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Pakistan's Political Vacuum Presents a Crisis for the Jamaat-e-Islami: Prof. Nasr

The Express Tribune

Paradigm shift: In political vacuum, JI stands at crossroads

Even though the February 12 Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) rally in Karachi was organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the ground was predominantly filled with Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) supporters.

Unexpectedly, JI’s green-and-blue flags were few and far between and the loudest cheers were for ASWJ leaders.

As supporters chanted “al jihad, al jihad”, JI workers tried to control the crowds — unsuccessfully. …

…. JI’s official stance is that its members cannot act against the state.  “We do not support jihad until all of its parameters have been fulfilled,” says JI spokesperson Sarfaraz Ahmed. According to JI’s Karachi General Secretary Naseem Siddiqui, “If anyone claims to be a supporter of JI and then, [going] against the policy of JI, finds picking up weapons is the solution, he is responsible for his own actions.”

Tufts University professor Vali Nasr and the author of The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, said this is a dilemma Maulana Maudoodi had spoken about a long time ago, “that jihad can only be declared by a proper Islamic authority in an Islamic state.”

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