Cross Post from Daily Times
Published July 13, 2010
By Ishtiaq Ahmed
Rather than hate India, we should learn from India. It has five times a greater population, far greater ethnic and linguistic variation and myriads of religious faiths and cults. It is not a democracy in the social sense but it is a sophisticated democracy in the political sense
I have presented, mainly, the exclusive model of nationalism and state-nationalism that I have argued emerged in Pakistan, notwithstanding the very bold attempt of Jinnah to supplant it with inclusive nationalism. Exclusive nationalism — whether based on race or religion or some other cultural factor — discriminates, constitutionally, people who do not qualify as members of the community because they do not share the specific cultural ties that have been chosen to define the nation, even if they live in the same territory. Israel is a case in point. Jews from anywhere in the world can come and settle in its territories but not Palestinians who may have lived there in 1948 or in 1967 or in 1973. Only Jews have a timeless law-of-return privileging them over the Palestinians.
The question arises: are states and nations fixed and frozen forever or can things change for the better? In other words, can an exclusive type of nationalism be transcended by an inclusive type of nationalism? The answer is, yes. After all, the nations of Western Europe were originally founded on membership in the State Church. Before World War II, most states in Western Europe required membership in the State Church in order to hold public office. Thus, for example, Sweden, where and my family and I are now settled, required even schoolteachers to be members of the Lutheran State Church.
Filed under Democracy, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, secular Pakistan
Faisal Naseem has sent us this letter to the editor already published in a daily newspaper. It is worth citing here for it brings forth an alternative perspective on the current hysteria over the Punjab Assembly resolution. Raza Rumi
This is with reference to the resolution by the Punjab Assembly condemning the media for its alleged irresponsibility. Here is the answer to all those who think this tantamounts to damaging democracy. One might recall Justice M. R. Kiyani’s speech on the issue of ‘Freedom of Press’ that he delivered while speaking to journalists of the International Press Association, Zurich. (Ref. ‘Not The Whole Truth’ Pg. No. 193) in which he had observed, “If the press has a right to be free, the individual whom it represents has also a right to his standing in life and not to be defamed; the society for which it caters also has a right to maintain a certain standard of decency and guard against corrupting influences. The journalist may argue that in a free country, the press has a right to publish everything in the first instance, as there is a right to eat everything. But if you eat a snake, you take the consequences”. Continue reading
A Muslim mob in Jhelum, Pakistan murdered the wife and four children of a Christian last month, but local authorities are too afraid of the local Muslim leader to file charges, according to area Muslim and Christian sources.
Thu, Jul. 08, 2010 Posted: 02:04 PM EDT
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Compass Direct News) – A Muslim mob in Jhelum, Pakistan murdered the wife and four children of a Christian last month, but local authorities are too afraid of the local Muslim leader to file charges, according to area Muslim and Christian sources.
Jamshed Masih, a police officer who was transferred 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Gujrat to Jhelum, Punjab Province, said a mob led by Muslim religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan killed his family on June 21 after Khan called him to the local mosque and told him to leave the predominantly Muslim colony. Jhelum is 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Islamabad.
“You must leave with your family, no non-Muslim has ever been allowed to live in this colony – we want to keep our colony safe from scum,” Khan told Masih, the bereaved Christian told Compass. Continue reading