We are All Revolutionaries Here: Militarism, Political Islam and Gender in Pakistan
Publication Year: 2017
What might link a group of middle-class Pakistani women sipping coffee demurely in a living room, with the fiery young women in black burqas threatening shopkeepers in Islamabad? When and how do an adolescent girl's aspirations translate into the maturing of a social and political revolution in urban Pakistan?
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: We are All Good Muslims Here: Hybrid Spaces, Contesting Constituencies and Pakistan's Social Revolution
- Chapter 3: Cultural Underpinnings: Pakistani Muslim Women's Conceptions of Hijab in Islam
- Chapter 4: On Gendered Spatial and Ritual Politics in Canberra and Islamabad
- Chapter 5: Texts of War
- Chapter 6: Our Lady of Lal Masjid
- Chapter 7: Conclusion
SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd
B1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area
Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044, India
SAGE Publications Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, California 91320, USA
SAGE Publications Ltd
1 Oliver's Yard, 55 City Road
London EC1Y 1SP, United Kingdom
SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd
3 Church Street
#10-04 Samsung Hub
79 Gulmohar Enclave
New Delhi 110049
Copyright © Aneela Zeb Babar, 2017
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published in 2017 by
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Available
ISBN: 978-93-860-6248-2 (HB)
SAGE Yoda Team: Sonjuhi Negi, Arpita Das, Rajesh Dey and Neha Sharma
Published by Vivek Mehra for SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, typeset in 10/12 pts Times New Roman by Zaza Eunice, Hosur, Tamil Nadu, India and printed at Chaman Enterprises, New Delhi.
List of Images
This project is but a response to all the statements starting with ‘But Why Would Pakistanis…’ I have heard over the years. Let us just say that I got tired of explaining why Malala Yousafzai continues to face so much fak from certain Pakistanis (and ‘good Muslims’ and/or conspiracy theorists elsewhere), or why would any Pakistani woman justify the Pakistan's Council of Islamic Ideology' section to allow men to ‘lightly beat their wives’. Perhaps one day I became nervous about how I felt generations of South Asians were condemned to repeat history, or that the more things changed for the region, the more our neighborhood was eager to make sure they remained the same.
Perhaps it was when I walked amongst the ruins of a Dhaka temple that was eternally condemned to live as a temple of tents and tarpaulins, marvelling how a Ramna Park once and a Ramna (suburb) again, waited out for an elusive dawn with ‘Operation Searchlight’ (March 1971) and ‘Operation Sunrise’ (July 2007) linking the love and lives of the cities of Dhaka and Islamabad forever. And there is a sun rising over Delhi and conversations about that makes it ever so important that I look inwards and share some tales. Or perhaps it will be two decades to a particular moment in Pakistan and India's history and as another generation grows in the mist of a nuclear cloud, it is important to remember how certain militaristic exercises shaped and molded our very gendered definition of peace and conflict avoidance.
I learnt a new word ‘Taaq-e-Nissian’, very late in my life; and now I make sure that I should never forget it. Taaq-e-Nissian can be translated as a ‘niche’, a shelf in the wall to consign what one has to, and to give oneself permission not to recall it for a while. I am sure there are families, families like ours in the region, whom you continue to question with a how do you go through this?—families who have trained themselves to place their memories, each day of December, whether it is of Dhaka or of Peshawar in a Taaq-e-Nissian of their own. My particular Taaq-e-Nissian had some essays and episodes from academic exercises in other lives, and one day Yoda Press felt it was time to share an abridged version of them with you, dear Reader.
[Page x]What I should let you know, at the outset, that the following pages will not tell you the tale of all who resist the state narrative, there will be no stories of the valiant heroines and the superwomen in the everyday every person. For even as the state clamps down and conformism reigns supreme; there is the everyday Pakistani who resists and marches on to a different piper. But this project is not that forum—though there are days I am tempted to identify and acknowledge not just tales of who led and listened or who destroyed independent thought but rather who saved whom, who made sure that there continued to be spaces that resisted and inspired. Rest assured, Pakistani women continue to lead and inspire.
But for the next six chapters, I will share with you my stories of other women and other lives. But then again, this is a very subjective journey and a route map is quite disjointed. The faults that plague the text are all mine. For that I warn you now.
Many people have supported and assisted this project in a variety of ways and many more have allowed me to forget about it and live a little.
Arpita Das and the team at Yoda Press for their tenacity and stubbornness that would rival the toughest production unit, when I, like the reluctant first-time director, sat on the film reels for quite a while claiming that there were still some final shots remaining.
Sonjuhi Negi, Nishtha Vadhera and Ishita Gupta for their fine editorial skills, an eye on the bigger picture and getting all the signatures when I was knee deep in words and jump cuts and had no idea where everything was to go. The faults that continue to plague the project are entirely my responsibility.
My mother, Mariana Babar who like an excellent critic, which she is, has already pointed out a dozen places where I missed the plot and so now none of the reviews are going to hurt.
The families and brilliant women without whom this project would have never been possible. Though they must remain anonymous, I would like to thank them for their support and assistance.
Parul Sharma and Kiran Manral for a friendship ‘beyond the call of duty’ and for being good spirited listeners to my endless stories. I hope they never hold the Internet against me. Sabbah Haji, Babur Majid, Raheel Khurshid for Gheebat Hellfire—I will meet you there. Lubna, Saima, Aisha, Maria for being good witches.
Archita Chanda Ray, Abanti, Devapriya Roy and Dipali Taneja for cheerleading duty. Natasha Badhwar, hail ogre well met. Tanveer Shahzad, the good soul who arranged for the copyright-mukt images at the last minute.
Ayesha, Sakeena, Raahym and Shahram for allowing me to disappear in ‘script and voice’ from their lives and continuing to be the pillars of strength they are. Saba Khattak for pushing me that extra mile and the dire warnings of aging film stars playing college students.
My late grandfather Habib, for our bargain the summer that he lost his eye glasses, that he would teach me my prayers and I would read him [Page xii]Rushdie at night. Somehow he put everything in perspective. Mahjabina, for being my moral compass.
Gaurav, the financier for always being confident and making it all look so easy. And finally, Arhaan the trusted audience to the constant theatre of my life—though at one stage he too warned me ‘It Looks Like You Are Quite Addicted To It’.
The Ideal Reader who will now finally let me go out and play.
And finally the good people of Pakistan, our million follies and foibles but twice as much fun—for assuring me ki picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.
Bibliography[Page 174]1990), ‘The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power through Bedouin Women’, American Ethnologist 17 (1), pp. 41–55.(2002), ‘Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Refections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others’, American Anthropologist 104(3), pp. 783–90.(1986), ‘Death in Islam: The Hawkes Bay Case’, Man, New Series, 21, No. 1.(2002), ‘Introduction: The Last Frontier’, in (ed.), Gendering the Spirit: Women, Religion and the Post-colonial Response, Zed Books, London and New York.(1998), ‘History and War’, In the Shadow of History, Fiction House, Lahore, pp. 32–34.(2005), ‘Islamic Education and Conflict: Understanding the Madrassahs of Pakistan’, Washington Draft Report Submitted to the U.S. Institute of Peace Report, 2005.(1999), ‘The Internet and Islam's New Interpreters’ in , and (eds) New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, Indiana University Press, Indiana, pp. 41–56.(1982) Nations before Nationalism, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.(2001) Texts of War: The Religio-military nexus in Pakistan and India, Bangkok, Asian Institute of Technology.(1996) Between The Lines—South Asians and Postcoloniality, Temple University Press, Philadelphia., and (ed.) (1994) The Location of Culture, Routledge, New York.(1997), ‘The Public/Private Mirage: Mapping Homes and Undomesticating Violence Work in the South Asian Immigrant Community’, in , and (eds), Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures, New York, Routledge, pp. 308–29.(1985) Sexuality in Islam, Routledge, Kegan and Paul, London.(1993) The Nation And Its Fragments: Colonial And Postcolonial Histories, Oxford University Press, Delhi.(1991) Women's Rights in Islam, Adam Publishers, New Delhi.(1987) Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn' Arabi, Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series, Princeton.(1988), ‘The Pervasions of Inheritance: Studies in the Making of Multi- Racist Britain’ in , and (eds), Multiracist Britain, MacMillan, London, pp. 9–118.(1990) The Pakistan Army, Himalayan Books, New Delhi.([Page 175] (1999) The Age of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters, Flamingo, London.1997), ‘Women and Religious Identities in India After Ayodhya’ in , , and (eds), Against all Odds: Essays on Women, Religion and Development from India and Pakistan, Kali for Women, New Delhi.(Doxiadis Associates (1960) Programme and Plan, Vols 1 and 2, Capital Development Authority, Rawalpindi.2000), ‘Autoethnography, Personal Narrative, Reflexivity: Researcher as Subject’, in , and (eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research, SAGE, California, pp. 733–768., and (1997) The Nawal El Saadawi Reader, Zed Books, London.(2009), ‘Mumbai Terrorist Wanted to “Kill and Die” and Become Famous’, retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=6385015&page=1(2001), ‘Allure must be Covered: Individuality Peeks Through’, in New York Times, 4 November, pp. 4–14.(1997), ‘Nationalism and State Formation: Women's Struggles and Islamisation in Pakistan’ in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 1, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, 1997, pp. 79–110.(2002), ‘Islam in Public: New Visibilities and New Imaginaries' in Public Culture, 14 (1), Duke University Press, pp. 173–90.(1999) Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance, Berg, Oxford.(2001), ‘“They Use us and Others Abuse us”: Women and MQM Conflict’, in (Ed.), Wome, War and Peace in South Asia: Beyond Victimhood to Agency, SAGE Publications, New Delhi, pp. 177–213.(2002), ‘Islam and Human Rights in Pakistan: A Critical Analysis of the Positions of Three Contemporary Women’, Dawn Review Magazine, Karachi, 7–14 November.(2002), ‘The Power Paradox in Muslim Women's Majales: North-West Pakistani Mourning Rituals as Sites of Contestation over Religious Politics, Ethnicity, and Gender’, in , , and , (eds) Gender, Politics and Islam, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 95–132.(2004), ‘The Construction of “Muslim Women's” Sexuality and the Political use of Tradition and Religion’, presentation at the workshop on Muslim Women and Sexuality at the 2004 World Social Forum, retrieved from http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd%5B157%5D=x-157–41086 (Accessed on 30 November 2005).(2003) Paper Travails: Governance, Graphic Artifacts, and the Built Environment in the Islamabad Metropolitan Area (1959–1998), PhD dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago.(1993), ‘The Dynamics of Power: Military, Bureaucracy, and the People’, in , and , Pakistan, Problems of Governance, Konark Publishers, Delhi.(1996), ‘Women in Pakistani Context: An Overview’ in , and (eds), Reinventing Women, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, pp. 11–21.(1990) (in conversation with G. Spivak), ‘Strategy, Identity, Writing’ in (Ed.) The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, Routledge, New York., , and (1997), ‘The Muslim Religious Right (‘Fundamentalists’) and Sexuality’, Women Living under Muslim Laws, Dossier 17, WLUML Publications, pp. 7–25.([Page 176]International Crisis Group Report (March, 2006) Pakistan: Political Impact of the Earthquake, ICG Asia Briefing No: 46, Islamabad/Brussels.1992), ‘The Convenience of Subservience’ in (ed.), Women, Islam and the State, Temple University Press, Philadelphia.(2002) Self and Sovereignty, Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore.(2009) A Reluctant Mind, http://tazeen.net/2009/09/16/gift-of-gall-or-permanent-lapse-of-reason/ (Accessed on 1 October 2009).(1992) Women, Islam and the State, Temple University Press, Philadelphia.(1994), ‘Muslim Socials and the Female Protagonist: Seeing a Dominant Discourse at Work’ in (Ed.), Forging Identities: Gender Communities and the State, Kali for Women, New Delhi, pp. 226–43.(1994), ‘A Reinterpretation of the State and State Discourse in Pakistan (1977–88)’ in , , and (eds), Locating the Self: Perspectives on Women and Multiple Identities, ASR Publications, Lahore, pp. 22–40.(2010), ‘Inconvenient Facts: Women and Political Representation under Military Regimes’, Democracy Asia, http://www.democracy-asia.org/casestudies_studies_saba_gul_khattak_p2.htm.(1997), ‘Gendered and Violent: Inscribing the Military on the Nation- State’ in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 1, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, pp. 38–52.(1993), ‘Religious and Ethnic Identity among Young Muslim Women in Bradford’, New Community, Vol. 19, pp. 593–610., and (1997), ‘Image Nation: A Visual Text’ in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 2, Simorgh Publications, Lahore.(1999) Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife, University of California Press, Berkeley.(1991) Accommodating Protest: Working Women, the New Veiling, and Change in Cairo’, Columbia University Press, New York.(2002), ‘The Politics of Feminism in Islam’, in , , and (eds), Gender, Politics and Islam, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 53–94.(2001) Women, War and Peace in South Asia: Beyond Victimhood to Agency, SAGE Publications, New Delhi.(1930) Aljihad Fil Islam, Islamic Publications, Lahore.(2007), ‘Yusuf al-Uyairi and the Transnational Expansion of Salafi Jihadism Expansion’. Conference abstract, Kingdom without Borders: Saudi Expansion in the World, Conference programme and abstracts, September, http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/trs/research/certap/archive/kingdom.pdf (Accessed 2 June 2011).(1991) (translated by M. J. Lakeland), Women and Islam, Basil Blackwell Ltd., Oxford.(1994), ‘Reading and Writing about Muslim Women In British India’, in (Ed.) Forging Identities: Gender, Communities and the State, Kali for Women, New Delhi, pp. 1–21.(1996), ‘Introduction: Sacred Words, Sanctioned Practice, New Communities’ in (Ed.), Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe, University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 1–27.(1986) Voices of Silence: English Translation of Hali's Majalis un nissa and Chup Ki Dad, Chanakya Publications, Delhi.([Page 177] (1999), ‘Transnationalism, Feminism, and Fundamentalism’ in , , and (eds), Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State, Duke University Press, Durham and London.1992), ‘Patriarchy and the Politics of Gender in Modernising Societies: Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan’, International Sociology, 7(1), pp. 35–53.(1999) Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism: The Limits of Post-modern Analysis, Oxford University Press, Karachi.(1987) Women of Pakistan: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, Zed Books, London., and (1994), ‘Identity Politics and Women: ‘Fundamentalism’ & Women in Pakistan’, in (Ed.), Identity Politics and Women: Cultural Reassertions and Feminisms in International Perspective, Westview Press, Boulder, pp. 228–42.(1998) Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples, Viking, New Delhi.(2000) On Air, Oxford University Press, Karachi. Newsline (2001), February and April issues, Fazlee Sons, Karachi.(1982), ‘Purdah in Pakistan: Seclusion and Modern Occupations for Women’ in , and (eds), Separate Worlds, South Asia Books, Delhi, pp. 190–216.(The Pearls of Wisdom (2004), Al Huda Publications.1984) Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.(1998) Language and Politics in Pakistan, Oxford University Press, Karachi.(1997), ‘Gender(ed) Struggles: The State, Religion and Civil Society’, in , , and (eds), Against All Odds: Essays on Women, Religion and Development from India and Pakistan, Kali for Women, India, pp. 16–34.(1984) Shame, Picador, London.(1991) Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981–1991, Granta Books, London.(1995) Knowledge and Identity: Articulation of Gender in Educational Discourse in Pakistan, ASR Publications, Lahore.(1997), ‘Introduction’, in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 1, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, pp. 1–28.(1997a), ‘The Gendering of Modernity: Nineteenth Century Educational Discourse’, in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 1, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, pp. 155–86.(2002) Living Islam: Women, Religion & the Politicization of Culture in Turkey, I. B. Tauris, London.(2001), ‘Misogynistic Trends in Islamic Jurisprudence—A Feminist Perspective’, in (Ed.), Women: Myth and Realities, Hawa Associates, Lahore, pp. 142–158.(2002) Kartography, Oxford University Press, Karachi.(2002), ‘Unveiling Pakistan’, Herald, Issue (1) Dawn Publications, Karachi, pp. 140–43.(2007), ‘June 07: The Pakistan Military Economy’, http://www.individual-land.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52:june-07-the-pakistan-military-economy&catid=7:2007&Itemid=98([Page 178], and (2009), ‘The Caste of Faith’, Herald, Dawn Publications, Karachi, January, pp. 84–87.1992) The Rhetoric of English India, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.(Taleem-ul-Quran Diploma Brochure, (2002) (Brochure for Enrolling in Al Huda Diploma Classes) Al Huda Publications, Islamabad.Taleem-ul-Quran Parah 4, (2002a) (Audio-cassette of Hashmi's commentary of the Quranic Surah 4 Al-Nisa), Suniyay Aur Sunwaiyay Products, Al Huda Publications, Islamabad.2002) Behishti Zewar (translated by Darul Ishat), Matba'al Rasheed, Karachi.(1997), ‘The State, Fundamentalism and Civil Society’, in , , and (eds), Engendering the Nation State, Vol. 1, Simorgh Publications, Lahore, pp. 111–46.(2000), ‘Religion and Diaspora’, Paper presented at the conference on ‘New Landscapes of Religion in the West’, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.(1990) The Migration Process: Capital, Gifts and Offerings among British Pakistanis, Berg Publishers, Oxford.(1996), ‘Stamping the Earth in the name of Allah: Zikr and the Sacralizing of Space among British Muslims’. Cultural Anthropology 11(3), University of California Press, pp. 309–38.(2002) Imagined Diasporas among Manchester Muslims, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe.(1997), ‘Ethnicity, Gender Relations and Multiculturalism’ in , and (eds), Debating Cultural Hybridity, Zed Books, London, pp. 193–208.(
About the Author