Tag Archives: britain

Was Jinnah secular?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani 

(In wake of the national debate on ideology and textbooks, Mr. Raza Rumi, the founder and editor of Pakteahouse, recently asked me to revisit the issue of Jinnah’s secularism through a comprehensive blog-post. This blog post is written for PTH exclusively and may be reproduced by giving PTH credit.)

Many people (though not all) on all sides of the ideology divide in Pakistan take umbrage with the description of Mahomed Ali Jinnah – the anglicized founder of Pakistan- as a secular leader or a secularist. Islamists in Pakistan say that he wanted an Islamic state. Islamic modernists say he wanted a modern Islamic democratic state (whatever that means), some people from the left say he was a communalist who was not secular because he championed Muslim separatism (albeit only in the last 11 years of his life). All of these groups agree that if Jinnah had been secular, it would not have been necessary to make a separate state. All of them – unconvincingly and inaccurately- claim that those who lay claim to a secular Jinnah are basing it on a solitary speech of Jinnah made on 11 August 1947. A slightly different claim is made by the Wali Khan group- which is ideologically consistent if historically errant- which claims that Jinnah wanted a secular state and that his push for Pakistan was the result of British manipulation and divide and rule which made him utilize Islamist rhetoric for the creation of Pakistan. While respecting all these points of view, I disagree with all of them and through this article I will explain why. Continue reading

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Britain Lobbying For Musharraf?

This is disturbing news on the eve of our independence day.  Why is Britain lobbying for Musharraf in Pakistan?  Whether we decide to charge him, imprison him or elect him prime minister is our business.  What is Britain’s locus standi in the matter? -YLH

Sir Mark Lyall Grant, political director of the Foreign Office and a former High Commissioner in Islamabad, was reported to have visited the former premier Nawaz Sharif and urged him not to press for Mr Musharraf to be extradited to Pakistan to face trial over his imposition of emergency rule in November 2007. Continue reading

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Should Muslim Children Receive Sex Education?

This news story represents in our view all that is wrong with Muslims in general but Muslim minorities in the west in particular who are hell bent on rejecting western civilization and western values to an extent that they end up becoming infinitely more rigid and maniacal about faith than Muslims from Muslim majority countries.   There is nothing wrong with sex education in schools and in a market place of ideas, Muslim parents ought to try and make their ideas more palatable to their children.   And if western values are so unbearable, move back (and be prepared to find out that people in your motherlands are NOT like you either).   Otherwise embrace your new homes wholeheartedly.  But please stop this drama for god’s sake.-YLH

By Lila Green

In an underground hall at the London Central Mosque in Regent Street, a group of parents sitting on plastic chairs is clustered around a power point. A small, neatly dressed man at the front welcomes them, introducing himself as Yusuf Patel. “As Muslims we believe in values,” he says, “We believe in haraam and halal, but sex and relationship education (SRE) teaching in this country does not provide this. It is the responsibility of parents to see their children educated, but not at the expense of these values.”

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Remembering Bashir Ahmed MSP

Bashir Ahmed Member Scottish Parliament.

Bradistan Calling

I first saw Bashir Ahmed on UK’s Pakistani channel (Pakistani channel was a result of the split between Pakistani TV Asia and Zee TV Europe). Second time I saw Bashir Ahmed was on BBC Parliament channel giving a speech to Scottish Parliament about Pakistan and its economy. A few days ago, I saw his Picture on a News website with a notice of his death and the news item that his seat in parliament has been filled by female deputy from his party SNP.

Bashir Ahmad MSP, politician and businessman, born 12 February 1940; died 6 February 2009 of a sudden heart failure.

In 2007 Bashir Ahmed became the first Asian (Pakistani) and first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament when he was elected one of the four regional members representing city of Glasgow. Bashir Ahmad was born in Punjab, and in 1961 moved to Scotland. He recalled arriving at Glasgow airport (Sadly in June 2007 Muslim-Indian/Iraqi terrorists attacked Glasgow airport with a home-made car bomb) from Pakistan not speaking a word of English. A bus driver went off his route to help Bashir to his house. This was Scottish hospitality for Bashir, when Americans were suffering racial segregation on the buses.

 He worked initially as a bus conductor before setting up in business, eventually owning shops, restaurants and a hotel. He also co-founded the Pakistan Welfare Organisation.

 Bashir Ahmad joined Scottish National Party in 1995 and set up the group Scots Asians for Independence from UK. In a speech at the SNP’s conference he told Scots: “It’s not where we came from that’s important, it’s where we’re going together.” The work Bashir Ahmad put in making Scotland perhaps the only place in Europe where multiculturalism isn’t a dirty word, meant that across the political spectrum there is an acceptance that all come to the table of Scotland with different badges of identities, cultures and faiths – but sit round it in ease and with respect.

Pakistani business people have become multi-millionaires and British Members of Parliament (In 1997 Mr. Mohammed Sarwar -Labour Party- became the First Pakistani MP in UK also from Glasgow. Currently six Pakistanis and one Kashmiri are Members of British Parliament and House of lords).

 Bashir Ahmad joined the SNP national executive committee in 1998 and when in 1999 Scottish parliament was constituted he was ninth on the SNP’s Glasgow list for the first Scottish parliamentary elections. In 2003 he was elected to represent the Pollokshields East(an area famous for Pakistani restaurants) of Glasgow city council, becoming the SNP’s first Asian (Pakistani) councillor.

 In 2007 Bashir Ahmed was elected an MSP. He took his seat at Holyrood wearing traditional Pakistani dress and swore his oath in both English and Urdu (like the Nobel Prize acceptance speech by Dr Abdu-Salam or Dr Kamal Qureshi -the Member of Parliament Denmark-  audience with Queen Margarette).

He served on various cross-party groups, for human rights and civil liberties, for carers, for older people, age and ageing, and the group for Tartan(Scotland national costume male kilt which looks like a female skirt) Day. He took his Muslim faith and Pakistani culture seriously.

A number of people tell how they had been touched by his warmth and kindness. His generosity did not have barriers of caste, race or religion. He helped many deserving Pakistani students and workers in times of need without expectation of rewards or gratitude.

May, His Soul Rest in Peace.Ameen

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Filed under Activism, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Economy, Education, Elections, Europe, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Islam, Languages, Left, minorities, movements, Pakistan, Parliament, Politics, poverty, Punjabi, Rights, Society, south asia, Travel

AFRIDI!!!

Pakistans-Shahid-Afridi-001 

Shahid Afridi’s mercurial all-round talents carried Pakistan through to their second successive ICC World Twenty20 final, as South Africa yet again fell at the penultimate hurdle.

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