Pakistan ki Tareef

Secular Pakistan

by Haseeb Asif
Originally published at Kafila

Islami Jamhooriya Pakistan ki tareekh Hindustan se bohut purani hai. Balkay Islam se bhi purani hai. Jab aathveen sadi mein Muhammad Bin Qasim Islam phelane bar-e-sagheer tashreef laye tau ye jaan ker sharminda huwe ke yahan tau pehle hi Islami riyasat maujood hai.

Yahan kufr ka janam tau huwa Jalaaludin Akbar ke daur mein, jo Islam ku jhutla ker apna mazhab banane ko chal diya; shayid Allah-ho-Akbar ke lughwi maani le gya tha.

Baharhal, in kafiron ne butparasti aur mehkashi jaisay gheir munaasib kaam shuro kerdiye aur apne aap ko Hindu bulaane lage. Sharaab ki aamad se Pakistan ke Musalmanon ki woh taaqat na rahi jo tareekh ke tasalsul se honi chahiye thi. Iski vaja ye nahin thi ke Muslaman sharaab peene lag paray the, balkay ye kay unki saari quwat-e-nafs sharab ko naa peene mein waqf hojati thi, hukmarani ke liye bachta…

View original post 2,502 more words

An Islamic Predicament – Eqbal Ahmad

Secular Pakistan

eqbal_chomsky_pcPublished-1998

Any historian of Islam would shudder at what passes in Pakistan for instruction in Islamic history. Some Years ago, I queried an M.A class in this subject at a major Pakistani university. None of the 25 odd students there had an inkling of the issues which defined the first major schism in Islamic history – the khawarij movement.

None gave a satisfactory explanation of the Ash’arite doctrine and its place in Muslim theological development. Only one had an inkling about the Mu’tazila – woh acchay log naheen thay. Unki fikr men dahriyat ke anaasir thay (They were not good people, There were elements of atheism in their thought.) l had then thought that we are witnessing ‘the end of history in Pakistan.’ (Francis Fukuyama had not yet come out with his arcane thesis about history’s end.) I was wrong of course ideologically loaded ignorance does, after all, produce…

View original post 1,331 more words

Roots of Religious Right

Secular Pakistan

Eqbal Ahmad

DAWN  – 24 January, 1999

fundamentalism

THEY belong to differing, often contrasting religious systems-Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yet their ideas and behaviour patterns bear remarkable similarities. In India they have burned down churches and destroyed a historic mosque. In Palestine they describe themselves as ‘pioneers’, desecrate mosques and churches, and with state support dispossess the Muslim and Christian inhabitants of the ancient land. In Algeria they are engaged in savage warfare with a praetorian government. In Serbia, they attempted genocide and ran rape camps. In Pakistan, they have hit Christians, Ahmedis and Shi’a Muslims and also each other.

They wage holy wars, and commit atrocities sanctimoniously, yet nothing is truly sacred to them. They spill blood in bazaars, in homes and in courts, mosques and churches. They believe themselves to be God’s warriors, above man-made laws and the judgment of mankind.

They are the so-called ‘fundamentalists’, an epithet…

View original post 1,696 more words

Jinnah, in a Class of His Own

Secular Pakistan

by Eqbal Ahmad

Dawn, 11 June 1995


Jinnah

Mohammad Ali Jinnah is an enigma of modern history. His aristocratic English lifestyle, Victorian manners, and secular outlook rendered him a most unlikely leader of India’s Muslims. Yet, he led them to separate statehood,  creating history and, in Saad R. Khairi’s apt phrase, ‘altering geography’.

Several scholars, among them H.M. Seervai, Aisha Jalal and Saad R. Khairi, help explain his shift from Indian nationalism to Muslim separatism but the mystery of Jinnah’s appeal remains. After all, neither Muslim nationalism nor the idea of Pakistan originated with him; he embraced them somewhat reluctantly.

There is another way of viewing the matter. In the twentieth century, two extraordinary personalities competed for the leadership of Indian Muslims. They were Abul Kalam Azad and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. As a point of departure in comprehending the aspirations of Muslims in India, we might review their biographical profiles.

The…

View original post 1,263 more words

Intellectual’s Role in Society

Secular Pakistan

by Eqbal Ahmad

Dawn, 10 December 1995

eqbal_pc

Artists and intellectuals are in the business of working with their minds. What distinguishes humans from animals is the manner in which people use the mind. And what distinguishes various levels of civilization, their literary and artistic achievement, economic prosperity, and moral outlook – is the extent and manner in which the resources of the mind are put to use. This is a profoundly complex subject. There are a myriad aspects to it. I shall discuss only one which I deem important. It has to do with the notion, by no means uncontested, that it is the intellectual’s special responsibility to affirm the good and just and resist the bad and unjust.

The argument, obviously a moral one, envisages a permanent, symbiosis of affirmation and resistance in artistic and intellectual.[ When] artists, poets, or intellectuals lose sight of this symbiosis, art suffers, intellect stagnates…

View original post 1,351 more words

Intellectual’s Role in Society

Secular Pakistan

by Eqbal Ahmad

Dawn, 10 December 1995

eqbal_pc

Artists and intellectuals are in the business of working with their minds. What distinguishes humans from animals is the manner in which people use the mind. And what distinguishes various levels of civilization, their literary and artistic achievement, economic prosperity, and moral outlook – is the extent and manner in which the resources of the mind are put to use. This is a profoundly complex subject. There are a myriad aspects to it. I shall discuss only one which I deem important. It has to do with the notion, by no means uncontested, that it is the intellectual’s special responsibility to affirm the good and just and resist the bad and unjust.

The argument, obviously a moral one, envisages a permanent, symbiosis of affirmation and resistance in artistic and intellectual.[ When] artists, poets, or intellectuals lose sight of this symbiosis, art suffers, intellect stagnates…

View original post 1,351 more words

The Betrayed Promise

Secular Pakistan

by Eqbal Ahmad

DAWN – 18 June, 1995

[Editor’s note: An Urdu translation of this article is available at Roshni]

Before I recall Mr. Jinnah and the aspirations which inspired the subcontinent’s Muslims to seek separate statehood, it is relevant to underline the price nations pay when the values and expectations on which a state is founded are systematically betrayed.

Since Plato’s time political theorists have acknowledged the centrality of legitimacy in the consolidation and continuity of states. Legitimacy refers not to the popularity of a government or given institutions thereof; rather it entails the title to authority which a system of power enjoys among citizens. A subjective attribute, legitimacy issues forth largely from objective factors—the values which shape state or government policies, predominance of the rule of law and prevalence of distributive justice in society and, above all, the degree of coincidence between promise and fufilment in terms…

View original post 1,424 more words