Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Islamic State of India

Irfan Ahmad, in “Islamism and Democracy in India”, narrates:
In Pakistan he [Maududi] opposed the League leaders because they were also trying to establish an “infidelic system [kafirana nizam]“, the only difference being that it would be presided over “by an Abdullah [meaning a Muslim] rather than a Ram Prasad [meaning a Hindu]“. In India the Jamaat interpreted Maududi’s words to mean that even Hindus could run an Islamic state if it were based on the principles of submission to God, humanism and the sovereignty of God.
In the 1960s, Syed Hamid Husain (1920-1985), a prominent Jamaat[-i-Islami] leader, visited AMU [Aligarh Muslim University]. A scion of a feudal family, Husain, before converting to the Jamaat, was a Communist, was Westernized, and was an avid filmgoer. Under the Jamaat’s influence, he resigned from his job with the British Army, considering it haram. Because he had a Western education, the Jamaat regarded him as its star preacher for AMU. In his lectures to students, Husain attacked secularism, nationalism, and democracy, presenting Islam as an alternative system based on submission to God, humanism and the sovereignty of God. Describing Husain’s alternative as “foolish” and “reactionary”, an agitated student asked Husain how an Islamic system was possible in India. Intizar, a retired AMU professor who was a student at the time and attending the lecture, told me that Husain replied, “Yes, it is [possible]. If Hindus accepted the three Islamic principles, India could become an Islamic system.” When asked if he meant that Hindus had to convert to Islam, he answered no. At that, Intizar and his friends laughed at Husain’s “foolishness” [be-vaqufi] and “irrationality” [pagalpan].

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