Daily Archives: July 4, 2010

Can an Islamic State be Secular?

Amaar Ahmad has written another thought-provoking and bold post for PTH. His argument and approach needs to be taken seriously if we have to overcome our current predicament and survive as a country. Raza Rumi

It can be argued that the minimum definition of a secular state is one that permits all its citizens to freely practice, profess and propagate their religion (or the lack thereof) and it does not enact laws which discriminates in worldly affairs between citizens on the basis of their faith. Can an Islamic state offer a constitution and an environment which meets this description of secularism?

If you seek an affirmative answer using the orthodox version of Islam as represented by our conservative politico-religious groups then you are going to be disappointed. But if you analyze the mission of Prophet Muhammad (sw) rationally then you are likely to be pleasantly surprised. The more you see into his life the greater the gulf you find between his actions (Sunnah) and that of our so-called Islamic leaders. The following ten arguments would show that the demagogues and self-righteous Mullahs have completely subverted the teachings of Islam:

1. Freedom to practise religion:
As ruler of Arabia, Prophet Muhammad granted a charter to Christians by declaring for them the freedom to freely practice their faith. The pact guaranteed that any Christian can profess his or her faith, that no Christian woman can forcibly be converted by her Muslim husband and that Muslims are supposed to respect and protect churches. This letter, sent to St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, was an unprecedented testament to the magnanimity and liberality of Prophet Muhammad in an era when the world did not know tolerance. It is therefore extremely embarrassing that modern Muslim countries limit the practice of other faiths within their dominions.

2. Freedom of worship:
There were hundreds of idols in the sacred Kaaba that had been built by Abraham and consecrated for the worship of one God. Before he returned as the conqueror (and therefore as a ruler), the Prophet spent fifty years of his life in Mecca but never took the law in his own hands to demolish them. Certain puritanical brands of Islam, however, make it incumbent on themselves to ‘cleanse’ shrines and mosques of any trace of Shirk (polytheism). The hideous attack on Data Darbar in Lahore which is a mausoleum of an Islamic mystic is therefore yet another transgression by these deviants. Continue reading


Filed under culture, Islam, Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism