The phenomenon of the worldwide spread of Islamic Fundamentalism has captured the attention of political leaders in all nations (Avineri, 1993, pp. 410-413). The resurgence of Islamic Fundamentalism has been particularly strong in Pakistan (Altman, 1994, pp. 8-10). The research examines the rise and the role of Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan.
The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism In Pakistan
Islamic fundamentalism is a movement whose aim is to return Islamic society and religion to essential and traditional Islamic values, as those values are understood, interpreted, and enunciated by the adherents of Islamic fundamentalism (Sayeed, 1990, p. 4). In the context of returning a society and a religion to the essential and traditional values as those values are understood, interpreted, and enunciated by one faction within a society, Islamic fundamentalism is similar to Christian fundamentalism in the United States, Orthodox Judaism in Israel, and Hindu fundamentalism in India, as all these fundamentalist groups see themselves as the only true defenders of God against secular modernism (Lawrence, 1990, pp. 36-37). The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the contemporary world can be traced to the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Hiro, 1990, p. 24). The Islamic Revolution in Iran occurred in 1979, and in the intervening 15 years, much of the promise of the revolution for Iran has faded. The revolution has, however, wrought significant political and social changes within Iran, whether or not it has lived up to all its promises.
The Iranian revolution, however, is significant beyond the borders of Iran. The Shi'a branch of Islam is dominant in Iran, although it is a minority Islamic sect outside of Iran. Shi'a throughout the world, however, are united both by a shared interpretation of the Islamic faith, and by a shared feeling of persecution at the hands of other branches of Islam. Thus, the Islamic government in...