“Sufism Is Antivirus”: Cosmological Politics of Tolerance, Peace and Passivity in Pakistan

CAST Research Seminar with Ida Sofie Matzen "“Sufism Is Antivirus”: Cosmological Politics of Tolerance, Peace and Passivity in Pakistan".

Sufism, also known as the spiritual dimension of Islam, is often depicted as apolitical in nature with Sufi followers accentuating the inwardly over the outwardly and thus as disengaged from worldly matters. Nonetheless, Sufis do indeed play significant political roles in Pakistan, not least because Sufism, through the years, has been invoked and utilized by different rulers. But also, and this will be overall contention of the paper, can Sufism be seen as political in yet another way, that is, Sufi cosmological thoughts and practices present and stress a political logic evolving around notions and acts of tolerance and peace. Inspired by ‘securitization theory’ Ida Sofie Matzen propose to see Sufism as a special kind of politics, and suggest that Sufism might in fact urge us to expand the boundaries of what a concept of ‘the political’ might contain.