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Could Pakistan Have Remained Pluralistic?

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Faith-Based Violence and Deobandi Militancy in Pakistan

Abstract

In “Could Pakistan Have Remained Pluralistic?”, Pervez Hoodbhoy speculates whether Pakistan could have been different from how it is today, or whether an extraordinarily violent birth in 1947, inspired by religious nationalism, made the present inevitable. In this context, he examines three important questions. First, although Pakistan was formed on the basis of Muslim identity, might it have still remained an imperfect but de facto secular and pluralist state—perhaps like India or Bangladesh—where religious minorities may feel discriminated against but are relatively secure? Second, what historical events were principally responsible for the slide into the present epoch of radicalism and intolerance? And third, can Pakistan become an Islamic state in the not too distant future and what would that mean for its people? Hoodbhoy argues that if the caliphate ever comes to be, the axe would fall not only on non-Muslim minorities but also on several communities that are currently considered Muslim would see themselves characterized as non-Muslim.

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Hoodbhoy, P. (2016). Could Pakistan Have Remained Pluralistic?. In: Syed, J., Pio, E., Kamran, T., Zaidi, A. (eds) Faith-Based Violence and Deobandi Militancy in Pakistan. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-94966-3_2

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