While developmental theorists rely heavily on analysis of macro and micro economic theories and developmental sequencing, not much attention is paid to the undeniable linkage between the post-seventies liberalization of global economies and the rise of different kinds of religious fundamentalism. This article suggests that there is a strong connection between neoliberal economics and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan can be directly linked to the insertion of performative religious acts, predominantly Islamic, into the national public sphere during the rule of Zia-ul-Haq. Since that time, the public sphere in Pakistan has been increasingly Islamized, and the space of minorities within the public sphere has constantly diminished. Furthermore, this rise of fundamentalism is inextricably linked with the deregulation policies adopted for Pakistan. Thus, as the state fails in its redemptive functions, the private religious charities encroach upon the civic functions of the state, which enables such entities to shape and imbue the public consciousness of their beneficiaries with an exclusivist and chauvinistic view of the world. The fundamentalist Islamic ideologies, that of the Taliban for example, must posit a threatening “other” in order to mobilize support and legitimate their own view of the nation; In most of cases, minorities become an easy target for this process of othering. In case of the Taliban, the same principles of exclusion are also extended to various Muslim sects that may not conform to the purist view of religion espoused by the Taliban.
Raja, Masood Ashraf Ph.D.
"Neoliberal Dispositif and the Rise of Fundamentalism: The Case of Pakistan,"
Journal of International and Global Studies: Vol. 3:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/jigs/vol3/iss1/2
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