Tag Archives: secular

Saving a drowning country needs an ideological shift

Nasima Zehra Awan’s passionate post for the Pak Tea House

You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques……..Religion is not the business of the State”.   Thus spoke Jinnah, whilst addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

Sixty three years later, this is what our honorable Chief Justice has to say: “Parliament with Unlimited Powers can secularize state” (Source:  DAWN,Monday August 16, 2010)
Won’t that be a good thing, judge saheb!

At a time when our country is intellectually and morally bankrupt because of its moorings as a national security state built on the toxic teachings of Maududi, isn’t secularism the way to get out of this mess.  Instead of spending tens of billions to support a failed national security state, “a fortress of Islam” if you will, wouldn’t Pakistan have been better off with sustained representative governments that could have gone past the Kalabagh dam issue and built provincial consensus for half a dozen other dams that could have greatly reduced
the current catastrophe.
Unfortunately for Pakistan, this Judiciary, like most of its predecessors follows the ethos of the bureaucracy-security establishment, not the parliament or gasp, the principles of law and constitutionalism.  That would entail that
they ditch the prevailing sentiment, nay, control of Jamaat Islami at all the Bar Councils and actually allow the elected representatives of the people to draft and discuss legislation that would make Pakistan a functional state in the 21st century, not an faux Ommayad Caliphate of the 8th century!

The Judges and their media supporters and urban elite cheerleaders are obsessed with going after the elected leaders of one party and folk singers; the two actually have the same political powers in Pakistan today.  The dare not go
after Jihadi sectarian leaders who have rendered Pakistan into a wasteland.  The damages incurred by these Jihadis;  thousands of Pakistanis killed including the targeting of professionals belonging to minority sects and religions, the tens of billions of destroyed property and lost investment is incalculable.  These are the fruits that the State of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has reaped by constructing itself in the vision of Maududi and Qutb.

However, in the chauvinist and elitest debates about corruption, there is NO mention of the billions that are taken at every budget without audit, the tens of billions taken from foreign powers who are subsequently vilified by the same and the trillions that are made by using the country as a corporate and real estate business entity.  After all, how will this debate start while we continuously see ourselves not as a modern, democratic and secular state but as the
realization of the Islamist neurosis of failed ideologues who see a warped view of religion and not shared human values, as the basis for a functional society. Continue reading

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Was Gandhi Secular ?

Shahran Asim’s contribution for PTH

I know in our Pakistan Studies we have always read that Mahatma Gandhi was not secular and he did ‘nt want Muslim minority to have their share in the post partition scenario. When I raised these questions, someone suggested me to listen to his speeches which have been posted by an organization called Gandhi Server Foundation (www.gandhiserve.org). It is a great historical resource of information related to Mahatma Gandhi, contains his audio library , his letters to Quaid-e-Azam, Nehru and others, etc.

I have selected this speech which was addressed to Hindus but is is mostly related to create peace and harmony among the Hindus and Muslims. Please listen to Gandhi on Muslims, start from 3 mins and I would suggest to
listen it completely. How he praised the contribution of Muslims to India, Urdu, etc.
Continue reading

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THE WILL OF THE FATHER OF THIS NATION

Nusrat Pasha

Few nations are as fortunate as us, in that the founder of our nation has left behind for us explicit guidelines and profound words of guidance, in relation to the involvement of Religion in matters of the state.These words of wisdom embody the Will of Jinnah to the nation he founded. This nation still has hope if it succeeds in reverting to Jinnah’s Will :

1 : “….Religion should not be allowed to come into Politics….Religion is merely a matter between man and God”.[Jinnah, Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, 7 February 1935].

In this principled statement Jinnah draws a clear line between Politics and Religion, and also defines the parameters of Religion by the words “between man and God”. This statement of his harbours the soul and spirit of Secular Statecraft.

2 : “….in the name of Humanity, I care more for them [the Untouchables] than for Mussalmans. ” [Jinnah, Speaking about the Shudras or Untouchables, during his address at the All India Muslim League session at Delhi, 1934].

Jinnah’s pro-minority thinking is once again patent from these words. These words were not uttered before a Hindu gathering, which if they were, could have led some to argue that perhaps he was trying to win their favour. These words were, in fact, uttered during his address at a Muslim League session.

3 : “….I am NOT fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan.” [Jinnah, Press Conference, 14 November 1946] Continue reading

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Religious Liberalism – Our Greatest Hope?

A.A Khalid has sent us his exclusive post for PTH. It is quite gratifying to note that PTH is becoming a hub for many of us who want things to improve without using the violent means and indiscriminate jihadist agenda. Raza Rumi

Is religious liberalism an oxymoron, or is it something long established? More to the point is there something known as Islamic Liberalism, or Liberal Islam? Surprisingly, there is indeed something, a discourse known as Liberal Islam. And contrary to popular perception it is not a contradiction in terms. Charles Kurzman a Professor in Sociology who deals with Islamic movements asserts there is a tradition with specifically Islamic context known as Liberal Islam (pdf file) . What’s more Liberal Islam is not monolithic it has multiple schools and traditions each with a different approach and (pdf file) different methodology. Each tradition within the Liberal school faces different challenges and has differing prospects. If such a tradition exists how is it that within the Pakistani discourses it is eerily absent, with instead conservatives and political Islamists dominating the interpretive discourse of Islam. It should be noted ‘’Liberal Islam’’ is known under many rubrics from Islamic Modernism, Islamic Reformism, Reflexive Revivalism to movements professing Ijtihad, Islaha, Ihya and Tajdid.

The situation in Pakistan is a paradox. Its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a secularist in the sense he sought an institutional division between mosque and state, the clergy and the government and to a greater extent religion did not have such an effect in his personal life. His political ideals are liberal a vision of a pluralistic society where the citizens of the State would be equal in rights and responsibilities. Towards the end of his life Jinnah attempted a synthesis, coining terms such as ‘’Islamic democracy’’, ‘’Islamic social justice’’ Jinnah tried to weld his liberal politics and ideals with religious faith. Muhammad Iqbal on the other hand was not a politician per se but a thinker and intellectual, hence his ideas are always going to attain a greater sophistication. Though Iqbal too can be seen as an Islamic humanist, a critical humanist, critical of both European ideas and traditions and the Muslim traditions, Iqbal focused on the free will of all human beings, an original and unique position among Muslim intellectuals and scholars. Iqbal’s focus on self development and his synthesis of philosophy, theology, mysticism and law which he tries to achieve in his Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, where he puts many traditions both from Islam and Europe in critical conversation is till this day and probably for some time to come an inspiration to religious reformists and liberals. Continue reading

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Filed under Islam, Religion, secular Pakistan, secularism, Society

Objectives Resolution And Secularism 3

From Aaj Kal

Comments Off on Objectives Resolution And Secularism 3

Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

Pakistan Meant To Be A Secular State, Quaid-e-Azam Did Not Want An Islamic Republic, says Haji Adeel of ANP

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

The big news making the headlines today is that Haji Adeel of ANP has spoken out against the Islamic character of the Pakistani state.  Coming out of an official Christmas celebration,  Haji Adeel said:

1.  Pakistan was meant to be a secular state for all people of Pakistan.

2.  Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah did not name Pakistan an Islamic Republic.  Pakistan should become the Republic of Pakistan.

3.  Quaid-e-Azam and Bacha Khan both believed in secularism. 

4.   Denying Non-Muslims of Pakistan the right to become president or prime minister is discriminatory, wrong and against the basic principle of Pakistan. Continue reading

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Love and Sex at LUMS 1: The Secret Love Life of LUMS Students

From Dawn Blogs

The campus of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is famous for being a bubble environment where risqué fashion trends are explored and high-school soap operas come to life in the midst of hijab-clad women and the bearded folk from LUMS Religious Society. To an outsider visiting LUMS, or possibly visiting Pakistan for the first time, this campus might seem at first encounter like the ideal multicultural environment akin to an ancient city-state where all live in harmony with tolerance. Continue reading

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