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Pakistan, Islam in

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Pakistan, Islam in

    Second largest Muslim nation in the world and the only country established in the name of Islam. Founded in 1947 as a homeland for Indian Muslims. The resurgence of Indian Islam began with Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh movement of educational and religio-political reforms, which insisted on political autonomy and protection of the rights of Indian Muslims. The All-India Muslim League worked with the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress for independence from the British but became convinced that the religious, cultural, and political interests of the Indian Muslim community could not be safeguarded in a postindependence India dominated by a Hindu majority. Thus it adopted the goal of creating a separate state for Muslims. Mohammad Ali Jinnah , the founder of Pakistan, envisioned the new state to be a liberal Muslim democratic state. Major debates since independence have concerned the appropriate role of Islam in the state, the exercise of Islamic law, and the Islamization of society and economy. Islamization measures were introduced between 1977 and 1988 by Zia-ul-Haq , including hudud punishments, compulsory collection and distribution of zakah and ushr taxes, establishment of shariah courts, partial elimination of interest from the banking system, and revision of school textbooks to reflect an Islamic slant. Numerous Islamically oriented political parties participate in the political process and agitate for the further implementation of traditional Islamic law in Pakistan. Approximately 97 percent of Pakistanis are Muslim. The majority are Sunnis following the Hanafi school of Islamic law. Between 10 and 15 percent are Shiis, mostly Twelvers. Privately managed mosques and madrasas have provided a base for an independent, and often oppositional, role by the religious establishment.

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