From the LA TImes, a review of Muslim Zion.
I have a bone to pick with this Muslim Zion notion: Devji says of Pakistan and Israel “as both nations were conceived as homelands for people who didn’t necessarily have any familial connection to the territory, and both used religion as the common ground that would define their citizenry. “
I would submit that the actual founders of Pakistan did NOT envisage it as homeland for people with no familial connection to the territory..rather, they demanded that MUSLIM MAJORITY PROVINCES be grouped as a separate nation (or nations)..FOR THE PEOPLE OF THOSE PROVINCES. The founders used rhetoric that implied otherwise at times, and many of them (and thousands of their most enthusiastic supporters in the North Indian Gangetic plain, spiritual home of the Pakistan movement, site of Aligarh, etc etc) did not think it through and were not clear about what would happen to THEM after Pakistan was created…but lack of foresight is not the same thing as “ conceived as homelands for people who didn’t necessarily have any familial connection to the territory, ”
To the extent that they had a plan, this was not the plan. (mostly, they did not have a plan, that is a separate story).
SOME people did see Pakistan as a Muslim Zion, but only in a very limited way: as a center for, or a spark for, a worldwide Muslim renaissance. NOT as a homeland for all Muslims. Even the most retarded of the leaders did not imagine it as a homeland for all Indian Muslims, much less for all the Muslims of the world.
Devji also supposedly says ”Like Zionism, communism’s goal was to form a nation where ideology would transcend territory. “
Is that really a good way of putting things? Maybe there was some ultimate notion of a borderless socialist utopia at the end of time, but it seems to me that this was of hardly ANY importance in actually defining the borders of ANY communist state. And that includes the Soviet Union. No?
and then according to Devji, the fragmented maps of empire set a precedent for Israel and Pakistan’s geographical eccentricity.
Excuse me, but this sounds like Tariq Ali level bullcrap to me.
The LA TIMES Review: (there more at the site):
Hannah Harris Green on Muslim Zion : Pakistan as a Political Idea
FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ, a Marxist poet from a Muslim background, combined the language of Communism and Islamic religious imagery when he wrote about his new country, Pakistan. He likened corrupt leaders’ idolatry of wealth to the sinful idolatry in the Qur’an. His “Hum Dekhenge” became a popular rallying cry for resistance to the Zia regime. It was aghazal, a traditional love song, and used Koranic images of the Day of Judgement to urge the people to rise up against “mountains of injustice.” His poetry was an example of the variety of forces that shaped notions of nationalism in Pakistan. Continue reading