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Islam in PakistanA History$
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Muhammed Qasim Zaman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149226

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149226.001.0001

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Religious Minorities and the Anxieties of an Islamic Identity

Religious Minorities and the Anxieties of an Islamic Identity

Chapter:
(p.164) Chapter Five Religious Minorities and the Anxieties of an Islamic Identity
Source:
Islam in Pakistan
Author(s):

Muhammad Qasim Zaman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691149226.003.0006

This chapter focuses on two Muslim minorities, the Ahmadis and the Shi`a, and some of the contestations around their position in the state. How these communities have fared in Pakistan is part of the story here, with the Ahmadis being declared a non-Muslim minority in 1974 and significant Shi`i-Sunni sectarian violence in the country since the 1980s. The principal concern of the chapter is, however, to explore the anxieties that the existence and activities of these minority communities have generated among the `ulama and the Islamists. In case of the Ahmadis, the anxieties in question have had to do not merely with the peculiarities of Ahmadi beliefs about the Prophet Muhammad, but with Islamic modernism itself. The anxieties generated by the Shi`a have a different locus, and also go beyond Sunni discomfort with particular Shi`i beliefs and practices. Much more than the Ahmadis, the Shi`a have raised difficult questions about what, if any, kind of Islamic law can be given public force in Pakistan, laying bare in the process nagging uncertainties about whether Pakistan can ever fully claim to be an Islamic state.

Keywords:   Muslim minorities, Ahmadis, Shi`a, Sunni, Pakistan, `ulama, Islamists

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