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Jizya Against Nationalism: Abul Ala Maududi's Attempt at Decolonizing Sovereignty

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 04:30am

Abul Ala Maududi

A talk by Humeira Iqtidar, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Department of Political Economy, Kings College London

This paper takes seriously Maududi's interest in decolonizing political ideas and concepts, and elaborates his concerns through a focus on his critique of nationalism. The criticism of nationalism that Maududi, an influential Islamist thinker, articulated has long been noted. However, the depth of his critique, and its implications, remain under-explored, perhaps due to the positive normative associations with anti-colonial nationalism. I argue that Maududi's reliance on Jizya, a tax on non-Muslim citizens of his ideal Islamic state, could be seen as a creative reworking of an older practice to provide a conceptual and political tool to correct what he saw as the fundamental problem within Euro-American democracies: the pretence of equality of citizenship while minorities remained oppressed. His solution is flawed and deeply problematic, but opens productive avenues for assessing the claims of contemporary liberal nationalists. 

Location : VD 301, College Ave Campus
Humeira Iqtidar is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Politics at the Department of Political Economy, King's College London. She is the author of Secularizing Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Urban Pakistan (Chicago). Her most recent publication is "How Long is Life? Neoliberalism and Islamic Piety" (Critical Inquiry).
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