jump to navigation

Theory #947: The Jinnah Effect 13 September 2006

Posted by ALBUS in Culture, GUESTS, Politics, Psychology.

Leaders of Muslim student groups become more conservative upon assuming office. Several reasons for this shift can be identified:

1. Conservative positions enhance the legitimacy of religious leaders.

2. Faced with the prospect of divine accountability, decision-makers are more likely to ‘err on the safe side’ by adopting conservative positions.

3. As a consequence of 1 and 2, student leaders come to see themselves as genuinely more conservative than they once thought. Some call this accommodation, others maturity.



1. talib - 14 September 2006

there are some leaders who are exactly as theory #947 describe. there are other muslim student leaders who don’t change once assuming office. they maintain that their constituencies were aware of their religious views and elected them because of them, which may or may not be the case. eventually those particular views are legitimized and there is a trickle down effect such that students who would normally ‘err on the safe or neutral side’, begin to adopt less conservative stances. those students are then elected in coming years, and follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. this cycle continues until a large body of very conservative students come into the group and ‘crack down’. such conservativism is hard to maintain and eventually, after some more years, things settle in the middle, teetering, waiting for the next liberal or conservative leaders to tip the scale.

all this would lead me to believe that if you want to make someone more ‘conservative’, you shouldn’t necessarily elect him/her to office. ‘maturity’ is not always a good thing.

2. ABD - 17 September 2006

i think talib has a point—at any rate, he sounds like he’s speaking from experience (:

3. a sinner - 21 September 2006

Assalamu alaikum,

nice post and comment, brother mozaffar and talib.

i am only ever so slighly less than positive that i know talib and that he knows me, and, yes, abd, he is speaking from experience. i am also positively surprised to have happenned upon this post as i have.

another possibility, factor rather, that screams out at me:

the more ‘conservative’ positions are usually the more correct positions. [these are the days in which one feels he must justify a statement like that. i will not, other than to say this: i will not do so, just as i will not endeavor to prove that the sun is hot or the grass is green or that, for instance, (as muslims seemed to understand not but a decade ago) acting as homosexuals choose to act is a perverted choice which attracts deserved humiliation now and painful punishment later.]

the truth is always distinct from that which is other than truth, and is usually astoundingly self-evident to those Allah azza wa jall blesses to recognize it, astoundingly self-evident and nearly impossible to turn away from in favor of that which is further from, or worse, blatently against the truth–the Quran, its message, and its correct interpretation, as taught to us by the best of mankind, alaihissalaatu wassalam, those who knew him best, and those that have followed them uninteruptedly in piety and scholarship to today.

4. ABD - 21 September 2006

wa alaykum as-salaam,

a sinner‘ raises a vital consideration. i think the third point of the original post alludes to it, although it could have been more explicit.

but if we take this suggestion on board, the question then becomes: do the more sociological reasons listed in the original post still play a role? and, if so, do they complicate the picture? one possibility would be that they simply support the correct (i.e., conservative) position. hence the conclusion of maturity. another would be that the leadership at times needs to adopt unconventional positions—but is discouraged from doing so because of sociological reasons.

my own, tentative, opinion is that the second possibility exists (i.e., that less “conservative” positions are sometimes required), but that the sociological constraints against such views are nevertheless a good thing. (i expand on this point in my “Tradition Good.” post.) and Allah knows best.

btw, this is not a MOZAFFAR but rather an ALBUS post.

5. talib - 21 September 2006

wa alaikumussalaam wa rahmatullah,

i also do not think it is necessary to justify a sinner’s assertion. nevertheless, i will try.

the more conservative opinions are usually the correct ones by definition. as Albus says, they are on the ‘safe side’. and when one, driven by fear of his/her Lord and overall ‘God-consciousness’, chooses to keep his/her sheep well away from the king’s pasture, this is in itself a success, a victory, and the wise choice.

but are we saying that people who take less conservative positions are less ‘God-consciousness’? no. in fact we shouldn’t think such things. rather we can employ the valid excuse that such leaders (as described in my post) believe that the less ‘conservative’ decisions will lead to something beneficial (worldly and otherworldy). i assume that’s the only reason one would take the less conservative position, or rather, the only reason we can with regards to husn ul zdhan attribute to someone taking the less conservative position.

if this is indeed the reasoning of the less conservative leader, then the natural question arises of whether or not one is, as a muslim, allowed to transgress, take the ‘un-safe’ route or come to the borders of transgression as a means toward some self-defined ‘benefit’. i heavily lean towards not because 1) analytically, it seems illogical that the Creator would create beneficial, halal ends accessible only through haram, transgressing means. (if you feel you have to transgress to achieve success, you’re not trying hard enough) 2) through an examination of the sunnah and the example of pious men and women of the past, such a methodology is not to be found in employment in any of their affairs.

6. Geography, Telecast » I got featured! - 25 October 2006

[…] Also read, after you’re done reading my poem, The Jinnah Complex, which was very thought-provoking, but about which I could think of nothing to say. So I just had thoughts. […]

7. R - 26 October 2006

i have nothing to add here; only wished to say jazakum Allahu khayr for sharing such interesting observations and good points.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: