries)




Defamation of religion also includes religious hate speech. Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life

58  The politics of outrage needs an ‘Islamic’ explanation: leaders feeding on popular discontent in order to consolidate power are to be found in many parts of the non-Muslim world too. The blowback of the Syrian civil war and the European Union’s dithering in granting Turkey member status have greater explanatory power in making sense of Erdoğan’s authoritarian turn than does Islamic ideology. The anti-AKP forces tend to remember a more secular and therefore a tolerant and democratic past, but the reality is that Turkey was hardly a consolidated democracy before AKP, and the secularists have not been tolerant of their more religious fellow citizens. Mustafa Akyol points out that “Fazil Say is not the only Turkish citizen who was found guilty of violating Article 216. In 2009, a group of crude nationalists who put a sign on the door of their ‘cultural association’ that read ‘Jews and Armenians cannot enter, (but) dogs are free to enter’ were also found guilty of violating Article 216.”49 For our purposes, Turkey provides an example where the state has consolidated its capacity to speak authoritatively on Islam, including what constitutes defamation of religion. Egypt provides an instance of a more tangled engagement with issues of apostasy, blasphemy, and defamation of religion, but compared to Pakistan the Egyptian state has demonstrated a greater ability to prevent Islamists and others from challenging its authority. The most notorious and consequential case of apostasy prosecution took a circuitous route, revealing the complexity resulting from taking bits and pieces of classical sharia to create a modern Islamic state. Nasr Abu Zayd, a Professor of Islamic Studies at Cairo University, was denied promotion, which resulted in a contentious debate between his supporters and detractors. Some of those who opposed his promotion argued that his writings make him an apostate, and as such his marriage to a Muslim woman must be dissolved. They filed a court case against him under an Islamic principle called hisba – an individual and collective duty to command the good and forbid evil. I will discuss the transformation in the practice of hisba in the next chapter, suffice it here to point out that using this practice to declare Professor Abu Zayd an apostate was a novel application of this principle. The Court of Appeals convicted Abu Zayd, who then appealed to the Court of Cassation, which upheld the conviction. The court’s decision created tremendous anxiety because, as Agrama points out, “What was most stunning was its declaration that hisba was the duty of all Muslim citizens, who should, out of the public interest and to protect the public order, raise a case in court anytime a wrong in society becomes manifest.”50 Realizing the potentially destabilizing consequence of the Abu Zayd decision, the Egyptian parliament subsequently limited the use of hisba to public officials only. The citizenship status of Bahá’ís has raised yet another set of conundrums for the Egyptian state.51 The problem arises with the requirement that all Egyptians must have a national identity card, an essential document for employment, property exchange, marriage, divorce, etc. The identity card lists the religion of the holder, but Bahá’í is not a recognized religion. Like the status of Ahmadis in Pakistan as citizens yet an anathematized religious minority, the civil status of Bahá’ís in Egypt created an irresolvable tension for a group of people who are seen as apostates by many Sunni Muslims, yet can claim constitutional protection

The politics of outrage 59 given to religious minorities in Egyptian constitution. The tension arises from “the difficulties involved in negotiating between the secular civil-law tradition that informs most of Egyptian law and the Islamic concepts and practices that permeate the state’s various legal administrative bodies.”52 I will explore this issue in greater detail later in this chapter. Coptic Christians are recognized in the sharia framework as ahl-e-kitab (People of the Book) ensuring them a protected status compared to the Bahá’ís, but this has not put to rest the question of religious freedom and citizenship rights within this community. One characteristic of most modern Muslim nation-states is that sharia is confined to questions of marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In Egypt this is the case, and religious minorities are to be governed by their own civil laws when it comes to such issues. The difficulty arises, as it often does, when men and women of the two faiths want to marry each other. The Egyptian state does not recognize a Muslim woman’s marriage to a non-Muslim, but a Muslim man can marry a Christian woman. “A wide cross-section of Copts, lay and clerics alike, understand this law to be a violation of the sanctity of the Christian family, and view Coptic women’s conversion to Islam as the channel through which their faith is being depleted.”53 Another source of controversy lies in the fact that the Coptic Church prohibits divorce, leading some men to ‘convert’ to Islam in order to get a divorce. The Ministry of Interior refused to change the religious status from Muslim to Christian for the good number of these men who went back to their original faith. The case of the ‘returnees’ was taken up by the Coptic Church, with Pope Shenouda telling President Mubarak “the Church wanted its sons back.”54 The Supreme Administrative Court decided that “In the interest of maintaining public order, the court prohibits the Ministry of Interior from refusing to list the returnees’ religion as ‘Christianity’ because this will lead to social complications and to that which the shari’a rejects, such as the possible marriage of an apostate (murtad) to a Muslim woman, which is prohibited in the shari’a.”55 All this points to what Agrama has called the ‘active principle of secularism,’ the ability of modern states to define what is ‘religious,’ which in turn creates confusion over whether religious freedom is a fundamental norm or an exception meant to maintain public order, and “whether it is based in a secular principle of religious freedom, or in Islamic precepts on protections for specific faiths.”56 Compared to Turkey, Egypt, and even to Pakistan, the Indonesian state has made the most explicit claim for defining religious identities. ‘Pancasila,’ the framework of the national ideology, puts belief in God as the first tenet of what it means to be an Indonesian. Making a distinction between ‘mystical sects’ (aliran kepercayaa) and ‘religion’ (agama) the state seeks to protect the orthodoxy of religion against mysticism and internal and external heresies, thereby drawing lines between mere categories of belief versus ‘real’ religions. As the largest Muslim country in the world, with nearly 87 percent of its 261 million people categorized as Muslim, Indonesia is also the most pluralistic Muslim country, with a substantial number of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. There are six officially recognized religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism,

60  The politics of outrage and Confucianism. Indonesia has laws regulating blasphemy and defamation of religion but not apostasy. In 1965, a presidential decree on the ‘Prevention of the Misuse/Insulting of a Religion’ was introduced by President Sukarno (1945–1967) at a time when he was mobilizing support both at home and abroad against neighboring Malaysia and its British ally. The decree stated: Every person shall be prohibited from deliberately before the public telling, encouraging, or soliciting public support for making an interpretation of a religion adhered to in Indonesia or performing religious activities resembling the activities of such religion when the interpretation and activities are deviant from the principle teachings of such religion.57 At least for a short period, President Sukarno was able to bring the Islamists, ulama, and Trade Unions together to declare their support for his “broader agenda of revolution, confrontation (with Malaysia and UK), earning him the title of ‘Champion of Islam and Freedom in Asia and Africa’ from the leaders of thirtytwo countries of the Non-Aligned Movement.”58 In 1967, President Sukarno was overthrown by General Suharto with the help of British and American spy agencies in one of the bloodiest coups in history, in which an estimated one million people may have been killed as ‘communist sympathizers.’ In 1969, President Suharto ‘strengthened and upgraded’59 the blasphemy code from a presidential decree to the status of a law. The Minister of Religion, the Attorney General, and the Minister of Home Affairs were empowered to investigate and warn a person or organization, and if the deviant act continued, the president could ban the group and the person could be imprisoned for up to five years. From 1966 to 1998, fewer than ten cases were brought before the court under the blasphemy law, but since then there has been a significant increase in accusations of, and convictions for, violating the law. In 1979, a national Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society was created with representatives from the Ministry of Religion, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Office of the Attorney General to investigate religious groups for ‘deviant’ teaching, which led to the banning of 29 groups, although some of those bans were reversed after 1998.60 The end of the New Order and the introduction of democracy led to pushing these investigations to regional and local levels. Since 1998, over 50 bans have been issued at a regional level.61 Melissa Crouch attributes the rise in blasphemy cases since 1998 to the ‘judicialization’ of religious disputes, which results in an “increase in the use of the law and the courts to resolve disputes that arise between religious communities, or to challenge state policies on religion.”62 The post-New Order democratization in Indonesia has produced two contradictory trends: on the one hand, there is a broader scope for freedom of expression, but on the other hand, a new vista has opened up for religious groups claiming to guard the orthodoxy from deviant practices. Along with official agencies and semi-official ulama organizations, the MUI (Council of Indonesian Ulama) has taken a greater role

The politics of outrage 61 in ferreting out heresies. A body that was created during the New Order to tame Muslim opposition has successfully shifted its role to one of monitoring state officials and demanding that its dictates be followed. MUI originally issued a fatwa declaring Ahmadis heretical but promised to ‘always consult with the government’ and asked for no specific action by the government. By 2005, MUI had become strident in its tone, demanding that it was the government’s obligation to “prohibit the spread of Ahmadiyah ideas in Indonesia and freeze their organization along with closing down their activities.”63 John Olle argues that “Heresy is particularly fruitful for those seeking to generate issues, since new heretics can be manufactured by shifting the public discourse regarding what defines true Islam. Violence gives the shift urgency.”64 Going beyond the Ahmadis and targeting the Shia as the next group of heretics shows that deviance as the criterion for blasphemy makes for a fertile ground for manufacturing heresies. Indonesia also provides us with an example of judicial review of blasphemy laws: twice, in 2010 and 2013, the Indonesian Constitutional Court was asked by litigants to declare the law unconstitutional. The first case was brought by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation asking the court to strike down the blasphemy law on the grounds that it violates the religious freedom granted by the Indonesia Constitution (28E and 29–2) and that it violates the right to equality because it is used against minorities. The case attracted widespread publicity and media coverage, and during the 13 court hearings, large numbers of witnesses and experts gave testimony, including an American academic and the Becket Fund, an American NGO defending freedom of religion. “Overall, while the applicants drew on Indonesia’s broad tradition and history of religious tolerance, the stronger vision articulated was of the need for a relationship between law and religion that aligns with international discourse on religious freedom, human rights and ideas of a separation between state and religion.”65 The court rejected the applicants’ claim that the blasphemy law violated religious freedom on the grounds that in Indonesia religion is both a highly valued and a highly sensitive issue which requires a different approach towards religious freedom. The court argued that Indonesia is not an Islamic state or a secular state but a country with a belief in God, and therefore freedom not to have a religion does not exist in Indonesia. The state has the right to limit religious freedom on the grounds of public order and religious values because religious deviancy can lead to social turmoil and violence. A second constitutional challenge to the blasphemy law was brought by several Shia who had been convicted of blasphemy for propagating ‘deviant’ Islamic teaching. Unlike the first case, which attracted widespread media attention, the litigants in the second case made several strategic decisions to “minimize media coverage and maintain a low profile in order to avoid controversy from radical Islam groups” which also meant that “few government officials bothered to attend the court sessions.”66 The applicants argued that the blasphemy statute has failed to manage social conflict; instead it has become a source of conflict and violence against religious minorities. The applicants did not rely on the argument regarding international norms of religious freedom, instead they argued that Islam

62  The politics of outrage recognizes different mazhab (schools of thought), including the Shia, and they challenged the Indonesian Ulama Council’s fatwa as lacking authority because it was not a product of “consensus (ijma) and therefore could not be considered as representative of the views of the Muslim community.”67 The court rejected the second case too, arguing that problems with the implementation of the blasphemy law arising from misinterpretation did not make it unconstitutional. There are similarities between Indonesia and Pakistan when it comes to the politics of blasphemy laws: both countries have seen the increasing anathemization of Ahmadis as non-Muslims, both countries have experienced extremist Islamic groups attempting to use blasphemy as a weapon against the Shia (although the larger numbers and greater political activism of the Shia community in Pakistan makes it harder to marginalize them). Democratization has led to greater opportunities for marginal groups to make blasphemy the issue for attracting attention to their cause. The mainstream ulama organizations in both countries have made political capital out of alliances with more extremist groups around blasphemy laws. The one significant difference between the two countries is that blasphemy law as a law works in Indonesia: it addresses religious conflict, and even though the existence of the law encourages greater religious conflict, the judges generally sentence those accused of blasphemy from less than a year up to five years.68 Most of the accused in Pakistan exist in legal purgatory for many years with no hope that their case will ever be resolved under the law, and many other become victims of vigilante action. I conclude this section with Tunisia, where we see the “first democratic constitution written with an Islamist party in the driver’s seat.”69 It took two years to write Tunisia’s constitution, which has been heralded as successfully creating a consensus document that can aid in a democratic transition. Article One of the constitution kept the declaration about Tunisia’s identity as “a free, independent, sovereign state; its religion is Islam, its language Arabic, and its system is republican.” The draft language of Article Six stated that the state is the “guarantor of religion, of freedom of belief, of conscience and of worship. It protects the sacred.”70 But when Mongi Rahoui, a member of the Assembly, criticized the inclusion of Islam as the religion of the state, an Ennahda-affiliated Assembly member commented on a radio interview that: “The word Islam makes [Rahoui] nervous. He wishes the constitution did not include any reference to Islam or religion.” Rahoui saw this as an incitement for extremists to attack him, prompting opposition members to demand that accusations of apostasy should be criminalized. The following language was passed the same day: The state is the guardian of religion. It guarantees freedom of conscience and belief, the free exercise of religious practices and the neutrality of mosques and places of worship from all partisan instrumentalization. The state undertakes to disseminate the values of moderation and tolerance and the protection of the sacred, and the prohibition of all violations thereof. It undertakes equally to prohibit and fight against calls for Takfir and the incitement of violence and hatred.

The politics of outrage 63 The use of takfir, or accusation of apostasy against fellow Muslims, is viewed as a dangerous trend by most Muslims, but liberals feel that they are the ones most victimized by such pronouncements. Ironically, the secular opposition, in its attempt to rein in the Islamists’ use of religion as a weapon, ended up arguing for a limit on freedom of speech for the Islamists.71 The Tunisian compromise illustrates the flexibility shown by the Islamists to accommodate ‘secular-liberal’ opposition by balancing two ‘sacred values’: freedom of speech and conscience and protection of the sacred.

Bahá’ís and Ahmadis: apostasy and the branding of Muslim-ness The Bahá’ís and the Ahmadis are perceived as a grave threat to the public order of an Islamic polity because of their rejection of the fundamental creed that the Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet sent by God (Khatum-e-Nubbawat). The Bahá’ís have embraced their status as a separate religion from Islam, but Ahmadis have contested the charge that they are outside the circle of Islam. The fact that the Egyptian state does not recognize Bahá’ís as a religious group is attributed to sharia’s recognition of only the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity by the Egyptian Constitutional Court, but this goes against the historical experience of Islamic polities that had accommodated Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians.72 The civil recognition of faith took on urgency for the Bahá’ís in 2004, when national identity cards were computerized and the system did not have an entry for Bahá’ís. This led to the ‘discovery’ of the existence of Bahá’ís: earlier they had managed to procure these documents because local officials were not always aware of the ban on Bahá’í. Many of these identity documents were seized by the Ministry of the Interior. Several Bahá’í families took their cases to administrative courts, which issued a decision in 2006 declaring that Bahá’ís must record their religion on their civil-status documents because: “It is not inconsistent with Islamic tenets to mention the religion on a person’s card even though it may be a religion whose rites are not recognized for open practice, such as Bahá’ísm and the like. On the contrary, these [religions] must be indicated so that the status of its bearer is known so that he does not enjoy a legal status to which his beliefs does not entitle him in a Muslim society.”73 The appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) overturned the lower court’s decision with a different interpretation of what constituted public order. It first affirmed the freedom of belief as a right guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution, but also said that the practice of religion in public was subject to limitation and the requirements of public order. The Bahá’ís were free to believe, but the public recognition of this belief ran counter to sharia and thus endangered public order. This decision put the Bahá’í community in an untenable position – they either had to lie about their religious identities and subject themselves to charges of fraud, or they accepted what Saba Mahmud termed “civil death,” which meant they could not open bank accounts, apply for passports, or engage in other essential activities. Pressure from human rights organizations as well as some prominent Islamic lawyers, who argued that this decision went against the Quranic principle of “let

64  The politics of outrage there be no compulsion in religion,” resulted in a compromise when in another case, the lower Administrative Court in 2008 allowed the Bahá’í to leave the required field on the form empty. Saba Mahmud concludes: Whereas the AC 2008 judgment made it possible for Bahá’ís to carry on their political and civic life by allowing them to have national identity cards, the blank space rendered them vulnerable to religious discrimination. Because no other religious group has this distinction, their identity cards clearly mark them as Bahá’ís; the empty slot is an indication of their deviation from the Muslim norm and, for some, a sign of their apostasy from Islam. In Egypt’s religiously fractious landscape, this is not an easy burden to bear, and it is a reminder that the law can only partially resolve the religious inequalities that permeate the social life of a polity.74 The Ahmadis in Pakistan provide another instance of the catch-22 faced by religious minorities when courts make distinctions between religious beliefs, allowed under liberal legal regimes, and religious practices, which may be regulated to maintain civil peace. In the Indian subcontinent, the concept of who is a Muslim became a legal question even before Pakistan came into existence. As I discussed in Chapter One, the British colonial rule had facilitated a uniform Muslim identity that was grounded in Muslim family law. But the highly contentious and pluralized Muslim landscape of the 19th century subcontinent meant that the colonial courts often had to adjudicate the question of what defined Muslim-ness. Asad Ahmad argues that the colonial conceptualization of mosques as open to all Muslim worshippers was responsible for greater religious conflict among various groups who contested the rights of rival groups to pray in their mosques.75 Many of the court cases revolved around keeping Ahl-e-Hadith out of particular mosques with the claim that they were ‘Wahhabis’ and therefore not Muslims. The colonial courts dismissed the grounds used by the litigants that the opposing group prayed in a different manner as being simply a difference in rituals, and adjudicated Muslim-ness on the basis of profession of faith, kalyma. But when it came to the Ahmadis, those Muslims who viewed them as non-Muslims argued that when Ahmadis recite the kalyma (“There is but one God and Muhammad is his Prophet”) they are not referring to the Prophet Muhammad but rather to the founder of the group, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Since the Ahmadis deny the charge that they are referring to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad when they recite the kalyma, the distinction between internal belief and external practices breaks down, and the law is asked to adjudicate the intent of the Ahmadis. In a 1922 case, the High Court judges decided to pronounce on the status of Ahmadis by taking on theological arguments and concluding that there were six divergences in belief between Muslims and Ahmadis, but there was agreement on the three essential elements of the faith: “acceptance of the kalyma, the prophethood of Muhammad, and the authority of the Quran,” which rendered the Ahmadis reformists, not apostates.76 After the partition, the controversy over the status of Ahmadis became explosive, leading to the first martial law in Pakistan, an judicial inquiry resulting in

The politics of outrage 65 what is usually known as the Munir Report, a constitutional amendment in 1974, a series of court cases, and several ordinances – and yet the status of Ahmadis continues to generate conflict and to pose challenges to the public order.77 Here I want to focus on court decisions that attempted to provide definitive grounds for why Ahmadis cannot claim Muslim-ness. The declaration of Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim religious minority for the purpose of law and constitution in 1974 did not end the controversy; instead it raised even more complicated issues in adjudicating the religious identity of the Ahmadis, who argued that they were Muslims according to the higher law of sharia. The very rituals that the colonial courts had dismissed as insufficient grounds for determining religious identity now became a constant source of conflict between Ahmadis and their opponents. What good was the second amendment to the constitution, asked the orthodox Pakistani, if Ahmadis continued to go to the mosque, pray, fast, and fulfill all the other outward signs of being Muslims? For many it was worse now because Ahmadis were the ‘hypocrites’ (munafikeen) that the Quran had warned about as those who could do great harm to the community. A year after the passage of the Second Amendment by the National Assembly, which declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslim, a civil case was initiated by a group of ulama who asked for a permanent injunction preventing Ahmadis from using the term masjid for their place of worship or using the azan as call to prayer and performing salat (prayers) in a Muslim manner, because all of these rituals were signs (sha’ir) that belonged exclusively to the Muslim community. The Ahmadi defense was that article 20 of the constitution protected their right “to profess, practice, and propagate” their religion. The trial judge issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the Ahmadis from using the terms and practices of Muslims. The judge accepted the plaintiff’s argument that the constitutional right to freedom of religion was limited by sharia law. In 1978, the Lahore High Court in Abdur Rahman Mobashir v. Amir Ali Shah decided that “religious terms could never constitute a proprietary right . . . and religious terms do not fall within the domain of intellectual property law,”78 and thus the Ahmadis could not be prevented from observing Islamic practices. The decision is significant for our purposes because the court had to address the relationship between sharia and the constitution. Ahmadis argued that as law-abiding citizens they accepted their status as non-Muslims according to the Pakistani constitution, but from the perspective of higher law, the sharia, they continued to be Muslim and thus had the right to practice their religion, a right that was given to them in Article 20 of the constitution. Sticking closely to precedent, the court argued that “matters of faith or belief were not within the court’s jurisdiction unless they were linked to questions of ‘office or property.’ ”79 The court declared that sharia law “was only applicable insofar as it was already part of substantive positive law.”80 In 1984, Zia-ul-Haq, all too willing to accommodate the demand to criminalize the Ahmadis’ practice of Muslim rituals, introduced two new sections to Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) Chapter XV, Of Offense against Religion: Section 298-B prohibited Ahmadis from calling their place of worship ‘masjid’ or their call for prayer ‘azan’ and using certain honorific titles such as Caliph or Commander of

66  The politics of outrage the Faithful for anyone else other than Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Section 298-C prohibited Ahmadis from directly or indirectly posing as Muslim, or calling their faith Islam. An Ahmadi who “preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”81

Detecting forged Muslims and protecting copyright to Islam Real Muslims have proprietorial rights over Islam, after all – or so decided the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Zaheer-ud-din v. the State (1993). Acting on their appellate jurisdiction, the five justices heard appeals against criminal sentences given to four individuals accused of wearing badges of kalyma (recitation of faith) while Ahmadi, and two civil cases brought by Ahmadis against a local authority for prohibiting the public centennial celebration of their sect. Writing for the majority (4 to 1), Justice Abdul Qadeer Chaudhry took on such weighty questions as what is religion, who owns Islam, why Ahmadis are dangerous to the integrity of Islam, and what is the relationship between positive law and Islam’s law.82 Referring to English, Indian, and Pakistani statutory commercial laws, the justice concluded that it was “clear that intentionally using trade name, trademarks, property marks or descriptions of others . . . amounts to an offense.” The justice argued that Pakistan as an ideological state must act against non-Muslims who want to ‘pass off their faith as Islam.’ The justice accused the Ahmadis of selling a forged product, their religious beliefs, under the banner of real Islam and thus committing fraud upon the public. The justice warned of the serious consequences of ignoring this fraud because “in this part of the world, faith is still the most precious thing to the Muslim believer, and he will not tolerate a government which is not prepared to save him of such deceptions or forgeries.”83 The justice declared Ordinance XX not only constitutional but essential for rooting out fraud and deception by criminalizing the Ahmadi community’s use of Shaa’ire Islam (Islamic signs). To the question of the Ahmadis’ right to practice their religion by publicly commemorating the hundredth anniversary of their foundation as a community, Justice Chaudhry highlighted the distinction between freedom to believe and freedom to act and argued that every state, particularly those governments that are secular and known for their emphasis on civil rights, regulates the practice of religion. Citing case law in American, Indian, and Australian courts, Justice Chaudhry concluded that “freedom of religion would not be allowed to interfere with the law and order or public peace and tranquility.” He further noted the case law from India that banned the sacrifice of a cow on the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, or public performance of the tandava dance for followers of Anada Marge, on the grounds that these practices did not constitute ‘integral and essential’ parts of their religion.84 Justice Chaudhry thus concluded that prohibiting centennial celebrations did not violate the freedom of Ahmadis to practice their religion, and the

The politics of outrage 67 burden was on them to “first enumerate the practices they intended to perform at the centenary celebrations and then show that they were an essential and integral part of their religion,” before the court could decide that their freedom to practice was violated. Justice Chaudhary then took up the question of the relationship between positive law and Islamic law. Once again, at issue was the question of what law Article 20 of the Constitution was referring to when it limited freedom of religion subject to law, public order, and morality. The appellant’s attorney argued that Article 20 was referring to positive law and not Islamic law. Justice Chaudhry argued that the Objectives Resolution was made a substantive part of the constitution in 1985, which meant “the injunctions of Islam as contained in Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet are now the positive law . . . even the Fundamental Rights as given in the constitution must not violate the norms of Islam.”85 But which norms of Islam apply to Ahmadis is left unclear. Are these the norms that were practiced over centuries that led jurists to say that only God knows what lives in people’s hearts, and thus if there are hypocrites (munafikeen) they will have to be answerable to God on the day of judgment? Or are ‘Islamic norms’ the fact that modern Muslim states arrogated to themselves the right to declare who is a Muslim?

Pancasila, godly nationalism, and the Ahmadis in Indonesia Declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslim created a template for the politics of intolerance that resulted in heightened sectarian violence in the last three decades, creating further fissures in the already polarized politics of Pakistan. In Indonesia the distinction between agama, kepercayaan, and adat presents yet another variation on religious freedom and the distinction between external practices and internal belief. Agama is a Sanskrit word that was traditionally associated with “power, wealth, sophistication, and a tradition beyond the experience of local peoples.”86 In the post-independence period, agama came to be associated with the nationalist goals of the spread of modern education, progress, and sophistication. There is an evolutionary schema hidden in this distinction between agama as a monotheistic religion and kepercayaan as local spiritual/cultural practices, with the assumption that eventually those ‘irregular’ practices would fit into one of the six official religions. The formulation of the 1965 blasphemy law encouraged the ‘deviant’ streams of spirituality to find their true home in one of the six official religions. The nationalists in Indonesia tend to be suspicious of those outside of the six designated religions as politically deviant communists. In April 2005, the Majelis (Council) of Indonesian Ulama (MUI) announced at the conclusion of its nationwide conference that heresy was one of the most important problems facing Indonesia. A few months later, several vigilante groups formed to root out heresy attacked Ahmadi headquarters and places of worship. The MUI, created in 1975 to lend Islamic support to Suharto’s New Order Policies, issued fatawa before and after these attacks against the Ahmadis. The fact that this “bureaucratized force for order and stability” now worked “with previously marginalized radical groups such as LPPI and FPI to promote a contentious

68  The politics of outrage and divisive anti-heresy agenda,”87 was noteworthy. The increased violence against the Ahmadis mobilized human rights activists to submit a petition in 2009, challenging the status of the 1965 blasphemy law in the Constitutional Court. The petitioners invoked Article 28e of the 1945 Constitution, which proclaimed that “every person shall be free to adhere to a religion and to worship in accordance with his/her religion” and sought state neutrality in matters of faith. The proponents of blasphemy laws pointed to several laws that “affirm the centrality of belief in the One and Only God by the state. . . . While acknowledging that promoting belief in God could limit individual religious freedom, they suggested that only external practices (forum external) were limited, not internal faith matters (forum internal).”88 Jeremy Menchik, who attended the court proceedings, shows how Ahmadis were a lightning rod for controversy during the proceedings. The petitioners in their strategy meetings argued that expanding religious freedom would protect the Ahmadis, but they decided to keep Ahmadis away from the courtroom, given the presence of vigilantes in and outside of the courtroom. The exclusion of Ahmadis from the courtroom proceedings changed the discussion from religious freedom and discrimination “to a different set of priorities: promoting belief in God, maintaining the state’s religious identity while respecting pluralism, distinguishing internal freedom from external freedom, combating deviant beliefs through law rather than violence, and protecting the dignity of religion.”89 On the other hand, the inclusion of testimony from kepercayaan followers about how their lack of access to funding for schools, their inability to enlist in the army, and their inability to list their religion on their identity cards degraded their beliefs did not ignite sentiments towards greater inclusion – because they were dismissed as not a religion according to law, and therefore not relevant. Saba Mahmood points to the emptiness of the right to freedom of belief separated from freedom to practice because it “fails to apprehend how modern religiosity (whether as belief in transcendence, political identity, or state ideology) is enabled and spawned by the secular institutions that have become more, rather than less, enmeshed in its formulation and praxis.”90 The liberal hope that the protection of minority rights will shield individuals from the imperative of integration or the scourge of discrimination is often inadequate. The sovereign nationstate, in the name of public order, insists on exceptions to the norms of freedom to practice religion. Extension of citizenship rights to all does not exempt those designated as minorities from the ever-present sorting mechanism. The presence of ‘heretical’ communities like the Bahá’í or the Ahmadis brings two different views of politics into an explosive tension. The Schmittian notion of politics as distinction between friends and enemies collides with liberal norms protecting the rights of religious minorities. This collision is most explosive for new states like Pakistan and Indonesia that are attempting to forge a liberal constitutional framework granting religious minorities freedom of belief at the same time that they are struggling to define the contours of their nations or political communities.91 What does it mean to be a minority in a modern nation-state? “The terms majority and minority became a constitutional device for resolving differences that the ideology of nationalism sought to eliminate or assimilate.”92 As the

The politics of outrage 69 above discussion demonstrates, constitutional guarantees for minorities evaporate in the process of creating a national identity based on majoritarian sensibilities. The status of the Bahá’ís and Ahmadis illustrate the limits of the liberal conception of constitutional rights precisely because they tug at the limits of citizenship as a category to contain those groups whose very existence is seen as dangerous to the community. The irresolvable question of who the Ahmadis are – a foe or a minority with rights to Pakistani citizenship – was raised most sharply when in 2018 the newly elected government of Imran Khan nominated Atif Mian, a renowned economist and an Ahmadi, to the Economic Advisory Council. Tehreek-i-Labbyaik Pakistan (TLP) predictably was at the forefront of opposing this nomination but here I  focus on an exchange between a news anchor, Hassaan Hashmi, and his two guests to show that the opposition to Mr.  Mian went beyond religious parties. Mr. Hashmi in the opening statement raised the question: “how is it possible that a Qadiani [pejorative term for Ahmadis] can bring economic reforms in Pakistan or can work towards improving Pakistan?”93 The anchor went on to say that to find out what the law and the Constitution of Pakistan says about this matter he invited a well-known lawyer, Ahmad Reza Kasuri, who was part of the team that drafted the current constitution of Pakistan. Kasuri began by reminding listeners of his role in crafting the constitutional amendment in 1974 that declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims, thereby bringing to a resolution a 100-year-old controversy. Having established his credentials as a good Muslim, he then went on to say that religious minorities in Pakistan are free to take part in various professions. Atif Mian had been nominated to the Economic Advisory Council and not the Islamic Ideology Council.94 The constitution of Pakistan gives protection to minorities and the founder of Pakistan Jinnah argued strongly for protection of minority rights. Islam, Kasuri argued, is a tolerant religion with the capacity to accommodate religious minorities. The anchor, Hassaan Hashmi, resisted this line of arguments, insisting that past Ahmadi leaders had engaged in conspiracies against Pakistan and therefore Ahmadis are not ‘normal’ minorities. They cannot be trusted. The emotionally intense response of Mr.  Kasuri illustrates how dangerous it has become in Pakistani political discourse to even appear as if one is supporting Ahmadis. Mr. Kasuri angrily responded that no one can doubt his credentials as a good Muslim; he had done more for the mission of establishing the Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet of God than any religious leader in Pakistan. He toggled back and forth between legal and constitutional arguments for the protection of religious minorities’ civil rights, and appealed to Islamic ethics of tolerance. The anchor pushed back, insisting that the Ahmadi matter is too sensitive, the country is facing multiple crises, and finally that other religious minorities accept that they are minorities but Ahmadis insist on calling themselves Muslims. Since for the purposes of law and the constitution they are not Muslims, they cannot claim constitutional protection for their freedom of religion. Kasuri shifted his argument to pragmatic reasons for keeping Atif Mian on the Economic Advisory Council by pointing out the dire economic situation faced by Pakistan, to which the anchor’s response was that indeed economic security

70  The politics of outrage is an essential basis for military security and that is why an Ahmadi cannot be trusted to serve in an advisory capacity since they do not accept Pakistan’s constitution. Rather than continuing to defend Ahmadis as a religious minority that deserves protection, Mr. Kasuri engaged in a tirade against religious parties who had not supported the Pakistan movement, arguing that the founder of Pakistan, Jinnah, may have known only a few verses of the Quran but was nonetheless a true Muslim. The conversation ended with the anchor demanding that Kasuri respond to what Iqbal, the famous poet, had written to Nehru in a letter about Ahmadis as traitors both to Islam and the country, to which Kasuri responded that he only follows the Islam of the Prophet and the Holy Book, thereby ending the conversation. The anchor then reminded his audience of all the usual charges leveled against Ahmadis as conspirators who have worked with Hindus, British, and Americans to undermine Pakistan. The second guest of the show was another television journalist, Mubbashir Rana, who argued that competency rather than religious background should be the criterion for picking economists for the Advisory Council, and that Atif Mian was highly competent and was rated as among the top 25 economists in the world. “Who determines this rating game, these picks for Noble prize, for example, aren’t these done according to a particular agenda?” asked the anchor. The discussion ended with the anchor reminding his audience that Atif Mian had connections with the IMF and anyone with connections with IMF cannot bring economic prosperity to Pakistan. All the reasonable arguments in favor of Atif Mian’s appointments fractured in the face of Hassaan Hashmi’s resolute insistence that Ahmadis cannot be trusted. As our discussion of the Bahá’í in Egypt and the Ahmadis in Pakistan and Indonesia makes clear, state institutions are intimately involved in the very definition of what constitutes religion, who has the protection of ‘freedom of belief’ and who is not worthy of such protection because their ‘beliefs’ do not constitute religion. The liminal status of Ahmadis in Pakistan and Indonesia activates the question of friends or enemies most urgently, because they are perceived to be more dangerous as enemies within. The kepercayaan groups in Indonesia, on the other hand, are met with less hostility, because the assumption is that over time they will sort themselves out to become part of the six official religions. The conundrum of the Bahá’ís and Ahmadis lays bare the gaps in the liberal secular framework that claims to grant religious protections to minorities, freedom of belief, while keeping the right to manage the practice of those beliefs. In Pakistan and Indonesia, the Ahmadis are seen as the ‘enemy within,’ who are capable of doing more damage than clearly designated groups of non-Muslims. In both places, one of the charges against the Ahmadis was that they were proBritish and thus agents of the West. The very existence of the Ahmadis is seen as a challenge to public order. In the 1993 judgment of the Pakistani Supreme Court, discussed earlier, Justice Chaudhry quoted extensively from Ahmadi literature as well as rabidly anti-Ahmadi newspapers like the Zamindar to show that Ahmadis consider non-Ahmadi Muslims to be infidels, and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claims a status equal to or even superior to the Prophet Muhammad; the judge

The politics of outrage 71 then proclaimed “every Muslim who is firm in his faith, must love him [Prophet Muhammad] more than his children, family, parents. . . . Can than [sic] anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control of himself on hearing, reading or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza Sahib?”95 Justice Chaudhry warned that public centenary celebrations, if allowed, would be “like creating a Rushdie out of him [Ahmadi]. Can the administration in that case guarantee his life, liberty and property and if so at what cost?” The reference here is to Salman Rushdie as someone who insulted the Prophet by writing The Satanic Verses. If belief in a monotheistic God has become a fundamental pillar of Indonesian nationalism, Namoos-e-Risalat (the sanctity of the Prophet Muhammad) has become a fundamental element of Muslim nationhood in Pakistan. Most of the blasphemy cases brought since the ordinances were expanded in the mid-1980s by General Zia-ul-Haq are known as 295-C cases because they invoke the statute that punishes insulting the Prophet Muhammad. A 1991 act of Parliament modified 295-C: it removed the option of life imprisonment as the sentence for those convicted of insulting the Prophet but left the death penalty as the only choice.

The judicialization of politics I close this chapter by going back to Juniad Hafeez, the young English lecturer wasting away in a prison somewhere in the Punjab. For me his plight is reminiscent of hundreds of young men who were rounded up after 9/11 and warehoused in Guantanamo Bay. These prisoners were detained indefinitely without any legal adjudication of guilt or innocence – a violation of the Geneva Convention – but the fact is that ‘enemy combatants’ as a category was meant to create legal distinctions between those who deserve legal protection and those who are outside of the law, a homo sacer. Similarly, rather than seeing Juniad Hafeez’s incarceration to be a result of lawlessness due to religious passions gone awry, his plight is a result of an excess of law. The long and winding path that ended in Juniad Hafeez’s indefinite detention started with the passage of Chapter XV, Offenses Relating to Religion, in the 1860 Indian Penal Code that criminalized ‘wounding of religious feelings,’ and the expansion in 1927 of IPC 295-A that played a role in the sanctification of Illum-ud-Din, discussed in the previous chapter. The quest to legally define who is inside and outside the fold of Islam further judicialized theological disagreements and eventually led to the expansion of blasphemy statutes in the mid-1980s by a military dictator who sought greater legitimacy by appealing to Islam. As I interviewed dozens of people and read scores of legal documents about blasphemy cases I was struck by three dynamics: first, almost all of the blasphemy cases consisted of very human stories of conflicts arising from disputes over land, in-laws, love, business competition, or professional jealousies. The stories around these cases were brimming with dozens of characters telling scores of different accounts about the case at hand, but none of these were purely about theological disputes or religious disagreement. Second, many of the accusations of blasphemy got greater traction when individuals belonging to various maslaks saw

72  The politics of outrage a political opportunity to gain media attention or even scores with their political rivals. The third dynamic has to do with the highly stylized and deeply alienating language of the legal proceedings. Other than a few instances where mobs attacked and killed a person accused of blasphemy, most of the cases start with an FIR (First Information Report) a powerful legal document that becomes the instrument through which judges glean the facts of the case. FIRs are written by the police, and everyone knows that getting their story registered gives them the advantage they seek in the legal proceedings. Once an accused is drawn into the legal arena, a speedy and fair trial becomes impossible. In general, in Pakistan the legal system is not viewed as a means to resolve disputes; instead it often serves to pressure opposing parties to come to an informal agreement. But those accused of blasphemy have little chance of escaping the legal dragnet. Given the assassination of Lahore High Court Judge Arif Iqbal Hussain Bhatti in October 17, 1997 for acquitting two Christian men, ages 14 and 46, who had been charged with blasphemy, judges have become reluctant to take on these cases. Generally, when these cases are heard, the lower courts convict the accused, knowing that the case will be appealed. The appeals system moves at a snail’s pace for most cases in Pakistan, but those accused of blasphemy often wait for an indefinite period for their appeals to be heard. I  was told by several law enforcement officials that the accused may be safer in prison because they face a greater probability of getting killed if they are released. On two different occasions, the Pakistani government aided the escape of those accused of blasphemy. The first case was of the two Christian men discussed above, who were acquitted by the Lahore High Court but were taken out of the country due to threats on their life. Rimsha Masiah, another young Christian girl accused of burning the pages of the Quran, though acquitted, was flown out of the country with her family to live in Canada.96 The legal system is incapable of adjudicating most cases of blasphemy, which leaves three grim options for those accused of blasphemy in Pakistan: death, indefinite incarceration, or exile. Thus far I have focused on modern constitutional mechanisms in explaining why blasphemy statutes have become a Gordian knot – but what about sharia and Islamic laws? After all, the proponents of blasphemy statutes argue that no revisions can be made to these laws because they represent God’s laws. In the next two chapters I take up the issue of sharia and the blasphemy statutes.

Notes 1 Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, 103. 2 Aslam, “The Murder of Reason.” 3 Dawn, “Lawyer Defending 2 Blasphemy Accused Receives Threatening Letters from Daish.” 4 The First Information Report is a key legal document that shapes the subsequent legal fate of those accused. In blasphemy cases once an FIR is successfully lodged, the accused must remain in prison until he/she is exonerated through what is often an extremely lengthy judicial process. 5 Ali, “Junaid Hafeez: Condemned Forever?”

The politics of outrage 73 6 A commission appointed by the Punjab government in 2014 in order to find a solution to the abuse of blasphemy law in personal vendettas and to suggest administrative remedies gave me the estimate of 288 blasphemy cases from 2009 to 2015 in Punjab, out of which 104 cases are still under investigation, 184 are in the process of judicial inquiry, 82 cases are under trial, and 25 cases had “sufficient evidence” (it did not indicate what that evidence was, and if it meant that the rest of the cases lacked evidence). It listed 57 cases where insufficient evidence qualified them for administrative review. The report listed ten cases as acquitted, two offenses deleted and two cases adjourned sine die. Photocopy given to me during interview on July 5, 2015, Lahore. 7 Agrama, Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt, 34. 8 Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report, 163–80. An example of inconsistency is that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) allowed the display of crucifixes in Italian classrooms as a cultural symbol representing the values of liberty, equality, and human dignity, but in another precedent-setting case involving the wearing of a headscarf in public school in Switzerland, the ECtHR prohibited it, ruling that a headscarf is a powerful symbol that is contrary to the principle of gender equality and that can have a proselytizing effect. 9 Jinnah, “First Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.” 10 Devji, Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea. 11 Ibid., 228. 12 The ulama had submitted written testimony to the Parliament against using the kalyma as the sole criterion for determining who is a Muslim. See Qasmi, Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan, 175. 13 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, August 14, 1947, 50–1. 14 Ibid., 52. 15 Ibid. 16 Dawn, March 2, 1949. 17 “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone, and the authority which he has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him in a sacred trust;   Wherein the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;   Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed;   Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accord with the teaching and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah;   Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religion and develop their cultures.” Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. V, no. 1, March 7, 1949, p. 7. 18 Liaquat Ali Khan, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 7, 1949, p. 3. 19 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 7, 1949, p. 5. Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi argued that “When we say that no priesthood is recognized by Islam, we do not know why it is said again and again that our democracy is not secular.” Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 9, 1949, p. 40. 20 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 9, 1949, p. 41. 21 Sardar Abdur Rab Khan Nishtar, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates Vol. 5, March 10, p. 56. 22 Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 12, 1949, p. 66. A sad irony is that within a couple of years Zafarullah Khan, an Ahmadi, became a target for those very Muslims, who argued that he should resign as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

74  The politics of outrage 23 Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Osmani, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 9, 1949, p. 45. 24 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 9, 1949, pp. 45–6. 25 Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. 5, March 12, 1949, pp. 87–8. 26 Quoted in Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 199. 27 Qureshi, “The Future Constitution of Pakistan,” 33. 28 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, August 11, 1947, p. 18. 29 See Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 200. 30 Quoted in Devji, Muslim Zion, 135. Devji claims that in Jinnah’s slogan – Faith, Unity, and Discipline – the term “faith” stood for certitude rather than iman, but the fact is that the term faith is always translated as iman or “faith in God” whenever Jinnah’s slogan appears in public in Pakistan. 31 According to the 1951 Census of Pakistan, Hindus, Scheduled Castes, and Christians constituted 2.2 percent of the population in the Punjab and 9.9 percent of the population in Sind, but in East Pakistan, Hindus and Scheduled Castes constituted 25 percent of the population. See Census of Pakistan, 1951, Table.6.   The haste with which the decision to partition India was taken meant that two legally sovereign bodies were immediately required. Elections to the provincial legislatures had taken place in 1946  – that is, before the partition of India. Members of these provincial assemblies elected the members for the Central Constituent Assembly in August 1947. In this new assembly of 79 members, the Muslim League Parliamentary party had 49 members, East Pakistan was represented by 44 members, of which 13 were Hindus belonging to the Congress party. There were also four non-Bengali members nominated by Jinnah. Punjab had 17 seats, of which four were reserved for minorities, but three of these seats could not be filled due to the massive Hindu and Sikh exodus. The NWFP had three, Sind had four, and Baluchistan had one seat in the Constituent Assemblies, see Keith Callard, p. 78. 32 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. XVI, August 11, 1954, p. 267. 33 In May 1949, after the passage of the Objectives Resolution, Ahrar (a religio-political party) started a movement against the Ahmadiyya community, demanding that the Ahmadis be declared non-Muslim. The movement did not go beyond passing a few resolutions in mosques during the Jumma Friday prayers, or directly confronting some Ahmadis. But by 1952, with the backing of the Punjab Government, the movement picked up momentum, especially after many of the ulama joined the Ahrar in their agitation. The high point of the movement came when Chaudary Zafrullah Khan, the foreign minister of Pakistan and an Ahmadi, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the “Anjuman i Ahmadiyya.” He delivered an impassioned speech in which he claimed that the Ahmadiyya movement was infusing a new spirit in Islam and that “if this plant [the Ahmadiyya movement] was removed, Islam will no longer be a live religion.” The speech gave further fuel to Ahrar’s claim that the Ahmadis were controlling the government. The Munir Report, p. 75. 34 I am relying on Ali Usman Qasmi’s excellent account of the 1953 Punjab Disturbances and the role of Ahrar. See The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion, 56–80. 35 Gilmartin, “The Shahidganj Mosque Incident: A Prelude to Pakistan.” 36 Qasmi, The Politics of Religious Exclusion, 98–110. 37 Ibid., 77–8. 38 Ibid., 133. 39 Ibid., 14–33. 40 Ahmed, “Advocating a Secular Pakistan: The Munir Report of 1954,” 425. 41 Qasmi, The Politics of Religious Exclusion, 148. 42 Blom, “The 2006 Anti-Danish Cartoons’ Riot in Lahore,” 2. 43 Grim, “Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are widespread.”

The politics of outrage 75 44 Khan, “Pakistan’s Anti-Blasphemy Laws,” 15. 45 Ibid., 16. 46 See Aswad et al., “Why the United States Cannot Agree to Disagree on Blasphemy Law,” 145. The one case applying a blasphemy statute occurred in 2010 in Pennsylvania “when a case was brought against a business owner for seeking to give his enterprise a name that government officials found to be blasphemous: ‘I Choose Hell Productions, LLC.’ Although the court found the statute unconstitutional, it still remains on the books.” (p. 127). 47 A term used by Salman Rushdie to describe the reaction to the film “Innocence of Muslims.” See Lagon and Kaminski, “Clash of Elites,” 94. 48 Goktan, Hate Crime in Turkey, 204. 49 Mustafa Aykol argues that “it is really worth considering whether Fazil Say indeed used hate speech with the following sentence that he retweeted: ‘I am not sure if you have also realized it, but all the pricks, low-lifers, buffoons, thieves, jesters, they are all Allahists.’ To get perspective, you might try replacing the word ‘Allahists’ with ‘Jahvists.’ Then this sentence would mean that all pious Jews are ‘pricks, low-lifes. . . . I bet it would make many European liberal voices who seem sympathetic to Fazil Say these days a bit less enthusiastic.” “Blasphemy in Turkey and the Fazil Say Affair,” 50 Agrama, Questioning Secularism, 69. 51 “Founded in Iran in the mid-19th century, the Bahai faith is of relatively recent origin. It drew its inspiration from the 19th-century millenarian Babi movement . . . it incorporates teachings from a variety of faiths, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Zorastrianism, and Buddhism. . . . Bahais have been living in Egypt since the 1860s, when a small number arrived to proselytize secretly and successfully converted some Muslims, Jews, and Christians.” See Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age, 151–2. 52 Ibid., 150. 53 Ibid., 136. 54 Ibid., 140. 55 Ibid. 56 Agrama, Questioning Secularism, 96. 57 Quoted in Menchik, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without Lliberalism, 79. Emphasis added. 58 Menchik shows a picture of the front page of the newspaper that captured what Sukarno was attempting to do: “the right side announces the law against blasphemy, while the left headline introduces Soekarno’s speech: ‘Bung Karno is Also the Leader of the Islamic World,’ ” Menchik, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, 80. 59 Crouch, “Law and Religion in Indonesia: The Constitutional Court and the Blasphemy Law.” 60 Ibid. 61 Ibid., 10. 62 Crouch, “Constitutionalism, Islam and the Practice of Religious Deference,” 2. 63 Quoted in Olle, “The Majelis Ulama Indonesia versus ‘Hersey,’ ” 106. 64 Ibid., 112. 65 Crouch, “Constitutionalism, Islam and the Practice of Religious Deference,” 5. 66 Ibid., 7. 67 Ibid., 9. 68 Crouch’s analysis of the trend in blasphemy cases from 2000 to 2011: “13 people have been given the maximum penalty of five years. A similar high number of people have been convicted for less than a year (10 accused), and for 3.5 years (9 accused).” Crouch, “Law and Religion in Indonesia,” 14. 69 Pickard, “Al-Nahda: Moderation and Compromise in Tunisia’s Constitutional Bargain,” 5. 70 Guellali, “The Problem with Tunisia’s New Constitution.” 71 Ibid.

76  The politics of outrage 72 73 74 75 76 77

78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96

I am relying on Saba Mahmood’s account, in Religious Differences, 149–66. Quoted in Mahmood’s Religious Differences, 158. Ibid., 163. Ahmad, “Adjudicating Muslims.” Ibid., 128. Ali Usman Qasmi provides a comprehensive discussion of the Ahmadi issue in Pakistan. Qasmi points out that “the significance of the Munir-Kiyani reports goes beyond that of a chronicle for the events of 1953. When it is invoked in charged ideological discussions today, it is not cited as a reference work for the details of violence against the Ahmadis during the therik-i-khatam-i-nabuwat of 1953, but for its ‘exposing the mullahs’ and its ‘prophetic vision’ about the fallout of an Islam-based polity in Pakistan.” (p. 22). Lau, “The case of Zaheer-ud-din v. The State and its impact on the fundamental right to freedom of religion.” Ahmad, Adjudicating Muslims, 151. Ibid., 153. Full text of the Ordinance can be found at: tent/uploads/2011/05/b-Ordinance-XX.pdf. The decision is available on the following website accessed May  22, 2016, www. Ibid., 15. Ibid., 21–2. Ibid., 28. Atkinson, “Religion in Dialogue,” 687. Olle, “The Majelis ulama Indonesia vs. ‘Heresy’,” 96. Menchik, “Productive Intolerance,” 611. Ibid., 618. Mahmood, Religious Differences, 15. Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, 20. Mahmood, Religious Differences, 52. “Why Fawad Ch. Favoring a Qadiani?” Big Seven, September 4, 2018, accessed November 9, 2018, Ibid. He reminded his listeners that Atif Mian is one of the top 25 economists in the world and is often touted as a future Nobel Prize winner and someone who has the ear of the IMF. p. 30. The Guardian, “Rimsha Masih, Pakistani Girl Accused of Blasphemy, Finds Refuge in Canada.”

References Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998. Agrama, Hussein. Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012. Ahmad, Asad. Adjudicating Muslims: Law, Religion and the State in Colonial India and Post-Colonial Pakistan. PhD Diss., University of Chicago, 2006. Ahmed, Asad. “Advocating a Secular Pakistan: The Munir Report of 1954.” In Islam in South Asia in Practice, edited by Barbra Metcalf, 424–37. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Ali, Umer. “Junaid Hafeez: Condemned Forever?” Dawn, May 18, 2016. news/1258426.

The politics of outrage 77 Aslam, Irfan. “The Murder of Reason,” Dawn, May  18, 2014. 1107096. Aswad, Evelyn, Rashad Hussain, and M. Arsalan Suleman. “Why the United States Cannot Agree to Disagree on Blasphemy Law.” Boston University International Law Journal 32, no. 145: 123–50, 2014. Atkinson, Jane Monnig. “Religion in Dialogue: The Construction of An Indonesian Minority Religion.” In Indonesian Religions in Transition, edited by Rita Smith Kipp and Susan Rodgers Siregar. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987. Aykol, Mustafa. “Blasphemy in Turkey and the Fazil Say Affair.” AL-Monitor, April 21, 2013. Accessed September 18, 2017. fazil-say-blasphemy-poet-turkey.html. Binder, Leonard, Religion and Politics in Pakistan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963. Blom, Amelie. “The 2006 Anti-Danish Cartoons’ Riot in Lahore: Outrage and the Emotional Landscape of Pakistani Politics.” South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (online), 2 (2008). Accessed September 17, 2017. samaj/1652. Callard, Keith. Pakistan: A Political Study. London: Allen & Unwin, 1958. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates: Official Report. Karachi: Manager of Publications. Volumes I–XV (1947–1953). Accessed December 18, 2018. https://digital.soas. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates: Official Report. Karachi: Manager of Publications. Vol. V, no.1, March 1949. Accessed December 18, 2018. documents/1434604126_750.pdf. Crouch, Melissa. “Constitutionalism, Islam and the Practice of Religious Deference: The Case of Constitutional Court.” Australian Journal of Asian Law 16, no. 2 (2016) Article 6: 1–15. Crouch, Melissa A. “Law and Religion in Indonesia: The Constitutional Court and the Blasphemy Law.” Asian Journal of Comparative Law 7, no. 1, Article 3: 1–46, 2012. Dawn. March 2, 1949. Dawn. “Lawyer Defending 2 Blasphemy Accused Receives Threatening Letters from Daish.” Dawn, December 5, 2014. Devji, Faisal. Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. Gharibi, Asma. “The Problem with Tunisia’s New Constitution.” Foreign Policy, January  9, 2014, Gilmartin, David. “The Shahidganj Mosque Incident: A  Prelude to Pakistan.” In Islam, Politics and Social Movements, edited by Edmund Burke and Ira M. Lapidus, 146–58. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. Goktan, Deniz Unan. Hate Crime in Turkey: Implications of Collective Action, Media Representations and Policy Making. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. Grim, Brian. “Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread.” Pew Research Center, Religion  & Public Life, November  21, 2012. Accessed September  17, 2017. phemy-apostasy-and-defamation-of-religion-are-widespread.\ The Guardian. “Rimsha Masih, Pakistani Girl Accused of Blasphemy, Finds Refuge in Canada.” June 30, 2013.

78  The politics of outrage Guellali, Amna. “The Problem with Tunisia’s New Constitution.” World Policy Journal, February 3, 2014. Accessed September 26, 2017. problem-tunisia%E2%80%99s-new-constitution. Jinnah, Muhammad Ali. “First Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.” August  11, 1947. Accessed August  19, 2018. pritchett/00islamlinks/txt_jinnah_assembly_1947.html. Kahn, Paul. Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Khan, Amjad Mahmood. “Pakistan’s Anti-Blasphemy Laws and the Illegitimate Use of the ‘Law, Public Order, and Morality’ Limitation on Constitutional Rights.” The Review of Faith & International Affairs 13, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 13–22. Lagon, Mark and Ryan Kaminski. “Clash of Elites: What Lies Behind the Defamation Debates.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (Winter/Spring, 2013): 93–100. Lau, Martin. “The Case of Zaheer-ud-din v. The State and Its Impact on the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion.” In CIMEL Year Book Vol. 1, pp. 2–3. Accessed on May 2, 2016. Mahmood, Saba. Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. Menchik, Jeremy. Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance Without Liberalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Menchik, Jeremy. “Productive Intolerance: Godly Nationalism in Indonesia.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 56, no. 3 (July 2014): 591–621. The Munir-Kiyani Report on the Anti-Ahmadi Riots in Punjab in 1953. https://archive. org/stream/The1954JusticeMunirCommissionReportOnTheAntiAhmadiRiotsOf PunjabIn1953/The-1954-Justice-Munir-Commission-Report-on-the-anti-AhmadiRiots-of-Punjab-in-1953_djvu.txt. Olle, John. “The Majelis Ulama Indonesia vs. ‘Heresy’.” In State of Authority: State and Society in Indonesia, edited by Gerry van Klinken and Joshua Barker. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009. Pickard, Duncan. “Al-Nahda: Moderation and Compromise in Tunisia’s Constitutional Bargain.” In Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors, edited by Justin O. Frosini and Francesco Biagi, 4–33. New York: Routledge, 2015. Qasmi, Ali Usman. Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan. London: Anthem Press, 2014. Qureshi, I.H. “The Future Constitution of Pakistan.” Islamic Review, December, 1950, p. 3.

3 Debating blasphemy Sharia and the constitution

In October 2016, Pakistan Sunni Therik, the political wing of the Barelvis, issued what was termed a ‘collective Sharia statement’ on the eve of a scheduled hearing for Aasiya Bibi’s appeal against her blasphemy conviction. I provide an excerpt from the statement, which ostensibly represented 150 ulama and muftis: According to the Quran and Sunnah the only punishment for insulting the Prophet (PBUH) is death. Providing any relief [the word ‘relief’ is written in Urdu] is against Sharia. If Aasiya Masiah [Masiah is the term designated for Christians] is sent abroad millions of the Prophet’s devotees will come out in protest. . . . She was given the death penalty but six years later nothing has happened except the hanging of the devotee of the Prophet [. . .] They have rebelled against the constitution and the Sharia. According to the Quran and Sunnah the only punishment for Touheen-e-Risalat is death. Pakistan’s constitution is not British, it is bound to follow the Quran and Sunnah. . . . By hanging Mumtaz Qadari Shaheed, the rulers have shown that they want to make this country a secular state. . . . We do not want to put the country in any difficulty given the Indian aggression and terrorism, we stand with our army but for Namoos-e-Risalat we are ready to sacrifice everything. The government should stop taking anti-sharia steps, conduct speedy trials of all those criminals accused of Touheen-e-Risalat, and those who have been convicted of this crime by the courts should be immediately hanged. Government needs to fulfill the constitutional requirement of implementing ‘nazam-e-Mustafa.’1 I want to focus on three themes that emerge out of this statement. First is the question what sharia means in contemporary Pakistani politics. Second is the question of what constitutes Touheen-e-Risalat (dishonoring the Prophet Muhammad) and how it is to be punished. Third, I will consider the kind of political activism that has been generated by blasphemy statutes.

What’s sharia got to do with it? Nathan Brown observes that: “The debate about sharia is often difficult for the historically minded to follow because the change in focus in the Islamic sharia

80  Debating blasphemy from process to content has occurred without a change of vocabulary.”2 The term ‘sharia’ is used in three different ways in Pakistani political discourse: as the path to a meaningful and God-fearing life; as jurists’ law interpreted by scholars; and as set of statutory laws implemented by the modern state. The statement by Pakistan Sunni Therik quoted above uses the word ‘sharia’ in the sense of criminal statutory laws implemented by the state – a relatively recent use of the term in Pakistani political discourse. Sharia was considered to be jurists’ law in South Asia until the arrival of the British, but by the middle of the 19th century sharia had become a term limited to the personal laws of Muslims in marriage, divorce, and inheritance. As I discussed in Chapter Two, the Objectives Resolution passed in 1948 – considered the framework for creating a constitution for Pakistan – did not contain the word ‘sharia,’ although it did proclaim that sovereignty belonged to God. Wael Hallaq argues that acknowledging the sovereignty of God is one of the ways in which the Islamic system of governance and the modern western nationstate differ: “it permeated the fabric of Muslim life, from social-practical ethics to political governance.”3 Sharia as a rule of law and a system of ethics was the operative force implementing the concept of the sovereignty of God. Ulama, as scholars and jurists, were the keepers of sharia. They existed autonomously from the state, they represented the Muslim ummah (community) and ensured that “the law itself spoke on behalf of the weak and the disadvantaged even when they had no legal or political representation.”4 Hallaq concludes that the rule of sharia was both democratic and humane “in ways unrecognizable to the modern state and its law,” precisely because it put the determination of what are the rights and obligations of people “beyond the reach of any government,” and put it in the hands of private, mostly unpaid scholars who “were its guardians only by force of erudition, piety, religious charisma, and moral strength.”5 Hallaq’s recreation of how Sovereignty of God as the rule of sharia operated in Islamic history may be too idealized given his antipathy towards the modern state, but the fact remains that the premodern Muslim practice of sharia was different from what it became in the modern world. I will take up this issue in the next chapter but suffice it here to say that the ulama, the modernists, and the Islamists all agree with the principle that sovereignty belongs to God in Pakistan; however, what this means in practice has been robustly debated. From the very beginning, modernists, Islamists, and the ulama had very different understandings of sharia. Jinnah’s conception was informed by the truncated and reformed colonial-era sharia, which had been confined to Muslim family law. A few months after Jinnah made his famous statement that has warmed the hearts of secularists ever since – that religion was not the business of the state – he made another declaration in an address to the Sindh Bar Association on the eve of Eid Malid-Nabi (the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday): “I  cannot understand why this feeling of nervousness that the future constitution of Pakistan is going to be in conflict with Shari’at Law? There is one section of the people who keep impressing on everybody that the future

Debating blasphemy 81 constitution of Pakistan should be based on the Shari’ah. The other section deliberately wants to create mischief and agitate that the Shari’at Law must be scrapped.”6 Four days later, a ‘Shariat Bill’ was passed by the Punjab Legislative Assembly that granted women their Quranic rights to property.7 But this was not the sharia the ulama or the Islamists had in mind. For the ulama, sharia was made applicable through fiqh (jurisprudence) as it had been practiced for a thousand years by their learned predecessors. British colonialism and the post-colonial Pakistani nation-state had complicated the project of implementing sharia for the ulama. They no longer lived in an integrated universe of shared norms and institutions. The assumption was that in most matters the dictates of sharia would be clear, and if there were gaps “all the legislators and the executive would follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law, unanimity would naturally follow.”8 The transformation of sharia from a discursive process to a set of discrete laws was embraced by the ulama as a way of ensuring the preservation of the Islamic way of life.9 Unlike in Egypt, where the ulama had an institutionalized role through al-Azhar and Dar-al-Ifta in providing guidance to the state over sharia matters, the Pakistani ulama had no such institutional perch from which they could be the keeper of sharia. As the ulama came to accept the codification of sharia, the modernist elite came to embrace sharia as an ethical framework that could guide the legislative work of Parliament. For the modernist elite, the sovereignty of God had great symbolic value, and could possibly provide a positive source of ethical norms congruent with the liberal democratic values of tolerance and equality. For modernist politicians, the Objectives Resolution was to give expression to the Islamic identity of the new state, but in ways that built the reputation of this newly created entity as both modern and sovereign. In 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, in his first visit to North America, spoke about respect for minority rights in his addresses to the Canadian Parliament and to the Senate in the United States. In New Orleans, he told his audience that Pakistan’s ideals: do not spell out a sectarian mediaeval, intolerant, theocratic society. We believe in God and his supreme sovereignty because we believe that civic life must have an ethical content and a higher purpose, which we cannot but conceive of as the fulfillment of the Divine Will. But democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, equality before the law of all citizens, irrespective of race or creed, are also articles of faith with us.10 For the ulama, the sovereignty of God meant the rule of sharia. For the modernists, the sovereignty of God signified liberal democratic ideals such as protection from the tyranny of the majority, limits on the state’s power to take away people’s God-given rights, and an ideal polity that brings about justice for all. An ­Enlightenment-suffused ideal, a Muslim Zion11 if you will, that did not bind the leaders to any specific institutional or legal requirement.

82  Debating blasphemy The Islamists, suspicious of the modernists’ sincere commitment to Islam and worried about the ulama’s ability to progress beyond a medieval mentality, took upon themselves the task of defining what the ‘sovereignty of God’ would mean in practice. In a signature move, the Islamists ignored twelve hundred years of Muslim history and fixed their attention on the Quran as the most important source of guidance for the creation of an Islamic state. But they filtered the Quran through modern concepts, and what they came up with was a novel interpretation of an Islamic polity. For example, Maududi, one of the foremost theoreticians of Islamist ideology, uses the Arabic word hakama to refer to the assertion that the right to rule belongs to God. But the word has other connotations. “The Qur’an contains numerous verses where it is said that God is the one who judges human affairs. . . . The Qur’an expresses this judgment with the Arabic verb hakama, which may simply be translated as ‘to judge, to pass judgment.’ ”12 If it is God’s judgment that a believer has to fear, then cultivating an ethical subjectivity that will enable him/her to live a faithful life in this world and earn salvation in the next becomes most important. The ‘pillars of Islam,’ ibadat – declaration of faith in God, five daily prayers, zakat (alms-giving), fasting, and pilgrimage – were always put in the beginning of any legal corpus because, as Hallaq argues, “the function was subliminal, programmatic, and deeply psychological, laying the foundations for achieving willing obedience to the law that follows, that is, the law regulating among much else, persons and property.”13 But if hakama is to be understood as putting into effect God’s edicts, then implementing sharia laws from above becomes the key mechanism of achieving an Islamic polity. For Maududi, the concept of the ‘sovereignty of God’ had specific legal implications: it meant that that “the basic law of the land is the Sharia and existing laws in conflict with Sharia must be gradually repealed and no law in conflict with the Shari’ah shall be framed in the future.”14 As Leonard Binder points out: “The Shari’a itself is taken as known and undebatable.”15 As we will see later in the debate between Qureshi and Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, the difference between viewing hakama as being a set of clear laws of God, or of being God’s judgment, makes an enormous difference in how one approaches the issue of words insulting the Prophet of Islam. After the Objectives Resolution, the second Islamic component that became an enduring part of all subsequent constitutions in Pakistan was the so-called Repugnancy Clause, which proclaimed that any “bill, law, ordinance, or administrative order” that was repugnant to sharia be declared null and void, and that “it would be up to the Committee of Experts on the Shari’a to decide finally whether or not a particular law . . . militates against the requirements of Shari’a.”16 The power to determine ‘repugnancy’ was given not to ‘experts in sharia’ but to a council of experts which was later named the Islamic Ideological Council. The Objectives Resolution and the Directive Principles of State, which included the Repugnancy Clause, were in the preamble and thus considered non-enforceable until 1985, when the Objectives Resolution was incorporated into the body of the constitution. The ulama failed both to get the term ‘sharia’ into the Repugnancy Clause and to arrogate to themselves the task of determining the ‘sharia compliance’ of

Debating blasphemy 83 legislative acts. The Jammat-e-Islami, the Islamist party led by Maududi, wanted to use judicial review as a mechanism to enact the Repugnancy Clause. Maududi wrote that: “We are of the view that like all other constitutional disputes, the dispute as to whether a law is or is not in conformity with the Islamic injunction should be decided by the Supreme Court.”17 But the modernists won the first round of this debate by denying the ulama any institutional role or giving any institution other than the parliament the right to be the final arbiter on laws considered repugnant to Islam. In 1962, a Council of Islamic Ideology was created as an advisory body to assist the government in providing guidance to the executive and legislative branches, but as I will show in Chapter Five, their role has been marginal in influencing legislative or administrative decisions. In the early 1980s, General Zia-ul-Haq’s government created the Federal Sharia Court and the Sharia Appellate Branch of the Supreme Court as a means to Islamize Pakistan’s legal system. When Islamization was no longer sufficient for legitimizing the General’s rule, he resorted to the implementation of sharia as a reason to dissolve the National Assembly and dismiss the government of his hand-picked Prime Minister Junejo (1985–88), who turned out to be too independent for the General’s taste. One of the many reasons given for the dismissal of Junejo’s government was its failure to move speedily on implementing sharia.

Sharia comes to the parliament The gauntlet of implementing sharia was taken up by Zia-ul-Haq’s protégé Nawaz Sharif, who had political troubles of his own to face. He was leading a fractious alliance of the ‘Islam Pasand’ (Pro-Islam) IJI against the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party). The charismatic Benazir Bhutto was leading PPP, though her first effort at governing was cut short by the dismissal of her government on charges of corruption and incompetence by a President who was a holdover from Zia’s military rule. Nawaz Sharif had to perform various balancing acts; he had to convince the West and particularly the United States that he was ‘not a fundamentalist’ but he had to keep his own Islamist allies happy. He was, as a businessman, focused on economic growth, but the Shariat Court had pronounced interest rates to be repugnant to the Quran and Sunnah. Nawaz Sharif’s government introduced the Enforcement of Sharia Bill (ESB) in May 1991. The draft proclaimed that “the Shari’ah that is to say, the injunctions of Islam as laid out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, shall be supreme law of Pakistan.”18 After lengthy debate in the National Assembly, the bill was finally passed. In the following pages, I discuss themes from that debate that are relevant for our understanding of how blasphemy laws became sacralized. By 1991, much had changed in Pakistan since the Constituent Assembly had debated the Objectives Resolution. The country had been ruled by military generals longer than by elected politicians; issues that had occupied the Muslim League politicians during the Objectives Resolution debates, such as parity between East and West Pakistan, were rendered obsolete by the creation of Bangladesh. Islamization was now firmly identified with the long rule of General Zia-ul-Haq. Unlike

84  Debating blasphemy the first Constituent Assembly, where one heard long and eloquent speeches from religious minority members such as Dutta, in 1991, the religious minority voices were muted. In many days of lengthy exchanges, Muslim speakers mentioned religious minorities mostly to assert that the proposed bill would protect their rights; only one religious minority member spoke briefly to point out that they had no representation in the Senate and that their educational institutions had been nationalized without compensation. The house had earlier accepted an amendment to the proposed Shariat Bill that read in part: “nothing contained hereunder shall affect the rights of the non-Muslim guaranteed by or under the Constitution.”19 But unlike the debates over the first constitution of Pakistan, where the parliamentarians were highly conscious of the rights of religious minorities, the discussion in 1991 focused on intra-Muslim divisions. Almost all the speakers proclaimed their fealty to Islam, but some opposition members went on to discuss why their understanding of Islam was superior. Ajmal Khan Kattak of ANP, a secular socialist party, argued that he was happy to embrace sharia of the Prophet – which brought basic rights to humanity, struggled against the oppression of slaves and the poor, and insisted on the equality of all – but that unfortunately the proposed sharia bill went against the essence of Islam, which maintains that there should be no compulsion in religion. He argued that Zia-ul-Haq’s government had used Islam to violate human rights, and had become enslaved to the American government, the IMF, and the World Bank. Opponents of the proposed bill argued that the Constitution contains the words “no laws should be made that are repugnant to Islam,” and therefore that the bill was unnecessary. They argued that the Sharif government was rushing this bill through in order to enhance its political capital, but the long-term impact of the proposed bill would be dangerous for the constitution, democracy, and the supremacy of Parliament. Atizaz Ahsan, a lawyer and member of the PPP, asked what the implementing mechanism would be once the bill passed. He warned the government that they may further malign the name of Islam through this hurried legislation as had already happened with misuse of hudud ordinances under Zia’s government.20 The opponents argued that the imposition of codified laws in the guise of sharia would create greater division and fan sectarian flames. Unlike the 1948 Constituent Assembly discussion, where Islam was put forward by almost all Muslim members as the vehicle for a forward-looking, enlightened democracy, there was a clear division in 1991 between those who wanted to keep Islam as a broad ethical reference point and those who insisted that the implementation of sharia law was the only way to maintain an ethical polity. Benazir Bhutto spoke at length opposing the bill as “un-Islamic, sectarian, unconstitutional, and obscurantist.”21 She said that she took her opponent, Nawaz Sharif, at his word when he said that he was not a fundamentalist, but that this proposed bill was fundamentalist in nature. She was interrupted by Maulana Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi, the Barelvi leader of JUP, who demanded that she explain what she meant by fundamentalist, reminding her that in Islam “we have phrases of believers, nonbelievers, hypocrite. . . . It is a bad name, which Americans have coined for us, we reject

Debating blasphemy 85 it.”22 Bhutto argued that the parliament was the true representative of the wishes of Muslim people (ijma) and the proposed legislation would weaken the parliament and give too much power to the judiciary. She argued that judges were threatened with physical harm when they made rulings disliked by the clergy. She leaned on the concept that there is no compulsion in religion; there are a variety of opinions and sects, and therefore the imposition of one opinion as being ‘sharia’ would be uncalled for. She went on to assert that there should be a distinction between sin and crime – the former should be left to God to judge.23 Echoing many first-generation Pakistani politicians debating the Objectives Resolution, she argued: “My being Muslim is not contingent upon man’s law. My being a Muslim is contingent upon God’s law.  .  .  . It would be best if the State did not try to impose laws and take over prerogatives which do not belong to men, but belong to God alone.”24 She argued that the ulama’s insistence on a fundamentalist reading of Islam has maligned the reputation of this religion as one “which discriminates against women, which discriminates against minorities and that I believe, Sir, is a great disservice to the great religion which came to liberate mankind.”25 She outlined what she called a non-fundamentalist framework of Islamic social democracy, which would include ‘supremacy of the Parliament,’ equality of Muslims and non-Muslims through a joint electorate, and keeping the state out of personal affairs – in other words, not criminalizing sins that should be judged by God, not the state. Other speakers opposing the bill often referred to the paltry electoral support for Islamist parties. Ghulam Ahmad Bloor noted that “those who get two percent vote want to impose their will on others who get ninety-eight percent.”26 Some parliamentarians complained that by making sharia the supreme law of the land, they were going towards a dictatorship of the jurists. As Syed Iftikhar Hussain Gilani worried, “so much of the Sunnah is uncodified that it leaves a great scope for varied interpretation, giving the Courts too much leeway when it should be the legislators making specific laws in the light of the Quran and Sunnah.”27 Several opponents reminded their audience that the Islamists and the ulama had often been bitter adversaries of Jinnah and the very idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia. The proponents of the Sharia Bill were surprisingly muted in their responses to the criticisms; those who did step forward did not discuss the substance of the bill. Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi’s speech, for example, was more of a temper tantrum than a coherent defense of the proposed bill. The leader of JUP scolded some of the opponents of the bill as ‘Young Turks’ who had forgotten what their ancestors were all about, who seemed to think that the world was progressing “when all you see is scantily-clad women in newspapers and those purveyors of Western civilization bombing Iraqi Army even when they had surrendered and inciting the Shia and the Kurds to rebel.”28 He praised Nawaz Sharif for his sincerity and the fact that Nawaz Sharif’s father, a pious man, had told his son to be sincere with sharia.29 Maulana Niazi was scornful of laypeople who thought that they knew religion, warning that “not every riffraff rascal can

86  Debating blasphemy become a mujthad [Islamic jurist].” He thundered against those who pointed to the 73 sects in Islam as an argument against implementing the Sharia Bill, and reminded the audience that the actual Hadith had the Prophet saying that “my Ummah will face crisis and will be divided into 73 sects but only one of those sects would be the righteous one, the one that will be faithful to me.”30 Liaqat Baloch, the leader of the Islamist JI party rejected the claim that there were divisions among the ulama and the Islamists and proclaimed that when it came to Sharia, all maslaks were on one page.31 The Gulf War was one of the central characters in the drama of the Shariat Bill. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait had fractured the Islamist alliance. Nawaz Sharif’s government was supporting the US-led coalition, but the JI and JUI broke with the government and came out strongly against U.S. military operations in Iraq. The Islamist parties had not done too well in the recently held election – for example, the JI won 3 percent of the popular vote in the 1990 election – but in the Gulf War, they found an issue that brought them more into sync with popular opinion. The Jammat organized hundreds of rallies opposing the Gulf War and took full advantage of the growing anti-American sentiment taking hold among the Pakistani public.32 Starting from 1988, with the Rushdie affair, and continuing through the Charlie Hebdo cartoon controversy in the second decade of the 21st century, JI, JUP, and JUI, along with several smaller parties, found common cause in fanning the flames of anti-American sentiments as one way to maintain hold over public opinion in the face of their generally lackluster performance at the polls. The Shariat Bill was passed with a simple majority, but the Nawaz government was not done with functionalizing sharia for political legitimacy. In 1998, the second Nawaz Sharif government proposed the passage of ­Enforcement of Sharia Bill as the 15th amendment to the Constitution, which would allow the Prime Minister to “do what is right and prohibit what is wrong,” without constitutional constraints. Whereas the 1991 Shariat Bill was viewed as a move by the Sharif government to burnish its credentials as a pious regime, the 1998 bill was viewed by the opposition as audacious power grab because of the following clause: “provisions of this article shall have effects notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, any law or judgement of any court.”33 This bill passed with two-thirds of the vote in the House, but the Senate tabled it. At the conclusion of the vote in the House, the Prime Minister proclaimed that protecting minorities and women’s rights would be his priority, and that the purpose of the amendment was not to make better Muslims out of Pakistanis – because that is between them and God – but instead to use sharia as a mechanism to deliver justice.34 Nothing much had changed in Pakistan’s politics or its legal framework as a result of the passage of the 1991 Enforcement of Sharia Bill. Almost seven decades after the Constituent Assembly in Pakistan had passed the Objectives Resolution, declaring that sovereignty belonged to God, there had been several changes made in the three constitutions of Pakistan to accommodate Islam in its legal and political structure. But other than declaring the Ahmadiyya community non-Muslim in 1974, Pakistan’s parliament had not played a central role in shaping Islam’s role in the public sphere.

Debating blasphemy 87

The shariazation of extremist politics By the late 1990s, ‘sharia’ had become a term coopted by variety of fringe groups in Pakistan as a means to distinguish themselves from the crowded marketplace of Islamist politics. In the 1970s, some Muslim authoritarian states implemented hudud (Quranic-prescribed punishments), such as public flogging for consumption of alcohol or cutting off hands for stealing, to show their resolve to Islamize their societies. It is not surprising that Pakistan, Sudan, and Libya, ruled by three military dictators, were at the forefront of this search for legitimacy by accentuating the punitive measures in Islamic laws, which played a significant role in creating what Khaled Abu Fadl calls the ‘culture of ugliness’ frequently associated with sharia.35 In Pakistan, there was some public flogging during Zia-ul-Haq’s period, but stoning adulterers or cutting hands off thieves did not happen. It was the Taliban in Afghanistan who emerged as the model of an Islamic state for many extremist fringe groups in Pakistan. The Taliban’s insistence on limiting women’s movement, surveilling men’s facial hair and publicly flogging or killing adulterers despite strong opposition from most governments, international organizations and NGOs made them a model for extremist groups in Pakistan. The ‘shariazation of politics’ is occurring in countries that face weak state structures, declining economic opportunities and intractable social conflicts. Noah Feldman argues that in places where we see a “quasi-Hobbesian environment,” local communities have shown a “willingness to turn to self-established shari’a courts to engage in the most basic form of dispute resolution.”36 Quick and definitive justice is often the justification given for the imposition of sharia. In the parliamentary debates on sharia I discussed earlier, many bemoaned the delayed and expensive judicial processes that emboldened predatory practices like rape and murder. For many communities in Pakistan, the traditional mechanism of conflict resolution based on customary laws often produced better results. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), groups like Tehreek Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) in the Swat district and TTP in both FATA and Swat mimicked the Taliban’s practice of blowing up girls’ schools, forcing barbers to stop shaving young men’s beards, and publicly flogging those accused of crimes, all in the name of sharia. When the proponents of blasphemy statutes argue that showing any mercy to the accused is ‘against sharia’ they mean it in the sense of a ‘Talibanized’ conception of Islamic laws that brook no equivocation, since it is assumed that the laws are clear-cut. What is the status of blasphemy laws in light of sharia? The Pakistan Sunni Therik statement I outlined earlier argued that showing leniency to Aaysia Bibi would be against sharia. The assertion is problematic because there is no clearcut position taken in ‘sharia’ about imposing the death penalty for insulting the Prophet. I take up this issue in greater detail in the next chapter, but suffice it to say here that the term ‘sharia’ used in the statement is meant to signal the impossibility of compromise over blasphemy statutes and an implicit threat that if such a compromise is made the ST would become as radical as the TTP in challenging the state. I move next to a debate between a lawyer who argues in

88  Debating blasphemy favor of the death penalty for those guilty of insulting Prophet Muhammad and an Islamic scholar who argues against such punishment to show that the ground in which blasphemy statutes grow is fertilized more by nationalist passion than by sharia.

A lawyer’s passion for the Prophet Muhammad Ismail Qureshi is one of the pivotal figures in the movements Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Muhammad as the final Prophet of God) and Namoos-eRisalat (Movement for Protection of Prophet’s Honor). As an attorney, he has appeared in front of High Courts, the Supreme Court, and the Shariat Appellate Bench to argue in favor of declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and to ensure that the only acceptable punishment for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (under Pakistan Penal Code 295-C) is the death penalty. Qureshi published a book entitled Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat,37 which purports to make a definitive case that death is the only just punishment for any insulting remarks against Prophet Muhammad (shatim-e-Rasool). Qureshi narrates the circumstances that made defending the sanctity of the Prophet (Namoos) the central goal of his adult life: “A quarter century ago in Lahore I was living on Ghazi Ilum-ud-Din Shaheed road in Lahore opposite a mosque and used to go pray there often. One Friday I heard Sheikh-al Hadees, Maulana Moosa Khan, give the Friday sermon. He was wearing spotless white outfit which made me wonder about the hypocrisy of contemporary ulama, who claim to be following the example of the Prophet and his companions, but the Prophet lived a simple life among the growing wealth of the Islamic world and here is this famous alim, wearing an expensive outfit. . . . I was so disheartened that I left the mosque without greeting him. Shortly afterwards I had a dream in which among a huge gathering of humanity I saw the Prophet Muhammad appearing on a horse (isep-esaba), he was wearing a pristine white outfit and there was such holy light that despite my intense desire I could not gaze at his sacred face. . . . Eventually I was able to touch his feet.”38 Qureshi goes on to say that for a long time he did not tell anyone of his dream but eventually confided in an attorney friend who told him: “brother you are very lucky, you will be asked to render a great service.”39 In 1992, while performing Umrah in Medina, he met Maulana Moosa Khan, who was ecstatic to find out about his dream. During that meeting Qureshi had an epiphany that made him apprehend a Quranic verse that no one ought to begrudge others’ blessings and luxuries that God had provided for his people, which made him regret his first reaction to Maulana Moosa’s immaculate outfit. Qureshi concludes his preface by saying that now it is clear to him that he was given a second life after a serious car accident in 1976, because he had to make his dream a reality. That dream was realized when the Federal Shariat Court, in its historic decision, Muhammad

Debating blasphemy 89 Ismail Khan V. Government of Pakistan, confirmed death as the only penalty for the crime of blasphemy against the Prophet.40 The rest of Qureshi’s book is devoted to establishing the unique status of the Prophet Muhammad, not only for Muslims but for humanity, and making an airtight case that death is the only penalty for insulting the Prophet, and that such a crime was clearly understood and prosecuted wherever Muslims had political control. Qureshi takes up various questions surrounding the crime of insulting the Prophet: what kind of transgression is “insulting the Prophet?” Could it be forgiven if the accused did not actually have the intention to insult? Could it be forgiven if the accused repents? Is it a crime only for Muslims in that this will lead to irtad – leaving the faith or apostasy – and if that is the case, then what about the possibility that it is a crime against God, for which the punishment would fall in the afterlife? Are women exempt from the death penalty? To all of these questions Qureshi’s answer is: no mercy for anyone who is accused of insult to the Prophet. Qureshi points to Maududi’s argument that Islam cannot be measured according to the modern conception of religion, in which religion is a private affair and meant to concern itself only with salvation in the afterlife. As a comprehensive ideological framework implemented by the state, an Islamic system cannot allow traitors to destabilize the very foundation of Islamic society. If a recruit leaves the army, he can be court-marshaled and shot to death; if a member leaves a revolutionary party, he can be killed; thus, those who join the party of Islam should know that if they leave they will be facing the prospect of the death penalty.41 Qureshi starts the section entitled ‘295-C’ with an international and comparative perspective by outlining what he deems to be the key sources of the Western notion of human rights: the English Magna Carta, the French social contract via Rousseau, the American Declaration of Independence, and the United Nations Human Rights Charter. He tells the reader that his in-depth study has made it clear to him that “these documents are an incomplete realization of the Quranic instructions and a faint echo of the last sermon on the Mount given by the Prophet Muhammad.”42 In Islam, he argues, humans are given greater rights to dignity than in the West, while the most important difference is that in Islamic states these rights are not under the control of governments – because they are God’s commandments, which no one has the right to amend or revoke. Qureshi points to the inadequacy of the Western human rights discourse in protecting vulnerable minorities in Bosnia, Kashmir, Palestine, and Kosovo because, he argues, “the UN is the minion of the United States,” which is why it has shown such quick action when it comes to putting sanctions on Iraq or Libya but is powerless to do anything when the U.S. violates international law.43 Quoting the Quranic verse that warns believers that killing one person is like killing all of humanity, while saving the life of one person is akin to saving the whole of humanity, Qureshi argues that a believing Muslim can never even contemplate unjustly killing anyone because of fear of punishment not just in this life but the afterlife too. He argues that worries about blasphemy laws being abused are without foundation. Muslims love their Prophet so much that they would not hesitate to sacrifice their wealth, parents, or children to protect his honor, which is

90  Debating blasphemy why a blasphemy law against insulting the Prophet is the best way to ensure that no innocent lives are lost.44 For Qureshi, the blasphemy laws in the West are the final nail in the coffin of those who argue that PPC 295-C conflicts with freedom of expression or freedom of religion. Qureshi cites British blasphemy law which prescribes “civil death rather than the death penalty.” He cites the 1978 blasphemy conviction against the UK newspaper Gay News to make the point that a lack of intention to cause harm cannot be considered a valid defense: “when the defendant’s attorney argued that there was no intention to commit blasphemy,” the “jury in a unanimous decision rejected that defense” because “in a blasphemy case against Jesus, ‘intention’ or ‘objective’ are irrelevant, thereby confirming what has been the Islamic stance all along; intentions do not matter in blasphemy conviction.”45 For Qureshi, the case that gives the best and final word on blasphemy is a 1922 American court case, State v. Mokas,46 which he included in his testimony to the Pakistan Supreme Court in Zaheer-ud-Din v. the State. He provides detailed excerpts from the decision without translating it into Urdu and at the end concludes: “No more argument is required after the irrefutable reasoning of American Supreme Court to prove the law of contempt of Holy Prophet (PBUH) to be justifiable in Pakistan.”47 He dwells on the following portion of the decision: “it may be truly said that, by reason of the number, influence, and station of its devotees within our territorial boundaries, the religion of Christ is the prevailing religion of this country and of this state. With equal truth may it be said that from the dawn of civilization, the religion of a country is a most important factor in determining its form of government, and that stability of government in no small measure depends upon the reverence and respect which a nation maintains towards its prevalent religion.”48 He then explains to his readers that European lawmakers justified blasphemy laws on the grounds that an attack on religion is actually an attack on the state, which is why even secular states have made blasphemy a criminal offense. He argues that American Supreme Court decisions leave no room for debate: insulting the Prophet with impunity would mean destroying the very foundation of the Pakistani state.49 He concludes the section by once again highlighting what he sees as the hypocritical attitude of the West towards blasphemy laws in Pakistan: “Western countries have established secular (irreligious) systems of Government, but their desire to worship has not gone away. Now rather than worshipping Jesus, the state has been fetishized as an object of worship. Wherever there are secular governments, the rebellion against the state is considered a most serious crime with capital punishment.”50 In the preface to the second edition of the book, published in 1999, Qureshi wrote that he had made a few additions to add to the force of his argument, and one such addition is to provide a rebuttal to what he calls a misguided defense of Rushdie and a denial of the severity of shatim-e-Rasool, which had been advanced by an Indian, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (henceforth referred to as Maulana). Maulana is a well-known Islamic scholar who has written influential commentary on the Quran and various books about Islam. This debate between Qureshi and

Debating blasphemy 91 Maulana is worth exploring in more detail. Below I will first provide Maulana’s key arguments, and then I will discuss Qureshi’s critique of his book.

The Prophet’s way: dawa versus law For Qureshi, an airtight law ensuring prosecution and the death penalty for anyone who dares to insult the Prophet was the fundamental pillar of the integrity of the Muslim ummah; for Maulana, dawa (invitation to Islam) constituted the foundation of Islam because that is, he argued, the Prophet’s way. “Islam is an invitation to do good, it is not a mere set of criminal laws. The central purpose of Islam is not to make criminals out of humanity and then whip them, shoot them or hang them; instead it is to make people love God.”51 Maulana argues that law and dawa employ two very different methodologies. Law does not care what people think of it, while those interested in dawa must make friends out of enemies, which will require patience, persistence, and the ability to forgive those who mock you. He argues that this is the Prophet’s way because he was the “blessing for humanity (rehmat-e-alam) and not the murderer of humanity (qatale-alam).”52 Maulana says that Rushdie’s book is malicious propaganda against the Prophet and his family, but argues that this is not the first time that the Prophet Muhammad has been vilified – history is full of examples of horrific propaganda against the Prophet. The protection of the Prophet Muhammad’s reputation and the integrity of his message has been promised by God because Muhammad, as the last Prophet, must be a source of guidance for humanity until the end of time.53 He argues that the duty of Muslims is to engage in calling others to Islam by living an exemplary life. He characterizes Imam Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa, which promised a reward to anyone who killed Rushdie, as a disaster for dawa because it makes Muslims appear intolerant and vengeful. Quoting reviews of The Satanic Verses, he asserts that the book was shallow, defective, and without any literary merit; as such, it would have been ignored if it was not for the overreaction of Muslims, particularly from South Asia, that made the book famous and Rushdie rich.54 Citing several examples from the life of the Prophet, Maulana argues that the Prophet showed mercy or tried to convince with logic those who taunted him with satirical poems, accused him of being a false prophet, or even attempted to malign the reputation of his favorite wife Ayesha. By writing the book, Rushdie may have injured the feelings of Muslims, but there is no Islamic criminal punishment for ‘injury of religious feelings,’ argued Maulana.55 He pointed out that the overreaction to Rushdie’s book, which included rioting that led to the deaths of several protestors and the damage of property, has made the central mission of Islam, dawa, much harder for Muslims. He counsels Muslims to understand the reason for the strong reaction of the West to the death fatwa against Rushdie. Rather than seeing the West’s reaction as anti-Islamic, Maulana, quoting Edward Mortimer, argues that free speech has become a central part of the Western belief system.56 We should respect the importance of free speech, says Maulana, because it enables us to do the work of dawa in the West.

92  Debating blasphemy He quotes from a letter by an English convert to Islam who complains that after the Rushdie affair she finds much greater hostility to Islam among her friends and neighbors. Maulana devotes a chapter to a critical analysis of Ibn Taymiyya’s (1263– 1328) As-Saarim al-Maslul ala shatim ar-Rasul, because it is the central source for those who argue that insulting the Prophet should be punished with death. He praises Ibn Taymiyya for collecting important information about Islam, but faults him for defective analysis based on weak evidence.57 Ibn Taymiyya’s argument is that even though the Prophet forgave those who transgressed against him, now that he is not present in the world his followers cannot do the same. Quoting one Hadith in which the Prophet instructed his companion not to kill a person who had insulted him by saying, “do not give others the chance to say that Muhammad killed his companion,” Ibn Taymiyya concludes that killing is the right punishment for insulting the Prophet. Maulana calls this ‘childish logic’ that clearly conflicts with the Prophet’s intent, which was to protect the reputation of the religion, since that is central to the success of his message.58 Another instance of such faulty logic in Ibn Taymiyya’s work, according to Maulana, is that the Prophet’s saying, in reference to satirical poems, that “words may be sharper than a sword” led Ibn Taymiyya to argue that non-Muslims who insult the Prophet with satire should be considered as guilty as those who attack him with the sword, which makes such transgressions punishable with death. “Ibn Taymiyya should have said that ‘words’ could be more lethal than the sword and more effective in changing people’s minds, which is why we need to respond to words with words. Prose and poetry would be a powerful response to destroy that ‘fitnah’ (sedition) of those who mock the Prophet. To do so would be exactly like following the Prophet’s way.”59 Maulana further argues that the many verses from the Quran used by Ibn Taymiyya to support death as the penalty for insults to the Prophet never mention punishment in this world; instead they refer to eternal punishment in afterlife. Maulana concedes that the majority of ulama over the years have agreed that shatim must be punished with death, but says that two points need to be kept in mind  – first, nothing in the Quran or Hadith supports this punishment, and second, the consensus definition of shatim is not limited to insult to the Prophet ­Muhammad; it includes insult against God and all of the prophets. But he points out what constitutes shatim is so extensive – making fun, criticizing, ­accusing, ­cursing – that if we apply it to our contemporary world almost all might be accused of insult. Maulana continues, “Jews consider Jesus to be a child of an unwed mother, Christians consider the Prophet Muhammad to be a false prophet, then there are those who do not believe in one God, and socialists and communists who consider religion to be an opiate for the mind” – this makes the list of transgressors so long that eventually all of humanity would be considered worthy of death.60 Maulana faults Muslim intellectuals and ulama of reacting unthinkingly to perceived provocations, rather than investigating events thoroughly. He points to several instances where prominent religious and political leaders agreed with Khomeini’s call for Rushdie’s assassination but later, when their ‘jihad of word’

Debating blasphemy 93 had created a toxic environment for Islam, they moderated their stances, as the Iranian Government did, by removing the fatwa against Rushdie.61 In his response to this book, Qureshi dismisses Maulana’s arguments based on the Quran and the Hadith as a waste of time because “in the face of unanimous agreement among the ulama, a self-proclaimed maulvi’s confused musings have no value.”62 Instead, Qureshi focuses on two pages in which Maulana argues that free speech has become a cherished value in the West, and that that might be a good thing for Muslims interested in dawa. Qureshi begins his response by saying “India’s self-proclaimed Maulana has written a book on the issue of shatime-Rasool in 1996 in which he has relied on deceptive phrases such as liberty, tolerance, freedom of expression, and freedom of thought to fully litigate the case of the devilish Rushdie.”63 Qureshi argues that Maulana does not understand the concept of liberty, the danger that libertarianism will turn into licentiousness, or the West’s duplicitous attitude toward free speech. In Qureshi’s view, historical evidence shows that Rousseau learned about the concept of liberty from Islamic sources. He says that Maulana does not understand the fact that the necessity for public order limits the exercise of freedoms in every country, including India, where the integrity of the state and the boundaries of decency are some of the standards by which free speech is regulated.64 By calling Maulana secular, insinuating that his Indian origin makes him untrustworthy, and quoting passages from his writing out of context, Qureshi attempts to dismiss Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s arguments about shatim-e-Rasool without ever addressing the central contention of Maulana: God has guaranteed Namoos-e-Risalat, and this has set Muslims free to focus on dawa.

Between a rock and a hard place The role of Muhammed Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Pakistani-Canadian politician and an Islamic scholar, can provide a window into the complex terrain that made 295-C a sacred boundary for Barelvis – a group that is otherwise known for its enmity towards ‘puritan’ strands of Islam. The radicalization of the Barelvis provides an insight into multiple arenas and agendas implicated in the politics of blasphemy as it unfolded in Pakistan. Tahir-ul-Qadri represents an example of these multiple arenas and agendas – he lives between Canada and Pakistan and he speaks to multiple audiences of Europeans, North Americans, and South Asians. He presents himself as a learned scholar who can build a bridge between the West and the Muslim world, but his political ambition makes him a polarizing figure  in Pakistan. He has taken the title of Sheik-ul-Islam, but his Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) is from the University of Punjab. He is listed as a Pakistani-born ‘Canadian politician’ on his Wikipedia page,65 but it is in Pakistani politics that he has played an often-shadowy role, attempting to lead Long Marches at least twice for what his political party, PAT (Pakistan Awami Therik), called the mission of ‘saving the State, not Politics.’ For some, he represents the moderate face of contemporary Islam – journalists in Western newspapers often describe him as a ‘Sufi’ – but to others he is a paid agent of the West, intent on weakening the Muslim world by

94  Debating blasphemy liberalizing Islam. His failure to condemn Governor Salman Taseer as Ghustakhe-Rasool (he who insults the Prophet) and his suggestion that Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated the Governor, could be given the death penalty has made him a fair target for younger Barelvis eager to claim some of the limelight for themselves. In a six-hour address to his supporters,66 Tahir-ul-Qadri laid out the history of 295-C; his pivotal role in first formulating the law and then defending it in various forums; the dangers of novices taking Hadith and Quranic verses out of context and applying them in ways that can defame Islam; the differences of opinion regarding blasphemy among the four legal schools; the difference between substantive (tazerat) and procedural law; his declaration of absolute love for the Prophet Muhammad; and his contempt for ignorant so-called Barelvi leaders who are questioning his sunniat (fidelity to tradition).67 “How dare those whose eyes may never have been filled with tears for the love of the Prophet,” thundered Tahir-ul-Qadri, “question my service for aqeeda ishaq-e-Rasool” (creed based on passion for the Prophet). To show his service for the cause, he highlighted the many hours of testimony he had given to skeptical judges to convince them that the only possible punishment for shatim-e-Rasool is death, with no exceptions: “I knew that the Hanafi fiqh had difference of opinion on this issue, but I took this absolute position not in the service of fiqh but in the service of my creed.”68 Tahir-ul-Qadri then outlined the differences between Hanafi and the other three schools whereby many, including Imam Hanifa (699–767) had taken the positions that non-Muslims could not be given the death penalty for insulting the Prophet, that women should not be given the death penalty, that those accused should be given the chance to repent, and that if they did so, they should be forgiven. To give definitive proof of his fealty to the cause of ‘love for the Prophet,’ he points out that as a Hanafi he went with the other three schools because “I wanted to shut all doors on any mercy shown to anyone who dares insult the Prophet.”69 To justify his support for Governor Taseer, he lectured his audience about the difference between substantive and procedural law, and argued that Salman Taseer had called only the procedural law ‘black law’ and not objected to the substantive part of the law against insulting the Prophet. He described the many flaws of the legal system in Pakistan, where the powerful can get away with murder but the poor can be trapped in baseless court cases. He insisted that there was a consensus that death is the only penalty for gustakh (one who insults the Prophet) in Pakistan, but the debate was over the best procedure to implement this law. Greed or personal animosity might lead people to lodge false cases of blasphemy, which would bring infamy to Islam. That was the source, he argued, of his concerns about 295-C: not in its substance but in its implementation. The occasion for this lengthy, often incensed disquisition was the very partisan milieu after Governor Taseer’s assassination, where the topic was incessantly discussed in the media. From the perspective of many Barelvis, Tahir-ul-Qadri had betrayed the movement to protect the honor of the Prophet by suggesting that the governor had not committed blasphemy. The age of the Internet made it easy for enemies of Tahir-ul-Qadri to puncture holes in his assertion that, for him, the only punishment for insulting the Prophet is the death sentence. A video was released in

Debating blasphemy 95 which Tahir-ul-Qadri is shown addressing a Danish audience and arguing that in Hanafi fiqh, non-Muslims are exempted from the death penalty for shatim-eRasool,70 which would imply that 295-C should be revised. His opponents presented the video clip, juxtaposed with his earlier address in which he claimed credit for ensuring that no one would be exempted from 295-C, as a proof that he is a munafiq (hypocrite). Mufti Hanif Qureshi, a young Barelvi leader, rose to prominence in 2011 because it was his sermons that convinced Mumtaz Qadri that the Governor of Punjab was a gustakh-e-Rasool. As an emergent leader of the Barelvis, he was eager to demolish Tahir-ul-Qadri’s reputation and claim the spotlight which until 2011 had eluded him. In an hour-long video he responds to Tahir-ul-Qadri’s television commentary that Governor Taseer was not gustakh, and Mumtaz Qadri should be given capital punishment for taking the law into his own hands.71 Hanif Qureshi makes the pointed statement that Tahir-ul-Qadri was giving that interview to a Qadani (Ahmadi) anchor. Hanif Qureshi argues that politicians have failed to convince people of Taseer’s innocence and now they are using maulavis to make this case – then with a wink and a nod, he says: “The issue is not the sharia, it is dollars.”72 Hanif Qureshi quotes extensively from Tahir-ul-Qadri’s book, Tahafuz Namoos e Risalat (Protection of Prophetic Dignity), to show that Tahir-ul-Qadri’s previous stance was clear, that anyone who insults the Prophet must be given the death penalty. He then accuses Tahir-ul-Qadri of hypocricy for changing his earlier stance that the only punishment for those who insult the Prophet is death: “Today you are playing the champion for world peace but in your own words you had said do not give shatim a chance to repent, behead him.” Since Tahir-ul-Qadri had objected to the murder of Salman Taseer as extra-judicial killing, Hanif Qureshi reminded him that his earlier stance was also advocating “extra-judicial killing of a shatim.” In the latter part of the video, Hanif Qureshi heightens the stakes and creates a tricky theological terrain for Tahir-ul-Qadri by reciting the dreams of several people who have seen the Prophet either bring gifts for Mumtaz Qadri, or asking him for a very challenging task, which Mumtaz Qadri accomplishes. One dream put him as the fifth person in the company of four caliphs on white horses.73 As Mufti Hanif Qureshi attempted to make a name for himself by critiquing Tahir-ul-Qadri and becoming a devotee of Governor Taseer’s assassin, yet another leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, attempted to wrest that control away by taking over the movement of Tehreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah (TLYR), which was founded on the day of Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral. The opportunity arose when yet another political crisis was manufactured by the opponents of the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif in 2017. As I described in Chapter One, TLP emerged on the day of the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Governor Taseer. Convinced that the right moment had arrived, the key leaders  – Khaddim Hussain Rizvi, Hanif Qureshi, and Muhammad Ashref Jalali – sent out a call for a sit-in in the nation’s capital Islamabad at the eve of Mumtaz Qadri’s chelum (40th day death ceremony). The sit-in petered out when the government did not agree to any of the demands put forward by the protestors: the crowd dwindled and eventually

96  Debating blasphemy the leaders also left. In some ways this was seen as a failed attempt by the Barelvi political wing, the Sunni Therik, to flex its political muscles. Although the sit-in failed, the sanctification of Mumtaz Qadri continued. The situation changed significantly the following year when once again TLP sent out a call for a sit-in to protest the changes in the oath taken by legislators. In preparation for the upcoming election, the government had attempted to streamline election regulations through the Election Act of 2017, and in that process the wording required from Muslim candidates affirming that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet was changed from “I  .  .  . solemnly swear,” to “I declare that I believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him)  .  .  . nor do I  belong to the Qadiani group or the Lahore group or call myself an Ahmadi.”74 What may appear to be an innocuous change in wording in the process of bringing disparate sets of regulations under one election law became, for Rizvi, a deep conspiracy to eliminate blasphemy statutes and reinstate Ahmadis as Muslims. Several thousand of his followers staged a sit-in at the strategic area that connects the capital Islamabad to the city of Rawalpindi. The sit-in paralyzed the government for three weeks; TYLR rebuffed attempts at negotiations, and aggressively attacked the police and the homes of ministers. It demanded that the Law Minister resign and that a thorough inquiry happen to uncover who was part of this conspiracy to change the wording of the oath. The sit-in received national attention and massive media coverage; the government was now in retreat and eager to negotiate with TLP leaders. By this time, the leadership of TLP had split: Khadim Hussain Rizvi had consolidated control, Jalali formed a rival though much smaller group, and Hanif Queshi had been pushed aside. The talk of the town was that the TLP sit-in had the backing of the ‘deep state’ (the military spy agency ISI) to put pressure on the civilian government of PMLN and to bolster the chances of Imran Khan’s PTI. Whether or not the TLP had the support of the ‘deep state,’ the fact is that its participation in the election the following year took enough votes for PTI to emerge as a victor in many of the constituencies previously held by PMLN.75 TLP emerged as the fifth-largest party nationwide and third-largest vote getter in Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan: The overall vote share of the religious parties declined in the 2018 election to about 10 percent of votes. The TLP emerged as one of the largest religious parties, receiving almost 50 percent of the votes cast for religious parties. It took some of PMLN’s votes, but the rest of its victory came at the expense of more established religious political parties, such as the JI, JUP, and JUI. But despite this impressive performance, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the TLP, held a press conference to announce that they would be protesting the election results because they were deprived of millions of votes due to rigging.76 Rizvi takes pride in the fact that his movement is now in the forefront of protecting the honor of the Prophet and that “even the leaders of Deobandi groups are following our path and speaking out against those responsible for softening the blasphemy laws.”77 Rizvi frequently points out that their rival maslaks are

Debating blasphemy 97 Table 3.1 National Vote Count and Share in Percentages National Position


Total Votes


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Pakistan Muslim League (N) Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Independent Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Grand Democratic Alliance Awami National Party Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan All Others

16,851,240 12,896,356 6,901,675 6,018,291 2,541,520 2,231,697 1,257,354 808,229 729,767 2,625,157

32% 24% 13% 11% 5% 4% 2% 2% 1% 5%




Source: Election Commission Pakistan

Table 3.2 Punjab Vote Count and Share in Percentages National Position


Total Votes


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Pakistan Muslim League (N) Independent Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan Pakistan Muslim League Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek All Others

11,141,139 10,516,446 6,186,779 1,876,265 1,784,513 442,029 391,451 233,703 536,238

34% 34% 19% 6% 5% 1% 1% 1% 2%




Source: Election Commission Pakistan

in retreat and that TYLR has already performed better in two electoral contests than more established Islamist parties.78 Rizvi is eager to offer the support of his movement to the Pakistani army, emphasizing the importance of the sword over dawa and criticizing the Barelvis for participating in American-supported conferences on Sufi Islam and forgetting that one needs force to protect the honor of the Prophet.79 Taking a page out of jihadi extremist groups, Rizvi is justifying violence – except this time not based on a particular creed but on the general love of the Prophet. Though Rizvi momentarily gained an upper hand in the inter- and intra-maslak competition, his victory might be short-lived in this highly competitive marketplace. That moment may have arrived in November  2018 when the Supreme Court of Pakistan released Aasyia Bibi, igniting a storm of protest by the offshoot of TYLR now known as TLP. For three days, Rizvi’s followers protested against the Supreme Court’s decision, but this time TLP may have overplayed its

98  Debating blasphemy hand. One of the top leaders of TLP, Pir Afzal Qadri, called for the assassinations of judges who had decided in Aasiya Bibi’s favor and told the soldiers to rebel against the generals who had allowed such a thing to happen in Pakistan.80 The supporters of TLP burned cars and motorcycles, harassed citizens, and forced a shutter-down strike in most major cities. Jalali pounced on this opportunity as the government was rounding up the leaders and workers of TLP and announced that his organization, TYLR, condemns the violent protests of TLP and would not join them in their call for a mass gathering in Rawalpindi.81 I will discuss the response of the government in Chapter Five, but here I want to highlight the response of a well-known Islamic scholar, Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani, of a Deoband seminary in Karachi, as a way to sum up this chapter.

The doubt doctrine Intisar Rabb tells us that “From the earliest periods in Islamic history, the very real specter of unjustified and excessive punishment rankled Muslim jurists. . . . They adopted the doubt doctrine as the guiding principle of Islamic criminal law [and] doubt cautioned avoidance of punishment.”82 Mufti Rafi Usmani appeals to this doctrine to urge a moderate approach towards the Supreme Court’s decision freeing Aasiya Bibi. Here are some of the relevant excerpts from the open letter that was published in Pakistani newspapers.83 During General Zia-ul-Haq’s time when Hudood ordinance was being debated we were mindful that if we were not careful Islamic laws will be defamed. If we cut hands off a thief at the slightest suspicion it will earn a bad reputation for Islamic laws in the world. . . . The famous doctrine of doubt in Islamic laws gives the benefit of the doubt to the accused. Our Supreme Court raised the same point of benefit of the doubt. . . . We do not consider the judge kaffir, they are also Muslims. . . . The judges have even made clear in their written judgment that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for the honor of the Prophet. . . . Whatever law of sharia is at stake, Islam does not allow us to be overwhelmed by emotions and without any inquiry kill someone.84 I have thus far told the story of defenders of blasphemy laws who are bent on wrenching away any doubts about the punishment of those who, in their eyes, insult the prophet. These defenders, like the lawyer Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, aim to present an airtight case against showing mercy to those who insult the Prophet. But Muhammad Ismail Qureshi is not trained in Islamic jurisprudence. He selectively deploys what he asserts is a total consensus among Muslim jurists that the only punishment possible for dishonoring the Prophet is death. I presented Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s contrasting approach to the issue of insulting the Prophet not as the definitive answer to Qureshi, but rather as a more representative example of how Muslim jurists might debate this issue. Mufti Rafi Usmani, like Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, is using the methodology of fiqh by invoking the classic Islamic doctrine of doubt.

Debating blasphemy 99 Along with the open letter, Mufti Rafi Usmani’s seminary issued an audio recording in which he elaborated on the letter.85 Usmani is more emotional in that audio, at one point his voice breaks with an overflow of emotions as he says that the hearts of Muslims are hurt by this situation. He asks that the Supreme Court review the case. Why is it that the lower courts found her guilty? he asks. “If the guilt is not proven, then we are the followers of Sharia, we will say fine, but let’s not make this a game, that cannot be tolerated.”86 One sees him struggling on the one to hand counsel patience and the rule of law and on the other feeling that somehow Aasiya Bibi has been unjustly released because “the West is intent on insulting our Prophet, our enemies are cheering her release. If she leaves the country she will become the leading voice there just like they have made Malala Yusef their leader and are using her against Islam and Pakistan.”87

Notes 1 Online, last accessed August 25, 2018, 2 Brown, “Sharia and State in the Modern Muslim Middle East,” 365. 3 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 71. 4 Ibid., 71. 5 Ibid., 72. 6 Quoted in Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 100. 7 As I discussed in Chapter One, Jinnah had first shepherded a ‘Shariat Bill’ in 1936, but Punjab was excluded at that time as a result of a political compromise. 8 Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 174. 9 Zaman, The Ulama in Contemporary Islam, 17–37. 10 Quoted in Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 199. 11 Devji, Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea. 12 Giffel and Amanat, eds., Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context, 16. 13 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 117. 14 Maududi, Islamic Law and Constitution, 168. 15 Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, 103. 16 Ibid., 169. 17 For Maududi, the legislature in an Islamic state performs four functions: first, “where the explicit directives of God and his Prophet are available, the legislature cannot alter or amend them, yet the legislature alone will be competent to enact them by formulating rules and regulations for the purpose of enforcing them. Second, in cases where the Sharia has not laid down specific injunctions and there could be more than one interpretation of a given command, the legislature will decide which one of the interpretations should become the law. Third, wherever there is no explicit provision in the Quran or Sunnah, the legislature should be able to penetrate the spirit of Sharia to formulate the kind of laws that are in perfect agreement with the ‘fiqh.’ Fourth, there is yet another vast range of human affairs about which the Sharia is totally silent. . . . This silence is by itself indicative of the fact that the Supreme Law-giver has left it to human beings to decide such matters according to their own discretion and judgment.” Maududi, Islamic Law and Constitution, 401. 18 The Gazette of Pakistan, Islamabad, June, 1991, p. 187, ments/1335242059_665.pdf. 19 The National Assembly Debates, May  15, 1991, p.  1218. The debates are available online at 20 Ibid., May 13, 934–9.

100  Debating blasphemy 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45


47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Ibid., 1089. Ibid., May 14, 1991, 1092. Ibid., 1091–105. Ibid., 1102. Ibid., 1097. Ibid., 1213. Ibid., 1208. Ibid., 1362–3. Ibid., 1364. Ibid., 1315. Ibid., 1344–5. Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution, 214–18. The National Assembly of Pakistan Debate, October 9, 1998, p. 3055, uploads/documents/1459590777_504.pdf. Ibid., 3073–2. Abou El Fadl, Reasoning with God, 2014. Feldman, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, 138. Qureshi, Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat. Translations from Urdu to English are mine. Ibid., 19–20. Ibid., 20. Ibid., 21. Ibid., 276–82. Ibid., 288. Ibid., 290. Ibid., 291–2. Ibid., 295. Qureshi is referring to the 1977 case, Whitehouse v. Lemon, in which an editor of Gay News was convicted for printing a poem that injured the religious feelings of Christians. In a 3–2 decision, the judges decided that intention in this instance did not matter. See Nash, Blasphemy in the Christian World: A History, 97–100. Qureshi calls this a decision of United State Supreme Court but in fact it was a 1922 decision by the supreme Judicial Court of Maine that held that “the offense of blasphemy under Rev. St. c. 126, sec. 30, may be committed either by using profanely insolent and reproachful language against God, or by contumaciously reproaching Him, His creation, government, final judgment of the world, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Scriptures as contained in the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, or by exposing any of these enumerated Beings or Scriptures to contempt and ridicule, and it is not necessary for the state to prove the doing of all of them.” See “Blasphemy. What Constitutes Offense Under Maine Statute,” The Virginia Law Register 7, no. 11 (March 1922): 855. Qureshi, Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat, 299–300. Ibid., 298. Ibid., 300. Ibid., 301. Khan, Shatim-e-Rasookl Ka Masala: Quran Aur Hadith Aur Fiqh Wa Therik Key Rashooni Mein (The Problem of Those Who Insult the Prophet in Light of Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, and History), 144. The translations from Urdu to English are mine. Ibid., 143. Ibid., 17–19. Ibid., 33–5. Ibid., 53. “Christianity is no longer the religion of Britain in the sense that Islam is the religion of Iran. . . . The religion of this country, and of the ‘free world’ to which it belongs, is precisely, freedom.” Ibid., 67.

Debating blasphemy 101 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Ibid., 104. Ibid., 108. Ibid., 109. Ibid., 125. Ibid., 189. Qureshi, Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat, 244–5. Ibid., 234. Ibid., 236–9. “Ghustakh e Rasool Kon Hai” [Who Is Guilty of Insulting the Prophet?], 67 The Barelvis call themselves Ahl-e-Sunnat-wal-Jammat. 68 “Ghustakh e Rasool Kon Hai” [Who Is Guilty of Insulting the Prophet?], 69 Ibid. 70 The video clip that was released by his opponents shows a two-minute clip only. Here is the link to that: Here is the link to the longer video for context: 71 The video is entitled “Mufti Hanif Qureshi Reply to Tahirul Qadri on Who is Blasphemous” and uploaded by a group founded by Hanif Qureshi called: Shababeislami, accessed May 18, 2016, 72 He opens his statement with a recitation of Quranic verses and interspersed recitations of Hadith in Arabic but in the style of naat (hymns in praise of Prophet Muhammad) to support his contentions that Umar, one of the first four caliphs, had killed a ghustakh and the Prophet had approved of that act. Tahir-ul-Qadri had accused his opponents of reciting whatever surah (verses) they knew from the Quran which had no connection to the issues they were discussing, as a way to assert that these were untrained nonscholarly Maulvis. Hanif Qureshi not only recites these Hadith in Arabic, he does it through naat and with gestures that make it very effective. 73 There is general consensus that the Prophet Muhammad’s appearance in dreams must be authentic because the devil cannot take the shape of the Prophet. Another tradition further affirms the legitimacy of seeing the Prophet in one’s dream by saying that “whoever has seen me in a dream will see me in real life.” Rozehnal, Islamic Sufism Unbound. 74 Sattar, “Reign of Terror?”, 75 Ahmed Yusuf, “What is Behind the Sudden Rise of TLP?”, The Dawn News, August 5, 2018, 76 Allama Khadim Rizvi Tehreek Labbaik Press Confrence Lahore HD 2018 | ‫حسین خادم‬ ‫رضوی‬, 77 Kalbe Ali, “Who is Khadim Hussain Rizvi?” Dawn, December 3, 2017, www.dawn. com/news/1374182. 78 The first election was in October 2017 for NA-4 in Peshawar, where the TLYR candidate received almost ten thousand votes, and the second was in Lahore NA-120, where its candidate received a little over seven thousand votes. See Ali, “Who is Khadim Hussain Rizvi?”. 79 Rizvi is calling for a change of attitude among the Barelvis, declaring that there can never be a separation between religion and politics, and that those who support the government of Nawaz Sharif – who killed Mumtaz Qadri – are also guilty of dishonoring the Prophet. Accessed July 4, 2018, 80 Yusuf, “What Now For the TLP?” The Dawn, November 11, 2018, news/1444949/what-now-for-the-tlp. 81 A few days before Jalali made this statement he appeared on the stage with Rizvi to show that they were all on the same platform when it came to protesting release of Aasiya Bibi, but once the government arrested Rizvi and other top leaders, Jalali

102  Debating blasphemy

82 83 84 85 86 87

released the statement distancing himself from TLP. “Tahreek Labaik Ya Rasool ALLAH/Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali,” Rabb, Doubt in Islamic Law, 38. Usmani, “Allah kay Qanoon mein ghalti neihan, fasala kareny walo aur quahoon say ghalti ho sakthi hay,” [God’s Law Cannot be Wrong but the Judges or Witnesses Can Make Mistakes]. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.

References Abou El Fadl, Khaled. Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari’ah in the Modern Age. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Ali, Kalbe. “Who is Khadim Hussain Rizvi?” Dawn, December 3, 2017. news/1374182. Binder, Leonard. Religion and Politics in Pakistan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963. Brown, Nathan. “Sharia and State in the Modern Muslim Middle East.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 29, no. 3 (August 1997): 359–76. Devji, Faisal. Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. Feldman, Noah. The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. Giffel, Frank and Abbas Amanat, eds. Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Hallaq, Wael. The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin. Shatim-e-Rasookl Ka Masala: Quran Aur Hadith Aur Fiqh Wa Therik Key Rashooni Mein [The Problem of those Who Insult the Prophet in Light of Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and History]. New Delhi: Goodword Books, 1997. Maududi. Islamic Law and Constitution. Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1975. Morning Star News. “Pakistan Supreme Court Delays Ruling on Asia Bibi Case as Islamist Pressures Mount.” Morning Star News, October  13, 2016. Accessed August  25, 2018. Nash, David. Blasphemy in the Christian World: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza. The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: The Jama’at-i-Islami of Pakistan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail. Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat: Quran aur Sunnat, Tahreek, Qanoon Aur Adalati Fasoolo Key Aaena Mein [The Protection of the Sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) and the Blasphemy Law in the Light of Quran, Sunnah, History and Judicial Decisions]. Lahore: Alfasil Publishers, 1999. Rabb, Intisar A. Doubt in Islamic Law: A History of Legal Maxims, Interpretation, and Islamic Criminal Law. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Rozehnal, R. Islamic Sufism Unbound: Politics and Piety in Twenty-First Century Pakistan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Debating blasphemy 103 Sattar, Babar. “Reign of Terror?” The News, November 18, 2017. print/245516-reign-of-terror. Usmani, Mufti Rafi. “Allah kay Qanoon mein ghalti neihan, fasala kareny walo aur quahoon say ghalti ho sakthi hay” [God’s Law Cannot be Wrong but the Judges or Witnesses Can Make Mistakes]. The Jang, November  11, 2018. news/574630-topstory. The Virginia Law Register, “Blasphemy. What Constitutes Offense under Maine Statute.” 7, no. 11 (March 1922): 855. Yusuf, Ahmed. “What is Behind the Sudden Rise of TLP?” The Dawn News, August 5, 2018. Zaman, Muhammad Qasim. The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.

4 Sacralizing the state and secularizing sharia Islamic politics in the age of the nation-state

“To Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves, ISIS Pushes Birth Control” was a headline that, in 2016, seemed more suited to the fictional world of The Handmaid’s Tale1 than a feature article in the New York Times.2 The story focused on a 16-year-old Yazidi girl who was enslaved by ISIS alongside thousands of other women from her community, and was forced to take birth control pills by her captors. The Islamic State cites centuries-old rulings stating that the owner of a female slave can have sex with her only after she has undergone istibra – “the process of ensuring that the womb is empty” – according to the Princeton University professor Bernard Haykel, one of several experts on Islamic law consulted on the topic. The purpose of this is to guarantee there is no confusion over a child’s paternity. Most of the Sunni scholars who ruled on the issue argued that the requirement could be met by respecting a period of sexual abstinence whenever the captive changes hands, proposing a duration of at least one menstrual cycle, according to Brill’s Encyclopedia of Islam. In its own manual, the Islamic State outlines the abstinence method as one option. But it also quotes the minority opinion of a Tunisian cleric who in the 1100s argued that it was enough to fulfill merely the spirit of the law. That opens the way for other means, including modern medicine, to circumvent the waiting period.3 Here then is a story that can only inspire disgust in contemporary readers, who may be left asking, how can a religion sanction this kind of behavior? Muslims may deny that ISIS represents Islamic tradition, but in a widely read article entitled “What ISIS Really Wants,” Graeme Wood of The Atlantic took to task those who underestimate the religious roots of ISIS. The article asserts that “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic.”4 Wood argues that in reviving practices that had remained dormant for hundreds of years in the Muslim world, ISIS is practicing what revivalist Muslims have been preaching for many decades now: returning to the first 50 years of the Islamic community as the model for creating a good society. “Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet.”5 Certainly the New York Times story

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 105 demonstrated that ISIS was attempting to hew closely to Islamic jurisprudence by ensuring that they followed the letter of the law and did not have sex with captive slave women who were pregnant. ISIS’s invocation of the first 50 years of the Muslim community as the authority for their contemporary mission – using the past as authority – and the acceptance of that claim by Graeme Wood speak to the problematic question of what is Islamic tradition? In implying that ISIS is representing an authentic Islamic experience, Graeme Wood joins a venerable contemporary trend in which Western observers of Islam join hands with many Islamists in asserting that there are clearly laid out sacred laws encapsulated in the Quran and the Prophet’s life. I intend to show in this chapter that contrary to the general perception that the role of sharia in Muslim societies has remained fixed throughout time, from the 19th century onwards, the rise of the West and the decline of the Muslim world fundamentally altered the nature and practice of sharia. What was once a pluralistic, contextual, and contingent amalgamation of the legal, the moral, the mystical, and the mundane minutia of daily living – a code of conduct guarded by scholars (ulama) – became codified and rigid during this time. Subsequently, sharia was used to justify laws imposed by postcolonial Muslim governments claiming the credentials of Islamic statehood. First, the rise of the West and the decline of the Muslim world in the 19th century resulted in a fundamental shift in the role of sharia; it was transformed from a framework used by scholars to divine the will of God to the best of their fallible human capacity, into a codified law based on definitive authority. Second, the loss of political power and consequent domination by the West resulted in a paradoxical situation, wherein one of the central Islamic institutions, sharia, was in retreat, while religion in general was ascendant as the solution to all aspects of Muslim social, political, and economic problems. Third, the emergence of postcolonial Muslim nation-states that aggressively moved to both control religious institutions and use Islam to burnish their legitimacy fundamentally changed the meaning and implementation of Islamic laws. The main challenge to postcolonial Muslim states did not come from the ulama, the scholarly class that had functioned as the guardians of sharia, but from a new group, the Islamists, who put forward the project of creating an Islamic state. The Islamists’ vision of the modern Islamic state was based on the premise that Islam is a comprehensive ideology that would generate a clear and uniform code-based system of laws.

What is sharia? The New York Times story about ISIS and sexual slavery used the Arabic word istibra to describe the rule that the ‘womb must be empty’ before a man can have sex with a female slave. But a quick Google search of this term will land you right in the middle of what appears to be a Muslim obsession with body fluids and purity. For example, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s website defines istibra as “a recommended act for men after urinating. Its object is to ensure that no more urine is left in the urethra.”6 It goes on to describe various kinds of body fluid discharge

106  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia which may or may not break one’s wudu (ritual purity for prayer). When it comes to religion, the vast majority of practicing Muslims’ time and attention is taken up by their daily prayers, which involves ensuring the integrity of their wudu, and almost zero hours are devoted to what often irritates the non-Muslim world about sharia: the role of women, cruel penal punishments, and the treatment of nonMuslims. For practicing Muslims, attention to wudu is a central aspect of following sharia law, as testified by the fact that “the purity code takes up a considerable amount of --space in the tomes of Muslim jurisprudence,”7 because ibadat, the term for acts pertaining to a believer’s relationship with God, requires one to be in the state of purity. Thus, the first thing to understand about sharia is the distinction often made by scholars between ibadat, one’s relationship with God through religious rituals, and muamalat, social interaction between and among individuals.8 Much of what is considered Islamic law in the family, penal, and commercial arenas is related to muamalat, but what makes a Muslim a pious person is how faithfully he or she engages in ibadat. If we look at what Islamists write about, it may appear, as L. Carl Brown puts it: “Muslims today are almost oppressively concerned with politics and the state,”9 but if we pay attention to what Muslims do, Ze’ev Maghen’s observation that “Logically, psychologically, and sociologically speaking, then, for most of his waking life, it is the ibadat which makes a Muslim specifically Muslim”10 alerts us to the imperative of raising doubts about those who want to present sharia as simply the blueprint for the laws of an Islamic state. Almost all Islamic legal texts began with discussion of the five basic arkan (pillars) of ibadat, which constitutes “one-quarter to one-third of the entire body of these treatises.”11 Thus, sharia has never operated as simply a code of legal conduct.

Interpreting God’s will: sharia and fiqh “We have set you on a shari’a of command, so follow it” is the only time the word sharia appears in the Quran.12 Sharia is a representation of God’s will, and fiqh is a human attempt at understanding that will. For believing Muslims, the Quran is the direct speech of God, but “a central problem in Muslim thought concerns the difficult transition from the unity and authenticity of the Text of God to the multiplicity and inherently disputed quality of the texts of men.”13 Fiqh, the human struggle to understand God’s intentions, should not be confused with sharia, the eternal path to God’s will. “Fiqh underlines the contingent character of legal norms and human acts, of dissent and uncertainty as factors that enter into human rule making.”14 Interpreting God’s law was made easy for the first generation of the Muslim community because they could rely on the guidance of the Prophet and his companions. But within half a century of the community’s existence, those who had known the Prophet personally were increasingly rare, leading to the science of collecting the Hadith, information about Prophet Muhammad’s actions and sayings assembled from oral reports. For the early Muslim community, there was no disagreement about the status of the Quran as a complete compilation of God’s speech, but authenticity, reliability,

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 107 and status of Hadith in guiding the community became a major source of discord. Who had the authority to determine the reliability of Hadith, or the relationship between Hadith, the Quran, and local cultural practices (urf) in guiding the community? The answer could not be the political rulers, because the first four ‘rightly guided’ caliphs were no longer around, and the first political dynasty, the Umayyad (661–750) earned a reputation as tyrannical rulers with little regard for religion. A breach was thereby opened between the holders of political power and the devout men of Mecca and Medina who wanted to sustain the pious way of life introduced by the Prophet Muhammad.15 The rise of a Muslim scholarly class (ulama) became central to the guidance of the community. Here, then, were people like Hasan Basri (d. 728) “widely sought out for his piety and knowledge,”16 or a silk merchant from Kufa, Abu Hanifa (d. 767), who attempted to bring reason and discernment to the sea of reported Hadith by arguing that only the most reliable Hadith should be used and that it should be secondary in importance to the Quran. Abu Hanifa pioneered the use of analogical reasoning (qiyas) to extend the ruling of one situation to another based on a shared legal cause (illa). The critics accused the Hanafites as playing fast and loose with Islamic injunctions by putting their own reasoning ahead of practices bequeathed by the Prophet.17 Abu Hanifa’s Persian background and his residence in cosmopolitan Kufa were further sources of suspicion for those who felt that it was the city of the Prophet, Medina, where his legacy remained strongest. Malik ibn Anas (d. 796), a resident of Medina, became the founder of the second major school of jurisprudence (madhhab), who argued that consensus (ijma) regarding the prevalent norms and practices of the city of the Prophet should be the bedrock of the emerging community of believers. “Leaning against a column of the Prophet’s own mosque, only yards from where the Prophet himself was buried, Malik sorted through this material, organized it by topic and recorded it in his Muwatta, the earliest surviving book of Hadiths and Islamic law.”18 When an Abbasid caliph suggested making Muwatta a source for a standardized code of sharia law, Malik argued against doing so because “each region of that realm had forged its own path for God’s law, and this diversity could not realistically be undone.”19 But for one of Malik’s brightest students, Muhammad bin Idris Shafi (d. 820) of Cairo, who also studied with Abu Hanifa’s disciple Shaybani, the consensus approach of Malik and the analogical reasoning of Hanifa were helpful but not sufficient in providing guidance to the increasingly diverse Islamic community, because different cultural practices were producing different ideas about the Sunnah (way) of the Prophet. For Shafi, the answer lay in collecting accurate reports that could be traced back to the Prophet or his companions through a chain (isnad) of trustworthy narrators, which could then provide a solid foundation for the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Quran and the Sunnah would become the two basic pillars of Sharia, but for the Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama’a (Sunni), it was the Sunnah of the Prophet that unlocked the mysteries of the book of God. Shafi’s Risala made the Prophet’s practices a central part of understanding revelation, with these practices thus taking on almost the same status as the Quran. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, a student of Shafi, dedicated his life to collecting and memorizing accurate (sahih) Hadith, which

108  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia he compiled into a collection known as the Musnad. Eventually, two canonical collections of the Hadith considered sahih by al-Bukhari (d. 870) and Muslim (d. 875) took on authoritative status next to the Quran. The tension between the impossibility of legislating in the place of God, and the need of the community to have a stable path (shar) to a pious life, resulted in the evolution of usul-e-fiqh, or the science of jurisprudence, which brought together fields of “logic, theology, language, linguistics, rational-textual hermeneutics, legal reasoning, and much else,” to develop interpretative methods.20 The learned scholars used reasoning (ijtihad) to figure out the correct answer to a particular question or case. “Islamic law is one of legal pluralism, not only because it acknowledges local custom and takes it into serious account, but also because it offers an array of opinions on one and the same set of facts.”21 The four legal schools came to be known by their founders’ names: Hanfi, Malaki, Shafi, and Hanabali, denoting historical continuity but exceeding the authority of the schools’ individual founders. “The discussions and conflicts among the scholars of each law school as well as between the scholars of different schools of law are well known and their dissent is accepted.”22

Heirs to the Prophet The contemporary obsession with the political role of Islam has obscured a basic fact: that when it comes to the organization and function of the state, Islam is not as prescriptive as we might imagine. The Quran and the Hadith, the two most important sources of guidance for Muslims, have little to say about the organization of an Islamic polity.23 The fact that the Prophet Muhammad was both the spiritual and political leader of the Muslim community, whereas Jesus had counseled his followers to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” is often used to explain the failure of ‘secularism’ in the Muslim world.24 But as L. Carl Brown points out, to the question of whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus’s reply (render unto Caesar) was not a recommendation as much as it was an evasion to protect a small and vulnerable minority. For the first generation of Muslims, there was not a question of accommodating an existing state, but rather the dilemma was how to “organize a state appropriate to the new religion.”25 Too much is made of these differences in the formation of the early Muslim and Christian communities: no doubt these differences shaped ideas and institutions but one cannot assume a prescriptive framework regarding the relationship between faith and politics arising out of these differences. Nonetheless, the Prophet’s and his companions’ practices were central because, as Ebrahim Moosa points out: “Since salvation was a core idea of Islam as a dı¯n (collective practices of salvation), the knowledge of practices was integral to that order of salvation. In order to reproduce, explain, and interpret practices over time, a discursive tradition emerged. It elevated the status and the power of those who mediated the learned tradition, namely the scholars.”26 The Prophet Muhammad and the first four caliphs’ roles as spiritual and political leaders may have provided subsequent generations with an ideal model, but

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 109 within a few decades, as political power shifted from Mecca and Medina to Damascus and Baghdad, there developed a division of labor between those who wielded political authority and those who wielded religious authority. The ulama became the heirs to the Prophet, but lacking a church-like institutional structure, they did not pose a threat to the political rulers. “Certain ulama could resist the blandishments of government office, others could accept, and all could accommodate in a system wherein no one – not even the caliph – presumed to speak ex cathedra (to use the Catholic term) on religious dogma.”27 It was in the age of imperial Islam, first under the Umayyad and even more significantly under the Abbasid dynasty, that a division of labor developed between religious and political authority. The ulama became the guardians of Islamic tradition, but unlike Christianity and more like Judaism, theirs was a loose fraternity of scholars whose authority depended not on an official position but on their reputation among peers. The rulers originally deferred to the ulama over most aspects of social life, and in due course expanded the scope of siyasa shar’iya (political sharia) to address criminal and administrative cases.28 The Abbasids (758–1258) led the rebellion against the Umayyads as usurpers and promised greater fealty to sharia. It was under the Abbasids that what we have come to know as sharia was nurtured by Muslim scholars and jurists. The arrogance and inflexibility displayed by some who impose sharia in modern times stands in stark contrast to many medieval scholars, who were ‘terrified’ by the possibility that they might misinterpret God’s command, and also by the idea of sitting in judgment of fellow Muslims as qadis (judges), since God alone knew the secrets of the heart: Many members of the Ulama were not only reluctant to pronounce on a coreligionist’s sinfulness; they were manifestly terrified of doing so. Chronicles of this period are littered with tales of men who underwent floggings or feigned madness to escape the burden of service as a judge (qadi).29 Reliance on the authority of the mufti (legal experts) eased the burden of judging, and created a dual structure in Islamic jurisprudence whereby mufti rendered legal opinions, and qadi administered justice, often based on those legal opinions. “The mufti was, as a rule, a private legal specialist who was legally and morally responsible to the society in which he lived, not to the ruler and his interests.”30 The authority of a particular fatwa (opinion of the jurist) was based on the scholarly reputation of the mufti. The mufti represented the scholarly community and the qadi represented the authority of the state. The most pious muftis maintained a distance from judgeship and the courts, “which many considered an arena of corruption, coercion, and error,”31 but there were plenty of ambitious jurists willing to serve the state – appointments in major cities of the empire were considered plum assignment by many jurists. “Their integration into the administration of an empire-wide judiciary gave the jurists leverage for the diffusion of their normative systems among the Muslim townspeople in different regions.”32

110  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia The early Abbasid rulers had a particular fondness for philosophers known as Mutazilite (rationalists) in Islamic history, sitting as they did in a cosmopolitan setting where they “came face to face with the logic of Aristotle, the cosmology of Plotinus, and the theologies of Christianity and Zoroastrianism.”33 The one attempt at inquisition, mihna (827–853), was launched by Abbasid Caliphs to interrogate judges and scholars to ensure that they were in line with the Mu’tazilite (rationalist) belief about the Quran.34 It was an attempt by the Abbasid rulers to assert that they were the inheritors of the Prophet and therefore the ultimate authority in matters of faith was the caliph’s.35 The ulama were to be tested on the true doctrine, and those failing it could no longer act as mufti or qadi. Ibn Hanbal was the most famous and most recalcitrant target of the inquisition. Imprisoned, and eventually taken in chains to the court of Al-Mutasim (r. 833–842) to debate doctrinal issues with court notables, Ibn Hanbal stuck to his position despite threats and coaxing and eventual thrashing with a whip, which stopped only when he collapsed. The punishment had to cease, it is said, because the court officials were fearful of attack by the growing mob of angry supporters of Ibn Hanbal, who was eventually left alone by al-Mutasim and actively courted by his successor, al-Mutawakkil. The minha failed, and much of the credit is given to the steadfastness of Ibn Hanbal. Patricia Crone sums up the consequences of the minha as “effectively the end of the caliph as a religious authority in his own right. The overriding authority which the Rashidun had possessed, and which the Umayyads had continued to claim for themselves, was now seen as dispersed in the community and expressed in scholarly agreement (ijma).”36

Sharia siyassa Graeme Wood, in his article on “What ISIS Really Wants,” quotes Musa Cerantonio, a 30-year-old Australian convert to Islam who is considered one of the two most important spiritual authorities for the group, saying that the caliphate in Islam “is not just a political entity but also a vehicle for salvation. . . . A Muslim who acknowledges one omnipotent god and prays, but who dies without pledging himself to a valid caliph and incurring the obligations of that oath, has failed to live a fully Islamic life.37” When Wood asked Cerantonio if that meant that all who passed away between 1924 (the end of the Ottoman caliphate) and 2014 died a death of disbelief, Cerantonio nodded gravely: “I would go so far as to say that Islam has been reestablished by the caliphate.”38 There is plenty of material in Islamic theology (kalam) and jurisprudence (fiqh) to support Cerantoni’s contention that the caliphate is a vehicle for salvation in Islam. The role of a caliph or imam loomed large in the normative map of Islam. The caliph as the representative of God on this earth and also as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad had the responsibility to ensure that Muslims live according to sharia by becoming a mujthahid (legal scholar) and by enforcing the conditions necessary for Muslims to live according to that law. Michael Cook points to the looseness with which jurists treated what ought to have been a central spiritual and political role in Islam. The requirement for this all-important position was “adult, sane, male, free,

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 111 Muslim, respectable, courageous, and possessed of sound judgment,”39 but if no such person was qualified then a related tribe would do, or just an Arab would suffice  – and under some circumstances even a non-Arab would do. Similarly, the crucial question of how such a person was to be selected was addressed rather cavalierly: a caliph might be designated by the previous caliph, or if enough people pledged allegiance to him, or “if someone who satisfies all the conditions simply goes ahead, forcing people to obey him, then the imamate comes into effect for him too.”40 For the jurists, this was a scholastic exercise, a refusal to let go of an ideal caliphate, but in practice, qualifications and the process of appointment did not matter. The two civil wars fought after the death of the Prophet had made the realization of ideal leadership a moot point. The very first division in the community arose over the question of the caliphate. The partisans of Ali (Shia) argued that the Prophet had chosen his cousin and sonin-law to be his successor, but the majority (Sunni) argued that the Prophet had sagely left the question of his successor to the community of believers. Thus, the notion of caliph as a singular leader for the entire Muslim community never existed (other than briefly under Ali) for the Shia; for the Sunni, it existed in its perfect shape during the reign of the first four caliphs, but with the rise of the Umayyad dynasty, it turned to Mulukiat (kingship) or dynastic rule. Some, like Umayyad’s Umar II (r. 717–20) and the Abbasid’s Harun al-Rashid (r. 786–809), earned the respect of the Sunni majority as pious leaders, but the consensus was that the caliphate could no longer perform the function of the “vehicle of salvation.”41 Sunni political theory extended legitimacy to the kingly rulers nonetheless, and a de facto division emerged, in which the scholars became the keepers of sharia and in the process acted “as a bridle restraining the tendency of rulers to the arbitrary exercise of power.”42 In return, the scholars generally showed restraint in challenging even the more impious rulers, as expressed by Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), an icon of contemporary Islamists, who argued that 60 years of an unjust ruler was preferable to a single night without a ruler.43 Anarchy, rebellion, and disorder were abhorrent to the Sunni jurists not because they saw the survival of the caliphate as a “vehicle for salvation,” but because such disorder might undermine their status as keepers of sharia. “Given the equivalence between the learned and the prophets of yore, the ‘ulama’ and their tradition acquired power and authority as the mediators of salvation.”44 Patricia Crone sums up the relationship between Islam and politics for the medieval Muslim world: “If we think of the domains of the religion, state, and society as three circles, Islamic history starts with a situation of perfect identity: only one circle is visible, it encompasses all three domains, which are completely identical. Religion had spawned a society and its government. This is the situation in the Prophet’s Medina. We then have six centuries of development in which the circles gradually come apart. At the end of our period, as far as government is concerned the overlap with religion was minimal. The Shari’a did cover the caliphate, holy war, taxation, and other aspects of public organization, but its

112  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia rules on these subjects were commonly ignored, and there was in any case a great deal more than that to politics. Government now formed an almost completely detached circle of its own, devoted to the upkeep of Islam but not generated by it.45 The caliph was seen as vehicle of salvation in early Islam because he could lead the people on the right path of sharia, but the disagreement over who was the rightful successor, and the rise of what were seen as tyrannical rulers, meant that the “ulama’s discursive tradition, its methods, and their authority became coterminous with Mohammedan charisma.”46 Perhaps one of the least appreciated elements of medieval Islamic law is its flexibility and plurality. Groups like ISIS thrive on the image that God’s laws are clear and fixed, but for most of Islamic history, scholars have acknowledged that the fallible human activity of interpreting an infallible God’s will demands plurality and flexibility. “The authors can enter in debates and polemics with each other, but they cannot, in principle, deny each other the right to reach different conclusions concerning texts, methods and facts.”47 The legal tradition strives for consensus (ijama) but lives with differences of opinions, not only among the four legal schools but also within each school. This ‘epistemological skepticism’ towards the ability of human reason to reach infallible knowledge extends to the work of the qadi, who as a judge cannot be certain of the facts of the case. “His only chance to avoid arbitrary judgment is to precisely follow the prescribed procedure in constructing the trial and pronouncing the judgment.”48 The parties to the trial share the ethical burden of ensuring that a judgment based on false evidence or error is not executed even if it is favorable to them. A central characteristic of Islamic jurisprudence is the idea that one may transgress against God or against fellow human beings but not against the state. The Sharia does not know the concept of public prosecution, that the ‘state’ represents the community and takes initiatives to punish criminals. This is the prerogative of those who have suffered damage, not an outside third party, not the qadi as representative of the community or the state.49 There are rights and obligations towards fellow human beings, and there are obligations owed to God, but there are no obligations towards the state. Certain of the offenses that in Western law are counted as crimes are treated as offenses against God, whereas others are treated as injuries of man to man and as subject to what amount to civil action.50 Homicide, for instance, is a civil matter between the parties involved; the family of the victim can forgive the perpetrator, ask for financial compensation (diyat) or demand a life for a life (qisas). The state implements the final decision, but it does not determine the punishment. There are five transgressions that, if committed, are considered crimes against God and have fixed penalties (hudud). The evidentiary

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 113 requirements for hudud penalties are extremely high. For example, the accusation of zina (fornication) requires the evidence of four upstanding men who are willing to testify that they have witnessed an act of penetration. If the accusation is unproven, the witnesses must be punished with 80 lashes for false accusation (qazaf). The jurists counsel the witnesses to refrain from witnessing and offenders from confessing – and if the sinner did confess transgression against God, the jurists allow the retraction of such a confession. The jurists decide on the guilt or innocence of those accused of transgression against God, and the government administers the punishment. Muslim rulers had considerable discretionary legal authority to supplement religious laws with administrative regulation. What was known as siyassa (political) sharia included the administrative machinery to implement jurists’ decisions and to make other administrative rules or secular laws (qanun). Mazalim (grievance), shurta (police), and hisba (accountability) were administrative arenas under the control of the ruler. In criminal prosecution, shurta were not bound by the strict evidentiary rules of sharia court; they could compel confession, and could prosecute on their own authority without the presence of a plaintiff. Hisba courts were directed mostly towards commercial transactions, ensuring weights and measures and taxation. The ruler, for example, could not override the decision of the qadi, and the administrative regulations could operate only in areas where sharia did not lay down compulsory rule. It is important not to overstate the autonomy of the jurists from the patronage of sultans. Political rulers appointed qadis, and although the muftis had independent means of livelihood from madrassas, which were paid for by endowments (awkuf), over time, sultans patronized madrassas in a bid to both earn piety and influence over the jurists. The Islamic legal tradition did not provide too much symbolic capital to the sultans: “the Friday prayer, the two Festivals, and the Pilgrimage are with the ruler.”51 But in what Shabab Ahmad calls the ‘Balkans-toBengal complex’ in the Muslim world (1350–1850), rulers developed a broad repertoire of symbolic capital through music, literature, architecture, poetry, philosophy, mysticism, and ethics (akhlaq) to sustain a claim to be the ‘shadow of God’ on earth. An important source of legitimacy for the political rulers was their patronage of Sufi orders and shrines. As Afzar Moin points out, if we move away from the formal and textual sources of political power and pay attention to performative aspects of sovereignty, we can see the ways in which Mughal kings in India (1526–1857) and Safavid rulers in Iran (1501–1722) adopted “the trappings of saintly power and embraced the world as heaven-sent saviors.”52 The Ottoman Empire’s bureaucratization of sharia courts further consolidated the sultan’s claim to legitimacy. Sharia courts were the spine of the Ottoman legal system, and unlike the previous era, the courts were organized hierarchically. Chief Judges from European and Anatolian provinces held the highest positions and served as an imperial council, acting as a court of appeal in cases where there was a difference of interpretation. Though the division of labor between qadis and muftis continued, the muftis now became paid employees of the state. The chief mufti, Shakyh-ul-Islam, became a highly prestigious position based in

114  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia Istanbul. The Hanafi school was given primacy by the Ottomans, but legal pluralism was practiced, and judges from other schools were also appointed in areas of the empire that followed a different school.

An ocean without shores: codification of sharia In 1869, the decaying Ottoman empire, chided by Western powers to “bring forth your code; let us see it and make it known to our subjects,” assembled a committee of experts to formulate a comprehensive code of the civil law of sharia, resulting in the Mecelle (Arabic majalla) in 1876.53 As one of the first of many such fusions to come, the Mecelle was “Islamic in content  .  .  . European in form.”54 I want to draw attention to two crucial consequences of this first and highly influential attempt at codifying sharia. The Ottoman drafting committee charged with codification complained about the arduous task of finding order in an “ocean of information without shores,” where “in works of fiqh, general principles are mixed in with specific questions.”55 Sharia was a boundless ocean, said the committee, “on whose bottom one has to search, at the price of very great efforts, for the pearls which are hidden there. A person has to possess great experience as well as great learning in order to find in the sacred law the proper solutions for all questions which present themselves.”56 The committee saw its task as assembling a code “containing only the least contested and least controversial opinions and composed in a manner which would be sufficiently clear so that anyone could study it easily and act in conformity with it.”57 Sharia, as a path (shar) to knowledge and wisdom about the best practices of translating God’s scripture and his Prophet’s exemplary life, when turned into a codified set of rules became fundamentally altered both in logic and in practice. One of the many profound consequences of this codification was the fact that, as Noah Feldman points out, the locus of authority moved from a ‘quasi-independent class of scholars’ to the ‘ambit of the state.’ The ulama were no longer the central players in keeping the integrity of sharia. “In the classical era, a person asking the question ‘Where is the law?’ in the Islamic world could be answered only by an interlocutor’s pointing to the scholars and saying, ‘the shari’a is with them.’ After the Mecelle, the same question could be answered by pointing to the code itself – not to those who were empowered to apply it.”58 In retrospect, this was a substantial weakening of the historic role of the scholarly class in Islamic jurisprudence, but it did not raise much of an alarm for the ulama because the Mecelle was compiled by a sovereign Muslim state and reflected the legal rules of sharia. This was not the case for Muslims of South Asia.

Anglo-Muhammadian law Give me the words of the Koran; give me the ideas that belong to them; I ask no more: and out of them, and them alone, I undertake to provide you a code which shall contain a hundred times the useful matter there is in that, without any of those absurdities, the existence of which, upon comparison made the idea of utility we have at present, you cannot but acknowledge. – Jeremy Bentham, 183959

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 115 If the Ottoman reformers found sharia jurisprudence “problematically vast, difficult to access, and generally inappropriate for the time,”60 imagine the uphill task facing the British colonial government as it took over governance from the Mughals. Jeremy Bentham’s quotation above demonstrates the great confidence that “the English could fairly administer any law, probably better than the very community whose law they were.”61 As scholars have noted, India provided a great social laboratory for the English to try out the ideals of the Enlightenment.62 Thomas Babington Macaulay, the man given the mission of codifying law in India, proclaimed that Indians were not yet ready for representative institutions, and therefore they could not be given a free government, but that did not mean they could not be given a good government. To replace the capricious oriental despots and gift the blessings of rule of law to India, the British justified their own practice of enlightened despotism” as made clear by Macaulay: A code is almost the only blessing – perhaps it is the only blessing which absolute governments are better fitted to confer on a nation than popular governments.63 The work of digesting a vast and artificial system of unwritten jurisprudence is far more easily performed, and better performed, by a few minds than by many. . . . A quiet knot of two or three veteran jurists is infinitely better machinery for such purpose than a large popular assembly divided, as such assemblies almost always are, into adverse factions.64 As our earlier discussion indicates, the shifting emphasis from ‘men’ to ‘law’ had fateful consequences for the practice of sharia in the subcontinent. What the British considered vague and confusing was the very flexibility and plurality that had made sharia work.65 For example, oral testimony from the accused or the witnesses is a central element of judicial proceedings in sharia. The qadi relied on men of good reputation in the community to provide evidence and testify to the character of the plaintiff or the accused. The oath taken by the accused or the plaintiff had great importance, because it was assumed that they would not lie, or if they did so they would have to answer on the day of judgment, a frightening prospect for many who would refuse to take the oath to prove their innocence. Frustrated by sharia’s reliance on oral testimony and oath as central element of court proceedings, the British came up with a distinctive punishment for perjury: branding of the forehead,66 starkly establishing the fact that sharia was no longer socially embedded in the interaction of community. The crime of theft illustrates the very different dynamics between sharia methodology and a rule-based definition of criminality. In sharia jurisprudence, a concrete act of stealing must be examined in its social context. A  number of requirements have to be met before an act is defined as theft; for example, if a starving man steals food, it is not theft: “Hunger operates as a form of necessity relieving the thief of legal responsibility, if he has had ‘no inclination to transgression,’ i.e., if he was not going to steal absent his hunger.”67 If a guest takes something from the host’s house, it may be punished differently and less severely

116  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia than if a stranger takes something of similar value. It is, then, up to the qadi to understand the social context in which the act occurred, and to make judgments about the veracity of the accused and the character of the witnesses. Such flexibility was viewed by the British as an arbitrary dispensation of justice by “a qadi sitting under a tree” and the best antidote was to codify ‘authoritative’ texts which could then be used to decide cases – and, over time, those cases, rather than interpretations of the qadi, would serve as precedent. The types of texts created by British codification differ from medieval and Mughal handbooks of fiqh: as compilation differs from codification. Compilations bring together many different decisions with the reasoning behind them into single folio. . . . Compiling does not iron out contradicting decisions, or force decisions to become pure precedent, freed from their foundations in the reasoning of usul al-fiqh. Although these compilations were the first texts to be translated by the Company, British magistrates did not find them very useful, even after taking liberties in the translation process to rearrange and simplify the diversity of opinions.68 It was the secondary texts written by British jurists in the early 19th century that “became more authoritative than the original translation on which they were based.”69 Once the Crown took over from the Company, and the 1857 rebellion against the British rule had stiffened the resolve of the colonial government to take charge of public order, criminal laws were ‘secularized,’ and the 1862 Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure removed traces of sharia from criminal proceedings, initiating a shift “from a previously communitarian ethos of Muslim public law and ethics to a new state-centered morality.”70 What was left was a remnant of sharia now coded into ‘personal’ law  – yet another fateful step towards modernity, in which rigid social identities were fixed around Hindu and Muslim personal laws. As Talal Asad, one of the most astute diagnosticians of the ironies of liberalism, points out, family as a legal category becomes an object of administrative intervention by a centralizing state.71 Moreover, the assumption by the colonial state that scriptural texts (rather than pluralistic customs and traditions) shaped religious practices left no space for minority communities like the Muslim Jat of Punjab, who “followed the Hindu practices of polyandry; the Cutchi Memons, the Khojas, and the Bohras of Western India [who] observed Hindu laws of inheritance and succession; and the Mappillas of Kerala [who] followed the regional practices of matrilineal family system in common with the Nayars.”72 The codified personal laws built around the religious identities of ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ not only denied the lived diversity and reality of overlapping identities beyond religion, they also contributed towards nationalizing religious identities and preparing the ground for the traumatic partition of the Indian subcontinent. Not surprisingly, the colonial government, as it took the role of the fuqua (jurists), managed to find scriptural support for its own mundane interests, as exemplified by the story of waqf (pl. awqaf, charitable trusts). The endowment

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 117 (waqf) is a gift to God, generally an asset of lasting value such as land or a building yielding income that is to be spent for charitable purposes – mosques are often run by such endowments. Along with public waqf, there are family endowments, whereby a person may give some or all of his/her property to their descendants or to particular relatives. Given sharia rules regarding property inheritance, waqf was often used as an instrument by propertied Muslims to exert greater control over the disposition of their property. The tax-exempt status of waqf was another powerful incentive to donate property to both public and private waqfs. By the 18th century, waqf constituted between 40 to 60 percent of all real estate in the Muslim world, and 30 to 50 percent of the founders of these endowments were women. No wonder, then, that there was often a competition between the state and the ulama over the designation and administration of waqfs and, starting with the Ottoman Empire, many of the Muslim states exerted greater control over waqfs. The British colonial government objected to private waqfs as tax-dodging devices; in doing so they were no different from other Muslim governments who wanted to exert greater control over this important issue. But it was their justification that was novel and instructive for apprehending the consequence of the codification of sharia. Ignoring centuries of jurisprudence around waqf that contained a variety of opinions, the British invoked the sacred scripture in the Quran to argue that the Islamic laws of inheritance are immutable because they are in the Quran. In a famous case, Abul Fata v. Russomo, J.T. Woodroffe, Advocate General of Bengal in 1892, argued that “This matter of private wakfs is an offspring of purely modern and secular considerations,” and thus against Islamic law. The line between private and public that Woodroffe saw so clearly had not been so visible in classical sharia. Often the founders of the ‘public’ trusts appointed family members as caretakers (mutawalli), who drew income from administering the trusts. It was the qadi’s responsibility to ensure that a mutawalli was performing his duties well, and the qadi had the authority to replace him/her. The scholars of Shariah did disagree about the use of endowments. But Muslims never had the equivalent of a High Court to supply a definitive ruling on what constituted a proper waqf. . . . Muslims had lived with the uncertainty for centuries, but the Anglo-Indian legal system was unable to tolerate such a lacuna.73 Ignoring centuries of varied practices around waqf and appealing directly to the sacred scripture as a justification for what the government wanted to begin with was an important milestone in the use made of ‘Islamic laws’ by the modern state. The codification process, which began with the more accurate title of ‘Anglo-Muhammadan’ law, over time became known only as Muhammadan law, thereby erasing the authorship of the colonial state and allowing ‘the Sharia’ “to stand on its own, bounded by the frame they had provided.” Or as Michael Anderson puts it, “Indeed, colonial administrators may never have changed Islamic legal arrangements quite so profoundly as when they were trying to preserve them.”74

118  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia By the 1920s, this reframed and reformed sharia became a central element of Muslim national identity in the subcontinent. The Muslim League, the party that claimed to represent the interests of the Muslim community, made the passage of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act an important objective of its 1935 electoral campaign. The Act, passed in 1937, promised an “application of Personal Law to Muslims – notwithstanding any customs or usage to the contrary, in all questions (save questions relating to agriculture land.)”75 The preface of the proposed act highlighted the progressive nature of the bill because of its goal of restoring rights to disinherited Muslim women. But the fact that agricultural land was exempted tells a deeper story. The Muslim elite could not take a public stance against any act that promised to implement sharia, but neither were they ready to compromise on their fundamental interest in maintaining control of agricultural land in the hands of the agnatic clans. Jinnah’s maneuver of exempting agriculture land appeased the Punjabi Muslims whose political support he needed, thereby making this 1937 law the “first articulation of a purely symbolic appeal to shari’ah wrapped up within an abiding commitment to the de facto persistence of specific ‘tribal’ norms.”76

Sacred laws, secular interests The passage of the compromised 1937 Shariat Act, brings us to a crucial moment in the story I want to tell in this book. It is the first significant use of sharia as a device to forge a political identity, a symbolic act, if you will, taken without challenging actual practices in any significant manner. But this selective incorporation of ‘sharia’ as Islamic law significantly challenged the rule of law in Pakistan. Modern Muslim states in general, and Pakistan in particular, have put Islam to work for secular goals of enhancing legitimacy or achieving certain public policy objectives. The Muslim public has not challenged the rhetoric of Islamization or the implementation of sharia because that would be questioning their commitment to Islam, but in practice, they have persistently violated these ‘sacred laws.’ I note this contradiction not to draw attention to the hypocrisy of Muslims but to point out the multiple and contradictory forces at work when “religion makes public appearance through state law.”77 This legalization of sharia has profoundly challenged the historic relationship between ethics and law in Islam. After partition, The West Punjab Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act in 1948 eliminated the exception for agricultural land and made the Islamic Law of Inheritance applicable throughout Pakistani Punjab.78 But Matthew Nelson’s scholarship has convincingly demonstrated that local practices in the Punjab continue to follow the custom of depriving women of their legal rights of inheritance by using all sorts of ruses to undermine the law of inheritance. Litigation is one of the tools used, but as Nelson points out, it is inconclusive court cases for many years that provided the litigants the incentive to move “beyond the realm of the district courts to the practical implications of the delay in the production of negotiated ‘compromise’; and, finally, beyond the formal institutions of the state itself in the direction of purely ‘informal’ recapitulations of the specific ‘agnatic’ norms.”79

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 119 Rhetorical commitment to sharia law combined with strategies to undermine its application is not limited to women’s inheritance. One of the many ‘Islamization’ measures introduced by the Zia-ul-Haq government was the 1980 Zakat and Ushr act; under this ordinance, the government imposed 2 ½ percent zakat tax that the banks were to deduct from the savings accounts of their customers.80 Certain categories such as widows and religious minorities, including the Shia, are exempted from paying the zakat. In order to get the exemption, one has to submit a certificate to bank officials. In the summer of 2015, I was in Pakistan the day before the beginning of Ramadan (month of fasting, the time designated for deduction of zakat). I was reminded by several friends and family members to take cash out of my savings account so that I did not have to pay the zakat tax. It is not that I have particularly irreligious friends and family with little respect for the zakat tax; transferring money from savings to current accounts, taking money out altogether, or getting a certificate that shows you are a minority are widespread tactics used by Pakistanis to get around paying the 2½ percent zakat tax.81 Unlike sharia rules of inheritance, which are clearly laid out in the Quran, it is not at all clear that a government deducting zakat taxes from savings accounts is in line with the historic practice of this important pillar of Islamic alms giving. In fact, those who find loopholes in order to avoid paying zakat tax are unapologetic. The general line of their argument is that the Pakistani government is corrupt and therefore it would not spend the money on the needy; that banks charge interest, and thus paying taxes through them is un-Islamic; and that the obligation to pay zakat is towards one’s needy kin and neighbors and that can be done only by the individuals themselves.82 Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, a well-known Islamic jurist, is quoted as saying that it is up to the customer to decide if they want to pay zakat through the bank, and that government cannot use these funds for the construction of roads and bridges.83 Whereas the ulama have shown mixed attitudes towards the imposition of zakat tax by the government, Jamaat-e-Islami’s top leader, Sirajul Haq, “has declared that his party accepts no taxes except zakat and ushr,”84 despite the fact that ushr (agriculture tax levied at five percent, though the original term means ten percent) and to a great extent the zakat tax are both administrative, political, and ethical failures, producing abysmal results in raising revenues for the state and in convincing Pakistanis that they will be fulfilling their religious duty by paying these taxes. I hope that our discussion thus far has provided a foundation for two points. First, that until the 19th century, sharia was not a system of clearly laid-out rules and regulations applied uniformly to all practicing Muslims. In the face of contemporary insistence by foes and friends alike that sharia is “fixed, all-encompassing, and easily understood,” it is important to highlight the plurality and flexibility of this ethical pathway (shar) which enabled it to remain a living tradition for a diverse ummah (community) for many centuries.85 As Abou El Fadl puts it, “One of the most important aspects of the epistemological paradigm on which Islamic jurisprudence was built was the presumption that on most matters the divine will is unattainable, no person or institution has the authority to claim certitude in realizing the Will. This is why the classical jurists rarely spoke in terms of legal

120  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia certainties (‘yaqin’ and ‘qat’).”86 Second, the contemporary ‘sharia laws’ enthusiastically endorsed by many Islamists as ‘God’s laws’ have gone through the grinder of codification in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and what emerged in the middle of the 20th century is often rigid, partial, and attuned to identity and power politics more than to fealty to Islamic history and tradition. This codification made an empowered ‘Islamic state’ the sole interpreter of Islamic law, without the checks and balances offered either by the independent community of jurists or a functioning legislature. Wresting authority away from ‘scholars’ and imbuing it within a code of law sounds like a positive move from our contemporary perspective because it would mean ‘rule of law’ rather than arbitrary justice, but the bureaucratization and codification of parts of sharia is (partially) responsible for the extremist and intolerant politics often associated with sharia. If one sees the ulama as agents of religious dogmatism, the transfer of authority to the modern state would appear to be salutary. But as several scholars have pointed out, the ulama as the guardians of sharia historically worked as a check on the power of the sultan.87 For almost a millennium, Islamic scholars acknowledged the gap between divine wisdom and human understanding, and wrestled with the challenge of interpreting sacred text with their flawed human capacities. “In this gap between divine plan and human understanding lay the perennially fertile space of critique, the locus of an entire politics articulated in the idiom of the shari’a.”88

Blasphemy, apostasy, and heresy in sharia Contrary to the claims of current proponents of blasphemy laws, it is not easy to discern what constitutes blasphemy, apostasy, and heresy in Islamic jurisprudence, who determines the guilt or innocence of these charges, and what the range of punishments is for these ‘religious offenses.’ The famous Quranic injunction that ‘there is no compulsion in religion,’ is understood to prohibit the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but it is also the case that all Sunni schools of laws agreed that “leaving Islam was a death-penalty offense;” though the Hanafis limited the punishment for women apostates to life imprisonment.89 Given the severity of this punishment, “Sunni Ulama had historically been excruciatingly cautious about declaring Muslims to be apostates.”90 The Hanafis also gave the chance for repentance to an apostate through recitation of shahada (there is no God but one and Muhammad is His messenger). The rapid spread of the Islamic empire meant that converts enjoyed power and prestige, but it also led to the suspicion that some of the newly conquered population contained zindiqs who practiced Islam in public but their ancestral faith in private. The Malikite legal school took the harshest stance on apostasy, insisting on death for even those apostates who repented because zindiqs waged ‘war against God and his apostle’ – a argument that is picked up by contemporary advocates of the death penalty as the only punishment for apostates. In the contemporary Muslim world, the punishment of apostates for sowing disorder has become an instrument in the hands of authoritarian Muslim states against its opponents. Muslim jurists in the classical period

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 121 (8th–12th century) agreed that uttering ‘words of unbelief’ (kalimat al-kufr) could make one an apostate, and jurists of the post-classical period (13th–19th century) produced lists of expression that could amount to words of unbelief.91 The Quran also condemns apostates and warns of consequences in the hereafter, but does not prescribe punishment in this world. The jurists agreed that the punishment for apostasy was up to God, but that in some circumstances that pose political dangers, such as war against Muslims, an apostate may be punished by the state. “The jurists conclude from this that capital punishment is not imposed for disbelief and apostasy but as a means to prevent the military and political dangers connected with it.”92 I will briefly discuss two notorious examples of criminalizing religious disagreements as a means to contain political opposition. The first comes from Sudan, where in 1983 the military regime of Jaafar al-Nimeiri implemented hudud punishments as a way to demonstrate his sincerity in implementing Islamic laws. Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, a religious scholar who had argued for reformation by focusing on Prophet Muhammad’s ethical message, opposed these measures as misusing Islamic sharia without respecting the traditional judicial care taken in the cases of hadd punishments. He was arrested for sedition and was given the death penalty in a hasty trial that lasted two days. The court of appeal amended the nature of Taha’s offense from sedition to apostasy and took away the possibility of repentance by pointing out that “in a country where Malikite jurisprudence has historically predominated – he was too incorrigible to repent. The judges simultaneously denied him the benefit of a statute forbidding the execution of people over seventy, asserting that offenses against God were punishable at any age.”93 The case of Abu Zayd in Egypt illustrates how judicializing religious disputes may produce outcomes that violate Islamic norms and modern sensibilities. In 1996, Egypt’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, affirmed the Appeals Court decision that Islamic Studies professor Abu Zayd was guilty of apostasy. Abu Zayd was not the first such intellectual to be declared an apostate by a Muslim court: since the mid-1980s a growing number of intellectuals were facing charges of apostasy in Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, and Iran. All of those charged considered themselves to be Muslims and engaged in reformation of contemporary Islamic thought. Abu Zayd’s firm declaration of his faith did not persuade the Egyptian court, which refused to allow him to testify. The court argued that the existence of Abu Zayd’s writings was the material proof of his apostasy; what he believed within his heart was no concern of theirs. Abu Zayd’s writings were scrutinized by the court by comparing passages of his book with the Quran, leading them to the conclusion that the contention made by Abu Zayd that Muslims ought to rethink certain practices, such as giving women less inheritance, or status of non-Muslims, was ‘making a liar out of God’ and thus questioning the truth of Islam. The Court of Cassation insists that Islam has an objective and essential meaning (maflium mawdu’i) that never changes and that it is apostasy to deny this. . . . The role of the court as the defender of an objective transhistorical

122  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia truth of Islam entitles it to separate the intellectuals’ publications and public performances from the same intellectuals’ religious self-perception.94 By separating inner belief (forum internum) from outward material actions, the court affirmed the liberal right of freedom of belief – it did not matter what Aby Zayd’s intentions or beliefs were – but at the same time by using the Islamic concepts of hisba and apostasy the court arrogated to itself the right to determine when someone violates the ‘essential truth of Islam.’ This ‘objectification of Islam’ takes sacred texts out of historical contexts and uses ‘past as authority’ rather than past authorities, which fundamentally transforms the practice of sharia.95 The Court’s use of hisba illustrates this point. Those who brought charges against Abu Zayd were given standing by the court on the basis of the Islamic concept of hisba, ‘commanding right and forbidding wrong.’ Michael Cook’s scholarship on hisba points out that this obligation raised many questions for Muslim jurists over the millennium: who has this obligation, under what circumstances, and what are the limits? How does this obligation fit with the Quranic command to respect fellow Muslims’ privacy?96 The answer to these questions was settled by a tripartite division of labor: forbidding wrong by force is the duty of the state, by tongue is the duty of the scholars, and by heart is the duty of the ordinary Muslim. Muhtasib (he who implements hisba) became an official position, with responsibilities that included ensuring the integrity of exchanges in the marketplace, managing public roads and amenities, and preventing public drunkenness, theft, and adultery. Cheating in business transactions could lead to punishment by the state-appointed Muhtasib, but as far as fellow Muslims’ duty to forbid wrong is concerned they had no authority to mete out a punishment as is “evident when the refusal of the offender to comply is sooner or later accepted as a regrettable but not undignified outcome of an attempt to forbid wrong.”97 Given the possibility of social discord if busybodies were always spying on their neighbors to ferret out the wrongs committed by them, Muslim jurists in premodern times put several conditions on hisba. Spying on fellow Muslims is considered a sin and ‘the concealment of God’ (satr Allah) is an essential norm prohibiting Muslims from bringing to the public (al-zahir) what is otherwise hidden. Thus Imam Ghazali (1058–1111), a foremost theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic, forbade even the state-appointed muhtasib to interrogate a person who might have a wine bottle hidden under his sleeve or gown because it could be a bottle of vinegar, and it is not proper to make manifest that which is hidden.98 Giving Egyptian citizens the legal standing to use the writings of a professor as grounds to bring a lawsuit under the rule of hisba was extraordinary, both in light of the practice of this norm in Muslim history and in its potential to flood the court system with claims. Therefore, the Parliament passed hasty legislation giving only public officials the right to bring charges under hisba. The use of hisba by the Egyptian court raises the issue of how to distinguish between the religious and the secular. For example, the idea that public order may require limiting rights is well established in liberal constitutional practice. Religious freedom can be

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 123 limited when it is viewed as threatening the public order. The Court had reasoned that Egypt, as an Islamic state, could not countenance questioning the essential truth of Islam, something that they argued Abu Zayd was doing in his writings. Following the distinction between belief and practice often made in liberal discussions of religious freedom, the Court had argued that they did not care what Abu Zayd believed (forum internum); their concern was with what he wrote and the potential it created for undermining public order. Taking bits and pieces of sharia into the modern legal realm may lead to the worst of both worlds: forgoing all the conditions put in place in premodern sharia to make a concept like hisba work, and invoking religious freedom and tolerance by refusing to interrogate forum internum and thereby undermining “the democratic sensibility and attitudes of open generosity normally thought to come with them.”99 In the case of Pakistan, it is the crime of insulting the Prophet that has generated the greatest controversy. As I discussed in Chapters Two and Three, proponents of the blasphemy statutes argue that the death sentence ought to be the only punishment for dishonoring the Prophet, and they insist that there is unanimity on this punishment among Muslim scholars. But in reality, several different opinions exist over what kind of crime insulting the Prophet should be considered, who should be punished for it, and what the punishment should be. First, is insulting the Prophet hadd (a crime with fixed penalty) or is it tazeer (for which discretion is allowed the government to decide the punishment). The scholarly consensus is that insulting the Prophet is not a crime of hadd and consequently the punishment is discretionary and can take into account the context of the said offense, the state of mind of the accuser and the accused, the impact it may have on the society, and other contingencies.100 What is the nature of the crime of insulting the Prophet? In the Hanfi fiqh, the dominant madhab in South Asia, persistent mockery of the Prophet of Islam by a Muslim makes them guilty of irthad (renouncing Islam) for which the punishment is death. Ebrahim Moosa points out that one of the “two bodies of the Prophet” was the political body of “God’s messenger who established a political order that favored the transcendent good.”101 Mocking God’s messenger thus becomes rebellion against God. “The second body of the Prophet reflects his role as the teacher of the transcendent good and wisdom (yu’allimuhum al-kita-b wa’l hikma); thus his embodied life (sunna) became the exemplar of transcendent good.”102 Only the damned would dishonor the Prophet who embodies ‘transcendent good and wisdom’ and such a person is guilty of inciting discord in the world (fisad-fil-arad). There is debate over what the punishment for non-Muslims who insult the Prophet should be. If non-Muslims insult the Prophet, they may break the contract with the Muslim state guaranteeing them protection. The punishments for non-Muslims can vary, but the death sentence may not apply to women. Once someone is guilty of insulting the Prophet can he or she repent and be forgiven? There is disagreement over that issue too. The proponents of the blasphemy statutes argue that death is the only punishment for insulting the Prophet and that there is no room for repentance because only the Prophet can forgive transgressions against himself – something he did routinely in his lifetime – but

124  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia contemporary Muslim states cannot show mercy on his behalf. Recently, two AlAzhar scholars have come to the opposite conclusion, arguing that examinations of “case-by-case rulings of Muhammad and the early caliphs on apostates  .  .  . prove that the Hadiths ordering execution for apostasy cannot be taken as definitive. It must be understood within some specific context.”103 Several scholars worried that Qadri’s murder of Salman Taseer created a dangerous precedent the would encourage Muslims to take the law into their own hands without giving the accused the rights guaranteed in sharia. Muhammad Shabaz Manj took to task the decision issued by 30 ulama that “giving the death penalty to Mumtaz Hussain Qadri is against fourteen hundred years of consensus of the Quran and Sunnah and therefore the Supreme Court must take revoke the penalty.”104 Manj sarcastically pointed out that the ulamas’ statement seems to imply that the very purpose of fourteen hundred years of Islamic jurisprudence was to ensure Mumtaz Qadri’s innocence. He argued that taking the law into one’s own hand, even if it is done out of deep love for the Prophet, would create anarchy and the possibility of greater injustice in the name of the Prophet that one claims to love. He pointed out that it is possible that a guilty person may go free because they lie or because there is not enough evidence against them, but that in those situations a believing Muslim relies on their faith that a guilty person cannot escape God’s punishment in the hereafter. He reminded his readers that the purpose of sharia is to shape better human beings through ethical and spiritual practices rather than scaring them straight. He points out that the fiqh principle of doubt (shubba) overturns hadd punishment, because the purpose of sharia is reform not punishment.105 The ulama have debated this issue in scholarly journals such as the monthly magazine al-Sharia but they have not written opeds or appeared on television to debate with the notable exception of Ghamdi,106 a Muslim scholar who was forced into exile but continues to appear on television and has opposed the blasphemy statutes. Contrary to the claims of supporters of the blasphemy statutes that sharia speaks clearly and definitively on matters of shatim-e-Rasool (he who insults the Prophet), fourteen hundred years of Islamic jurisprudence provides several caveats as to who is guilty of this crime and what is a just punishment for it. The fact that this is not a crime of hadd gives discretion to public officials. There are instances of public officials using this discretion confidently, as when Ottoman ruler Suleyman Qanuni (the Lawmaker) decided to overrule some of the Hanafi jurists of his own time and relied on the opinions of the earlier jurists that those convicted of heresy must be given the chance to repent.107 Consensus (ijama) is a powerful term in Islamic jurisprudence, and there are times when jurists use this term to support their position. But as Haim Gerber in his study of Islamic law in the Ottoman Empire from 1600 to 1840 argues: “most of the issues that came up before the jurists were either formally in a status of disputes (ikhtialf) or were in undeclared and unacknowledged dispute. And the interesting point is that these disputes are not hidden away; they are paraded in the open with relish. The existence of minority opinion in

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 125 every issue is important, because tomorrow a (contemporary) reason might arise to adopt the minority view.”108 In the controversy around blasphemy statutes, however, fourteen hundred years of jurisprudence is functionalized by the proponents of the statutes to argue for absolute consensus in the public sphere even as ikhtialf lives on in the scholarly circles of ulama and muftis.

What your right hand possesses Muslim intellectuals’ desire to rethink the practice of contemporary sharia is made all the more difficult by the ‘clash of civilization’ discourse, which creates treacherous ground for anyone interested in both engaging in internal dialogue about reforming Islam and defending it from attacks from outside. The hegemony of European knowledge systems severely limits the “epistemic, moral, and aesthetic resources”109 available to those in the Muslim world attempting to engage in reform by drawing inspiration from past authorities such as Imam Ghazali without suffocating under the burden of past as authority. The status of women and religious minorities are the two issues that draw the most judgmental glare from the West, and often elicit the most defensive and dysfunctional reaction in the Muslim world. ISIS’s contention that forcing birth control on Yazidi women will make their rape Islamic would shock most Muslims who, as I pointed out at the start of this chapter, would know nothing about istibra as a term used for ensuring a slave woman’s womb is empty. Those Arabic-speaking Muslims who may know this term will know it as a matter of ensuring the integrity of one’s wudu. But ISIS has not simply made up this term or the practice of having sex with captured female slaves. As Kescia Ali points out, the Quran refers to two kinds of licit sex: that which you have with your wife or with “what their/your right hands possess (a term that may mean concubine or a woman slave).”110 The practice of sexual access to women slaves existed in pre-Islamic Arabia (as well as most other parts of the world at the time) and was continued by the first generation of Muslims. It was accepted for the next thousand years by Muslim jurists, who developed intricate rules about the various kinds of women slaves: those inherited, those purchased, and those obtained as a result of victory in war. The key issue was to determine the paternity of children born as a result of sex with women slaves. “The slave who bore her master’s child became an umm walad (literally, mother of a child), gaining certain protections. Most importantly, she could not be sold and she was automatically freed upon her master’s death.”111 So does this mean that ISIS’s raping of Yazidi women is sanctioned by Islam? There is no simple answer to this question, although there are those on the extremist fringe in the Muslim world and the West that would give an unequivocal yes to this question. Before we can answer the question about the legitimacy of ISIS’s claim that their treatment of captured women is within the prescribed rules of sharia, we have to answer a more basic question: what do we mean by Islamic? What is Islamic about a practice that was part of the social fabric of pre-Islamic Arabia

126  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia and was continued by the first generation of Muslims? Kecia Ali gets to the heart of the issue when she raises following questions: What does it mean for those who view the Prophet’s actions as exemplary to accept that he tacitly allowed the rape of female captives? Is it correct to refer to the actions of the Muslim soldiers as rape, or does that term have connotations that are contextually inappropriate? Does the fact that “marriage” by capture was a common Arab custom at the time make his actions intelligible? Acceptable? Finally, assuming one accepts that the accounts in Bukhari, Muslim, and other hadith compilations are essentially accurate, what are the implications of the Prophet’s action for the contemporary world? Is his precedent binding or is it to be understood as limited to the particular circumstances of his time and place?112 What are the mechanisms for answering these questions? Who has the requisite authority to provide definitive answers for Muslims? Any reasoned discussion on what practices Muslims should keep and what they should discard has become more difficult in the hothouse of the post-9/11 world, in which ‘sharia’ has become a floating signifier of the clash of civilizations. The demagogues on both side of this clash are only too happy to embrace notions and practices that differentiate Islam from the West. Most Muslims, meanwhile, nurse grievances against the ‘West’ for what they see as its maligning of Islam by highlighting the atrocious behavior of a few extremists. The prominence of blasphemy politics in Pakistan grows within the charged atmosphere of a defensive Islam and an accusatory West. The liberal constitutional appeal to freedom of religion and freedom of speech has failed to address the problems posed by blasphemy statutes for reasons I discussed in Chapters Two and Three. The appeal to sharia for a sensible approach towards balancing norms of tolerance with protecting religious sentiments has the potential to produce better outcomes. For it to do so, however, will require both a confidence that sharia can speak openly and fruitfully to questions faced by contemporary Muslims as well as an institutional mechanism that can allow “its full breadth and vision to speak to us in a transformative way.”113

Notes 1 Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian feminist novel originally published in 1985. It is set in a futuristic America where religious fundamentalists have taken over and where pollution and sexually transmitted diseases have left most of the population infertile, leading powerful men to enslave the still-fertile women to bear children for them. 2 Callimache, “To Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves, ISIS Pushes Birth Control.” 3 Ibid. 4 Wood, “What ISIS Really Wants,” 3. 5 Ibid., 7. 6 7 Maghen, “Much Ado about Wudu,” 206.

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 127 8 See Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament, 115–18. Hallaq is critical of this bifurcation as a product of modern times and he makes a convincing case in Chapter Five that religious rituals were the technologies that produced moral subjects suitable for Islamic governance. In other words, an Islamic state is impossible without the organic relationship between the ‘religious’ and social that has been severed under modernity. 9 Brown, Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics, 67. 10 Maghen, “Much Ado about Wudu`,” 221. 11 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 116. 12 Quran 45:18. There are two other places where the verb shara’a, which appears to be derived from shari’a, shows up in the Quran. See Amanat and Griffel, Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context, Introduction, note 5, p. 183. 13 Messick, The Calligraphic State, 17. Messick goes on to say that “In this gap between divine plan and human understanding lay the perennially fertile space of critique, the locus of an entire politics articulated in the idiom of shari’a” (p. 17). See also Vikor, Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law. He makes a similar point about the realization among the jurists that God’s scripture is infallible but man’s understanding can never be so. “The Revelation is in its nature one, as it exists with God, but it is not unequivocal in appearance to man; the Revelation must go through a human intellectual process before it can become cohesive legal system for society” (p. 1). 14 Johansen, “The Changing Limits of Contingency in the History of Muslim Law,” 1. 15 See Zubaida, Law and Power in the Islamic World, 17. See also Sadakat Kadri, who points out that “the Umayyad dynasty has a deeply dishonorable place in Islamic historiography for one reason: it is said to have abandoned the shari’a.” Heaven on Earth, 29. 16 Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy, 23. 17 Kadri writes that “One of the earliest fruits of their research (using analogical reasoning) was development of the hila (pl. hiyal) – a word that literally translates as ‘escape’ or ‘loophole’ – which was as inventive as it sounds. It allowed philanthropists to create charitable trusts in violation of the literal terms of the Qur’an’s inheritance rules, and it gave would-be tax-evaders ways of dodging the zakat. Before long, the Hanafites would be redefining the Qur’an’s prohibitions on financial speculation in order to lubricate a money economy, complete with paper cash, checks, and letters of credit, half a millennium before canonical lawyers found way of doing the same in Europe.” Kadri, Heaven on Earth, 43. 18 Brown, Misquoting Muhammad, 29. 19 Ibid., 29. 20 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 58. 21 Ibid., 59. 22 Johansen, “The Changing Limits of Contingency in the History of Muslim Law,” 8. 23 For example, a former chief justice of Egypt, Muhammad Said al-Ashmawi, estimates that out of 6,000 Quranic verses, about 700 may be viewed as having a legislative function and out of those a majority (500) concern ibadat (rituals) and only 200 concern muamalat. (social interaction). See Shepard, “Muhammad Sa’id al-Ashwami and the Application of the Shari’a in Egypt,” 45. Richard Bulliet estimates that in one of the sahih Hadith collections by al-Bukhari, 2,000 out of 7,077 are devoted to ritual matters (ibadat), 30 discuss criminal matters (hudud), and a meager 80 deal with issues of governance. See Bulliet, Islam: The View from the Edge, 32. 24 See, for example, Shadi, Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World. 25 Brown, Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics, 46. 26 Moosa, “Muslim Political Theology: Defamation, Apostasy, and Anathema,” 175. 27 Brown, Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics, 53.

128  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 28 Vikor, Between God and the Sultan. There were several other types of courts such as mazalim, shurta, and hisba which were presided over by the Sultan or his deputies and dealt with criminal or administrative matters. These courts were ostensibly still under shari’a but the rules of evidence were laxer. 29 Kadri, Heaven on Earth, 38. 30 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 53 (emphasis in original). 31 Messick, The Calligraphic State, 142. 32 Johansen “The Changing Limits of Contingency in the History of Muslim Law,” 4. 33 Brown, Misquoting Muhammad, 33. 34 Ulama such as Ibn Hanbal saw no reason to question what the Quran says including at times the anthropomorphism (tajsim) of having hands or face. For the Mutazilate, this could only be understood metaphorically, not literally, because a being with hands or a face would require a higher being to create and thus could not be the greatest or eternal being. A related conflict concerned free will: “The traditionalist held on to the absolute power of a God who foresees and determines everything. The rationalists objected that such a determinism would contradict God’s basic attribute of Justice: how could he cause men to sin and then punish them for it.” Zubaida, Law and Power in the Islamic World, 84. See also Brown, Misquoting Muhammad, 32–7. 35 Crone, God’s Rule: Government and Islam; Zubaida, Law and Power in the Islamic World, 131. 36 Ibid., 131–2. 37 Wood, What ISIS Really Wants, 14. 38 Ibid., 15. 39 Cook, Ancient Religions, Modern Politics, 317. 40 Ibid., 317. 41 Patricia Crone, in God’s Rule, uses this phrase which Cerantonio had also used in his interview with Graeme Wood. Crone: “The Imama performed two tasks indispensable for the achievement of salvation. First and most fundamentally, he gave legal existence to the umma. . . . The second task of the imam was to lead the way.” p. 22–23. 42 Cook, Ancient Religions, Modern Politics, 313. 43 Enayat, Modern Islamic Political Thought, 12. 44 Moosa, “Muslim Political Theology,” 175. 45 Crone, God’s Rule, 396. 46 Ibid., 174. 47 Johansen, Contingency in the Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Laws in Muslim Fiqh, 37. 48 Ibid., 36. 49 Vikor, Between God and the Sultan, 174. 50 Weiss, The Spirit of Islamic Law, 181. 51 Quoted in Cook, Ancient Religions, Modern Politics, 314. 52 Moin, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam, 5. 53 See Berkes, Development of Secularism in Turkey, 167. 54 Liebesny, The Law of the Near and Middle East, 65. 55 Messick, The Calligraphic State, 55. 56 Quoted in Ibid. 57 Majalla, 5. Quoted in Liebesny, The Law of the Near and Middle East, 68. 58 Feldman, The Fall and the Rise of the Islamic State, 63. 59 Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, 191. 60 Messick, The Calligraphic State, 54. 61 Kugle, “Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia,” 263. 62 See Kolsky, “Codification and the Rule of Colonial Difference: Criminal Procedure in British India”; Giunchi, “The Reinvention of Shari’a under the British Raj: In Search of Authenticity and Certainty”; Hussain, The Jurisprudence of Emergency: Colonialism and the Rule of Law; Kugle, “Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia.”

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 129 63 Other attempts at codification bear out this observation. For example, the Egyptian Civil Code of 1948, the Iraqi Code of 1951, and the Libyan Code of 1953 were formulated under “autocratic rulers . . . without public debate.” An-Na’im, Islam and the Secular State, 18. 64 Quoted in Kolsky, “Codification and the Rule of Colonial Difference,” 634–5. 65 Kuble, “Framed, Blamed and Renamed,” 283–4. In 1726, George I issued a charter that allowed the East India Company to establish royal courts in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras; the Company relied on pre-colonial political structures adapted for colonial purposes. The Anglo-Muhammadan law is an example of taking the existing Mughal practice of ‘Islamic Law’ and shaping it to fit colonial purposes. For example, the English judges continued to use Al-Marghinani’s Hedaya, a 12th-century work of jurisprudence; it was translated in 1795 not from the original Arabic but from a Persian translation which apparently contained numerous errors. In the subsequent editions of the Hedaya, obsolete materials were omitted. See Leibensy, “English Common Law and Islamic Law in the Middle East and South Asia: Religious Influences and Secularization,” 20–2. 66 Fisch, Cheap Lives and Dear Limbs: The British Transformation of the Bengal Criminal Law, 1769–1817, 53. 67 Forte, “Islamic Law and the Crime of Theft,” 57. 68 Kugle, “Framed, Blamed, and Renamed,” 295–6. 69 Ibid., 296. 70 Moosa, “Colonialism and Islamic Law,” 166. 71 Asad, Thinking about Secularism and Law in Egypt. 72 See Narain, Gender and Community: Muslim Women’s Rights in India, 16. 73 Kozlowski, Muslim Endowments and Society in British India, 136. 74 Anderson, “Islamic Law and the Colonial Encounter in British India,” 4. 75 The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, p. 2 (emphasis added). 76 Nelson, In the Shadow of Shari’ah: Islam, Islamic Law, and Democracy in Pakistan, 97 (emphasis in original). 77 Asad, Thinking about Secularism and Law in Egypt, 10. 78 Nelson, In the Shadow of Shari’ah. The 1948 law was not the final word on this issue; the law was to apply after the termination of existing lifetime estates. The status of “limited lifetime estates led to an amendment in the Shariat application act in 1951, 1963, 1972, and 1973, and it was a 1991 Supreme Court decision that declared that ‘the rights of widows  .  .  . as  per the terms of shari’ah, should not (in practice) be infringed.’ ” pp. 162–9. 79 Nelson, In the Shadow of Shari’ah, 194. 80 Nisab is the line below which no zakat obligations exist. For the year 2015, the State Bank of Pakistan announced nisab to be savings account holdings over 33,641 rupees, which would be charged the zakat tax. In 2014, the limit was 38,810 rupees. See GeoTV, “Nisab-i-Zakat deduction fixed at Rs33,641.” 81 Dawn, “RS100 Million Withdrawn to Avoid Zakat Deduction.” 82 See, for example, comments by the readers on the story entitled, “Bank to Deduct Zakat on 1st Ramadan,” Pakistan Today, August 1, 2011. 83 Ibid. 84 Dawn, “JI Rejects all Taxes Except Zakat, Ushr,” February 5, 2015. 85 Hefner, “Global Politics and the Question of Shari’a,” 4. 86 Abou El Fadl, Reasoning with God, xxxix. 87 Feldman makes the most cogent argument about the role of the ulama as one of checking the authority of the classical Islamic polity in his The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State. 88 Messick, The Calligraphic State, 17. 89 Brown, Misquoting Muhammad, 67. 90 Ibid., 67. 91 Johansen, “Apostasy as Objective and Depersonalized Fact: Two Recent Egyptian Court Judgments.”

130  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia

92 Ibid., 694. 93 Kadri, Heaven on Earth, 225. 94 Ibid., 704. 95 Agrama, in his Questioning Secularism, uses this terminology to critique the notion of the ‘objectification of Islam’ first proposed by Eickelman and Piscatori: “the idea of objectification of Islam is rooted in a view of contemporary religiosity as a problem in need of explanation. . . . In seeing tradition as an affirmation of the past as past, this approach disregards the complex temporalities a tradition might embody” (p. 14). I would argue that the Egyptian Court was also ignoring ‘complex temporalities.’ Eickelman and Piscatori, Muslim Politics. 96 Cook, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought. 97 Ibid., 489. 98 Agrama, Questioning Secularism, 62. 99 Ibid., 104. 100 Asghar, “Touheen-e-Risalat: Hudood say mutalaq ya tazeerat say?” [Insulting the Prophet: Hudood or Tazeerat?] Al-Sharia, August 2018. 101 Moosa, “Muslim Political Theology: Defamation, Apostasy, and Anathema,” 176. 102 Ibid., 176. 103 Brown, Misquoting Muhammad, 187–8. 104 The demand had come out of a “protection of Sharia” conference held in Lahore in October, 2015. See Manj, “Mumtaz Qadri Kee Saza, Thafueez Shariat Conference Kay Faisala Per Eik Nazar,” (Punishment for Mumtaz Qadri: An Examination of the Decision of ‘protection of Sharia’ Conference), pp. 31–42. 105 Ibid., 34. 106 Ghamdi, “Ghamdi on Blasphemy,” 107 Berber, Islamic Law and Culture, 1600–1840, 62–3. 108 Ibid., 15. 109 Moosa, “Colonialism and Islamic Law,” 175. 110 Ali, Sexual Ethics and Islam, 56–74. 111 Ibid., 46. 112 Ibid., 51. 113 Moosa, “The Debts and Burdens of Critical Islam,” 127.

References Abou El Fadl, Khaled. Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari’ah in the Modern Age. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Agrama, Hussein Ali. Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Ali, Keica. Sexual Ethics and Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Amanat, Abbas and Frank Griffel. Shari’a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Anderson, Michael R. “Islamic Law and the Colonial Encounter in British India,” Occasional Paper 7, Women Living under Muslim Law. Accessed May  12, 2015. www. An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed. Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. Asad, Talal. Thinking about Secularism and Law in Egypt. Leiden: ISIM, 2001. Asghar, Maulana Mufti Muhammad. “Touheen-e-Risalat: Hudood say mutalaq ya tazeerat say?” [Insulting the Prophet: Hudood or Tazeerat?]. Al-Sharia, August 2018. Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: McClelland & Stewart, 2010.

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 131 Bentham, Jeremy. The Works of Jeremy Bentham. Edinburg: William Tait, 1839. Berber, Haim. Islamic Law and Culture, 1600–1840. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999. Berkes, Niyazi. Development of Secularism in Turkey. Montreal: McGill University Press,1964. Brown, Jonathan A.C. Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy. London: One World Books, 2014. Brown, L. Carl. Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. Bulliet, Richard. Islam: The View from the Edge. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. Callimache, Rukmini. “To Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves, ISIS Pushes Birth Control.” New York Times, March 12, 2016. Cook, Michael. Ancient Religions, Modern Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. Cook, Michael. Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Crone, Patricia. God’s Rule: Government and Islam. Columbia University Press, 2004. Dawn. “JI Rejects all Taxes Except Zakat, Ushr.” February  5, 2015. Accessed December 16, 2015. Dawn. “RS100  Million Withdrawn to Avoid Zakat Deduction.” November  21, 2001. Accessed December  16, 2015. Eickelman, Dale F. and James Piscatori. Muslim Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. Enayat, Hamid. Modern Islamic Political Thought. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982. Feldman, Noah. The Fall and the Rise of the Islamic State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008. Fisch, Jorge. Cheap Lives and Dear Limbs: The British Transformation of the Bengal Criminal Law, 1769–1817. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1983. Forte, David F. “Islamic Law and the Crime of Theft.” Cleveland State Law Review 35 (1985–86): 47–66. Geo-TV, “Nisab-i-Zakat Deduction Fixed at Rs33,641.” June  16, 2015. article-188188-Nisab-i-Zakat-deduction-fixed-at-Rs33641. Giunchi, Elisa. “The Reinvention of Shari’a under the British Raj: In Search of Authenticity and Certainty.” The Journal of Asian Studies 69, no. 4 (November 2010): 1119–42. Hallaq, Wael B. The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament, New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Hefner, Robert W. “Global Politics and the Question of Shari’a: An Introduction to the Winter 2012 Issue.” The Review of Faith and International Affairs (Winter 2012): 1–8. Hussain, Nasser. The Jurisprudence of Emergency: Colonialism and the Rule of Law. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2003. Johansen, Baber. “Apostasy as Objective and Depersonalized Fact: Two Recent Egyptian Court Judgments.” Social Research 70, no. 3 (Fall 2003): 87–110. Johansen, Baber. “The Changing Limits of Contingency in the History of Muslim Law.” Third Annual Levtzion Lecture, March 19, 2007, The Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. FILE_1370347773.pdf.

132  Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia Johansen, Baber. Contingency in the Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Laws in Muslim Fiqh. London: Brill, 1998. Kadri, Sadakat. Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari’a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World. London: Random House, 2011. Kolsky, Elizabeth. “Codification and the Rule of Colonial Difference: Criminal Procedure in British India.” Law and History Review 23, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 631–83. Kozlowski, Gregory C. Muslim Endowments and Society in British India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Kugle, Scott Alan. “Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia.” Modern Asian Studies 35, no. 2 (2001): 257–313. Leibensy, Herbert. “English Common Law and Islamic Law in the Middle East and South Asia: Religious Influences and Secularization.” Cleveland State Law Review 34, no. 19 (1985–86): 19–33. Liebesny, Herbert J. The Law of the Near and Middle East. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975. Maghen, Ze’ev. “Much Ado about Wudu’.” Der Islam, 76 (1999). Manj, Muhammad Shahbaz. “Mumtaz Qadri Kee Saza, Thafueez Shariat Conference Kay Faisala Per Eik Nazar.” [Punishment for Mumtaz Qadri: An Examination of the Decision of ‘protection of Sharia’ Conference]. Al-Sharia (December, 2015): 31–42. Messick, Brinkley. The Calligraphic State: Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. Moin, A. Afzar. The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Moosa, Ebrahim. “Colonialism and Islamic Law.” In Islam and Modernity: Key Issues and Debates, edited by Muhammad Masud, Armando Salvatore and Martin van Bruinessen, 158–81. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Moosa, Ebrahim. “The Debts and Burdens of Critical Islam.” In Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism, edited by Omid Safi, 111–27. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2003. Moosa, Ebrahim. “Muslim Political Theology: Defamation, Apostasy, and Anathema.” In Profane: Sacrilegious Expression in a Multicultural Age, edited by Christopher S. Grenda, Chris Beneke, and David Nash, 169–88. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014. Narain, Vrinda. Gender and Community: Muslim Women’s Rights in India. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001. Nelson, Matthew J. In the Shadow of Shari’ah: Islam, Islamic Law, and Democracy in Pakistan. London: Hurst & Company, 2011. Pakistan Today. “Bank to Deduct Zakat on 1st Ramadan.” August  1, 2011. Accessed December 16, 2015. Shadi, Hamid. Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016. Shepard, William E. “Muhammad Sa’id al-Ashwami and the Application of the Shari’a in Egypt.” International Journal of Middle East Studies no. 28 (1996): 39–58. The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. New Delhi: Universal Law Publishing, 2010.

Sacralizing the state, secularizing sharia 133 Vikor, Knut. Between God and the Sultan: A History of Islamic Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Weiss, Bernard. The Spirit of Islamic Law. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1998. Wood, Graeme. “What ISIS Really Wants.” The Atlantic, March, 2015. www.theatlantic. com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/. Zubaida, Sami. Law and Power in the Islamic World. London: I.B. Tauris, 2005.

5 The administrative state chasing the Goldilocks moment The conundrums of a Muslim nation-state

I was sitting in a cavernous office of one of the top law enforcement officials of the Punjab Provincial government. The red brick building is part of the colonial architectural heritage which, despite its dilapidation, instills a sense of the power of the state that makes the many who visit these premises feel insignificant as they wait for an audience with the famed civil servants of Pakistan. Since the early 1990s, various governments had first announced an overhaul of blasphemy statutes before retreating and settling on ‘administrative’ measures to address the turmoil resulting from these laws. I had come to interview the official who was charged by the provincial government with disposing of those blasphemy cases that were obviously a result of personal animosity. This official was brimming with self-confidence, and in a soliloquy lasting almost a full hour he pontificated on how to address religious extremism. He boasted that he had been stationed in parts of Punjab where sectarian sentiments are strong, but by regulating who got access to loudspeakers during Friday sermons he had managed the law and order situation. “Our people are too emotional about religion and the ignorant clergy are too willing to exploit religion for their own gains,” he argued. “The politicians are too indulgent towards these jahal maulvis [ignorant clergy], a bit of a spine would contain the threat posed by religious extremism. . . . We are all Muslims and we should not be intimidated by these clergy.”

Reading the files: the role of the executive The postcolonial state of Pakistan inherited the tendency of the colonial state to view Islam as “the incendiary core of native Muslim identity, something to be protected and feared.”1 In the next section, I examine three cases to illustrate how the administrative elite attempted to manage Islam. The first case illustrates the administrative state’s posture towards religion as a powerful force that could be harnessed to modernize Pakistan, but only if the state exerts control over mosques, preachers, and the madrassas. The second case, regarding declaring Friday the weekly holiday, illustrates the constancy of the state’s view that certain things are too important to leave to ‘religious manipulation.’ The third case focuses on the introduction of Islamic taxes under Zia-ul-Haq as a significant milestone in creating a highly sectarian and competitive market for various maslaks and in preparing the ground for sacralizing the blasphemy statutes.

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 135 The Central Cabinet Division houses a National Documentation Center where one can read through the declassified files of the cabinet record for various ­ministries – Home/Interior, Foreign, Finance, Religious Affairs, etc. The file, “the workhorse of the Pakistani bureaucracy,”2 provides the most unfiltered view of bureaucratic proceedings and decisions. The files contain minutes of cabinet proceedings, commentaries by officials handwritten in the margins, copies of reports, newspaper clippings, other relevant documents, and a final section summarizing the decisions taken and the copies sent to various stakeholders. In delving into these files, I want to narrow our view to that which the bureaucrats dealt with in managing Islam between 1950 to 1985. For this purpose, I use three files entitled: “Scheme for supervision and control of religious institutions and religions activities,”3 “Observance of Weekly Holiday on Friday instead of Sunday,”4 and “Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr Ordinance.”5

Controlling religious institutions and activity “For reasons which need not be gone into in detail at this stage religion is an important influence in the life of the majority of people in our county.”6 This was the opening statement of a lengthy report that came out of the Governors’ Annual meeting held in 1960, and that found its way into several cabinet deliberations and resulted in various schemes to manage mosques and madrassas. The gist of the report is that religion is too strong a force to leave to the ‘manipulative’ and ‘self-serving’ clerical class, which keeps the masses ignorant of the true spirit of Islam. The report asserts that in Islamic history it was the state’s duty to manage religious institutions;7 it argues for the importance of ‘undoing the monopoly of reactionary religious groups,’ but it rejects the model used by Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk as ‘unsuitable for obvious reasons’ and rejects ‘separation of church and state’ as unworkable because an established priesthood is contrary to Islam. It settles on the model of the Mughal empire in India, which allows for government control of religious activities and institutions: This control need not be for the ulterior purpose of keeping a hold over the populace and exploiting their religious sentiments for servile subjection to authority. It could, and in Pakistan, it should, aim at evolution of a healthy and progressive outlook in religion and of inculcating in the national character virtues of truthfulness, honesty, courage, forbearance, and perseverance.8 The report quotes General Ayub Khan’s observation that mosques tend to have the most spacious buildings in rural areas, which could be used as literacy centers, while the Imam could be trained to deliver modern agricultural knowledge. “This can only be done if the religious hierarchy is controlled and gradually moulded into an educated, self-respecting and purposefully employed community.”9 To ensure that, the report recommends that all mosques should be registered – the Imams must be licensed after fulfilling government-prescribed educational qualifications. The report argues that the assertion that the government should not interfere in religious affairs “sounded all right under alien non-Muslim rule, [but]

136  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment it has no significance in present conditions.” The action item recommended by the report included “refresher courses for those Imams who are employed in the mosques which are administered by the Aukuf department,” with emphasis on “basic principles of Islam which are common to all the sects . . . with particular emphasis on the concepts of social responsibility and national solidarity.”10 The cabinet decided that steady pay for the Imams of the mosques would ‘impart stability and dignity’ to the administration of mosques. The tone of this report is confident; various government departments are given their marching orders to train the clergy. At one point the President muses that there is no place for an institutionalized clergy in Islam, and that Muslims should be able to get the basic ethical message of the Quran by reading it. The cabinet discusses the possibility of copying the practice in the West of distributing Bibles in hotels as a model for making copies of Quran more widely available.11 Seven years later, in a meeting on “The Committee on Fundamental Conflict,”12 the confident tone in which the government makes plans to manage Islam turns into frustration and the shrill denouncement of the “narrow-mindedness of the mullah.” Whereas the previous report had a uniform view of how best to manage Islam, this report showed a difference of opinions. The fundamental conflict is between “the Mullah and the intelligentsia. . . . The Mullah represented tradition and intelligentsia represented progress. . . . Both agree that Islam presents a complete code of life. The Mullah wanted to make that code of life so rigid that no step could be taken outside the set principles.” That appeared to be the majority sentiment in the meeting, but there were some who argued that there is no fundamental conflict, perhaps just “misunderstanding between the two. We are a Millat [nation] and there are orthodox and non-orthodox groups.”13 The report implies that the government of Pakistan has added to this fundamental confusion between Mullahs and the intelligentsia because by claiming that Pakistan is an Islamic state, it has enhanced the prestige of the Mullah but has “failed to explain the ideology of Islam, leaving the Mullah to fill the vacuum.”14 The common people of Pakistan are uneducated and religious, a dangerous combination from the perspective of the file, because they “will follow what is said in the name of Islam.” Some argued that the government should cultivate more cooperative ulama, while others argued that “compromise with the Mullah at this stage would prove very dangerous.” The file then takes an unexpected turn by including a lengthy report on “Suggestion for the Activation of Pakistan Muslim League,” the political party that provided civilian garb to the military regime. The cabinet proceeding praised President Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan as a “philosopher and a reformer,” who can be “placed with leaders like Mao Tse Tung.” The report argues that dissemination of Ayub Khan’s thought and philosophy cannot be done through “official machinery alone. . . . The propagation of ideas can be done only by the workers of a political organization having conviction and faith in them.” The Muslim League is derided for its passivity and compared unfavorably to both the Chinese Communist Party and the Jammat-eIslami. The Muslim League should compile easy-to-read literature that can help shape public opinion, be active in providing social services, and meet at least once

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 137 a month to either provide “a discourse on the Holy Quran by a suitable religious scholar if available otherwise recitation from the Holy Quran and its translations, extracts from Seeratun Nabi [Prophet Muhammad’s biography], and speeches of the President.”15 These two files tell the story of the most determined ‘secularizer’ of the Pakistani polity, General Ayub Khan, who was eager to drag this ‘tradition-bound’ people into the modern age. He faced opposition to that project from the Jammate-Islami and some of the ulama, who opposed state takeover of their madrassas, shrines, and mosques. The Jammat was so intent on opposing Ayub Khan that it supported the candidacy of a woman, Fatima Jinnah, against him in the 1965 presidential elections. The secularizing president, meanwhile, elicited a joint fatwa from compliant ulama that a woman’s candidacy for head of the state was prohibited in Islam. Ayub Khan succeeded in introducing reforms in Muslim Family Law, creating an Auquaf department that took over the management of religious endowments, attempted (but mostly failed) to register mosques and madrassas, and managed the personnel who ran these institutions. By 1968, as the street protests against Ayub Khan’s rule were gathering steam, the cabinet on September 4 deliberated on the controversy generated by Professor Fazalur Rahman’s book Islam,16 and came to the conclusion that the “masses were steeped in ignorance about the correct nature of our religion but the time was not ripe now for the government to start propagation of the reformed ideas. . . . It would serve no useful purpose if government took upon itself the responsibility to expound and defend the views of Dr. Fazalur Rahman.”17 It was economic grievances and ethnic discrimination, not Ayub Khan’s modernist Islam that propelled those masses to rise up against his regime. But the view from the files was that the state must retreat from its ‘reformist’ agenda for the time being as the military general turned President fought for the political survival of his regime.

Observance of weekly holiday on Friday instead of Sunday In 1972, Pakistani embassies in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan were instructed to find out how Muslim countries that observed Friday as a holiday dealt with “the difficulties experienced in International Banking, international Trade, Stock Exchange, etc.”18 The impetus for this inquiry came because Z.A. Bhutto’s political opponent, Maulana Mufti Mahmood (Jammiyat-e-ulama Islam) had announced that Friday would be made a holiday in Baluchistan and NWFP, two provinces where Bhutto’s PPP did not have enough seats to control the provincial government. In the cabinet meeting, one perspective was that it “would be of political advantage to this Government to forestall this eventuality and declare Friday as a holiday.”19 But the majority sentiment was that declaring Friday a holiday would damage the economic prospects of the country by the loss of three working days in a week, since Saturday and Sunday are observed as holidays in developed countries, and that “in an advancing society it would be a retrograde step.”20 The proposal that Friday be made a holiday had arisen regularly since 1947, generally introduced by a Member of Parliament and always opposed by the

138  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment government of the day. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had opposed such a motion in 1951, quoting Jinnah as someone who “was of the view that since Sunday was the universally accepted holiday, we would in effect be losing two working days.” In 1963, 34 members of the National Assembly had moved a bill to declare Friday the weekly holiday because “the National weekly off-day observed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims throughout the world is Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, respectively and that this was the only reason that Saturday was declared as their National weekly off-day by the Jews from the very first day of the State of Israel came into being.”21 Ayub Khan’s government had opposed this move on the grounds that “Pakistan is at present engaged on a gigantic development program with foreign aid. If Friday is observed as a closed holiday, business and commercial houses in Pakistan would get out of step with the rest of the World.”22 But the government did not rest solely on secular reasoning – it went on to point out that “Friday is not regarded by the Muslims as a day of rest or recreation in the sense the Christians and the Jews regard Sunday and Saturday. . . . Suspension of normal activities on Friday is, therefore, not warranted under the Quranic Law.” In the 1970s, Bhutto’s government used similar arguments, but added reports from other Muslim countries, often in a distorted manner,23 to argue that Friday as a full day off was not justified on economic or religious grounds. Bhutto’s government faced a more determined opposition in the Assembly; the subcommittee designated to study this issue came up with their own research to show that due to time differences and the working hours observed in the banking sector, the worry that Friday as holiday would adversely impact commercial transactions was unwarranted. The committee also asserted that from a religious point of view, there was not “two opinions that Friday instead of Sunday should be declared as the weekly holiday,” citing several verses from the Quran that declared Friday to be a specially blessed day. The parliamentary subcommittee’s arguments were so convincing that it made a unanimous recommendation that Friday be made a holiday. In response, Bhutto instructed his Law Minister to bury the action in a committee, which Abdul Hafeez Pirzada did successfully until 1977, when the government abruptly changed its mind and declared Friday, instead of Sunday, a holiday. The government’s change of mind came, once again, against the backdrop of street protest, this time from an Islamic alliance that accused Bhutto of rigging the election. This particular file ends on March 24, 1979, at a time when Zia-ul-Haq’s government had started implementing its Islamization policies. The last letter in the file is from the Finance Secretary to the Finance Minister informing him that some business organizations in Karachi had reverted back to Sunday as the day off and would like to have the banks open during Friday afternoon. Given the Islamization policies of Zia-ul-Haq’s government, it was no longer sufficient to use an economic efficiency argument. The letter stated: Observance of Friday as a holiday has detracted from the sanctity of Friday, which has come to be regarded as a day for relaxation rather than for the observance and prayers. It is alleged that since the observance of Friday as

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 139 a holiday, the attendance for Friday prayers has actually declined. Moreover, the night proceeding Friday which has sanctity of its own has gradually begun to acquire the undesirable attributes of Saturday night.  .  .  . In the circumstances there was a consensus that the question of weekly holiday needed to be objectively reviewed. It is of course for the Government to consider the appropriate time for this purpose while keeping in view the political implications.24 The political implications did not allow Zia-ul-Haq’s regime to implement the recommendation of the Finance Secretary, and it was left to his protégé, Nawaz Sharif, to restore Sunday as the holiday in 1997. Sharif used the economic argument that losing Friday to international business transactions was counterproductive, but added that the change was aimed at “restoring the due status and sanctity of Friday”25 because a two-hour break for Friday congregational prayer would mean not wasting “precious time in entertainment and other non-religious activities.” In 2016, several members of the National Assembly, once again, moved the motion that Friday should be restored as a holiday and the government presented familiar arguments, with the Defense Minister reminding Muslims that “It is not mentioned in the Holy Quran that Friday should be declared as weekly holiday,” and the Minister of Railways counseling that “We should adopt a balanced attitude instead of taking the path of extremism,” because Islam allows Muslims to engage in business transactions before and after the Friday congregational prayers.26 What is remarkable about this particular file on Friday as holiday is that despite various stances taken towards Islam by these regimes, all agreed that Friday as holiday would be too costly for economic development and found variety of ways to resist the move. It is noteworthy that the earlier administrations used a purely pragmatic argument: that given the fact that the rest of the world observes Saturday and Sunday as weekly holidays, Pakistan would lose out in banking and business transactions if it changed to Friday. But as Islam became institutionalized by Zia-ul-Haq’s government, a pragmatic argument could no longer stand alone, and thus we see Nawaz Sharif’s government using the argument that the sanctity of Friday would be lost if it became a full day off because people would indulge in entertainment rather than prayers.

Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr ordinance The 1980 Zakat and Ushr Ordinance (hereafter referred to as ZUO) passed by Zia-ul-Haq’s government is an excellent case study in the law of unintended consequences faced by the regime as it functionalized Islam to achieve legitimacy.27 ZUO, unlike many other Islamization measures, had something for everyone. As the file indicates, the Finance Ministry saw in this measure a way to finally extract more taxes from a public that loathed paying taxes; the Law ministry liked the clear mandate for Islamization, since alms-giving is one of the five pillars of Islam; the clerics, asked to give their opinions about how this revenue should be spent, were happy to oblige by giving a very broad definition of fi Sabilullah

140  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment (in God’s Way), which included expenditure on a military that defends an Islamic country as long as the funds could also be spent on religious seminaries.28 The Finance Division of the Central Zakat Administration offered comments to the suggestions received, most of them from the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). The point that corporations should be exempted because “Zakat being an ibadat [religious duty] can only be a duty to be performed by real live Muslim individuals,” was rebutted by the assertion that the Hanafi view recognizes corporations as ‘judicial persons’ making it Islamic for corporations to pay zakat.29 To the variety of suggestions by CII to determine what should be taxed and how much, the response often favored what was administratively convenient, and would maximize the yield.30 The Finance Committee resisted CII’s suggestion that ‘stock-in-trade’ should be required to pay taxes. To the CII suggestion that a total overhaul of the tax structure was needed in order to make it more compatible with the ZUO, the caustic response was: “It would be helpful if the Council were to amplify the kind of ‘radical’ fiscal restructuring it wished the government to undertake. This is a subject however which is neither relevant to Zakat nor one with which the C.I.I is strictly concerned.”31 Thus, despite all the rhetoric about Islam providing a complete guideline for the state, it is clear that the bureaucracy of the Council of Islamic Ideology was expected to stay in its own lane. The CII appeared most uncomfortable with the possibility that the agriculture tax (ushr) might become too burdensome for small farmers or that “the incidence of Ushr plus local rate may be prohibitive and may discourage investment and production in agriculture.”32 The finance committee’s response leaves one wondering if the writer was being sarcastic, pious, or Machiavellian in saying: “Ushr, if paid as a due, divinely ordained, cannot but yield positive and productive results. It has to be an act of unflinching faith in the Omniscience of the Almighty Who knows better than we do, what is in our interest.”33 But soon ZUO became a cautionary tale of what happens when a modern nationstate attempts to implement codified Islamic law in a diverse society. As I discussed in Chapter Four, over the years, four legal schools of thought developed in the Sunni world, with the majority in Pakistan following the Hanifa madhab. The estimates of Pakistani Shia range from 15 to 20 percent, with the majority of them belonging to the Twelver school of thought (Jaffaria); other sub-sects are the Ismailis, Khojas, and Bohras. ZUO draws on one of the fundamental duties of all Muslims, paying religious alms (zakat). However, there are differences among Muslims on the specifics of fulfilling this duty: for instance, to whom one pays the alms differs depending on the madhab one follows. This then became the most important hurdle in implementing ZUO in Pakistan. The file reveals how the government attempted to manage this difficulty. Keeping my perspective confined to the files for the moment, one sees the anxiety behind bureaucrats’ and ministers’ attempts to find administrative solutions to what was essentially a political problem. “However, the promulgation of the Ordinance had been with-held [sic] pending the resolution of Shia-Sunni Fiqhi difference in regard to Zakat and Ushr.”34 The Shia refused to abide by the ZUO on the grounds that they were required to fulfill this important religious obligation

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 141 in ways that are not represented in the ordinance.35 Three proposals to resolve this impasse were discussed by the Cabinet. The first solution – to let the Shia collect and administer their own funds – it was argued, would lead to “bifurcation of the Ummah, with self-evident far-reaching adverse implications,” and was rejected. The second solution was proposed by the Council of Islamic Ideology, which argued that the law should be renamed as “Zakat, Ushr, and Social Welfare,” and should be imposed on all citizens regardless of their religious affiliation. Ironically, it was the Ministry of Finance that objected to this proposal “on the grounds that it would seriously compromise and dilute the religious character of the proposed measure,” and it was thus rejected. Instead, the Ministry of Finance proposed that those who see ZUO as not fulfilling their religious obligations (read: the Shia) should nonetheless be required to pay the tax and what they pay should be renamed atiyyat (donations). That proposal was also eventually defeated as taxing Shia twice, since they would still be required to pay Zakat according to their own rules. One group wondered if it would not be sensible to revert back to the previous practice of people paying Zakat on a volunteer basis, but that proposal was rejected on the grounds that “if the past was any guide, practically no contributions would be forthcoming. Further leaving the whole thing voluntary would greatly damage the credibility of the government vis-à-vis other Islamic countries, particularly Saudi Arabia who had contributed Rs200 crores to the Zakat funds; and more importantly to the people of Pakistan, to whom a commitment had been made by the President.”36 The file contained several letters by prominent Shia jurists from Iran, which were presumably responding to the government of Pakistan’s request to give an opinion about the implementation of Zakat. These letters offered praise for the government’s attempt at Islamizing the laws and condemned the efforts to divide the Muslim Ummah, but all of them in the end suggested that the Shia community should be free to observe their personal laws in “matters of marriage, divorce, and inheritance, as well as their financial laws like Zakat, etc. Because otherwise, there is every likelihood that, God foribd [sic] if the rulers subject them to any correction or compulsion.”37

The sectarian divide and the rise of militant politics To protest against the ZUO, the Shia held the “largest rally Islamabad had seen up to that point, shutting down the most sensitive areas in the city near the Parliament and other major government offices.”38 The following month Zia-ul-Haq’s government announced that the Shia would be exempted from ZUO, a capitulation that emboldened both Shia and Sunni extremism. The Shia formed TehreekNifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria (The Movement to Establish Jafari Jurisprudence, or TNFJ) as a response to the imposition of the Hanifa jurisprudence of the Sunni majority, but the Sunni extremist groups saw this as a bald-faced attempt by an empowered minority to impose an Iranian-style Islamic Revolution in Pakistan. The TNFJ had made clear its sympathies for the Iranian revolution, and warned the Zia government not to launch anti-Khomeni operations from Pakistan.39 TNFJ’s assertion of

142  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment political power and support for the Iranian revolution led to the demand by one of the most anti-Shia extremist organizations, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), that like the Ahmadis, the Shia should also be declared non-Muslim. Haq Nawaz Jinghvi, the leader of SSP, in a fiery speech called on the National Assembly to allow a debate on the same lines as that of the early 1970s that declared Ahmadis non-Muslim, claiming that he would present incontrovertible evidence that Shia are non-Muslims.40 “In 1985 and 1986, Deobandi madrasas in both India and Pakistan – some funded by Saudi Arabia – produced fatwas apostatizing (takfir) the Shi‘a.”41 What makes this rising sectarian animus between extremist Shia and Sunni groups relevant for our discussion of blasphemy statutes is the issue of Namoose-Sahaba (Honor of the Companions of the Prophet). For SSP, the Shia were nonMuslims because they disrespected the first three Caliphs and other companions of the Prophet. In 1980, the Zia government introduced the first addition to the Offense Against Religion statutes by adding section 298-A to the Pakistan Penal Code. The new law stated: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait) of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rasshideen), or companions (Sahabba) of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine or with both. This was the first change in the offense against religion statutes since the passage in 1927 of IPC 295-A, which I discussed in Chapter One. By making these additions to the Offense Against Religion Act, the Pakistani state had inserted itself into a centuries-old theological dispute between the Shia and the Sunnis regarding who was the rightful heir to the Prophet and which of his earlier companions and family members deserved approbation or denunciation. But while the wording of 298-A made the state a party to sectarian conflicts, it also removed the possibility that the administrative state could successfully manage blasphemy statutes. As Asad Ahmed points out, the formulation of 298-A “dispensed with the criterion of ‘intent’ that hitherto was a key feature in determining the commission of an offense,” making it sufficient for anyone to simply assert that “they have heard or seen the offense the ground for arrest of the accused.”42 The ulama had been annoyed by the government’s concession to the Shia on ZUO; to appease the ulama, government acceded to their demand to expand the blasphemy laws. Like other measures introduced as Islamization by Zia -ul-Haq, the administrative state was making strategic concessions to the demands of certain sections of the ulama or Islamists without sharing power with them. But almost four decades later, as one looks back to this moment, it is clear that this symbolic concession to the ulama’s demand transformed the state from an outside arbiter in determining if

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 143 religious communities’ sentiments were injured into a party inserting itself into the centuries-old sectarian disputes of South Asian Islam. In 1982, an ordinance modified section 295 of the Offense Against Religion Act that prohibited “injuring or defiling places of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class,” by adding section B, which criminalized defiling the Quran. Since intent was no longer the key to adjudicating guilt or innocence, this addition created the potential for some of the most vulnerable citizens of Pakistan to become victims of blasphemy statutes. In what Assad Ahmad has termed a ‘moral panic,’ a series of stories in the newspapers reported instances of defilement of the Quran. In many of these reported incidents, Quranic text, whether as part of newspapers, primers, pamphlets or the Quran itself, was being discovered from the rubbish heaps and sewage. That the vast majority of cleaners and sewage workers were illiterate Christians who may well have been unaware of what they were disposing does not seem to have been taken into account.43 But even the most observant Muslims are not immune to charges of blasphemy under 295-B. For example, in 2010, the secretary-general of Jamia Mosque, a mosque affiliated with the Ahl-e-Hadith maslak, was accused of burning pages of the Quran near a rival Barelvi mosque. When a journalist asked why someone who is an observant Muslim would burn the pages of the Quran, he was told: “He could have tried to burn the Holy Quran to learn black magic. Secondly, maybe he tried to create a rift within the AS (Barelvi) by burning it near our mosque. Or he could have an affiliation with some foreign agency and be following their agenda to defame Muslims in their own country.”44 The next two additions to the blasphemy statutes came in 1984, and prohibited Ahmadis from ‘posing as Muslims.’ In 1986, Section 295-C was added prohibiting the “Use of derogatory remarks, spoken, written, directly or indirectly, etc. [which] defile the name of Muhammad (S.A.W).” Unlike the previous additions, we have a record of the public debate in the National Assembly that led to this most significant addition to the blasphemy statutes.

295-C and protecting the honor (Namoos) of the Prophet On Wednesday, July  9, 1986, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the Criminal Law Amendment Bill that made death the punishment for insulting the Prophet. The bill was discussed as the last item after a lengthy and exhausting session in which the assembly had debated and voted on weighty issues such as the 8th Amendment, which had given the President powers to dissolve the assembly, hold elections without political parties, and determine the amounts of development funds allocated to lawmakers’ constituencies. One of the sponsors of the blasphemy bill, Sayyid Assad Gilani, argued that there was no need to delay the discussion of the bill because there was total consensus, and the house only needed to formally approve the amendment to Criminal Procedure.45 The Speaker

144  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment agreed that it should not take more than ten minutes, but confusion ensued when there was no written language for the amendment available to all members present that could clarify if death was the only punishment, or if life imprisonment and fine could also be an option for judges deciding blasphemy cases. The amendment in English read “shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”46 Some of the supporters of the death penalty confused the English word or with the Urdu word aur, which means ‘and.’ Once the confusion was discovered, the sponsors insisted that, as agreed in prior negotiations with the Law Minister, the only punishment would be death, but that if there were doubt about guilt the judge could grant the lesser punishment of life imprisonment. The supporters frequently repeated that there was absolute consensus among Muslims that death is the only legitimate punishment for blasphemy, with one member adding that “the Quran has given clear instruction on this matter.”47 But there was one dissenting voice. Mr. Hamza, a member of Muslim League (N) from Toba Tek Singh, argued that he had no knowledge of the negotiations between the government and the ulama supporters, but given that this was a serious matter with lasting consequences, the bill should be put to public debate.48 The response was that since there were no two opinions about it among Muslims, there was no need for public comment, and any delaying tactics could create public anger.49 Hamza was asked to retract his objectionable words against the amendment. In reply, Hamza reiterated his love for the Prophet but insisted that a sloppy bill was no way to honor the Prophet. He argued that the words of the original ordinance were too vague, the law enforcement system too weak, and the possibility that the law could be used to settle personal scores too strong to rush through this legislation. Chaudhry Ameer Hussain, who later became National Assembly speaker (2002–2007) responded to Mr. Hamza’s charge that the amendment was too hastily put together by asserting that when it comes to worldly matters Mr. Hamza’s critique would be valid since in such matters one must balance various interests, but when it comes to the matter of deen (faith), Islam, and the Prophet, “there is no need for delay since there can be no two opinions about it.”50 Shah Turabul Haq Qadri, president of the Barelvi Ahl-Sunniat Party elected from Karachi, took strong exception to Mr. Hamza’s suggestion that the proposed amendment should be put forward for public comment. He asserted that scholars from the various maslaks present in the National Assembly agreed that the only punishment for dishonoring the Prophet is death; to send it out for public comments, therefore, was simply a delaying tactic, and then he warned: “we can have a crowd of 200,000 at the gate of the National Assembly, let’s never forget that possibility.”51 After several others spoke passionately in favor of the amendment, ignoring Hamza’s substantive critique of their attempt to rush through a highly significant piece of legislation, the Minister of State for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Mir Nawaz Khan Marwats, took the floor. He reassured supporters that his government was committed to making sure no one guilty of insulting the Prophet would go free, but that the idea that if found guilty the accused would be given the death penalty, and if guilt was not proven beyond doubt, he/she would be given life

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 145 imprisonment, was against the spirit of Islamic law and criminal procedures of Pakistan. In a convoluted way, he argued that there should be distinctions made between a Muslim who may have said something insulting but is now repentant and someone who daily says insulting things. He pleaded with the ulama that their main demand that death be included as a punishment is honored in the language, and that there was always the possibility of amending the law in the future.52 The proposed amendment was passed, with death sentence and life imprisonment as the two possible punishments for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. The law was amended in 1990 to make death the only penalty for insulting the Prophet, and after that there has been no possibility of amending or abrogating the law. All of Hamza’s dire predictions about the effects of PPC 295-C came to pass over the next two and a half decades. Over this period, four different governments considered reforms to the law, but each was forced to back down and loudly renounce any intention of changing it. The first attempt to repeal or reform the blasphemy statutes occurred during Benazir Bhutto’s second term as prime minister. The notorious case of Rehmat Masiah and Salmat Masia, who were accused of writing graffiti insulting the Prophet Muhammad, attracted the attention of human rights organizations because they were illiterate and there was evidence that the person who had brought the accusation had held a grudge against the two accused. The lower court sentenced both defendants to death, but in February 1995 the Lahore High Court reversed the sentence and released the accused. The law minister, Iqbal Haider, gave an interview to an Irish newspaper in which he discussed the possibility of abrogating the blasphemy laws. Religious parties who were suspicious of Benazir Bhutto as being too ‘secular’ and liberal engaged in a sustained protest against the government in most major cities, blocking roads and forcing shops to shut down. The government backtracked, insisting that it had absolutely no intention of changing the blasphemy laws. Instead, the government proposed administrative reforms that would require an inquiry by judicial officials regarding evidence before the police arrested the accused. They also suggested imposing seven years imprisonment for false accusations of blasphemy. The fact that nothing came from these suggestions is clear when we see the next three attempts at reform, in 2006, 2011, and 2015. The template had been set: a particularly egregious case would bring international infamy and the demand by various Western governments and human rights organizations to repeal the blasphemy statutes, the government would promise to repeal the laws, it would face intense opposition from religious parties, and it would hastily retreat and proclaim its fealty to Islam while promoting a few administrative measures to address the misuse of these statutes. Why has the Pakistani state failed to address abuses of blasphemy statutes? The political elite in Pakistan are well aware of the cost to Pakistan’s international reputation of its mismanagement of blasphemy laws. Various politicians, journalists, and law enforcement officials told me that these statutes were problematic and needed revision, but that no political leaders were willing to pay the price for changing the law. As I discussed in the Introduction, it is the law of the state that is expected to “define, contain, and deliver Islam.”53 But paradoxically there is

146  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment suspicion, anxiety, and distrust when it comes to the Pakistani state’s entanglement with Islamic laws. Any discussion of reforming the blasphemy statutes is met with suspicion and distrust because it is framed by the supporters of these laws as the Pakistani state pursuing the ‘western agenda.’ When the governments of Benazir Bhutto (1988–90 and 1993–96), Musharraf (1999–2007), Zardari (2008–2013), and Nawaz Sharif (2013–2018) announced their intentions to address abuses of blasphemy statutes, the religious parties accused them of bending to the pressure of a secular and anti-Muslim West. Street protests and threats of violence made these governments give up on reforming the statutes. But let’s remind ourselves that street protests and threats of violence are not unusual in Pakistan. There are scores of other issues on which the state faces the prospect of protests, yet it does not always cave into the demands of protesters. Why did all four of these administrations make such a hasty retreat? Like the British colonial government, the post-colonial Pakistani state sees religious passions as forming the ‘incendiary core’ of its populace. Unlike the British colonial government, the Pakistani state claims the authority to ‘define, contain, and deliver Islam.’ As the central cabinet files presented earlier in this chapter reveal, the administrative elite in Pakistan is both contemptuous of the role of traditional Muslim scholars (ulama) and fearful of their ability to activate people’s religious emotions. Various civilian and military regimes in Pakistan could not resist the temptation to make use of religious passions to support their policy goals or shore up their legitimacy. General Zia-ul-Haq most thoroughly functionalized Islam in pursuit of foreign policy goals and legitimacy at home, unleashing a dynamic that made it progressively harder for administrative elites to “define, contain, and deliver Islam.” Until the late 1970s, both civilian and military regimes in Pakistan attempted to constrain the role of the ulama and the Islamists by avoiding the term ‘sharia’ and invoking the ethical guidance provided by the Quran and the Sunnah. Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization policies led to greater concessions to the ulama and Islamists. A Federal Shariat Court (FSC) was created in 1980 to “examine and decide whether or not any law or provision of law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.”54 In 1985, the Objectives Resolution was made a substantive part of the constitution, and a further amendment added that “the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah shall be the supreme law and source of guidance for legislation to be administered through laws enacted by the Parliament and provincial assemblies, and for policy making by the Government.”55 Zia’s regime proposed the Enforcement of Sharia Ordinance in 1988, but it was not passed due to Zia’s death in a plane crash. As I discussed in Chapter Three, this ordinance was eventually passed by the National Assembly in 1991. In the remainder of this chapter, I will discuss three dynamics that originated in Zia-ul-Haq’s regime and made it impossible for the state to reform blasphemy statutes. First, the foreign policy objectives of the state over the past 40  years have made the domestic management of Islam complicated. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979) drew Pakistan into a close alliance with the United States, and Pakistan became a frontline state in the penultimate chapter of the Cold War. Deploying the religious passions of Pakistanis was a key weapon in the battle

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 147 with the Soviets, and the Pakistani state was eager to take advantage of non-state actors in the Afghanistan conflict. Most but not all of the prominent leaders and organizations supporting jihad in Afghanistan were affiliated with the Deobandi maslaks or the Islamist Jammat-e-Islami. Hundreds of millions of dollars and a variety of weapons, covertly channeled by the CIA through the ISI, made fighting jihad a lucrative prospect, and thus created a competitive religious market for ambitious political entrepreneurs. In the late 1980s, as the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the Pakistani state continued its interest in post-conflict Afghanistan. In the 1990s, Pakistan found another mission for the non-state actors: fighting jihad in the Indian-held territory of Kashmir. However, this synergy between the Pakistani state’s foreign policy goals and the proliferation of jihadi groups could not be sustained smoothly once the U.S.-led War against Terror commenced after September 11, 2001. General Musharraf’s government (1999–2008) was forced by the U.S. government to choose a side in its war against terror. The Pakistani state was not willing to give up the strategic assets it had gained through patronizing jihadi groups, so it equivocated: handing over some militants but protecting others, making distinctions between ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban,’ enabling U.S. drone strikes in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area) while publicly taking a stance against drone strikes as violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty. This balancing act of maintaining an alliance with the U.S. yet keeping its connection to non-state militant groups earned suspicion and distrust from both the American allies and the religious forces in Pakistan. Allies of yore became enemies, as exemplified by the case of Red Mosque’s siege in Islamabad in 2007. Before the mosque and the two attached seminaries were taken over by militant students fighting a jihad against the Pakistani state’s U-turn towards the Taliban, its leadership had facilitated the Afghan jihad in the 1980s and jihad in Kashmir in the 1990s. Now these allies-turned-enemies were aggressively challenging the writ of the Pakistani state by refusing government’s orders to demolish illegally built mosques, promising to establish sharia and sending out burqa-clad women brigades with batons to stop immoral activities in the capital. Unable to come to a negotiated settlement, the government launched an operation against several hundred students who had refused to surrender, resulting in almost 100 causalities. Though initially the media and the intelligentsia were highly critical of the government’s handling of the siege, accusing it of treating the insurgents with velvet gloves, the death of the young men and women of religious seminaries soured public opinion, creating sympathy for the young students who were killed during the siege. Indeed, the ‘Lal Masjid Movement’ became a rallying cry, an exemplary form of resistance to the ‘traitorous state’ for sections of the fundamentalist youth and religious scholars that the Pakistani government’s collaboration to the U.S.-led ‘War on Terror’ had deeply alienated since 2001.56 Islamabad, a once sleepy and placid capital, increasingly became a tempting site for ‘siege’ (dharna), as exemplified by three attempted sieges undertaken by the TLP.

148  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment The gap between the public posturing of the Pakistani government as ‘protector of Islam’ at home and abroad, and its secret, albeit selective, cooperation in the War against Terror has contributed to suspicion and skepticism. This perceived duplicity has provided potent symbols that have been used by religious forces in their grievance campaign against their own government’s complicity with the ‘Western anti-Islam’ agenda. Raymond Davis, a contractor for the CIA who killed two men in a crowded marketplace and attempted to flee the scene, became an icon representing the Pakistani government’s acquiescence in U.S. killings of Pakistani nationals in their own homeland. The tension-filled saga – spread over more than a month and a half – was brought to an abrupt conclusion on March 16, 2011, when Davis was released and quickly flown out of Pakistan after the heirs of the two youths he had shot dead told the court they had accepted monetary compensation to settle the case.57 The fact that Davis got away with murder but Afia Sidiqqui, a highly educated Pakistani-American mother convicted on terrorism charges, continues to be incarcerated in a Texas federal prison became symbolic of the emasculation of the Pakistani state by its Western allies.58 The perception that the Pakistani state is doing the bidding of the United States or the West has made it difficult for the government to implement the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the death penalty against Aasiya Bibi and release her from prison. Maulana Taqi Usmani, a Deobandi scholar and a critic of the excesses of the TLP, nonetheless was brought to tears by the idea that Aasiya Bibi would be allowed to leave the country and that “she will become the leading voice there just like they have made Malala Yusef their leader and are using her against Islam and Pakistan.”59 The second dynamic emerging out of Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization has been a higher level of competition and volatility in the religious marketplace. Vacating political, legal, and policy space to religious forces has made for intense competition within and between maslaks. Militant groups like Sunni SSP have competed to run madrassas, control mosques, and make electoral alliances, while they have also spawned the even more virulent groups such as the anti-Shia LEJ (Lashkare-Jangvi). Deobandis, Ahl-e-Hadith, Barelvis, and the Shia have all followed this template, but the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith had a competitive advantage due to their subscription to Saudi-inflected Islam and their prominent role in supporting jihadi groups in Afghanistan and Kashmir. In the blasphemy statutes, particularly Pakistan Penal Code 295-C, the Barelvis finally found an issue that made it possible for them to compete more effectively against these rival maslaks. Despite all the anxiety displayed about the influence of the clergy on the masses in the bureaucratic files I  discussed above, elections have consistently demonstrated that religious parties have limited electoral support. It is the administrative state’s management of Islam that has enlarged the space for Islamists and the ulama. This space did not enhance the state’s authority to manage Islam; instead it provided an

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 149 arena in which more militant religious elements have been able to challenge state authority, as evidenced by the rise of TLP. The third dynamic emerging from Zia -ul-Haq’s regime is that while his policies conceded greater ground to the ulama and Islamists, it did not provide them with the institutional authority to definitively proclaim on Islamic laws. At the same time, it weakened the capacity of state institutions to authoritatively manage Islam’s role in public life. During the first decade of Pakistan’s existence, we saw robust discussion of what it means to create a modern nation-state in the name of Islam. Out of this vigorous and open-ended debate, two foundational notions emerged: first, that Pakistan as an ideological state recognizes that sovereignty belongs to God, and second, that no law can be made that is repugnant to Islam. Over the years, an institutional infrastructure was created to work out the implication of these ideas for law, politics, and public policy. The Islamic Research Council, Islamic Ideological Council, the Shariat Court, the appellate Shariat bench of the Supreme Court, along with the rest of the judiciary, parliament, and executive branch, generated thousands of pages of reports and minutes that represented a variety of ways of incorporating Islamic laws and principles. The Federal Shariat Court, for instance, consists of eight judges, but only three out of the eight are ulama. Since the 1980s, the judiciary has increasingly resorted to invoking Islam as a way to assert judicial review, a power not otherwise available to them. “The wide range of interpretations of Islamic law offered by Pakistan’s judiciary conveys the impression that almost any result can be achieved by reference to Islam.”60 But when it comes to speaking specifically and authoritatively on the Islamic character of blasphemy statutes, the Federal Shariat Court has not delivered. In 1991, Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, a lawyer whose book I discussed in Chapter Three, brought a case to the Federal Shariat Court arguing that the only punishment for insulting the Prophet should be death. The decision of the court is instructive, in that it agreed with the plaintiff that insulting the Prophet is a capital crime of hadd (Quranically prescribed punishment), but it then went on to highlight that in these cases the Islamic tradition gives benefit of the doubt to the accused and that “doubts dispel sentences of Hadd.”61 The decision focused on the importance of intent and pointed out that “the mere fact that the words uttered sounded contemptuous of the Prophet is not an offence until it is based on malicious action or degration [sic].”62 The judges pointed out that: Some of the Jurists are, however, of the opinion that if the contempt of the Holy Prophet is in manifest and express words, the contemner will not be asked as to what was his intention but if the words are such which bear or have the capacity of bearing different meanings and senses out of which only one amounts to contempt, he will be asked as to what was his intention. . . . We, however, do not agree. Firstly, the meaning and import of words differ from place to place. Again context may also suggest different meaning. The accused therefore, must be allowed an opportunity to explain lest an innocent person is punished.63

150  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment The proponents of blasphemy statutes see this 1991 FSC decision as a vindication of their position that death is the only punishment for insulting Prophet Muhammad. The differences of opinion among Islamic jurists on what kind of crime is blasphemy, who can be punished for it, and what the punishment should be – questions I discussed in Chapter Four – are rendered moot by this FSC decision. The FSC judges accepted at face value the contention that insulting the Prophet is a crime of hadd, and that repentance is not allowed, although there is difference of opinion among the Islamic jurists on both of these points. The judges softened the impact of this decision by limiting the application of capital punishment through the use of mens rea (criminal intent). Further, as intention is to be gathered from the facts surrounding the event . . . provided the accused shows that he never intended to commit the offence and is penitent if the words said, gesture made, or the act done were ambiguous, or they could show some straits of guilty mind or malice. We may also clarify that penitence, in an alleged offence of contempt of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h), would be availed to show that the mind of the accused had no guilty straits or malice and the penalty will be dispelled on that account and not for the reason that penitence can wipe out an intended contempt.64 By imposing death as the only punishment, the FSC decision contributed to the sacralization of PPC 295-C and undermined the moderating impact it hoped to have by highlighting mens rea. As I showed in Chapter Two, those accused of blasphemy in Pakistan become homo sacer, the damned who are outside of legal protection. By appealing to norms of tolerance and forgiveness in Islam, but accepting that there is clear consensus over blasphemy, the judges take away the plurality and flexibility that had made it possible for heterodoxy to exist in the Islamic world. The due process rights that the court wants to extend to the accused by “examining the facts surrounding the event,” or giving them the benefit of the doubt, offer almost no protection to those accused of blasphemy: more than 60 people accused of blasphemy have died at the hands of mob violence. The lower courts, in fact, have routinely convicted those accused of blasphemy on flimsy evidence, and more than 100 have endured long periods of incarceration. It is ironic that the ulama, who have lived with disagreements during much of Islamic history, have been pushed to assert a ‘complete consensus’ in response to the critique of the liberal elite that the ulama are too divided to speak with one voice on important issues. The echoes of the Munir/Kiyani report of the 1953/54 Ahmadiyya controversy, which maintained that the ulama could not even agree on who is a Muslim, still reverberate: defenders of blasphemy laws insist that there is total consensus on the severity of the crime of insulting the Prophet. The result is that these statutes have been so sacralized that even mild criticism of how the laws have been implemented cannot be tolerated. The defenders of blasphemy statutes rely both on this manufactured ‘Islamic’ consensus and the liberal discourse of ‘rule of law’ and constitutionalism to argue against any modifications or reforms in these laws.

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 151 Shahab Ahmed contends that Muslims have been: dealing with difference, diversity, and disagreement for fourteen centuries. Muslims have long been well aware that they are not all the same; they have long been aware that their identity as components of universal Islam includes diverse experiences, agreements, disagreement, problems, dilemmas, and predicaments; that they mostly agree to disagree and to be different.65 These disagreements in South Asian Islam have spawned multiple maslaks, as I discussed in Chapter One. The maslaks may disagree on how best to follow the Prophet’s way (Sunnah) but they all agree that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet of God – bringing ulama and the Islamists together around the concept of khattam-e-nabuwat. Heterodox sects have existed in the Muslim world for a long time, but the modern need to define who is a Muslim for legal and constitutional purposes renders groups like the Ahmadis in Pakistan and Indonesia and the Bahá’í in Egypt vulnerable. They are not given constitutional protection as either a non-Muslim religious minority or a heterodox Muslim sect. The idea that the state’s law can adjudicate who is a Muslim has become a tempting weapon in inter-maslak conflicts in Pakistan. The extremist Sunni SSP in Pakistan wants the state to declare the Shia non-Muslim, and the Barelvis have used the charges of insult to the Prophet against the rival maslaks of Ahl-e-Hadith and the Deobandis. The administrative elite had a map for the public role of Islam: it was to provide ethical guidelines by which the masses were to become loyal and productive citizens, but most importantly it was to provide the glue binding the multi-ethnic Pakistan into a unitary nation. As the administrative files I discussed above show, there was ongoing anxiety that perhaps the citizens were too passionate about religion and too prone to manipulation by ‘ignorant clerics,’ but there was also a sense of confidence that the state could deploy the energy of Islam to propel Pakistan towards greater economic and social development. Ironically, Zia-ulHaq’s Islamization policies weakened the state’s capacity to manage Islam. Policies like the hudud ordinances, the Zakat/Usher Ordinance and the expansion of blasphemy statutes generated openings for non-state actors attempting to assert their authority over religious issues, and resulted in a highly competitive Islamic public sphere. The Pakistani administrative and political elite created scores of institutions meant to take control over the religious sphere, such as the Islamic Ideological Council and the Federal Shariat Court. Such institutions have produced miles of reports on various aspects of Islamic laws, but have been unable to speak authoritatively over any controversial matter related to Islam and law. Matthew Hull illustrates the process whereby the official maps of the CDA (Capital Development Authority), meant to aid in the orderly planning of Islamabad, contributed to a “new arena of competition and conflict between Islamic sects.”66 The original planners envisioned ‘ecumenical’ mosques serving the needs of worshippers in residential areas. Starting in 1978, the sectarian affiliation of mosques became a central issue, creating an ongoing site of religious controversy. Mosques are, in theory, open to all Muslims for prayers, and its affiliation with

152  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment a particular maslak is indexed through subtle difference in the manner of prayer (such as whether one says ameen loudly or quietly), the content of sermons, and the background of members of mosque committees. This fluidity in affiliation has made mosques an arena of sectarian competition. The CDA official maps became an important instrument in sectarian conflicts over the building of mosques. If one can get hold of a copy of the planning map that shows the future development of sectors, one can lay claim to the area designated for mosques by building a temporary structure. In response to such qazba (takeovers), the CDA has started to disguise mosque sites as schools and parks on planning maps. Contrary to the wishes of the civil-military bureaucratic elite, a majority of the mosques are not officially controlled by the Ministry of Religious Affairs; neither are they legally sanctioned by the official process. Just as the CDA’s plans for creating orderly sites for ecumenical mosques contributed to greater sectarian conflict around who owns what mosque, the administrative state’s attempt at managing Islam created an incentive structure for otherwise marginalized religious groups to fiercely compete over share of an Islamic public sphere, wresting control away from the state by creating sacralized boundaries around blasphemy statutes.


1 2 3 4 5 6


8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16

Hussain, The Politics of Islamic Law, 114. Hull, Government of Paper, 113. 54/CF 60. 132/CF72. 93/Prog/80. Ministry of Interior, “Scheme for Supervision and Control of Religious Institutions and Religious Activities,” Report of Governors Conference held on October 23, 24, 1960 in Lahore. Summary and Recommendations presented to the central Cabinet, November 3, 1960, p. 2, File No. 54/CF/60. “The Abbasids were the first to realize the potentialities of this (religious) force,” and although Mughals ruled over mostly non-Muslim population they used the management of land and properties belonging to temples as the “basis for Government’s supervision and control of institutions and persons serving them.” File No. 54/CF/60, p. 3. Ibid, 7. Ibid. Ibid. “Religious Problems of Pakistan,” January 31, 1964, File No. 394/CF/59. 95/CF 67. The meeting was attended by the Minsters of Information and Broadcasting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Home and Kashmir Affairs, the Chairman of the Capital Development Authority, and various senior secretaries. The minutes concluded with the recommendation that a paper be prepared by Dr. Fazlur Rahman to deal with “a) definition of the ideology of Islam; b) ways and means to make the mullah useful in the process of nation building; c) organization of mosques and the integration of mullah in the social life; and a paper by the education secretary on revision and improvement of the curricula and syllabi of religious education.” But the file does not contain copies of such reports, if they were produced. Ibid. Ibid. Professor Fazlur Rahman had become one of the most important and productive scholars interested in renewing the spirit of Islam. He was the Chairman of the Central

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 153 Institute of Islam Research from 1962–68. For the Islamists and the ulama, he became a proxy for their attack on Ayub Khan’s government once his book was misrepresented in the Urdu press as questioning basic aspects of the Muslim creed such as the physical existence of angels. 17 File No: 331/CF/86. 18 Notes for Cabinet Secretary, “Observance of Weekly Holiday on Friday instead of Sunday,” April  4, 1972, File No.  132/CF172, p.  2. The response of the Iranian ambassador is noteworthy given the fate of the Shah’s government. “The Shahanshah [Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi] himself told me he wished he could adopt the Sunday holiday without causing too much public excitement and regretted the fact that at present international conditions did not permit him to do so. He also told me we were very lucky that we had inherited the ready-made modern and necessary arrangement of the Sunday holiday.  .  .  . Manoutchehr Zelli [the Iranian Foreign Minister] said with good humor that it would be a cruel turn of fate if we changed from Sunday to Friday only to find that in due course Iran joined Turkey in adopting the Sunday holiday,” p. 20. 19 Ibid., 6. 20 Ibid., 10. 21 Summary for the Cabinet, Ministry of Home and Kashmir Affairs, File No: 359/CF/63. 22 File No: 359/CF/63. 23 An example of the distortion is that the Ambassador to Syria reported that the Syrians have been observing Friday as holiday for the past 25 years and had found “no insurmountable difficulties,” but the President’s letter opposing Friday as holiday told the Parliamentary committee that Syrians faced considerable difficulty with Friday as holiday. p. 38, File No: 359?CF/63. 24 “Friday a Closed Holiday,” April 25, 1979. p. 2, File No. 132/CF/72 (emphasis added). 25 UCA News, “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Restores Sunday as Weekly Holiday.” 26 Anis, “Government Opposes Restoration of Friday as Weekly Holiday.” 27 File no. 93/Prog/80. 28 An 11-page report included in the file that discusses what “spending in the way of God” would include. No author is listed but the style of exposition makes it clear that it is written by an alim (religious scholar). 29 “Government of Pakistan, Finance Division, Central Zakat Administration, Revised Summary for the Cabinet, August 1979, Islamabad,” File No. 188/79, p. 4. 30 The response was apparently written by I.A. Imtiazi, Administrator-General Zakat and Ex-officio Secretary to Government of Pakistan. 31 Ibid., 20 (emphasis added). 32 Ibid., 10. 33 Ibid. 34 Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance, Central Zakat Administration, “Summary for the Cabinet, Subject: Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr Ordinance, 1980,” Islamabad, April 24, 1980, File No. 93/Prog/80, p. 40. 35 The majority of the Shia follow the ‘Twelver’ strand which in Pakistan is known as ‘fiqh-e-Jafariyah.’ The Shia had three objections to ZUO: their faith required paying the alms with niyyat (intention), it required that the funds be disbursed to fellow Shia, and that given the status of those who claim lineage of the Prophet Muhammad (Syed Hashmi), their zakat funds can be disbursed to all Shia, but only well-off Syed Hashmi would pay zakat to fellow needy kinsmen. 36 Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting, File, 93/Prog/80, pp. 50–3. 37 Letter from Abdul Qasim Al-Musaw Al-Kho’I, Annexure “E” p. 13, File, 93/Prog/80. 38 According to the newspaper accounts, hundreds of thousands Shia gathered in Islamabad, paralyzing the city for two days by blocking all entry and exits to the city. See Broder, “Sectarian Strife Threatens Pakistan’s Fragile Society.” 39 Rafiq, “Sunni Deobandi-Shi’i Sectarian Violence in Pakistan,”16.

154  The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 40 Molana Haqnwaz Jhangvi Shaheed Chok Yadgar Peshawar Taqreer: [Memorable Speech of Molana Haqnwaz Jhangive in Peshawar], accessed July 12, 2018. In the one hour and 13-minute speech, the assertion is made between minute 6–7, com/watch?v=9cVW7sYAv7s. 41 Rafiq, “Sunni Deobandi-Shi’i Sectarian Violence in Pakistan,” 19. 42 Ahmed, “A Brief History of the Anti-blasphemy Laws,” 13 (emphasis in original). 43 Ibid., 15. 44 Tanveer, “Ahl-e-Hadis Man Held Over Blasphemy Case.” 45 The National Assembly of Pakistan Debates. Wednesday, July  9, 1986, Volume 11, nos. 1–29, p. 3210, 46 Ibid., 3214. 47 Ibid., 3217. 48 Ibid., 3218. 49 Ibid., 3220. 50 Ibid., 3221–2. 51 Ibid., 3220. 52 Ibid., 3229–32. 53 Hussain, The Politics of Islamic Law, 3–4. 54 Article 203-D of Pakistan’s Constitution. 55 Patel, Islamisation of Laws in Pakistan, 23. 56 Blom, “Changing Religious Leadership in Contemporary Pakistan: The Case of the Red Mosque,” 136. 57 Dawn, “Raymond Davis Pens Tell-all on 2011 Pakistan Incident.” 58 McCoy, “’Lady al-Qaeda’: The American-Educated PhD the Islamic State Desperately Wants Freed.” 59 Ibid. 60 Lau, The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan, 211. 61 PLD 1991 FSC, Muhammad Ismail Qureshi v. Pakistan, http://khatm-e-nubuwwat. org/lawyers/data/english/8/fed-shariat-court-1990.pdf. 62 Ibid., 26. 63 Ibid., 29. 64 Ibid., 25. 65 Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, 147. 66 Hull, Government of Paper, 214.

References Ahmed, Asad. “A  Brief History of the Anti-blasphemy Laws.” Herald, May  10, 2018. Ahmed, Shahab. What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016. Anis, Muhammad. “Government Opposes Restoration of Friday as Weekly Holiday.” The News International, January 20, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2016. print/92438-Govt-opposes-restoration-of-Friday-as-weekly-holiday. Blom, Amelie. “Changing Religious Leadership in Contemporary Pakistan: The Case of the Red Mosque.” In Pakistan and its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches, edited by Marta Bolognanai and Stephen Lyon. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Broder, Jonathan. “Sectarian Strife Threatens Pakistan’s Fragile Society.” Chicago Tribune, November 10, 1987. Accessed July 12, 2018. Dawn. “Raymond Davis Pens Tell-all on 2011 Pakistan Incident.” June 29, 2017. www.

The state chasing the Goldilocks moment 155 Hull, Matthew S. Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. Hussain, Iza R. The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2016. Lau, Martin. The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006. McCoy, Terrence. “ ‘Lady al-Qaeda’: The American-educated PhD the Islamic State Desperately Wants Freed.” The Washington Post, August 28, 2014. www.washingtonpost. com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/28/lady-al-qaeda-the-american-educated-doctorthe-islamic-state-desperately-wants-freed/?utm_term=.e0e8004091b6. Ministry of Interior. “Scheme for Supervision and Control of Religious Institutions and Religious Activities.” Report of Governors Conference held on October 23–24, 1960 in Lahore. Summary and Recommendations presented to the Central Cabinet, November 3, 1960, p. 2, File No. 54/CF/60. Patel, Rasida. Islamisation of Laws in Pakistan. Karachi: Faiza Publishers, 1986. Rafiq, Arif. “Sunni Deobandi-Shi’i Sectarian Violence in Pakistan: Explaining the Resurgence Since 2007.” Middle East Institute Report, December 2014. Tanveer, Rana. “Ahl-e-Hadis Man Held Over Blasphemy Case.” The Express Tribune, October  13, 2010. phemy-case/. UCA News. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Restores Sunday as Weekly Holiday.” March 3, 1997. Accessed April  19, 2016. pakistani-prime-minister-restores-sunday-as-weekly-holiday&post_id=9029.

6 The fatigue of sharia and contemporary Muslim politics

Though it risks over-generalizing to speak of a billion and a half people spread through dozens of countries as a unit, there are certain dynamics that make Muslim politics Muslim. First, Islam holds greater political and social sway over its adherents than do other contemporary religions, while at the same time there is a stiff contest over who can speak for Islam. Second, managing Islam is one of the central challenges faced by Muslim nation-states: some have functionalized Islam to achieve legitimacy and modernity, while others have attempted a secular approach. The latter does not generally mean keeping religion out of politics; rather it attempts to make Muslims less religious: many autocratic leaders of Muslim countries have told the West that Muslim religious passions make democratization of their societies dangerous. In any event, all Muslim states must somehow address the ‘Islamic question.’ The important point is that this engagement with Islam has resulted in variety of outcomes. At times the outcomes have been counter-intuitive. For example, countries with a history of state-imposed secularism have seen Islamist parties performing well at the polls once relatively freer elections were held – this may possibly be explained by Muslims’ rejection of secularism and their exceptional attachment to religion. Both Tunisia and Turkey experienced a long history of uncompromising laicism which provided ‘moral capital’ to Islamist parties as the main oppositional force to authoritarian secular states – and when the electoral process became more competitive, these parties were able to win a plurality of votes.1 On the other hand, in countries such as Pakistan where Islam has been given a central constitutional role, Islamists have never gained a majority in electoral politics. As I documented in earlier chapters, Pakistani religious parties have limited strength in the electoral arena. However, if there is to be an Islamic reformation, Islamist parties must be able to compete for votes; if they get a mandate from the people, they must be able to govern. When the will of the people appears to be thwarted, the result is a paralysis in Muslim politics that fans the flames of extremism and blocks avenues through which Muslims can debate and decide what role Islam should play in public life.

Turkey: Islam without sharia2 As the heir to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey strode into its status as modern republican polity with confidence, because unlike most other Muslim countries, the

The fatigue of sharia 157 Ottoman Empire had maintained its sovereignty while experimenting for almost a century with modernizing social and political institutions. Before the 1839 reorganization (Tanizmat) to address a gradual weakening of its empire, the Ottoman Empire had enjoyed almost two centuries of stable political order in which it institutionalized the role of sultan-made laws (Qanun) along with a sharia infrastructure of qadis and muftis. The Ottoman Empire was the first to codify Islamic laws (the Majalla), which guided the legal system until 1926, when Ataturk abolished Islamic law, but this codification remained influential in other regions, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, until much later. The codification process introduced an important new legal tradition in Islamic jurisprudence: takhayur, picking and choosing from the four schools of jurisprudence rather than relying only on Hanafi (the dominant school) methodology. Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate in 1924, despite the entreaties of Muslims from South Asia to protect and strengthen this remaining symbol of Muslim unity. He created the original template for secular Muslim nation-states, which earned him the respect of other Muslim state builders such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and the ire of Islamists such as Maududi. In the Turkish constitution, sovereignty now belonged to the Turkish nation rather than to God. The services of the chief mufti were no longer required, and the office of Sheikh ul-Islam was abolished, as were madrassas, the traditional seats of learning, because it was now the government-run secular schools that were to teach the future citizens of Turkey.3 Another significant step towards national integration occurred when the tiny minorities of Jews, Greeks, and Armenians officially declared in 1925 that they no longer wished to be governed by their own family laws, and a uniform legal system informed by the Swiss civil code was established the following year, eliminating the role of sharia in the family affairs of marriage, divorce, and inheritance. In 1928, the phrases “the religion of the Turkish state is Islam” and “implementation of Sharia is one of the duties of the parliament” were removed from the constitution. Turkish separation of religion and politics went beyond removing the influence of Islam from political institutions, and veered into reducing its influence in society. Sufi organizations were banned, as was the wearing of visible religious symbols in public. Resistance to Ataturk’s policies by the ulama and the Sufi orders was framed as sedition against the state and conspiracy against the forward movement of the Turkish nation. As M. Hakan Yavuz puts it: Any opposition to Westernizing reforms was framed by state officials as an attempt to stop the modernization process. Resistance to the state was labeled as ‘rebellions in the name of shari‘a’ (shari‘at ayaklanması); shari‘a as a term was criminalized and those who resisted the centralizing and modernizing reforms of the state were also accused of seriatci. Shari‘a, in the official discourse of Turkey’s Kemalist modernization project, came to represent the ‘other’ – backward, underdeveloped, and fanatical; using the ideology of the ummet [Ar. umma, the community of Muslim believers] against the modern nation. . . . In short, in the context of modern Turkish history, the concept of shari‘a was criminalized and this criminalization gave shari‘a a highly pejorative meaning in Turkish society and politics.4

158  The fatigue of sharia No wonder then that for Islamists in Turkey, sharia was not equated with specific Islamic laws. Instead it was viewed as a system of general guidelines for moral action. The Turkish Islamists were critical of the Iranian and Saudi model of Islamic laws, and the Taliban in Afghanistan “were often characterized as having nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.”5 Compared to all other Muslim societies, the Turkish Islamists have experienced the greatest success at the ballot box and in their ability to transform the Kemalist army and judiciary’s resistance to Islamizing the public sphere. Turkey’s example challenges many assumptions often made about Muslim politics. Islamists like Maududi feared that aggressive secularization by the state would deal a fatal blow to Islam in Turkey, but instead, Islamist parties like JDP (Justice and Development Party) have emerged as a formidable political force. Those who see an inevitable clash of civilizations between Islam and the West cannot explain why the Islamists have been persistent supporters of Turkey joining the European Union. Turkey is by no means a consolidated democracy, but it nonetheless provides an important case for understanding sharia politics.

Egypt: accommodation and marginalization of sharia Egypt entered modern nationhood with greater resources available to take on the task of implementing sharia. With authoritative yet accommodating scholars at one of the most famous seminaries in the Muslim world, Al-Azhar University, Egypt started out (like Turkey, and unlike Pakistan) with an infrastructure for sharia “established in specific legal and educational institutions in Egypt and with a broad social legitimacy. As a discourse, the shari’a was a matter of technical expertise, specialist scholarship, and legal reasoning.”6 The Egyptian attempt to modernize sharia was informed by the need to assert Arab autonomy from Ottoman and Western influence, though it was led by a group of French-trained lawyers. One of the most famous of these lawyers was Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri, for whom “a modernized pre-Modern Islamic law represented a means by which Egyptian legal culture could gain independence: he found the Pre-Modern Islamic law provided him with a ready-made legal language in Arabic that could be more easily adapted to the needs of the Egyptian state than the French civil code.”7 The Sanhuri Code reinforced the notion that codified Islamic laws ought to be implemented by a centralized state, and it was eventually adopted by a dozen Arab countries. Unlike Turkey, the modern Egyptian nation-state was unable to create a secular identity, despite all the talk of Arab socialism under Nasser. There were some attempts to assert greater control over religious institutions. In 1955, Nasser abolished separate family courts for religious minorities, though the family laws based on religious identity continued to operate. There was no systematic attempt to reform Muslim family laws, a project taken up by most modernizing Muslim regimes. The one significant change in the practice of family law was that Nasser issued a presidential decree prohibiting the police from forcibly returning a ‘disobedient’ wife back to her husband’s custody.8 From the late 1960s onward,

The fatigue of sharia 159 the humiliating defeat in the war against Israel forced Nasser and subsequent regimes to embrace Islam as the solution to Egypt’s weaknesses. The Egyptian state looked to Islamic themes and institutions to enhance its authority, but it did so “less by attempting to subordinate the shari’a-based institutions than by marginalizing them.”9 Al-Azhar is one institution with a storied history in Islamic education that maintains its reputation as one of the premier centers of Islamic learning. In 1961, the government brought the institution under its administrative control and expanded the scope of Al-Azhar, which today undertakes a range of activities including running a network of schools, operating a research center, and issuing fatwas. The head of Al-Azhar is appointed by the President and reports to the Prime Minster. This dual role as an official arm of the state and a seat of Islamic learning “has sometimes led to tension within the institutions between senior leadership and others who view their superiors as having been coopted.”10 Another sharia institution, Dar al-Ifta, was established in 1894 to institutionalize the task of providing fatwas, a function previously performed by the Hanafi chief mufti who advised the various state agencies. “While its fatwas are not binding, the Dar regards itself as the ultimate authority interpreting Islamic law for Egyptian state institutions.”11 The jostling over the question of who has the authority to determine matters of sharia was not resolved by the presence of these two official bodies because an increasing number of laypeople claimed the authority to issue fatwas, which led many to worry about the crisis of ‘chaotic fatwas.’ But unlike Pakistan, where the question of who represents religious authority has failed to produce a consensus, Egypt has greater resources to respond to religious controversies, although the contestations continue. There is a general agreement that sharia contains some definitive rules that cannot be changed, but that these rules are few in number. In fact, much of sharia consists of a broader inquiry into how normative principles can be applied in contemporary life. The objectives (maqasid) of sharia and its relationship to public interest (maslaha) provide plurality and flexibility in sharia discussions in Egypt, though there has been concern that said flexibility might lead some believers towards “vague, even vapid, understandings of shari’a-based principles that bypass long-accepted rulings.”12 In Egypt, the Supreme Constitutional Council (SCC) has emerged as a “legitimate tribunal for arbitrating the Islamic legitimacy of Egypt’s laws,”13 in contrast to Pakistan, where despite the creation of specific institutions that were meant to provide the state guidance over Islamic matters, no single institution has been able to speak definitively over constitutional matters involving Islam. In 1971, Egypt incorporated sharia in Article Two of its constitution as a source of legislation, but by 1980 sharia had been given the status of the source of legislation. Although in the early 1990s, the SCC experienced some hitches having to do with the question of apostasy, which I discussed in Chapters Three and Four, overall the Court has solidified its role in adjudicating the application of sharia in the legal arena. Though the SCC has often asserted that it is up to the legislature to determine the role of sharia, the Egyptian parliament has served as “an arena for contending views rather than an authoritative body.”14 The

160  The fatigue of sharia Islamist deputies in the parliament have not used this forum to push for shariabased legislation and instead contend that their struggle for good governance is their way to ensure that the aims (maqasid) of sharia are fulfilled. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) had to walk a fine line in both demonstrating its fidelity to sharia and assuaging fears that it aimed to undermine constitutional institutions. When a proposal was floated by the MB to create a Senior Ulama Council as an advisory body on sharia matters, they were accused of proposing a supra-constitutional body resembling Iran’s Guardian Council. As Nathan Brown points out, the proposal was meant to enlist expert opinions on matters of sharia in order to contain what MB perceived as the corrosive impact of too many laypeople claiming the authority to interpret sharia, but it also showed the trouble MB had in conveying a vision for an institutional framework for sharia within Egypt’s political system.15 The Jamaat-e-Islami had similar problems in Pakistan, where it was initially skeptical of the ulamas’ ability to speak coherently to what the JI called the ideological basis for Pakistan. But for the JI, the bigger threat was posed by modernists masquerading as sharia experts to push their anti-Islamic agenda, which made them look towards the judiciary advised by a board of ulama as a way to determine who speaks authoritatively on sharia matters. The failure of the Arab Spring and the overthrow of the Morsi government have led many younger members of MB to “question the Brotherhood’s longstanding obsession with the state” and look for ways to reduce “the distorting impact of the state on the individual.”16

Indonesia: sharia and pluralism In pre-colonial Indonesia, rituals rather than law were the fulcrum of Muslim identity. Islam was brought to Indonesia by traders and Sufis, and it was in most cases the elite who first converted to Islam, which meant greater political and cultural continuity with the pre-Islamic past.17 Moreover, unlike in the Middle East, where madrassas played a key role in the evolution of the Islamic jurisprudential tradition, in Indonesia madrassas arrived much later. Robert Hefner concludes that: The indigenous legal systems displaced by the Dutch colonial administration in the late nineteenth century, then, were not shari’a courts presided over by madrasa-trained jurists. The legal tradition in Muslim Southeast Asia was exuberantly multi-stranded: legal studies were handled through an array of courtly, regional, and village agencies.18 By the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the 20th century, the influence of Middle Eastern orthodox Islam was enhanced in Southeast Asia by a greater flow of pilgrims to Mecca, providing them with opportunities to study with Islamic scholars in Hejaz. Many of these pilgrims started madrassas when they returned home, laying a foundation for the rise of Islamic reformist movements in Indonesia, which eventually led to the formation of mass-based popular Islamic organizations. The Dutch colonial policies operated on what was called the ‘reception theory,’ which gave priority to the ‘living tradition’ of customary practices (adat)

The fatigue of sharia 161 at the expense of a more uniform Islamic law. The Muslim elite saw the Dutch preference for customary practices as a characteristic divide-and-rule tactic of a colonial power, and responded by establishing several reformist organizations that emphasized Islamic identity over local or ethnic differences. Muhammadiyah (1912), Persis (1923), and Nahdlatul Ulama (1926) were the three most important popular Muslim organizations; they had doctrinal differences with each other, but they all agreed on the mission of implementing sharia. Despite these attempts at creating a unitary Islamic identity, significant differences in beliefs and practices persisted, dividing on the one hand reformists from traditionalists and observant Muslims from a “disparate assortment of syncretic peasants, pantheist aristocrats, and secular nationalists.”19 By the late 1920s, the struggle for national independence was taken over by nationalists like Sukarno, who (much like the modernist leaders of the Muslim League in the Indian subcontinent) argued for the progressive potential of Islam if only it was freed from the traditionalism of historical Islam. Greatly influenced by Kamal Ataturk, Sukarno saw the decline in the potential of Islamic civilization in the shackling together of religion and the state, which led him to plead for separation of state and religion.20 Muslim politicians influenced by the reformist ideas emanating from the Middle East from figures such as Muhammad Abudh and Sayyid Jamal al-Din Afghani wanted Islam to play a central role in formulating a nationalist response to the challenge of Western hegemony. Mohammad Natsir, as one of the many voices of political Islam, argued that “affairs of the state are an integral part of Islam.”21 The Japanese takeover of the East Indies (1942–1945) initially provided a friendlier terrain for Natsir’s vision than the situation under the Dutch because the Japanese saw Islamic groups as stronger allies and were willing to give them an institutional role. But as the possibility of independence became more imminent, the Japanese administration leaned towards the more secularist nationalist leaders and gave them preference in the committee preparing for Indonesian independence. For several weeks (late May to mid-August 1945), the Islamic and nationalist (kebangsaan) leaders passionately debated the role of Islam in the new state. The nationalists stood for a relationship that would recognize the importance of faith in one God, but otherwise saw no institutional role for Islam in the new polity. The eventual compromise reached between the Islamic and the nationalist groups agreed on the following formula: “Belief in God with the obligation to carry out Islamic shari’a for its adherents.”22 Known as the Jakarta Charter, this document was meant to initiate discussion on the political structure of an independent Indonesia, but secular nationalists and non-Muslims raised objections to the seven words on incorporating Islamic laws, arguing the phrase was too vague and potentially harmful to the rights of non-Muslims. These words were dropped one day after the Indonesian declaration of independence, making them a source of discord in Indonesian politics for many decades to come. Another incident contributing to the bitterness around sharia was the establishment of Darul Islam (DI) in West Java in 1949 by a group of rebels who took up arms against the fledging Republic of Indonesia, creating a lasting impression among many nationalists that proponents of sharia were not

162  The fatigue of sharia loyal to the nation. A related legacy of DI was the fact that one of its dissident groups remerged in the 1990s as Jemaah Islamiyah, associated with the 2002 bombing of resorts in Bali and other violent actions. The New Order regime of General Suharto (1966–1998) managed Islam by keeping Islamists with political ambition at bay and coopting more compliant religious support, creating “a regimist Islam untroubled by his authoritarian ways.”23 In 1975, the government encouraged the creation of the National Council of Ulama (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) with representation from various organizations including the largest Ulama organization (NU) and the largest reformist Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah. Viewed as a government mouthpiece, the MUI saw its role as a bridge between the government and the public with the mission to monitor deviant practices and ensure harmony among official religions. The long partnership with the New Order state bureaucracy enabled MUI to “claim special authority to deal with heresy and to define orthodoxy,”24 thereby rebranding itself as an institution watching over government actions rather than being the creature of the state. In some ways the immediate opening up of the political process appeared to reinforce the worry of liberal secularists that democracy is dangerous in Muslim countries because it will lead to demands for the imposition of sharia. Conservative Islamist parties, coalitions of radical Muslim associations such as the Party of Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir), and a number of regionally based groups demanded amending the constitution to require enforcement of sharia. But the strategy to increase electoral strength by supporting the sharia amendment did not bear fruit, and the constitutional amendment was dropped. However, part of the democratization process led to the devolution of power to local authorities, and in regions like Ache, this meant imposition of Islamic law in the local arena. The imposition of sharia in these localities had less to do with the demands of the faithful and more to do with local political elites, some of them from secular political parties, hoping to consolidate their power. What Hefner describes as ‘Sharia-informed’ bylaws originated from conservative attempts at “corrective social controls favored in many authoritarian postcolonial states”25 such as regulating consumption of alcohol, women’s movements, and gambling. But these bylaws generated enormous controversy because they were badly conceived and generally imposed on the weakest sectors of society, such as women and the poor. The rocky transition from Suharto’s long authoritarian rule to a democratic Indonesia shows the impact of a competitive electoral system on religious politics. We see the emergence of several groups competing to distinguish their brand in a crowded field. But that is not to say that sharia was not valued by most Indonesian Muslims. Hefner points out that the demand for sharia was not limited to extremists; as a variety of public opinion surveys show, there is widespread support for implementation of sharia, but what that means in practice is not always clear. The values of sharia ought to be implemented in such a way that, as one interviewee put it: “they make a positive difference in our lives, rather than just causing social discord.”26

The fatigue of sharia 163 Michael Buehler argues that “struggling for political survival most Islamist parties have officially abandoned their Shari’a platforms and adopted more moderate agendas as a consequence.”27 The introduction of sharia regulations at local and provincial levels increased substantially since the democratization of Indonesian politics. Buehler points to political expediency rather than ideological shift as the key explanatory factor. Most local government heads adopting sharia regulations have no affiliation with the Islamists. These secular political elite view implementation of ‘sharia regulation’ as a way to mobilize political and cultural capital, and they look to power brokers and smaller groups with Islamic roots to help them gather such capital. Here we see similar dynamics at play in Pakistan and Indonesia, where a highly competitive political process activates Islamic laws as one of the many grounds for political mobilization. A significant difference is that in Indonesia local and provincial leaders compete for political capital around sharia, while in Pakistan local and regional power brokers contribute to the fight to keep blasphemy statutes intact at the national level. Consequently, the implementation of sharia-based laws to gain greater political and cultural capital results in a relatively more flexible dynamic in Indonesia – facilitating debate, negotiation, and reform around the question of what constitutes Islamic law and how it should be implemented. In the case of Pakistan, on the other hand, the authoritarian state’s initial Islamizing process was co-opted by several political groups who insisted that any changes in Islamic laws was akin to treason because it violated the ideological foundation of Pakistan. The Turkish and Egyptian states have been more adept at managing sharia because they are less dependent on Islam for national identity. Turkish nationalism under Ataturk forged a modern national identity based on the ideas that sharia belonged to the past and that the Turkish future required forward-looking modernity-based institutions. Arab nationalism became the central pillar of Egyptian political identity, and like Turkey, it also had a proud past that enabled it to stride into modern nationhood without having to constantly fret over what it meant to be an Egyptian. Compared to Turkey and Egypt, Indonesia had the more challenging task of carving an ‘imagined community’ out of a diverse society. In the past seven decades, a tentative truce has occurred around state-sponsored pancasila between Islamists and nonreligious nationalists, in what Jeremy Menchik describes as ‘productive intolerance’: the idea of one God is used to incorporate religious pluralism, but at the expense of heterodox sects like the Ahmadi.28 The ground upon which to build a national identity proved swampier for Pakistan. The nonreligious national elite failed to offer a vision of political community, and the Islamic groups filled that void by insisting that the only thing justifying the existence of Pakistan is that it should be an Islamic state. The formative decades of strict secularism in Turkey provided moral standing to Islamist parties to emerge as the main oppositional forces to the authoritarian secular state. As the electoral process opened up, the Islamists were able to win a plurality of votes and take their Islamizing agenda to the parliament. In Indonesia, the transition from Suharto’s authoritarian New Order to a democratic Indonesia blurred the usual divide between secular and religious forces. Several new groups

164  The fatigue of sharia emerged, and the need to distinguish among then led to some parties’ embrace of Islamic laws. However, democratization and devolution made possible the introduction of sharia ordinances at local and regional levels. The need for political alliances in a complex polity like Indonesia has also resulted in hard-core activist groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front using blasphemy charges against the governor of Jakarta to secure political influence.

Tunisia and liberalizing Islamists Tunisia has emerged as one bright spot in the grim post-Arab Spring Middle East. Tunisians have sustained their democratization process and the Islamists are intent on signaling their democratic intentions by making significant concessions to the concerns of liberal and secular forces. We cannot make too much of the Tunisian ‘success’ story because the country is still in early stages of democratization and faces challenges on economic and political fronts that have derailed many other Third World countries.29 Nonetheless, Tunisia provides an example of Islamists’ attempt to prove their democratic credentials by winning and losing elections. The Egyptian and Tunisian cases also provide insights into the importance of timing and political structures rather than ideology in determining the success or failure of democratization. In Egypt, Morsi’s election as president and his heavyhanded tactics after assuming power before the constitutional process was completed threw the alliance between liberals and Islamists into disarray. The extreme imbalance between the Islamists and the liberals left little incentive for Morsi to compromise on difficult constitutional questions.30 The prolonged period of strict laicism practiced by the Tunisian state for many decades meant that when a political opening came, Ennahda, the Islamist party, was cautious and flexible despite winning a plurality of votes in the first elections held after the Arab Spring. Although the rank and file of Ennahda “wanted desperately to get a reference to shari’a into the constitution, and freedom of conscience was something that the party – cadres as well as members – deeply opposed,”31 the party leadership gave up both of these demands, and Rachid Gannounchi, the leader of Ennahda, told the disgruntled members who opposed including the ‘freedom of conscience’ clause in the constitution: It is not suitable that Islamists and Muslims in general fear that freedom would harm Islam. The greatest danger to Islam would be the absence of freedoms and the unavailability of sufficient guarantees for the freedom of conscience, the freedom of expression, the freedom of belief, the freedom of movement, and all social freedoms.32 This change in attitude came because of political calculations made by leaders who realized that an uncompromising attitude towards sharia would endanger their long-term political futures, given the determination of well-organized secular groups like the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) to keep sharia out of the constitution. Moreover, the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

The fatigue of sharia 165 was very much on the minds of Ennahda leaders as they bargained for their own political futures. Dropping reference to sharia in the constitution was one of the main compromises made by Ennahda, a concession that had political cost, since the party was caught between secularists and Salafists, and compromise on a central issue like sharia made it vulnerable to a challenge from its right flank. Compromising on sharia frustrated the members of Ennahda but it also took a polarizing issue off the table. We would miss an important dynamic if we assumed that this flexibility was simply tactical  – no doubt tactics played a part, but in justifying flexibility to their core constituency, Ghannouchi found new vistas for accommodating Islam in the political arena. “Shari’a was turned into a matter of values rather than legal norms, thereby justifying the reference to the ‘teachings’ rather than the ‘laws’ of Islam in the constitution’s preamble.”33 As discussed in Chapter Three, Ennahda compromised on the defamation of religion clause of the new constitution: in its attempt to assuage the fears of secularists regarding accusations of apostasy, it agreed to put a clause in the constitution explicitly banning takfir or calling a fellow Muslim apostate. In the premodern era, Muslim rulers had considerable discretionary legal authority to supplement religious laws with administrative regulation. What was known as siyassa (political) sharia included the administrative machinery necessary to implement jurists’ decisions and to issue other administrative rules or secular laws (qanun). Such rules were based on reason and custom, and were complementary to sharia. Shahab Ahmed notes “The natural relationship in which ruler’s law and jurists’ law were understood to stand was not a relationship of antagonism (although this might sometimes have happened and have been expressed), but more a working relationship.”34 For Ahmed, a more serious hurdle in understanding ‘what is Islam’ stems from our single-minded focus on Islamic law, which ‘lops off various limbs of the historical Islam’ such as the centrality of philosophical reflections, fiction, poetry, arts, and architecture, that enabled through metaphor and paradox the cognitive habits of exploration and to “live with contradiction and differences as Islam.”35 Ghannouchi’s accommodations were not simply a result of caving into pressure from liberal secularist forces; his compromise can also be read as going back to the time when Muslim societies lived on their own terms rather than crouching into a defensive posture to deflect the withering gaze of the West!

The fatigue of sharia and contemporary Muslim politics What if the scholars qualified to interpret Sharia were to become extinct, and Muslims were to lose access to divine guidance? One might imagine that this question only arises in the irreligious modern age, but as Ahmad Atif Ahmad illustrates in his The Fatigue of the Shari’a, from the 9th century onward, Muslim theologians and jurists debated the question of what happens when sharia experiences fatigue due to the absence of qualified jurists in a given age. It is a sign of defensiveness and loss of confidence that such a debate in modern times might be considered blasphemous in some parts of the Islamic world, and irrelevant in other parts.

166  The fatigue of sharia The treatment of this subject by the 11th-century jurist Abu-l-Ma’ali-al-Juwani (1028–1085) is instructive for our discussion, because he most directly speaks to the viability of sharia even in the absence of government support for it. “The Shari’a does not disappear when it is abandoned by the government but persists as authoritative for the people and the jurists.”36 Is it possible to restore a connection between sharia as an ethical system and modern Muslim politics? Wael Hallaq argues that the modern nation-state and premodern Islamic jurisprudence are inherently incompatible because modernity brings the loss of an integrated, organic, sharia-based ethical system for Muslims who “have enjoyed a legal culture that has insisted for more than twelve centuries on a law paradigmatically structured and fleshed out by an overarching moral source.”37 For Hallaq, the concept of an Islamic state is an impossibility, because sharia operates on the basis that sovereignty belongs to God, which subordinates the political (siyassa) to the will of God as understood by an independent fraternity of scholars and jurists, but the modern Muslim state has “come to sit on top of a largely dismantled Shari’a.” Khaled Abou El Fadl agrees with Hallaq that post-colonial modernity has brought an end to sharia as a “living sociologically viable legal system.”38 But that does not mean an end of Sharia for Muslims – if anything, the role of sharia as a path towards godliness becomes even more important. The Muslim jurists can no longer confine their concerns to legal rules (ahkam) when these legal rules are producing what is ‘unjust’ in the name of God. The jurists now need to perform the role of theologians and moral philosophers in order to help Muslims “understand the moral and ethical and epistemological overlapping consensus that exists in this globalized world, critique it, and improve on it – grow with it, and seek to establish a new epistemological, moral, and ethical realization.”39 Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im agrees with the idea that an Islamic state is an impossibility, but unlike Hallaq’s critical stance towards liberalism and the modern nation-state, An-Na’im argues for the possibility of a liberal secular Muslim state. He makes clear that by secularism he does not mean hostility to religion, but rather the state exhibiting strict neutrality towards religion. The state would scrupulously observe the values of equality of citizenship, which requires setting aside elements of sharia, such as non-Muslim residents having a status of protected minority (dhimma) or males’ guardianship of women (qiwama). He draws a distinction between state and politics, though he acknowledges that this may be difficult to maintain in practice.40 Islam can play a role in politics through what he calls civic reason, “rooted in civil society and marked by contestation among different actors seeking to influence policy through the agency of the state.”41 He argues that the Islamic notion that there cannot be compulsion in religion provides enough normative resources for a reformed sharia that respects freedom of religion. A sharia imposed by the state would mean individuals are coerced into following religious dictates, which goes against the principle of ‘no compulsion’ in religion. Islamists can be active participants in the political process, but what they cannot do is to change the basic character of the state as a neutral arena that recognizes the equality of all citizens.

The fatigue of sharia 167 Muhammad Fadel is sympathetic to An-Na’im’s project of negotiating the future of sharia within a Muslim polity that respects human rights and the equality of all citizens, but faults him for not fully appreciating the challenges posed by Islamic history and tradition. While orthodox theologians and jurists would no doubt agree with Na’im that the entry into Islam must be free and voluntary, they would disagree that the rule recognizing the validity of only free conversions to Islam necessarily requires that compliance with its detailed rules much be similarly voluntary.42 Fadel agrees with An-Nai’im that there is always a gap between divine will ­(sharia) and human understanding (fiqh), but disagrees with An-Na’im’s ­‘radical ­skepticism’ – the belief that this gap implies that it is impossible to create an Islamic state because enforcement of religious laws will always depend on human judgment and politics, and not on religious truth. Rather than viewing Islamic tradition as a hurdle that must be overcome in order to forge a democratic secular state, Fadel believes that one needs to tap into these resources to formulate a theory of the modern Islamic state that provides space for public deliberations to formulate positive laws, instead of solely relying on the interpretation of revealed texts by jurists. He argues that modern scholarship on Islamic jurisprudence has made too much of the division between sharia, representing normative jurisprudence based on revealed sources, and siyassa as a pragmatic secular response by Muslim political rulers to the inadequacies of unrealistic utopian laws. Both Fadel and Shahab Ahmed argue that it is a mistake to see qanun (rulers’ laws) as being outside the normative framework of sharia, because such a separation did not exist in the minds of those implementing these laws. The rulers’ laws were based on reason and customs, but they existed in a complementary relationship to sharia. There was a clear conception of public order that depended on the management (tadbir) of a ruler who created rules, regulations, ordinances, and laws to ensure welfare (maslahat) by ensuring the preservation of five elements: obligation to God (din), intellect (aql), family (nasal), property (mal), and honor (ird). Whatever the sources of and whatever the procedures by which ruler’s laws are made, so long as these specific laws accorded with or did not violate the universal principles of Divine Law (the broad protection of din, life, intellect, lineage, property, and honor), they are conceived of as fulfilling the purposes of Divine Law – which is another way of saying that they are regarded as expressions of shari’ah.43 Fadel argues that the Islamic institution of the caliphate provides rich resources for constructing a democratic polity. As discussed earlier, the institution of the caliphate in its ideal form existed, at best, for the first four caliphs, but Fadel argues that for Sunni Muslims, the key feature of caliphate as a contractual and reciprocal relationship between the political rulers and the Muslim community structured public authority and the conception of public order. The rulers were

168  The fatigue of sharia to be obeyed because they were entrusted with what Fadel calls a fiduciary role to safeguard public interest. Fadel argues that there was a clear differentiation between public officials as officials and as what he terms the ‘natural person.’ For example, public officials had immunity when discharging their duties, but not in their capacity as a ‘natural person.’ Thus, for scholars like Fadel and Ahmed, the separation between sharia as jurisprudence and siyassa as exercise of raw political power is unwarranted. I agree with Ahmad Atif Ahmad’s claim that sharia “as a legal science, as a language and a profession serving multiple professions, and as culture and sensibilities, as a political and social and organizational legacy, is too complex to be given a death certificate.”44 However, sharia faces mortal danger from the deadly embrace of autocratic governments. The premodern keepers of sharia, the ulama, have mostly turned into salaried state functionaries who play the role of enablers to authoritarian Muslim states. The case of Egyptian Professor Abu Zayd illustrates how “the intrusive modern state invokes Shari’ah in passing laws that create an oppressive condition – a condition that itself is contrary to the principles of justice under Shari’ah.”45 In Indonesia and Pakistan, appeals to supposedly shariabased blasphemy statutes have produced results that are contrary to public welfare (maslahat) and good governance (tadbir). The profound challenge of reframing sharia as an ethical path to a good life has been made all the more difficult by authoritarian Muslim state’s functionalizing of hudud (Quranic-based criminal punishments) to burnish their credentials as Islamic governments and to misuse these punishments to punish their opponents. Post-colonial Muslim societies inherited a muddled legal system whose various parts followed different logics informed by diverse historical and institutional contexts. These included the European-influenced statutory laws interpreted and implemented by state bureaucrats, lawyers, and judges; the codification of certain aspects of Islamic jurisprudence, mostly in family law, that were supposed to be guided by the ulama but in reality were interpreted by modern courts; and legislation for the newly formed Muslim states. But when Muslim states engaged in lawmaking, they were attracted to code-based legal rules rather than the “relatively decentralized system of Pre-Modern Islamic Law or even the English common law.”46 Meanwhile, in many parts of the Muslim world, customary rules adjudicated social conflicts. This mixed legal system did not rely, as did Islamic jurisprudence, on the concept of sin, which had made many Muslims over centuries accept a worldly punishment or forgo a worldly benefit because they feared God’s wrath. This hodgepodge legal system contributed to the problem of the rule of law – people saw the law as either a tool to gain advantage against their adversaries or simply as something to avoid altogether. In Western social imagery it is the static religiosity of Muslim societies that hinders the separation of religion from politics. The processes that were to bring such a separation: industrialization, urbanization, mass communication and education – in short, modernity – appear to instead revitalize religious sentiments and promote the fusion of religion and politics in Muslim societies. But those engaged in the scholarly study of Muslim societies point us to enormously complex, creative,

The fatigue of sharia 169 and inventive ways Muslims are deploying religious identities and sentiments to navigate the choppy waters brought about by the upheavals of rapid social change. There is nothing static or ‘traditional’ about contemporary Islam. Anthropologists have provided us with numerous grounded and nuanced studies of the complex and varied ways in which Muslims are negotiating modernity.47 More recently, the scholarly formulation of secularism and secularization have taken a much-needed critical turn towards interrogating the unexamined assumptions that went into seeing secularism as an advancement on the ladder of civilizational evolution. Talal Asad’s call for critical examination of “the epistemological assumptions of the secular” has generated productive scholarship deepening our understanding of the tangled relationship between religion and the state in our times.48 Rather than viewing the state as a neutral arbiter of conflicts arising out of modernization of the social, these scholars have reminded us that “all social activity requires the consent of the law, and therefore of the nation-state. The way social spaces are defined, ordered, and regulated makes them all equally ‘political.’ ”49 The central role of the modern state in drawing boundaries between religion and politics, public and private is, as Agrama argues, “a feature of the expanding regulatory capacities of the modern state, and it is something we see throughout the history of the paradigmatic secular states right up to the current moment.”50 The fact that multiple voices claim to speak for Islam, although none of them have gained the right to speak authoritatively about Islamic matters, is yet another hurdle in reframing sharia for contemporary Muslim societies. A defining move for all those who aim to revive pure Islam is to turn to the first generation of ‘rightly-guided’ Salaf (predecessors) as the model. It represents precisely an attempt by modern Muslims to uncomplicate human and historical Islam by re-locating Islam to a moment before Muslims had the opportunity to complicate it with their various and contradictory attempts at meaning-making down the centuries.51 The ‘emptying out’ of history enables latter-day reformers to claim the mantle of true successorship to the Prophet and the first four right-guided caliphs. Purifying Muslim communities by creating an Islamic state provides the template for contemporary political Islam, though the actual pathways to achieve such an outcome may range from democratic Islamist parties competing for elections to charlatans like ISIS emerging out of war-torn communities and capturing global attention with their lurid practices of beheading and sexual slavery. The Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood argued that a hizb (party) of righteous Muslims was required to remake postcolonial Muslim states into Islamic states. But in the past two decades the Islamist parties have faced challenges from salafi groups as well as extremist jihadi groups. Thus, the marketplace for who speaks for Islam has become even more competitive in the last twenty years. As the Islamists became less enamored of the possibility of an Islamic state that imposes sharia from the top, the extremist groups became even more insistent on imposing Islamic laws as the only way to create a righteous society.

170  The fatigue of sharia

Muslim exceptionalism and democracy One of the central arguments of this book is that by appropriating Islam through a series of laws and statutes, the Pakistani state created an incentive structure for an ‘uncivil Islam’: uncivil both in the sense that it thrives on conflict and in the sense that it originated in initiatives taken by the state rather than by societal actors. Work by scholars such as Robert Hefner, on the other hand, highlights the dynamics that can result in a ‘civil Islam’ that “rejects the mirage of the ‘Islamic’ state, recognizing that this formula for fusing religious and state authority ignores the lesson of Muslim history itself.”52 But in order to explore these dynamics it is important that we avoid many minefields in attempting to understand political realities in the Muslim world. The most dangerous of those minefields is the often-unspoken assumption of Islamic exceptionalism. The idea that Islam is inherently oriented towards a fusion of religious and political authority and therefore is inhospitable to democracy is embraced by a few renowned scholars and accepted as truism by many in the Western policy sector.53 Thankfully, scholars from variety of disciplines are chipping away at this faulty but persistent notion that Muslims exist in a historical vacuum where their religion keeps them immune from the political, social, and economic forces of modernity. “Are Muslims distinctive?” is the question asked by political scientist M. Steven Fish, and his answer, based on one of the more thorough sifting of quantitative data in the literature, is “not so much.”54 He found “little or no evidence” that Muslims are “unusually inclined to reject the legitimacy of separating religious and political authority.”55 This finding is confirmed by another quantitative study that points out that when given a chance to vote, Muslims do not vote for Islamist parties in any significant numbers. Since the Arab Spring a handful of Islamic parties have won pluralities of the vote, especially in ‘breakthrough’ elections after long periods of autocratic rule, while most Islamic parties received less than 2 percent of seats in parliament. The Islamic political sector as a whole – that is, the proportion of seats won by all Islamic parties in each election – has remained virtually unchanged, with a median figure of 14 percent both before and since the Arab Spring.56 Muslims may not be excessively religious, but undoubtedly the role of Islam in public life is a significant quandary for almost all Muslim societies. The choice presented to Muslims often seems too stark: they are to either purge Islam from public life in order to earn the honor of being modern, democratic, and secular, or they are expected to implement sharia law in order to become an Islamic state. In other words, to bridge an Islamic past to the present, Muslims are either asked to parachute into modernity, leaving all connection to the past behind or they are expected to remain stuck in the medieval historical muck. Take for example the question of Islamist political parties; there is a deep suspicion of their hidden intentions expressed famously as ‘one person, one vote, one

The fatigue of sharia 171 time.’57 This expectation that Islamists must pass a certain litmus test of ideological purity if they are to be deemed worthy of participating in electoral democracy belies the experience of Catholic parties turning into Christian Democratic parties in Europe. We need to remember that before Islam was imagined to be incompatible with democracy, Catholicism “was viewed for a long time as the paradigmatic anti-modern fundamentalist religion.”58 Before becoming broadly based parties by toning down their religious identity, “which was an essential features in their formation,” Kalyvas and Kersbergen point out that there existed “the reality of a presence (if not dominance) within these parties of antidemocratic, anti-Semitic, anticapitalist, antiparliamentary, corporatist, and authoritarian forces throughout much of their history.”59 It would be naïve to suggest that Islamist parties will travel the same trajectory, but there are two relevant points one can glean from the experience of religious parties in Europe. First, as I will discuss shortly, the process by which participation in electoral politics can lead to the moderation of ideological parties is increasingly documented among the Islamists. Second, Kalyvas’s study of Catholic parties show us that circumstance, rather than intent, was crucial in the evolution of confessional parties in Europe. The Catholic Church resisted formation of mass organizations and political parties because it feared disunity and the subversion of its authority. But in responding to the liberal assault on the Church, it: reluctantly opted for an interest-group strategy of mass mobilization short of party formation. . . . Meanwhile, conservative politicians who were losing ground in the emerging democratic competition saw the newly formed church organizations as repositories of compliant local organizers and voters. They also feared that the permanent politicization of religion and the association with the church would restrict their autonomy. . . . The unexpected electoral success of these prochurch coalitions provided the means for the political emancipation of Catholic activists from the church and the conservative politicians. . . . The formation of confessional parties reinforced a distinctive Catholic political identity, which not only reinterpreted Catholicism in much less doctrinal terms but also started to challenge the religious primacy of the church in political matters.60 One can tell a story about the Islamists’ participation in electoral politics that shows the centrality of circumstances over intent. In its formative phase, Islamist parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jammat-e-Islami in Pakistan were skeptical of democracy, and in a memorable phrase of Maududi, the founder of JI, “This huge multitude called the Muslim nation is such that 999 out of 1,000 have neither any knowledge of Islam, nor any awareness of the distinction between truth and falsehood. . . . If by investing them with control through majority vote somebody believes that the Ummah will move along the path of Islam, his ignorance is indeed astonishing.”61 But by the mid-1950s, the Jammat had become an enthusiastic, though often not very successful, participant in elections. The Muslim Brotherhood went through a similar transformation, first

172  The fatigue of sharia rejecting democracy as “an alien concept which granted sovereignty to the people rather than to God,”62 before becoming a regular participant in competitive electoral politics. The Islamists have also experienced an evolution in their political goals. The Muslim Brotherhood has evolved from the demand for immediate and full implementation of sharia to a call for civil state (Dawla Madaniyya), which was described by one of the activists of the Muslim Brotherhood as “a state which respects the freedom of belief and the freedom for all its citizens to practice their religion. A state which allows its citizens the right to form political parties, unions, and civil organizations.”63 The repressive tactics of authoritarian states in Pakistan and Egypt were the most significant factor in making democrats out of Islamists. In Pakistan, for example, the Jammat-e-Islami and the ulama in 1951 had recommended to the first Constitutional Commission in Pakistan a strong head of state, and declared a Presidential system to be more Islamic and thus preferable to the Westminster Parliamentary form of government bequeathed by the British. Within a decade, however, the Islamists had changed their recommendation: by 1961, a collective response by the JI and the ulama to the second Constitutional Commission insisted that a Parliamentary form of government should be given a chance to succeed in Pakistan. The concrete reality that a strong head of state would not be a ‘pious sultan’ but a secularizing military dictator made the Islamists change their minds about the most desirable form of political system. But on the other hand, the possibility that the Jammat-e-Islami will replace its advocacy of an Islamic state with backing for a civil state is remote, because in Pakistan the Islamists do not face the structural constraints that impelled the Arab Islamists towards a civil state.

Democratization as a ‘fortuitous by-product’; or, democracy without democrats Democratization in the non-Western world has been one of the central concerns of students of comparative politics since the 1950s. Many scholars argued that the emerging post-colonial societies lacked the socio-economic prerequisites necessary to sustain democracy, and that therefore it was acceptable to let authoritarian regimes pull their societies towards modernization. They assumed that the rise of the middle class that would occur with economic development would eventually lead to democracy. Others believed that cultural pre-requisites and civic habits of minds had to be inculcated before societies were ready for democratization. Mass literacy, urbanization, and exposure to mass media were seen as the keys that would unlock the ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ potential of the newly independent countries. Dankwart Rustow, in a 1970 landmark article, observed that: Many of the current theories about democracy seem to imply that to promote democracy you must first foster democrats – perhaps by preachment, propaganda, education, or perhaps as an automatic byproduct of growing prosperity. Instead we should allow for the possibility that circumstances may

The fatigue of sharia 173 force, trick, lure, or cajole non-democrats into democratic behavior and that their beliefs may adjust in due course by some process of rationalization or adaptation.64 As I pointed out earlier, the Islamists had serious doubts about applicability of democracy within an Islamic state, but most Islamists now argue in favor of electoral democracy, and some, like the Enhada Party in Tunisia and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have even changed their stated goal from an Islamic State to a civil state in order to convince the world that they are committed democrats. What changed the attitude of Islamists toward democracy? The autocrats in the non-Western world had often justified their hold over power by claiming that their societies were not ready for democracy, but as John Waterbury points out: “Democratic values, one might hypothesize, are most intensely and explicitly held where they are most denied.”65 As I discussed earlier, the JI in Pakistan became committed democrats during the autocratic rule of Ayub Khan. In addition, even if the majority of the Muslim electorate does not vote for Islamist parties, the fact remains that the language of opposition towards most Muslim autocratic governments is Islamic. In this book, I have argued that when modern Muslim states became the main agents of either keeping sharia at bay or becoming its sole custodians, the role and function of sharia changed significantly. It often became a source of dysfunctional politics, generating controversies, and failing to mediate differences. Muslims have been wrestling with the question of the role of their faith in public and private lives for almost two centuries, but more recently that struggle has focused on the meaning and function of sharia. One group presents sharia as a total (read: totalitarian) system of laws implemented by an Islamic state. But for many others, the purpose of sharia is to provide ethical guidance towards the public and personal lives of Muslims – and for some, this process requires significant rethinking (ijthihad) about the roles of women and religious minorities. In several Muslim countries, there is a subtle but nonetheless fundamental shift in the attitude of Islamist political forces towards sharia. The Islamist parties that have realistic chances of succeeding at the polls are moving away from demands to implement sharia as codified state laws: Egypt, Indonesia, Tunisia, and Turkey provide the most noteworthy examples of this tendency. Those Islamist groups and parties that are unable to compete at the electoral level or that favor violence as the means to usher in their desired Islamic system often insist on sharia as codified laws. Blasphemy politics in Pakistan demonstrates how smaller parties who otherwise do not have a chance to succeed in elections have shown the most rigidity regarding the problematic aspects of blasphemy laws. When it comes to contemporary sharia politics, the deployment of legal categories to settle normative questions has generated yet more controversy. Are Ahmadis Muslims? Should Bahá’ís have national identity cards, and if so, what should be listed as their religion on the official documents? Can ordinary Muslims use the Islamic norm of hisba (commanding right and forbidding wrong) as a mechanism to bring legal cases against fellow Muslims? Do Muslims in Malaysia have exclusive rights over the word

174  The fatigue of sharia Allah or can Christians use this word? When a non-Muslim politician challenges Islamists’ interpretation of the Quran, is he committing blasphemy? Blasphemy laws masquerading as Islamic laws illustrate what I term sacralization of state. What for almost a thousand years was a division of labor between governments as political authorities and ulama as sources of Islamic scholarship collapses with the notion of an Islamic state implementing Islamic laws. Political action as the arena for realization of Islamic laws, as is evident in blasphemy laws, blurs the line between the integrity of Islamic learning and political contingency. The many contortions by advocates of blasphemy laws to fit a classical understanding of murtad (apostate) to the modern definition of blasphemy as injuring religious sentiments, and their uncompromising stance that nothing in the statutes can be changed, is a clear example of the political contingencies that overwhelm the integrity of Islamic jurisprudence. The Pakistani case shows that when bits and pieces of sharia are imposed from the top as a binding system of laws and rules, it creates the kinds of problems I have discussed in previous chapters.66 But where sharia plays a ‘bonding’ role, a source of norm generation for Muslim democracies, productive possibilities are created for accommodating Islam in public life in ways that are multiple, flexible, and amenable to democratic norms. Now more than ever, the meaning and practice of sharia has become a significant marker of radically different visions of Muslim politics. On the one side are forces of extremism best exemplified by ISIS and Al-Qaeda who insist that God spoke clearly and unequivocally 1,400 years ago, and that it is their mission to implement God’s will as represented by fixed and strict Islamic laws. On the other side are diverse Muslim groups seeking to find ways to live their personal and public lives according to an ethical framework provided in the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. The first approach thrives in conflict zones and fans the flames of intolerance and authoritarianism. The second approach accepts possibilities for disagreement, doubts, and diverse ways of living a pious life. To the question of what the majority of Muslims want, there are contradictory responses. For many years, public opinion surveys in Muslim countries have shown widespread support both for democracy and for the implementation of sharia-based law. This response seems contradictory if we view sharia law as a rigid legal system that, for example, discriminates against religious minorities and women. But if sharia is understood as a compilation of guidelines for ethical living, instructions on rituals, and a flexible set of legal practices, then reconciliation between the desire for democracy and the implementation of such a legal framework becomes challenging, but not impossible.

Notes 1 Piscatori, Islam, Islamists, and the Electoral Principle in the Middle East, 4. 2 See Yavuz, “Turkey: Islam Without Shari’a,” 146–78. 3 Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies. I have taken information on this section from pages 489–501.

The fatigue of sharia 175 4 Yavuz, “Ethical Not Shari’a Islam: Islamic Debates in Turkey,” 32. 5 White, Islamist Mobilization in Turkey, 169. 6 Brown, “Egypt: Cacophony and Consensus in the Twenty-First Century,” 94. 7 Fadel, “Judicial Institutions, the Legitimacy of Islamic State Law and Democratic Transition in Egypt,” 651. 8 Berger and Sonneveld, “Sharia and National Law in Egypt,” 51–88. 9 Brown, “Egypt: Cacophony and Consensus in the Twenty-First Century,” 96. 10 Ibid., 104. 11 Ibid., 105. 12 Ibid., 99. 13 Fadel, “Judicial Institutions, the Legitimacy of Islamic State Law and Democratic Transition in Egypt,” 653. 14 Brown, “Egypt: Cacophony and Consensus in the Twenty-First Century,” 110. 15 Ibid. 16 Hamid, Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World, 143, 145. 17 Hefner, Shari’a Politics, 285–8. 18 Ibid., 286. 19 Ibid., 288. 20 Effendy, Islam and the State in Indonesia, 20–52. 21 Ibid., 26. 22 Ibid., 1, emphasis in original. 23 Hefner, Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia, 19. 24 Olle, “The Majelis Ulama Indonesia versus ‘Heresy’: The Resurgence of Authoritarian Islam,”106. 25 Hefner, Civil Islam. 26 Ibid., 306. 27 Buehler, The Politics of Shari’a Law: Islamist Activists and the State in Democratizing Indonesia, 10. 28 Menchik, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without Liberalism. 29 See Zisenwine’s “Tunisia’s Fragile Post-Revolutionary Order.” 30 See Frosini and Biagi, Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors. 31 Netterstrom, “The Islamists Compromise in Tunisia,” 116. 32 Quoted in Ibid., 119. 33 Ibid., 120. 34 Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, 241. 35 Ibid., 532, emphasis in original. 36 Abu-l-Ma’ali-al-Juwani, Quoted in Ahmad Atif Ahmad, The Fatigue of the Sharia, 133. 37 Hallaq, The Impossible State, 29. Mohammad Fadel faults Hallaq’s analysis for ignoring scholars’ ongoing engagement with the state, which can provide the foundation for constructing a modern normative theory of the state: Fadel, “A Tragedy of Politics or an Apolitical Tragedy?” 38 Abou El Fadl, Reasoning with God, 365. 39 Ibid., 388. 40 An-Na’im, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a, 67. 41 Ibid., 101. 42 Fadel, “Islamic Politics and Secular Politics: Can they Co-Exist,” 197. 43 Ahmed, What is Islam? 481. 44 Ahmad, The Fatigue of the Sharia, 147. 45 Abou El Fadl, Islam and the Challenge of Democracy, 15. 46 Fadel, “Judicial Institutions, the legitimacy of Islamic State Law and Democratic Transition in Egypt,” 655.

176  The fatigue of sharia 47 See Asad, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity; Hefner, Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia; White, Islamist Mobilization in Turkey; Iqtidar, Secularizing Islamists?. 48 Asad, Formation of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. 25. 49 Ibid., 199. 50 Agrama, Questioning Secularism, 29. 51 Ahmed, What is Islam? 529. 52 Hefner, Civil Islam, 20. 53 Bernard Lewis and Samul Huntington are the two most prominent scholars who have popularized the incompatibility thesis. Both speak in civilizational terms and paint in broad strokes the inherent conflict between Islamic and Western values when it comes to democracy, secularism, and pluralism. Lewis, as an historian of the Middle East, became an influential voice in the post-9/11 world in explaining what ails the Muslim World. Huntington, a political scientist who wrote his article on the upcoming clash between Islamic and Western civilizations in 1993 (later turned into a book) appeared prophetic given the global events in the past 25 years. Ernst Gellner, an anthropologist, was not as influential in the public debate on Islam, but nonetheless had an impact with his insistence that Islam is particularly resistant to secularism because it never experienced the ‘separation between church and state.’ See Lewis, What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity; Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?”; Gellner, Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and its Rivals. 54 Fish, Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence. 55 He also found little evidence that Muslims are substantially more religious. He did find areas of distinctiveness: they tend to oppose atheism in their political leaders and tend to be more conservative on social issues like homosexuality, abortion, and divorce. Fish, Are Muslims Distinctive? 257. 56 Kurzman and Türkoğlu, “Do Muslims Vote Islamic Now?” 101. 57 The phrase is attributed to an American diplomat, Edward Djerejian, describing what he feared might happen after Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won the first round of elections in Algeria in 1991. Quoted in Diamond, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World, 18. 58 Casanova, “Catholic and Muslim Politics in Comparative Perspective.” 59 Kalyvas and van Kersbergen, “Christian Democracy,” 190. 60 Ibid., 186. 61 Maududi, Theriak-e-Azadi [The Movement for Independence], 139–40. 62 Wickham, “The Muslim Brotherhood and Democratic Transition in Egypt,” 207. 63 Quoted in De Poli’s “Arab Revolts and the ‘Civil State,’ ” 97. 64 Rustow, “Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model,” 344–5. 65 Waterbury, “Fortuitous By-Products,” 388. 66 I take this distinction between ‘bonding’ or ‘binding’ from M. Hakan Yavuz, who argued that in the case of Turkey “a shari‘a free Islam has developed, focusing on bonding rather than binding legal norms.” Yavuz, “Turkey: Islam without Shari‘a,” 153.

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The fatigue of sharia 177 Ahmed, Shahab. What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017. An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed. Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. Asad, Talal. Formation of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. Berger, Maurits and Nadia Sonneveld. “Sharia and National Law in Egypt.” In Sharia Incorporated, edited by Jan Michiel Otto, 51–88. Amsterdam: Leiden University Press, 2010. Brown, Nathan J. “Egypt: Cacophony and Consensus in the Twenty-First Century.” In Shari’a Politics edited by Robert Hefner, 94–120. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011. Buehler, Michael. The Politics of Shari’a Law: Islamist Activists and the State in Democratizing Indonesia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Casanova, Jose. “Catholic and Muslim Politics in Comparative Perspective,” Paper presented at the Taiwanese Political Science Association’s International Conference, August  15, 2005. Accessed March  3, 2016. new/1.2Jose%20Casanova.pdf. De Poli, Barbara. “Arab Revolts and the ‘Civil State.’ ” Approaching Religion 4, no.  2 (December 2014): 95–104. Diamond, Larry. The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World. New York: Holt, 2009. Effendy, Bahtiar. Islam and the State in Indonesia. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2003. Fadel, Mohammad. “A Tragedy of Politics or an Apolitical Tragedy?” Journal of the American Oriental Society 131, no. 1 (201): 109–27, 2011. Fadel, Mohammad. “Judicial Institutions, the Legitimacy of Islamic State Law and Democratic Transition in Egypt: Can a Shift Toward a Common Law Model of Adjudication improve the Prospects of a Successful Democratic Transition?” International Journal of Constitutional Law 11, no. 3 (2013): 646–65. Fadel, Muhammad. “Islamic Politics and Secular Politics: Can They Co-Exist.” Journal of Law and Religion XXV, no. 1: 187–204, 2009 Fish, M. Steven. Are Muslims Distinctive? A Look at the Evidence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Frosini, Justin O. and Francesco Biagi, eds. Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors. New York: Routledge, 2014. Gellner, Ernest. Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and its Rivals. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1994. Hallaq, Wael. The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. Hamid, Shadi. Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016. Hefner, Robert. Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. Hefner, Robert, ed. Shari’a Politics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011. Huntington, Samuel. “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (1993). Kalyvas, Stathis N. and Kees van Kersbergen. “Christian Democracy.” Annual Review of Political Science no. 13 (2010): 183–209. Kurzman, Charles and Didem Türkoğlu. “Do Muslims Vote Islamic Now?” Journal of Democracy 26, no. 4 (October 2015): 100–9.

178  The fatigue of sharia Lapidus, Ira. A History of Islamic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Lewis, Bernard. What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity. New York: Harper, 2002. Maududi, Maulana Abu Ala. Theriak-e-Azadi [The Movement for Independence] Vol. 3. Lahore: Islamic Publications, 1955. Menchik, Jeremy. Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance Without Liberalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Netterstrom, Kasper Ly. “The Islamists Compromise in Tunisia.” Journal of Democracy 26 no. 4 (October 2015): 110–24. Olle, John. “The Majelis Ulama Indonesia versus ‘Heresy’: The Resurgence of Authoritarian Islam.” In State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia, edited by Gerry van Linken and Joshua Barker, 95–116. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009. Piscatori, James. Islam, Islamists, and the Electoral Principle in the Middle East. Leiden: ISIM, 2000. Rustow, Dankwart A. “Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model.” Comparative Politics 2, no. 3 (April 1970): 337–63. Waterbury, John. “Fortuitous By-Products.” Comparative Politics 29, no. 3 (April 1997): 383–402. White, Jenny. Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002. Wickham, Carrie Rosefsky. “The Muslim Brotherhood and Democratic Transition in Egypt.” Middle East Law and Governance 3 (2011): 204–23. Yavuz, M. Hakan. “Ethical Not Shari’a Islam: Islamic Debates in Turkey.” Faith and International Affairs (Winter 2012): 28–34. Yavuz, M. Hakan. “Turkey: Islam Without Shari’a.” In Shari’a Politics, edited by Robert Hefner, 146–78. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011. Zisenwine, Daniel. “Tunisia’s Fragile Post-Revolutionary Order.” Middle East Quarterly 23, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 1–12.


adl justice Ahl-e-Hadith ahl-e-kitab People of the Book Ahmadi Ahmadis Ahmadiyya adjective Ahrar political party alim those with knowledge Amir-e-Shariat, master of Islamic laws anjumins associations aqeeda beliefs aqeeda ishaq-e-Rasool creed based on passion for the Prophet Arya Samaj Hindu movement Ashaq-e-Rasool lovers of the Prophet Ataullah Shah Bukhari, leader of Ahrar Bahá’í Barelvi, Barelvis dawa invitation to Islam Deobandi, Deobandis dhmir conscience Eid Malid-Nabi the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday fatwa judicial opinion Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA fiqh Islamic Jurisprudence FIR First Information Report forum internum in their hearts ghair muqallids heretics that do not follow tradition ghazi warrior Gustagh-e-Rasool one who insults the Prophet Hadith traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad hakama to judge Hanafi Hanif Qureshi haquq-al-ibad claims of humans

180  Glossary haquq-Allah claims of God hisba an individual and collective duty to command the good and forbid evil hudud criminal codes, Quranic-prescribed punishments ibadat pillars of Islam, religious duty ibadat the acts pertaining to a believer’s relationship with God ijama Consensus ijtihad independent reasoning Imam Lead of the community iman faith, belief in God irtad leaving the faith or apostasy ishaq deep devotion ishaq-e-Rasool devotion to the Prophet islah reform Islam-pasand pro-Islam jahil maulavis ignorant clerics Jammat-e-Islami Islamist party led by Maududi kaffirs nonbelievers kalyma recitation of faith Khatem-e-Nabuwat Movement Muhammad as the final Prophet of God khattibs preachers khutaba Friday sermon Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KPK Kilafat Movement Labbyiak-ya-Rasool-Allah we are here for you, oh Prophet madrassa, madrassas, schools manazra theological debates maqasid al-sharia purpose of sharia maslahat public welfare maslaks schools of thought maulvi cleric mazhab schools of thought muamalat social interaction between and among individuals muftis those who issue legal opinions, jurisconsults mujthad Islamic jurist mullahs clerics munafikeen hypocrites munafiq hypocrite murtad apostate naat Hymns in praise of the Prophet and other holy persons nafs desires nazam-e-Mustafa System guided by Prophet’s teaching Qadani Ahmadi, perjoritive qanun laws Quaid-i-Azam Great Leader Rangila Rasul book title

Glossary 181 Rasool Prophet Salafist sawab religious merit Shaa’ire Islam Islamic signs shaheed martyr shatim-e-Rasool blasphemer shirk, polytheism shuddhi ‘purification,’ which in practice included conversion shurfa well-born siyassa political sharia subcontinent sunniat fidelity to tradition tablighi missionary takfir accusation of apostasy taqlid following authority of a particular Islamic legal tradition taqwa piety tauheed Doctrine of oneness of God tazkiyya determines integrity of witness Tehreek Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi TNSM Tehreek-e-Labbyaik Pakistan TLP Tehreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah TLYR Touheen-e-Risalat dishonoring the Prophet Muhammad Ulama, sing.alim, Religious Scholars ummah community urs death anniversaries ushr agricultural tax wajib-ul-qatal deserving of death wudu ritual purity for prayer zakat alms tax zimmis non-Muslims, taxed


Note: Page numbers in italics indicate a figure or illustration and page numbers in bold indicate a table on the corresponding page. Abbasid rulers 108 – 9 Abrahamic religions, ahl-e-kitah (People of the Book) 63 adl (justice) 5 agama, monotheistic religion 67 Agrama, Hussain 46n7, 58, 58n50, 59n55, 169; “active principle of secularism,” modern state’s ability to define “religious” 59; hisba (duty to command the good and forbid evil) 47; politics of religious authenticity 5; public order 47 agricultural tax (ushr) see ushr (agricultural tax) Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama’a (Sunni), Sunnah 107 Ahl-e-Hadith 9, 18, 22, 33 – 5, 151; advantages in competition in religious marketplace 148; affiliation with supporters of jihad in Afghanistan 147 – 8; development of, and blasphemy laws 23; entry to mosques 64; Jamia Mosque 143; maslak 23; and militaristic anti-Shia organization 37; Prophet as immediate source of religious knowledge 36, 40; punish blasphemy to protect creedal integrity 7 ahl-e-kitah (People of the Book), Abrahamic religions 63 Ahmad, Assad 40, 165, 168; moral panic over defiling Quran 143 Ahmad, Mirza Ghulum (founder of the Ahmadis) 64, 70; as a prophet 55 Ahmadis 36, 54 – 5, 58, 61 – 5, 88, 96, 142 – 3, 151, 163, 173; accusations of blasphemy 46; accused of refusing to acknowledge Muhammad as last

Prophet 34; as sect within Islam 53 – 4; controversy over 39, 52; criminalized for practicing as (“mimicking”) Muslims 9; entanglement between heresy and blasphemy 146; prohibited from “posing as Muslims” 143; religious belief vs. practices 64; use of ritual to define religious membership 64; vs. forum internum (in their hearts) 21; sacrilization of the state 52; as violating copyright laws 66; see also Ahmadis as non-Muslims Ahmadis as non-Muslims 9, 21, 38; as heretics 5; as non-citizens “Punjab Disturbances” 53; 1974 constitutional amendment 55; as non-Muslim minority 48; court decisions 65 – 7 Ahmadiyah as heretical 61; see also Ahmadis Ahmadiyya 54, 74, 86, 150; see also Ahmadis Ahmed, Shabab 113, 112; complexity of sharia 167 – 8 Ahrar (political party), khattem-e-nubawat (End of Prophecy with Prophet Muhammad) 53; see also Bukhari, Sayyid Ataullah Shah Akyol, Mustafa 57 Ali, Kecia, rape of female captives, questions raised by 104, 137 Ali Khan, Liaquat (Pakistan’s first Prime Minister) 51, 81; assassinated 53; conflict between liberal constitutionalism and Muslim devotion 54 – 5; speech by in North America 81; weekly holiday closing 138

Index  183 alim (those with knowledge) 22, 88 alms tax (zakat) see zakat (alms tax) An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed, possibility of liberal secular Muslim state 166 apostasy 120; as defined by Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life 56; Pew data on 56 aqeeda (beliefs) 7 Arya Samaj (Hindu movement) 28, 41; Ahrar battle against 34; conflict with Muslims over conversion 25; proselytizing by 17; rejection of caste system 25 – 6 Asad, Talal 116, 169 Ashaq-e-Rasool (lovers of the Prophet) 33; see also honoring the Prophet awqaf see waqf (charitable trust) Baha’i 63, 68 – 70; not recognized as a religion in Egypt national identity cards 58 – 9 Baha’is: national identity cards 63; rejection of Khatum-e-Nubbawat 63 Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) see Hafeez, Junaid; Zubair, Shirin Baloch, Liaqat (leader of the Islamist JI party) 7 Bangladesh, creation of 83 Barelvis 9, 18, 22, 33 – 8, 54, 84, 101n79, 143 – 4; blasphemy laws as framework to compete with rival maslak 32, 148; blasphemy as politically advantageous 37; centrality of practices that induce deep love of the Prophet 7; grounded in Hanafi legal traditions 23; accusation of insulting the Prophet used against rival maslaks 151; Pakistan Sunni Therik 79; PPC 295-C as sacred boundary for 93; PPC 295-C at center of politics 37; ul-Qadri, Tahir 35; radicalization of 93 – 7; see also ul-Qadri, Tahir Aziz Barelvis as rivals to Deobandis 23; maslak as reaction to Deobandis 23 beliefs (aqeeda) see aqeeda (beliefs) Bhutto, Benazir, PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) 83 Bibi, Aasiya: accused of blasphemy 32; appeal 79; defended by Saleem Taseer 17, 32; released 97 – 9; see also blasphemy laws Binder, Leonard 82 blasphemy 26, 30, 31 – 2, 34 – 5, 36; Ahl-eHadith and 23; “Ahmadiyya question”

entangled with heresy 52; as defined by Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life 56; Egypt 60; Indonesia 60; relationship to heresy 38, 52; Turkey; see also Bibi, Aasiya; blasphemy laws; blasphemy, accusations of blasphemy, accusations of: charges of 45 – 6; false 39; Hafeez, Junaid 46; imprisoned without legal resolution 46; as political opportunities 72 – 3; violent responses to acquittals 73 blasphemy law 14; abuses of 32; as case study for dynamics of contemporary Muslim politics 4; increase against Muslim religious scholars since 2015 46; expansion of 18, 55,142; and heresy 38; Indonesia, similarities to Pakistan’s 62; intention, irrelevance of 90; killing of Salman Taseer as vigilante terrorism 14; numbers of cases 73; Pew data on 56; separation of church and state 20; statutes 9, 55; see also Aasiya, Biba; Barelevis; ud-Din, Illum; Taseer, Salman blasphemy laws, sources of: British legal framework for 18; rooted in Western Christian heritage 56 blasphemy politics 22 blasphemy statutes see blasphemy laws Blom, Amelie 56 Bloor, Gular Ahmad 85 British colonial rule 21; Islam as “incendiary core of native Muslim identity” 134; liberal constitutionalism as legal framework 8; religion as defining element of political identity 21; see also Maucaulay, Thomas Babbington Brown, L. Carl 108 Brown, Nathan 160; changing debates on sharia with same vocabulary 79 – 80 Buehler, Michael 162 Al-Bukhari 108, 127n23 Bukhari, Sayyid Ataullah Shah 48, 53; as Amir-e-Shariat (master of Islamic law) 34; as leader of Ahrar party 31, 48; as opponent of Muslim League 53; political actions 42; role in Rangila Rasool controversy 29, 34 – 5 caliph 34, 110 – 12 Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement (CLAAS) 9 Chapter XV of the Indian Penal Code, Offenses Relating to Religion 17

184 Index charitable trust (waqf) see waqf (charitable trust) CID (Central Intelligence Department) 53 “clash of civilizations” discourse 125, 158 “colonial secularity” (neutrality towards religion), Macaulay, Thomas Babbington 19 community (ummah) see ummah (community) constitutive dynamics of colonial adjudication of religious conflict in fixing the scope of religion 21 Cook, Michael 110 – 11 Council of Islamic Ideology 11, 69, 140, 141; advisors to government 83; and Repugnancy Clause 82 Cow Protection Societies 19; role in Indian anti-colonial nationalism 20 Criminal Law Amendment Bill: attempts to reform 145; death penalty for insulting Prophet 143 – 5 Crone, Patricia 109, 111 – 12 Dar-ul-Ulum (House of Knowledge), Deobandi madrassa 22 dawa (invitation to Islam) 91 – 3, 97 death penalty: for blasphemy 150; as only punishment for dishonoring the Prophet 123, 144, 150; and PPC 295-C 88; ulama (religious scholars) 33; and women 89, 94, 123; and Hanafis 120 defamation of religion, as defined by Pew Research Center 56 Deobandi(s) 7, 18, 33, 40n29, 96, 151; affiliation with supporters of jihad in Afghanistan 147 – 8; creedal integrity of Islam 9; Dar-ul-Ulumi madrassa 22; grounded in Hanafi legal traditions 23; ijtihad (independent reasoning), Hanathi law school (taqlid) 22 – 3; madrassas’ fatwas apostatizing Shi’a 142; maslak, ijtihad (independent reasoning) within confines of classical Islamic law 22 – 3; mosques used by Amhadis 21; rivalry with Barelvis 34 – 7 desires (nafs) see nafs (desires) dhmir (conscience) 6, 23 Ud-Din, Illum 9, 28 – 31, 54, 71, 88; Bukhari, Sayyid Ataullah Shah 34; funeral 31, 33; Miani Sahib Cemetery 15; as “patron saint” 28; as saint 14 – 19; tomb 15; see also Rangila Rasul Ud-Din, Illum, books about: Khola, Mateen 30; Nagina, Zafar Iqbal 28 – 30

dishonoring the Prophet (Touheen-eRisalat), death as only punishment for 98, 123, 144; doubt doctrine 98; what constitutes 79, 123 – 4 duty to command the good and forbid evil (hisba) see hisba (duty to command the good and forbid evil) East India Company 129 Egypt: ability to prevent Islamists and others from challenging its authority 58; Al-Azhar University 158 – 9; Baha’i and national identity cards 58 – 9; “chaotic fatwa” 159; Coptic Christians, ahl-e-kitah (People of the book) 59; Islam as solution to Egypt’s weakness, marginalizing sharia-based institutions 159; “modernized preModern Islam” (modernizing sharia asserts independence from Ottoman Empire) 158; Supreme Constitutional Court, arbitrating Islamic legitimacy of laws 159; Zayd, Nasr Abu, separation of belief from action 121 – 2 Eid Malid-Nabi (celebration of the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday) 48, 67, 80 enforcement of Sharia Bill 83 European Court of Human Rights, inconsistency in case resolutions 73 Fadel, Muhammad 167 El Fadl, Khaled Abou 118, 166; “culture of ugliness” associated with Islam 87 fatwa (judicial opinion) 21, 109, 159 Federal Sharia Court see Shariat Court, Federal Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) 87, 147 Feldman, Noah 10, 114; use of sharia for dispute resolution 87 fiqh (struggle to understand God’s intentions/jurisprudence) 45, 106, 141; fiqhi between Shias and Sunnis over Zakat and Ushr Ordinance (ZUO) 140 FIR (First Information Report) 45 – 6, 72 First Information Report see FIR fisad-al-arad (discord) 123 Fish, M. Steven 170 fitnah (sedition) 92 forum internum (in their hearts) 5, 47, 122 – 3 Friday sermon (khutaba) see khutaba (Friday sermon)

Index  185 General Suharto see Suharto, Haji Mohammad, General Gerber, Haim 124 – 5 ghair muqallids (heretics who do not follow tradition) 23 ghazi (warrior) 37, 41; ud-Din, Illum as 14; Qadir, Mumtaz 32 Gilmartin, David 21, 45; accounts of Illum-ud-Din’s funeral 31; individual rationality and self-control in shaping new Muslim identity 22 Gurmani, Shahbaz, lawyer for Junaid Hafeez 45 Gustagh-e-Rasool (he who insults the Prophet) 44; Taseer, Salman 32; see also dishonoring the Prophet gustakh (one who insults the Prophet) 94, 95; death as only penalty for blasphemy, ul-Qadir, Muhammad Tahir 94 hadd (crime with fixed penalty) 123 Hadith 38, 86, 92 – 4, 101n72, 124, 126 – 7; Barelvis vs. Deobandis 22 – 3; canonical collections 108; science of collecting 105 – 8 Hafeez, Junaid: as homo sacer 45; imprisoned without legal resolution 46; similarity to Guantanamo prisoners 71; see also blasphemy, accusations of Hakama (to judge) 132; as clear set of God’s laws 82 Hallaq, Wael 166; sovereignty of God permeating Muslim life 80 Hanafi 40, 124, 159; arguments over 94 – 5; chance for repentance by apostate 120; corporations as “judicial persons” 140; and death penalty for women 120; as dominant legal school 157; grounding for Deobandis 23; primacy under Ottomans 114; taqlid 23 Hanafi, Abu, founder of Hanifi juristic tradition 107 Hanafites 127 Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad 107 Ul-Haq-Zia, Muhammad, General 65, 87, 134, 138 – 9, 141 – 2, 151; association of Islamization with 98; creation of Sharia Court 83; expansion of blasphemy ordinances 71; military regime of 18, 146 – 9; use of Islam to violate human rights 111; Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 119; see also blasphemy laws Hefner, Robert 160, 170; sharia-informed by-laws 162

heresy 37, 61; “Ahmadiyya question,” entanglement with blasphemy 52; and blasphemy laws 38 Hindus, opposition to separate electorates 52 hisba (duty to command the good and forbid evil), Egypt’s limitation to of responsibility to public officials 58; Muhtasib (he who implements hisba) 122; Zayd, Nasr Abu 58 homo sacer 45, 52 honor of the Prophet 3, 8 – 9, 71, 79, 88, 93, 95; ud-Illum 14, 29; Bukhari, Sayid Ataullah Shah 35; as fundamental element of Pakistani nationhood 71; insulting 50; protecting 29, 31, 94; Namoos-e-Risalet movement 88 – 9; PPC 295-C 143; Rizvi, Khadam Hussain 96 hudud (Quranic criminal codes) 11, 84, 87, 96, 112 – 13, 121, 151, 168; implemented in Sudan 121 Hull, Matthew 151 Hussain, Iza 4, 5 hypocrite (munafiq) see munafiq (hypocrite) hypocrites (munafikeen) see munafikeen (hypocrites) Ibadat (pillars of Islam, religious duty) 22, 82, 106, 140 Ijama (consensus) 112, 124; see also ishaq (deep devotion) Ijtihad (independent reasoning) 108 imam 21, 110, 135, 136 Iman (faith, belief in God) 52 Indian Penal Code (IPC) 9, 19, 26 – 7; impact of legal remedies for religious injury 19; IPC 295-A 26 – 7; expansion of IPC Chapter XV 17; origin of PPC 295-C 17 Indonesia: Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society 60; distinctions among agama, kepercayaan, and adat 67; founding of madrassas 160; impact of competitive election system on religious politics 162; Jakarta Charter 161; “mystical sects” (aliran kepercayaa) vs. ““religion” (agama) 59; rituals as fulcrum of Muslim identity 160 – 1; “sharia regulation” and political and cultural capital 163; see also Indonesia, blasphemy laws; national identities

186 Index Indonesia, blasphemy laws: similarities to Pakistan’s 62; vs. constitution’s granting of religious freedom 61; vs. Islam’s recognition of different mazhab 61 – 2; prohibitions against blasphemy and defamation of religion 60 Indonesia, democratization of: devolution of power to local authorities 162; pancasila (framework of national ideology) 163 intent, struggles over significance in sharia 14; see also blasphemy; blasphemy laws International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), signatories’ guarantee of freedom of expression, religion as exception to 56 IPC 295-A, response to Rangila Rasool and other publications 27 Iqbal (poet): Ahmadis as traitors 70; Rangila Rasul controversy 35 Irtad (leaving the faith or apostasy) 89 Ishaq (deep devotion) 8 Ishaq-e-Rasool (devotion to the Prophet) 22 Islah (reform) 22; role of madrasses in 22 Islam: as central pillar of public order 46; increasing institutionalization of, shifts from pragmatic to religious 139 Islamic Caliphate 24 Islamic exceptionalism, as inherently inhospitable to democracy 170 Islamic jurist (mujthad) see mujthad (Islamic jurist) Islamic law, codification of 157 Islamist(s), creating Islamic state 105; evolution of political goals 172 Islamization, as weaking state’s ability to manage Islam 151 Islam-pasand (pro-Islam) 8, 83 istibra: sexual access to women slaves 105 – 6; and wubu 105 – 6; see also women jahil maulavis (ignorant clerics) 22 Jameel, Tariq 8 Jammat 86, 137, 171 Jammat-e-Islami (Islamist party) 83, 136, 137, 147, 171, 172; Maududi, Maulana Abu Ala 54 Jinnah, Muhammad Ali 49, 80 – 1; death 53; as “founding father” of Pakistan, optimism about liberal constitutionalism 47 – 8; Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader) 48; “Unity, Faith, and Discipline” 48

judicialization of politics 2, 71 – 2 judicialization of religious disputes 121; Indonesia 60 jurisprudence: hudud (criminal codes, Quranic-prescribed punishments) 112 – 13; ijama 124; legal precedents 124; no obligations to state 112; Ottoman bureaucratization of sharia courts 114; power of rulers 113 jurisprudence (fiqh) see fiqh (jurisprudence) Kahn, Ataulla Bukhari Shah 31, 34 – 5, 48; leader of Ahrar 28 kalyma (recitation of faith) 5, 21, 40, 64, 66, 73; importance in colonial definition of Islam 21; as legal criterion for determining who is Muslim 48 Kalyvas, Stathis N. and Kees van Kersbergen 171 Khadim Rizvi, Hussain 96; Tehreek-eLabbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah (TYLR) 95 Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin 10, 82, 90, 93, 98 Khan, Maulana Zafar Ali 27, 90 – 3; dawa as foundation of Islam, free speech enables in West 92; response to Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat 90, 91 – 3; critical analysis of Ibn Taymiyya As-Saarim al-Maslul ala shatim ar-Rasul 92; dawa as foundation of Islam 91 – 2; fitnah (sedition) 92; Muslims’ overreaction and Satanic Verses fame 91 Khan, Zafarullah 53 kepercayaan, local spiritual/cultural practice 67 khattib(s) (preachers) 8, 35, 98 khutaba (Friday sermon) 40 Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Mohammed as the final Prophet of God) 46, 88, 90; vs. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim to be Messiah 21; movement, Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail 88 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) 87 Kilafat movement (Hindu): as bringing Muslim organizations into active public arena 24; to protect Ottoman Caliphate from dismemberment 24 Labbyiak-ya-rasool-allah (““We are here for you, oh Prophet”) 33 law school (taqlid) see taqlid (law school, legal tradition) legal experts (muftis) see muftis (legal experts)

Index  187 legal schools, development of 108; see also Hanafi; taqlid (law school, legal tradition) liberal constitutionalism 38, 68 – 9, 122, 126; gap between demands of public order and freedom of religion 53; interaction with sharia 2; Junaid Hafeez case 47 – 8; as legal framework inherited from British colonialism 8; as origin of charge of religious defamation 56; Prime Minister’s conflict with his Muslim devotion 54 – 5 Macaulay, Lord Thomas Babbington 20, 115; codification of sharia 115; Indian Penal Code (IPC) drafted by 19; “religious excitement” 20; Islam as “incendiary core of native Muslim identity” 134 madrassa(s) (schools) 3, 24, 113, 135, 137, 157, 166; competition over 37; control over 8, 134, 148; Indonesia 160; post-colonial creation of 7; as primary organizational form for revival (islah) 12, 23; role in evolution of Islamic jurisprudence 160 Mahmood, Saba 64; regulating lives of religious minorities 47; Western religion as belief vs. Muslim practice as habitus 7 Majlis-i-?Amal (committee), united front of maslak 54 Malaysia, contradictory views of Islamic law 5 maloon 30 manazra (theological debates) 24 maqasid al-sharia (purpose of sharia) 12 Marx, Anthony 6; emergence of nationalism, role of “passions of faith” in 20 maslahat (public welfare) 3, 167, 168 maslak(s) (schools of thought) 33, 39, 48, 54, 55, 147, 151; agreement among 86; and blasphemy politics 7, 22; boundaries of 5; competition among 8 – 9, 52, 97, 148; for share of Islamic public sphere 52; competitive market for 134; as political identity 36; political opportunities for 71 – 2; and punishment for dishonoring the Prophet 144; rivalries among 37 Mateen, Khola, Shaheed-e-Namoos-eRisalat: Ghazi Illum-ud-Din, Illum-ud-

Din’s life used to protect blasphemy laws 30 – 1 Maududi, Maulana Abu Ala 99; founder of Jammat-e-Islami (Islamist party) 54; sharia as basic law of land 82 Maulana see Khan, Maulana Zafar Ali maulavis (cleric) 95 maulvi (cleric) 24, 93 mazhab (schools of thought) 62 Mecelle: Ottoman codification of sharia 10, 114; ulama (religious scholars) 114 Menchik, Jeremy 68, 163 Mian, Atif (Ahmadi) nominated to Pakistan Economic Advisory Council 69 – 70 Miani Sahib Cemetery 15, 68; see also ud-Din, Illum missionary (tablighi) see tablighi (missionary) modernist politicians 81 modernists, Sovereignty of God signifying liberal democratic ideals 81 Moosa, Ebrahim 123; importance of salvation as core Islamic idea 108 mosques: competition over 37; control over 148 Mountbatten, Louis, Lord 49 muamalat (social interaction between and among individuals) 106 muftis (legal experts) 11, 33, 125, 159; authority of 109; authority of fatwas based on scholarly reputation 110; as paid employees of state 113; position eliminated 157 Muhammad vs. Ismail Khan V. Government of Pakistan, death as only penalty for blasphemy 88 – 9 Muhtasib 122 MUI (Council of Indonesian Ulama): declaring Shia and Ahdamis heretics 61; judicial review of 67; shift to monitoring state officials 60 – 1 mujthad (Islamic jurist) 86 mullahs 10, 136 munafikeen (hypocrites) 65, 67 munafiq (hypocrite) 95 Munir/Kiyani judicial inquiry: definition of Muslim, fixity and uniformity vs. contingency, pluralism, diversity 55; report 39, 65, 150; significance of report for Ahmadiyya movement 76 murtad (apostate) 59 Muslim League: focuses before and after Partition 52; Pakistan as achievement for 51

188 Index Muslim nation-states: as the agents of delivering Islam to the Muslim public 3; contradictory views of Islamic law 5; Islam as central to public order 46; motives of governing elites questioned by Muslim public 3; see also postcolonial Muslim nation-states Muslim Outlook [magazine] 27 Muslim-ness 65 naat (songs of praise) 7, 25, 101, 174 nafs (desires) 22 Nagina, Zafar Iqbal, Illum-ud-Din biography 28 – 30 Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat see Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail Namoos-e-Rasool (protecting the honor of the Prophet) see honor of the Prophet; honor of the Prophet, protecting Namoos-e-Risalet movement, Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail 88 national identity: creating in new nationstate 68; Egypt, nationalism as central pillar of 163; Indonesia: belief in God as first tenet of 59; national identity cards 146; Pakistan 38; Islamic state 163; religion as “incendiary core” of 146 National Vote Count and Share in Percentages 97 Nazam-e-Mustafa 79 Nelson, Matthew 118 noncooperation movement 24 non-Muslims (zimmis) see zimmis (non-Muslims) Objectives Resolution 49 – 52, 67, 74, 85, 86, 146; arguments over 50; framework for developing constitution 80 – 3; Olle, John, manufacturing heresies 61 oneness 23, 93 Ottoman Empire 4, 114, 124; Mecelle 114 “outrage machine” 57 Pakistan: 2018 elections 2; administrative efforts to manage Islam: controlling religious institution through secularization 134 – 7; as first Muslim nation-state 38; foundational to as Muslim nation-state: Repugnancy Clause 49; Sovereignty of God 49; Hindu minority 52; liberal constitutionalist infrastructure as inheritance from British colonialism 8, 134; religion as defining element of political identity 21; use of

ritual to define religious membership 64; see also blasphemy; blasphemy laws; Objectives Resolution; Partition Pakistan Awami Therik PAT (Tahir Qadir’s political party) 33, 93 Pakistan, controversies in: contradictory views of Islamic law 5; failure to control religious conflict 11 – 12; weekly holiday closing 137 – 9; Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 139 – 41 Pakistan Penal Code see PPC Pakistan Sunni Therik 79 – 80, 87, 96; Barelvis 33; “collective Sharia statement” on Aasiya Bibi’s appeal 79 Partition 9, 25, 52, 64; competition to claim Pakistan’s national narrative 6; need for two legally sovereign bodies 74n31; and personal laws about Muslim and Hindu identities 116; of Punjab 53; shape of Pakistan (East and West) 51 – 2; West Punjab Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 118 patron saint 9, 28, 30; see also ud-Din, Illum; Qadri, Mumtaz Percentage of Countries with Penalties for Blasphemy, Apostasy, and Defamation of Religion in 2011 57 Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life, definitions of blasphemy and heresy 56 piety (taqwa) see taqwa (piety) Pillars of Islam (ibadat) see ibadat (pillars of Islam, religious duty) politics of blasphemy 36, 56; importance of competition and shifting alliances 8; ul-Qadir, Muhammad Tahir 93 – 5; statutes, Barelvis’ ideas about 37; see also blasphemy; blasphemy, accusations of; blasphemy laws “politics of emotion” 34 politics of religious authenticity 6 “positive” law 67 post-colonial Muslim nation states, challenges for, vs. premodern Muslim states 3 post-colonial sharia, sacrilization of the state 6 PPC (Pakistan Penal Code), Chapter XV, Offenses Related to Religion 18; section 298; insulting religious feeling of Muslims 55 PPC 298-A, Shia as non-Muslims 142; defiling Prophet’s families or companions 142

Index  189 PPC 295-B, defiling the Quran 143 PPC 295-C 31 – 3, 94 – 5, 143, 148, 150; basis in British colonial law, IPC 295-A 17; at center of Barelvis politics 37, 93; and death penalty 88; debate over 143; and dishonoring the Prophet 143; impact of 145; as legacy of Illum-udDin 31; ul-Qadir, Tahir 94 – 5; Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail 90; sacralization of 150; Taseer, Salman 32 preachers (khattibs) see khattib(s) (preachers) pre-modern sharia: importance of person’s conscience (dhmir) 6; as shaper of believers’ subjectivities, moral foundation of social relations 4 Prophet (Rasool) see dishonoring the Prophet; honor of the Prophet; protecting honor of the Prophet; sharia protests 54, 57, 138; against Ayub Khan’s rule 137; Bibi, Aasiya 79, 97 – 8; impact of 24, 25 – 6, 32, 138, 146; on Mumtaz Qadir’s chelum (death anniversary) 95 – 6; Mumtaz Qadir’s funeral 95; Shia against Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 141 public sphere, Islamic 152 public welfare (maslahat) see maslahat (public welfare) punish blasphemy to protect creedal integrity, Ahl-e-Hadith 7 Punjab, ethnic cleansing in 51 “Punjab Disturbances,” over demand Ahmadis be declared non-Muslims 53 Punjab Vote Count and Share in Percentages 97 Purnama, Basuki Tjahaja, governor of Jakarta, and Indonesian blasphemy law 3; see also blasphemy laws Ul-Qadir, Muhammad Tahir Aziz (Canadian-Pakastani politician) 8 – 10; conflicting opinions about 93; death as only penalty for blasphemy 94; politics of blasphemy 93; and PPC 295-C 94; Sheik-ul-Islam 93 Qadri, Mumtaz 8, 14, 94 – 5; Barelvi 33; ghazi (warrior) 32; as “the Illum-ud-Din of our time” 17, 31 – 7; killing out of love for the Prophet 8; as part of Barelvi political movement 33 – 4; trial and execution 33 Qadri, Mumtaz, funeral of 3, 8, 29 – 30, 33, 35 – 6; sit-in at 95

Qadri, Mumtaz, tomb of 16, 37; entrance to 16; grave, urs (death anniversaries) 33; Ul-Qadri, Tahir Aziz 10, 35, 93 – 5 qanun (laws) 157 Quaid-i-Azam (Great Leader), Jinnah, Muhammad Al 48 Quranic criminal codes (hudud) see hudud (Quranic criminal codes) Qureshi, Hanif, Mufti 33 – 5, 82; leader of Barelvis, response to ul-Qadir, Muhammad Tahir 95; Tahafuz Namoos e Risalat (Protection of Prophetic Dignity) [book] 95 Qureshi, Muhammad Ismail: Khatame-Nabuwat movement 88; Namoos e Risalat aur Qanoon e Toheen e Risalat 88 – 92; Maulana Zafar Ali Khan’s response to 91 – 3; PPC 295-C 90; Namoos-e-Risalet movement 88 Rabb, Intisar, methodology of fiqh 98 Rahman, Rashid Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) 46; lawyer for Junaid Hafeez murdered 45 Rajpal, Mahashay (publisher of Rangila Rasul): murdered by Illum-ud-Din 14, 28; see also Rangila Rasul [pamphlet] Rangila Rasul [pamphlet] 17, 25 – 35; Bukhari, Sayyid Ataullah Shah 29; Khan, Zafar Ali 29 publication of 17; see also Rajpal, Mahashay Rasool (Prophet) see Prophet (Rasool) Raza, Ahmad 17, 23, 40n27 Reetz, Dietrich 42n67 religion as “incendiary core” of national identity 146 religio-political parties 54 religious conflict, colonial adjudication of 21 religious institutions, control over 148 religious scholars (ulama) see ulama (religious scholars) Repugnancy Clause 49; interest rates as repugnant 83; Islamic Ideology Council 82 – 3; banning laws repugnant to Islam 49; Rizvi, Khadam Hussain, protecting the honor of the Prophet 96 – 7 Rizvi, Khadim Hussain: conspiracy to eliminate blasphemy laws 96; sit-in 96; takeover of TYLR 95 Rushdie, Salman: Khan, Maulana Zafar Ali on 91; publication of Satanic Verses 57 Rustow, Dankwart 172

190 Index sacrilization: of blasphemy 39; of the state 174 sahih see Hadith Saravasti, Dayananda, founder of Arya Samaj (Hindu movement) 25 sawab (religious merit) 4, 28, 151 schools of thought (maslaks) see maslaks (schools of thought) secularity 19, 21 secularization of criminal laws 116 separation of church and state, Britain 19, 21 Shaa’ire Islam (Islamic signs) 66 Shaheed (martyr) 14 Shah Sayid Attulah Khan, Amir-e-Shariat (mastery of Islamic laws) 34 sharia: British codification in Muslim Family Law 22; codification of 120; fundamentally altered because of complexity 114; importance of context in 115; limitation to Abrahamic religions vs. historical diversity 63; Macaulay, Thomas Babbington 81; confined to family law in modern Muslim nationstates 59; viability without government support 166 sharia, changing meanings of: as criminal statutory laws implemented by modern state 80; as jurists’ law interpreted by scholars 80; as legal framework 2; as path to meaningful and God-fearing life 80; as ethical framework, modernist elite’s embrace of 8; as codified law based on definitive authority 105; transformation from discursive practice to discrete laws 81 “sharia fatigue” 4, 165 Shariat Bill: granted women Quranic rights to property 81; selective incorporation of sharia in 118 Shariat Court 83, 88, 149, 151; Federal 146 shariazation of politics 87 Sharif, Nawaz, implementing sharia 83 shatim (blasphemy) see blasphemy shatim-e-Rasool (blasphemer) 10, 90, 93, 94, 95, 124 Shia 34, 36 – 37, 61 – 2, 111, 119, 140 – 2, 149; as non-Muslims 9, 151; PPC 298-A 142 shirk (polytheism) 7, 23 shuddhi (purification) 25, 28 shurfa (well-born), seen as “natural leaders” under colonial rule 24 – 5

Sikand, Yoginder 23 Sikhs 46; and 1930 Shahidganj mosque agitation 54 Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, anti-Shia organization 142 siyassa (political) sharia 110, 113, 165 – 8 Smith, W. C. 6 social interaction between and among individuals (muamalat) see muamalat (social interaction between and among individuals) sovereignty of God, and liberal democratic ideals 81; as only way to prevent deification of state 50 Sudan, hudud implemented in 121 Sufi Islam (Sufism) 7, 8, 18, 23, 36, 93, 97, 113, 157, 160 Suharto, Haji Mohammad, General 87; 162 Sukarno: blasphemy code from presidential degree to law 60; “Champion of Islam and Freedom in Asia and Africa” 60; New Order 60; overthrown by Suharto 60 Sunnah 46, 67, 79, 83, 85, 107, 124, 151; reports about Prophet through chain of trustworthy narrators 107 Sunni vs. Shia, Shia as non-Muslims (PPC 298-A) 142 sunniat (fidelity to tradition) 94 Sunnis, grounded in Hanafi legal traditions 23 syassa (political) sharia, administrative regulation 165 tablighi (missionary) 36; Ahrar gatherings on danger of Ahmadis 53 Tahafuz Namoos e Risalat (Protection of Prophetic Dignity) [book], Qureshi, Hanif, Mufti 95 Tahreek-e-Labbyaik-Pakistan (TLP) 97 – 8, 147 – 9; as Barelvis offshoot of TYLR 2 – 3, 69; sit-in at Mumtaz Qadri funeral 95 – 6 Tahreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah (TLYR) 3 takfir (accusation of apostasy) against fellow Muslims 63 Taliban 87 taqlid (law school, legal tradition) 23, 103 taqwa (piety) 22 Taseer, Salman (governor of Punjab) 2 – 3, 7, 14, 17 – 18, 31 – 5, 37, 38, 47, 94 – 5, 124; efforts to revise blasphemy laws

Index  191 32; killed by Mumtaz Qadir 8 – 10; murder of 14, 17 – 18 Tauheed (Oneness of God) 5 Taymiyya, Ibn, As-Saarim al-Maslul ala shatim ar-Rasul see Khan, Maulana Zafar Ali Tazkiyya (determines integrity of witness) 87 Tehreek-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria (Movement to Establish Jafari Jurisprudence, or TNFJ) 141 Tehreek Nifaz Shiriat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) 5 theological debates (manazra) see manazra (theological debates) TLP see Tahreek-e-Labbyaik-Pakistan (TLP) Touheen-e-Risalat (dishonoring the Prophet Mohammad) 124; what constitutes 79 Tunisia, balancing freedom of speech and conscience with protection of the sacred 63; Islamists’ participation in national elections 164; state as guardian of religion 62 Turkey, “defamation of religion,” prosecution of Fazil Say 57; legacy of Ottoman Empire’s sovereignty 156 – 7; separation of religion and politics 157; sharia as guidelines for moral actions 158; ulama (religious scholars), resistance to Ataturk’s policies 157 TYLR see Tahreek-e-Labbyaik Ya-Rasul Allah (TLYR) ulama (religious scholars) 24, 31, 50, 79, 85 – 6, 88, 117, 118, 136 – 7, 144 – 6, 148 – 51, 160 – 2, 168, 172, 174; Ahmadis as foes of Islam 5; as nonMuslims 65; alliances with extremist groups 80; sharia applicable through fiqh (jurisprudence) 81; competition with state over waqfs 114; creation of madrassas and political parties 7; definition of Muslim 53 – 5; expansion of blasphemy laws 142; impact of Mecelle on 114; as keepers of sharia 62, 157; law against insulting founders of Islam 35 – 6; MUI (Council of Indonesian Ulama) 60, 62, 67; Munir/Kiyani report 39; and Repugnancy Clause 82; rise of 107; Turkey, resistance to Ataturk’s policies 157; and zakat 119 ulama and death penalty 33; for blasphemy 92; for Mumtaz Qadir 124 – 5

ulama, role of: authority as keepers of sharia 6, 22; loss of 11; denied institutional role 83; division of labor between religious and political authority 109 – 12; as guardians of Islamic tradition 109, 120; religious authority 4 – 8 ummah (community) 80, 86, 91, 119, 141, 171 UN Human Rights Committee, exceptions to freedom of religion 56 – 7 Urdu press 24 Urmani, Rafi, Mufti, doctrine of doubt as guiding principle of Islamic law 98 urs (death anniversaries) 23 ushr (agricultural tax), 119, 135, 139 – 41, 151, 171; “Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr Act” 11; see also Zakat and Ushr Ordinance (ZUO) Usmani, Muhammad Rafi 98 – 9, 148; as representative of ulama 50 usul-e-fiqh (science of jurisprudence), evolution of 108 V. Muhammad Zafarullah (Ahmadi Minister of Foreign Affairs), Khan, Zafarullah 53 Wajib-ul-qata (deserving of death), Rahman, Sherry 32; Taseer, Salman 32 – 3 waqf (charitable trust) 116 warrior (Ghazi) see Ghazi (warrior) Waterbury, John 173 “We are here for you, oh Prophet” (Labbyiak-ya-rasool-allah) 33 women: and death penalty 89, 94, 120, 123; inheritance rights of 5, 81, 118; ISIS rape of Yazidi women 104, 125; Quaranic rights to property under Shariat Bill 81; istibr 105 – 6; sexual access to women slaves 104, 125 Wood, Graeme 110, ISIS’s religious views 104 – 5 wudu (ritual purity for prayer), centrality of in Muslims’ lives 106; integrity of 125; see also women, istibr Yavuz, M. Hakan, Turkey’s criminalization of sharia 157 Zaheer-ud-Din v. the State 90 zakat (alms tax) 82, 135, 139 – 41, 151; alms-giving as one of five pillars

192 Index of Islam 140; efforts to avoid 19; exemptions for religious minorities and others 119; “Promulgation of Zakat and Ushr Act” 11; see also Zakat and Ushr Ordinance (ZUO)

Zakat and Ushr Ordinance (ZUO) 119; promulgation of 11, 139 – 41 Zayd, Nasr Abu, denied tenure at Cairo University 58; see also hisbah zimmis (non-Muslims), taxed 50