Behavioral Changes and Social Development – Challenges & Way Forward; A Comparison of Islamic and Secular Models
Society in Pakistan remained unable to develop such positive behavioral traits as can bring about participative political and equitable economic institutions. Main reason is the absence of consensus on the basis of social values. Ever since the creation of Pakistan, there has been a competition between Muslim masses who won a new country in the name of Islam and modernist ruling elites whose lifestyle is imprinted by the western cultural values. Besides, inroads from global culture and attempts by the western world to secularize Muslim societies on the pretext of curbing militant Islamic movements further aggravated the social conflict.
Foreign support to secularist lobbies in the country together with reluctance of ruling elites to make legislations in accordance with ideology of Pakistan resulted in increasing polarization and ideological confoundedness in the society. Consequently, the society generally becomes bereft of virtues that can cement a nationhood and instill a national pride among masses. This not only afflicted the national identity but also left the society defenseless against local and foreign vested interests. In the absence of any social conflict management mechanism, the polarization spiraled into extremism, violence and militancy.
In modern times every nation state needs some narrative for uniting its people on a common cause and thereby creating pride in national identity. Presenting secularism as nation-building narrative on the pretext of curbing radical Islamic militancy, as suggested by the western gurus, is a death knell for the homeostasis of any Muslim society, in particular, the ideologically created Pakistan. This is because secularism is essentially antithetical to Islam as it denies the role of Divinity in state affairs and public life. The real counter narrative to militancy is to be based on the example of the State of Madinah Munawarah. To this end, wide dissemination of true Islamic teachings is required. These teachings emphasize tolerance towards pluralism while preserving the pride in Islamic individuality simultaneously. This will not only be in line with the Objective Resolution, an agreed upon social contract of the nation, but will also be readily accepted by the masses giving them a sense of ideological fulfilment. Erosion of the acceptance for militancy in the name of Islam and secular narrative will then automatically follow.