Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Land of the Pure

The title of this post is the real meaning of Pakistan.  This is the second set of notes on the book, Creating a New Medina.  In this middle section we are treated to tedious arguments over how provinces are to be split and populations are to be moved.  The driving force is the need of the Mohammedans to rule, as their religion demands, while realizing that they cannot rule in a united India.  They refer to themselves as "slaves" in India, because they cannot rule, but then insist that they will be fair-minded towards their minorities.  At the same time, there is the "hostage population" theme, which perhaps is a better indicator of how they would view their minorities.

There are a number of idealistic themes being put forth by the Muslim League (ML) which are to be expected, as every political movement must energize followers by stirring up unrealistic expectations.  One that reminds me very much of the Communists is the MLs efforts to distinguish between degenerate "Muslim" governments and pure "Islam".  This neatly parallels the efforts of leftists to distinguish between the communism in action of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, ... vs the pure ideals of Marx, which are yet to be tried and still represent the greatest hope of mankind.  Similarly, the ML is arguing that Islam is a pure and perfect system of human governance which has yet to be tried after 1,300 years, except for the first initial stages of the caliphate.  Then there is the argument that Islam can have a power over the soul that can never happen in socialism.  This neglects to see that socialism's primary tool is envy, which is one of those universal diseases of the soul and the most powerful of all human motivators.

Pan-universal Islam is also showing up as a theme, with references to the Turkish caliphate being cited as an example.  Again, this completely neglects the reality, which is that the Turks would uproot the young men of one tribal region within their empire and appoint them to guard a rebellious tribe in a distant part of the empire, exploiting the pan-universal tribal hostility of Islam to maintain the unity of the empire.  This feature of Islam is starting to peek out from under the rug in the middle of the book as the issue of the Shia-Sunni split is impertinently raised.  I will keep an eye out as my reading continues for more discussion on how the most tribal of all religions will sell itself as a unifier of Muslims from all over the world.


Rummuser said...

The biggest failure of Pan Islam is precisely what you are trying to understand. It can never be homogenous and the proof if you want is the breaking away of Bangladesh from Pakistan, demands for Kurdistan, Pakhtoonistan, etc are symptoms of conflicts within Islam based on factors other than the religious identity.

Looney said...

What I was perhaps hinting at is my view that the religious identity can amplify the tribal conflict. This was a theme from T E Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which is also where I learned his description of how the Turks maintained their empire. Much of it has to do with Islam needing to keep a careful list of wrongdoings so that retribution can be achieved. Lawrence gives plenty of anecdotes on the subject of revenge due to his position of trying to achieve unity of the various tribes in order that they might fight for liberation from the hated Turks.

Rummuser said...

Interestingly enough, Max's blog has a post by Morgan on Pakistani involvement in Yemen. In my opinion, it is a measure of Pakistan's dire straits financially that they have become mercenary with their soldiers going to foreign lands to wage war on behalf of someone else! Could also be a Sunni vs Shia ganging up!