Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Topology of Extremism: Implication on the Contemporary Politics of Pakistan

Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Topology of Extremism: Implication on the Contemporary Politics of Pakistan

Article excerpt


Extremism means holding acute political and religious views or taking of extreme actions on the basis of their beliefs. When these views and beliefs are transformed into actions, several plans and strategies are devised and implemented. This implementation brings about the situation of fear and terror, which influences the opponent to accept whatever it is not ready to accept otherwise. In this way, extremism emerges within a structural mechanism. It will be further illustrated through the following figure,

views beliefs actions implemented devises fear terror

The Structural Mechanism of Extremism

Topology means the relationship between different properties unaffected by the continuous change of their dimensions. The topology of extremism can be explained through the relationship between the above mentioned contributors and factors of extremism that their linking relationship is unaffected by any physical change in their dimensional features. There is a natural relationship between these components. Hence, the study of extremism topology is not only applicable to the past and present situation but also defines its roots in the future extremism. It is important to investigate that how Pakistani society engulfed in extremism? All phases are required to be investigated with the analysis of causes and their implication within the global political structure.

Topology commonly is employed to characterize political orientation. It locates the direction of development of a concept or a belief. The topology of political orientation distinguishes the relational thinking of a group or nation, as progressive and reactionary, liberal and totalitarians, liberal and constructive or orthodox and fundamentalist. All these concepts have their roots in the Western thoughts, while there is a dire need to develop such topologies in the Islamic concepts and among the Muslim societies. There is a need to investigate and put together the linking edges behind the extreme beliefs and actions. Without such an exhaustive effort no rational strategy can be brought forward and implemented to eliminate extremism.

In Muslim societies the dominating form of political thoughts are the political secularists, the political Islamists and the modernists. Under the political secularist's approach, Islam is undesirable and irrelevant to the statecraft. They consider religion as a personal matter of the citizens. The political Islamists believe that Islam is indispensable for the statecraft, as Islam argues for certain measures and arrangements for sustainable and progressive state. While, the modernists believe in the process of re-interpretation of Islamic rules, especially the legal aspects according to their own need and understanding. They prescribe analytical reasoning for determining the Islamic laws. (Basu, 2007, p.95) It is worth noticing that none of the above mentioned groups reflect any linking clue of extremism, but on the other hand the Muslim societies also provide ample space for who differentiate or divert from the basic tenet of Islam. The topology of extremism can be distinguished from these groups on the basis of different components and various reasons, which are based on contemporary trends within a complex structure to explore. (Fox, 2007, p.43)

The Case of Pakistan

The study of extremism and its implication on Pakistan reveals some unique reasons behind its present situation. Pakistan has become a laboratory for the study of topology of extremism. This study will be analyzed through every decade with regard to the national and international political scenario of Pakistan.

Islam was the principle element behind the mobilization of masses during Pakistan's movement under charismatic leadership of Jinnah, who molded masses sentiments into an impressive voice. Pakistan emerged as response to the public aspirations in a legal and concrete manner. The Two Nation Theory was the indicator of Muslim nationalism in India while, the Islamic ideology was the motivational force behind it. …

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