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Pakistan: Jinnah, Zafarullah and Theocracy

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COMMENT: The partition of Punjab — II — Yasser Latif Hamdani

Is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today not a theocratic state? Does it not discriminate against Christians, Hindus and other non-Muslims?

Continuing from last week, we come to Jinnah’s so-called Islamic pronouncements, which matter, at best, is an incidental tangent from the main issue but since it was raised by Mr Shakil Chaudhry in his article (Daily Times, July 26, 2012) , it needs to be addressed.

The claim that Jinnah was secular needs to be understood before it can be argued for or against. The claim that Jinnah was secular does not necessarily pre-suppose that all utterances of Jinnah the politician were consistently secular, especially when put against secularism as we understand it today. That Jinnah used the Islamic idiom on occasion is a fact and not necessarily an inconvenient fact for those who argue for Jinnah’s secular vision. Substance not form trumps rhetoric.

If Jinnah’s pronouncements are taken in entirety, it becomes obvious that while he might have referred to Islamic principles and even Muslim ideology on occasion, his vision for a state — whether united India or Pakistan — was always essentially secular. That is, Jinnah emphasised a pluralistic polity where religion would be the personal faith of an individual, not the matter of the state and where permanent cultural majorities — be they Hindu or Muslim — would not dominate permanent cultural minorities. Those Islamists hiding behind Jinnah’s ambiguous references to Islam or Islamic socialism should answer this simple question: what would Jinnah have thought of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2012, which persecutes people on the basis of faith, determines who is Muslim and who is not, imposes restrictions of food, dress, etc ? The answer — if anyone from any side of the ideological divide is honest enough — is that Jinnah would have cringed at the idea of being hailed as the founder of a theocratic Islamic Republic of the kind we are today. Not just his political idealism, which spanned four decades — as an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity — but his own social and material conditions dictate that Jinnah would have never wanted such a state in the first place.

Jinnah was a ‘Shia-Khoja Mohammedan’, as per the affidavit filed by his sister, Fatima Jinnah and his trusted colleague, Liaquat Ali Khan, who had heterodox beliefs, including a law of inheritance based on the Hindu law. The most ‘westernised’ Muslim leader in the history of South Asia, who flouted all dietary laws of Islam and had no truck with religious observances known as pillars of Islam, would have been out of place in the kind of society we have created in the name of Islam in this hapless country of ours.

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Posted by on August 5, 2012. Filed under Asia,Pakistan,Secularism,Separation of Church and State. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Responses to Pakistan: Jinnah, Zafarullah and Theocracy

  1. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    August 6, 2012 at 3:56 am

    To an outside observer (non-Pakistani) the Pakistani’s ‘admiration’ for Mohammed Ali Jinnah does seem a bit strange, considering that – as mentioned above – he did not observe any Islamic rules for himself. OK, his ‘vision’ for Pakistan as a ‘moderate’ state was fine, but it would have been nice if he at least behaved as a ‘moderate Muslim’ himself… just a thought…

  2. Anisa

    August 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Whatever his faith was, all the Muslim, regardless, took him as their supreme leader and trusted,respected him as a leader should be respected. Even including those who were against his ideology of Pakistan had to submit to him for time being. They could not part the Muslims at that time. Because the level of religious or regional or lingual discrimination, in Muslims, in those times was far far better then that of today.
    Collectively this bunch of traitors that for time being submitted to his ideology. Hence they were able to achieve the miraculous success of Pakistan.
    If Pakistanis could understand how much this “firqua bandi” and discrimination between the sects has harmed their beloved religion and land, they would definitely refrain from it.
    If and only if all of them could unite in the name of Allah, His messenger and the book.
    But who cares about all these thing as long as the Mullah is there to misguide them.
    Qaid-e-Azam was a man of principals and practice.
    He may not be religious but he was an honest sincere individual who had the vision of a true leadership.
    But the black sheeps that camouflaged like the “munafiqoon” (the traitors) did not sit back and watch. They were right from the beginning secretly active to take hold of the countries leadership.
    They were status hungry and ambitious for power and wealth.
    The ideology for which Pakistan ( the land of Pure’s) was created, was not their agenda at all. They were dictated by the left behind masters and freinds, for they had earlier called the idea of Pakistan’S creation as “paleedistaan” (the land of impure’s).
    Unfortunately now Pakistan is in the hands of the people that have the ideology of “divide and rule”. This is their main agenda. And this is what has brought Pakistan into the pit of destruction.
    But these power hungry blood sucker bunch of certain calibre are still sucking from its jugular vein.
    Alas! for this fateful nation. That was robbed of it’s peace soon after the day of its birth.Alas!!!!

  3. MNA KHAN

    August 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    In the start Quaid-E-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was in Congress and He tried his best through his 14 points that no partition exist and Muslims should be given equal rights but when He saw the Hindu majority not ready to give equal right to Muslim minority so He thought and take a challenge to build a country to show all the world that no Persecution will be allowed in our country (Pakistan). All citizens of Pakistan will be given equal rights as our religion Islam says “No compulsion in Religion”(La Iqrah Fi Din).
    The Founder of Pakistan Qaid-E-Azam said :-
    “Ahmadis are Muslims, If They Say They are Muslims and No One, Not Even the Sovereign Legislature, has the Right to Say Otherwise”. Muhammad Ali Jinnah (05 May 1944).
    So Quaid-E-Azam was a liberal Muslim leader.
    Quaid-E-Azam the founder of Pakistan was totally against the theocracy ( Mullah-ism).
    Quaid-E-Azam wants a Pakistan having good relations to all the world especially with neighboring countries. Once He said He want to keep relation with India as USA and Canada have.
    So Quaid wants to make Pakistan as like Canada.
    But after the death of Quaid the country is sidetracked and slowly and gradually theocratic mentality became dominated in Pakistan which put our beloved country in the hell of Fundamentalism and Terrorism the result is isolation from all the world

  4. Anisa

    August 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Good analysis. Quite informative.Masha’Allah.

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