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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pulling Quaid-e-Azam every which way

Westernised fascists' "secular Mr Jinnah".


My last blog post was primarily an account of a discussion I had at a political website where some westernised fascists were attacking Pakistan’s journalists writing in the Urdu press. In that very discussion the subject of our conversation veered off towards Quaid-e-Azam when someone referred to stuff published in Pakistan’s English language newspaper “Dawn”.

ME:
“No, I do not read that awful newspaper Dawn, an insult to Quaid-e-Azam’s memory and a haunt of westernised fascists”.

My interlocutor, let us call him MAN 1, said:
“Memory of Quaid is as under in the light of your attack on me by saying “westernised fascists”. Do tell me who is westernised fascists after going through Muhammad Ali Jinnah [Quaid for you]’s First Choice for the Important and Strategic Post like Foreign Ministry..
Now Read:
Al-Hajj Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, KCSI (6 February 1893 – 1 September 1985) was a Pakistani diplomat who was appointed by Jinnah and Mr Zafar was Quadiyani. Ch Muhammad Zafrulla Khan – a devout Ahmadi who did his bai’at at the hand of the Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of Ahmadiyya Movement on September 16, 1907 – was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan”.

ME:
“I am disappointed with your apparent prejudice against some fellow Pakistanis. Quaid-e-Azam, in his judgement, had appointed Sir Zafrullah as the best man for the job. Why does that upset you? Professor Abdus Salam, a product of an Urdu-medium school and the only Pakistani Nobel winner, was also a Qadiani. So, what are you trying to say?”

MAN 1:
“What happened to the slogan of so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan [as per Shariah you don't appoint Non-Muslim a Foreign Minister]?? What happened to the slogan of Islamic Ideology its either Westernized Secular Fascists or Islamic Ideology.

Zimmis should live as a second Class Citizen in Islamic Republic of Pakistan [with specified mark on their dress to be identified and it should be compulsory to always carry that identification] or should also be given opportunities to contest for the Post of Prime Minister and President of Pakistan and Chief of the Army Staff [as per Westernized Fascist Secular Theory].”

ME:
“I am sorry to see that you have some peculiar notions about Islam. Please read my article on Islam before we take this meandering discussion any further:

Quite simply, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a supreme example of a true Muslim in the twentieth century. Cast away your cold history books and get to know Jinnah, the man.”

At this point another person joined the discussion. MAN 2:

You have praised Jinnah. Fine. But did you know he was a Shia Muslim? Will you praise him now? People like Haroon Rashid, just like their mentor Zia ul Haq, have never been to Jinnah’s grave. You know why?”

ME:
“I know a great deal about Quaid-e-Azam. Though he was born into an obscure Shia sect, his greatness lies in the fact that he disowned all sects and declared himself to be just a Muslim who was neither Shia nor Sunni. That is indeed how Al-Qur’an presents Islam to mankind – the existence of sunni and shia sects defies Quraanic teachings. Did you know that the Quaid went around with a copy of the Qur’an handy? His perception of Islam owed a good deal to the influence of Allama Iqbal.

Please read my article on Islam.

In his articles Haroon-ur-Rasheed has criticised Zia as a ruler and for allowing himself to be ensnared by religious demagogues, but Haroon admires Zia for his personal qualities (e.g. his concern for his handicapped daughter and his humility, which Haroon says was genuine). What I like about his writings is the ‘balance’, which is a valuable quality.

No, I didn’t know he has never been to Quaid-e-Azam’s mazaar. Offhand I can’t recall what he has written about Jinnah though Dr Safdar Mahmood is always effusive in his praise of Quaid-e-Azam. Previously you were treating all six journalists as a single group – are you now going to take them on one by one?”

MAN 2:
“It is such a shame that you are no different from the Islamofascism who want to destroy minority sects in the name of ONE Islam. You are very dishonest when you say that Jinnah was born into an obscure Shia sect. He was born into the Agha Khani sect and converted to the Asna-e-Ashria, the main Shia sect. The Koran does not speak about mankind. Allah says that humans have been divided into groups for their identity though no group is superior to another.
You are just like Zaid Hamid.”

ME:
“Jinnah’s grandfather was Poonja Gokuldas Meghji, a Hindu from Kathiawar, Gujarat. His father was Jinnahbhai Poonja, a prosperous merchant, who appears to have converted to Islam (Ismaili Khoja sect) and moved to Sindh.

Jinnah’s views on a constitution for Pakistan:
‘The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.’

[Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February, 1948]

In Pakistan today there is a regrettable conflict going on between the forces of mullahism and those of westernised fascism. Each side is trying to present a grotesque image of Jinnah in support of its own agenda.

Although the mullahs had opposed the idea of Pakistan and dubbed both Jinnah and Iqbal as ‘kaafirs’, they now appear to be bending over backwards to claim them both as pious ‘Muslims’ in their own image! Undoubtedly, Iqbal and Jinnah were both great Muslims but their perception of Islam was fundamentally different from that of the mullahs (see quotes below). To our mullahs, Pakistan ought to be a “theocratic” state, conforming to their myopic view of “religion”.

As for the westernised fascists, they hypocritically turn a blind eye to the stark reality that the idea of an independent state for the Muslims of India was the vision of Iqbal, which he first presented publicly in 1930. Pakistan owes its existence to two people above all: Iqbal, the Visionary and Jinnah, the Leader. Iqbal’s acceptance of Jinnah as leader was total. Our westernised fascists are straining every limb and every nerve they possess to present Jinnah as “secular” and to deny Iqbal his pre-eminent position as the driving force behind the demand for Pakistan.

As with any individual, Jinnah’s life, too, had distinct phases. From the westernised dandy of his youth, he gradually evolved into a man with a remarkable insight into Islam and the Qur’an. He went around with a copy of the Qur’an within reach, which he consulted frequently. His talk relating to the constitution of Pakistan brings this out with remarkable clarity where he related democracy to ‘the essential principle of Islam’ and not to western liberalism. Jinnah’s emphasis on just treatment for all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, is nothing other than a Quraanic injunction that Pakistanis either suppress (our mullahs’ mendacity) or they attribute to the West (the westernised hypocrites’ ignorance of their own heritage and craven servility towards the West).

Jinnah, on the occasion of Eid, 13 November 1939, said:
‘No injunction is considered by our holy Prophet (pbuh) more imperative and more divinely binding than the devout but supreme realisation of our duty of love and toleration towards all other human beings.’

OTHER QUOTES :
‘Islamic principles today are as applicable to life as they were 1,300 years ago … Islam and its idealism have taught democracy. Islam has taught equality, justice and fair play for everybody … The Prophet (pbuh) was a great teacher. He was a great lawgiver. He was a great statesman and he was a great sovereign who ruled.’
[address to the Bar Association of Karachi, 25 January 1948]

‘We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.’
[Speech at the opening ceremony of State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi July 1, 1948]

‘We should have a state in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.’
[address to Civil, Naval, Military and Air Force Officers, October 11, 1947]

‘You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, Islamic social justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.’
[address to officers and men of Pakistan military, February 21, 1948]

FINALLY, misquoting from the Qur’an is a sin. If you are not just trying to score cheap points here, do have the decency to quote the Quraanic verse in full, giving the Surah and Aayat number. It will then be obvious to all that there is no linkage between the subject we are discussing and the Quraanic passage you refer to. Do you have the honesty to do that?

The point is simply that Jinnah’s being born a shia is neither here nor there. Nor, for that matter, my being born a sunni is of any relevance. These divisions are created by the mullahs who have destroyed the simple Deen that Muhammad (saw) gave mankind. Jinnah and I are brothers in Islam, that is all.

By the way, are you going to give your quotation from the Qur’an? I suggest you re-read my article on Islam, which gives quotations from the Qur’an and makes it clear that Allah does not permit sectarianism. You are commanded to try to understand the Qur’an using all the faculties that Allah has given you and to “remember” Allah as sincerely as it is possible for you to do. That is all. No sunni sects (or any others), no controversies, no bickering, no bloodshed – just ISLAM, peace and surrender to the Will of The Supreme, The Knower of all that exists. If you disagree with any aspect of my article then tell me where you disagree and why. Do not attribute false statements to the Qur’an.

Back to Jinnah. He was a great Muslim as defined in the Qur’an. If any sunni mullahs consider him a ‘kaafir’ then that is nothing new. Jinnah and Iqbal faced much worse in their lifetime. Westernised fascists who dub Jinnah “secular” are no different from the hypocritical mullahs. It is this twin sickness – mullahism and westernised fascism – that is draining Pakistan’s lifeblood.”

MAN 1:
“A person who appointed a Zimmi as First Foreign Minister for Pakistan cannot be a brother in Deen [A Way of Life].”

ME:
“Why not, my dear sir? Please clarify your statement and provide supporting evidence from the Qur’an.

Our mullahs possess egos of gigantic proportions. We have to be careful when listening to them. It is good policy to weigh their utterances against the criterion of Al-Quran. A useful rule of thumb is: if there is no back-up from the Qur’an then the mullah has an ulterior motive.”


Tailpiece

Although this post is already quite long it is only a part of the full discussion I had. I may end it here or I may follow it up with part 2 depending on the responses I get.   

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bashing Urdu Journalism

Westernised fascists run amok

Amid the gloom and doom of today’s Pakistan I detect a few rays of light. One such, in my opinion, is Pakistan’s vibrant Urdu journalism. Notwithstanding the existence of hired pen pushers who owe their comfortable standard of living to powerful patrons, there are some outstanding journalists whose original thought and ruthless honesty spare no one, at home or abroad. Their fearless analysis of complex issues facing Pakistan is refreshing in that they rip apart the hypocritical pseudo-reality that the formidable American propaganda machine has imposed on the world, and they present those issues in a new light.  Some of these journalists are also adept at putting together elegant prose in that beautiful language Urdu - which makes it a pleasure to read their reports.

By contrast, Pakistan’s English press is pretty tame. One suspects that many journalists writing for certain English publications have either been bought off by the Americans or cowed into submission one way or another. It is sickening to see this group of journalists – there are some honourable exceptions, of course - aping the popular American press, never daring to criticise the policies of the American government and spewing forth venom for their own country. I use the phrase “westernised fascists” to refer to these self-styled “intellectuals” who scour foreign press for comments on Pakistan and regurgitate a  lot of trash for domestic consumption.

I wasn’t surprised when, browsing a political website, I came across the fatuous remark “Pakistan’s corrupt Urdu media!” Needless to say I protested and I mentioned the names of my favourite journalists to disprove the allegation. Back came the reply:

“You are right. I cannot compete with the blood-thirsty Islamofascist journalists you have mentioned.”

ME:
“It is true that Haroon-ur-Rasheed had toured Swat with the Pakistan Army javaans and he was adamant that the evil of Pakistani Taliban must be rooted out. So that makes him “blood thirsty” in your book?
By the way, what is your definition of the word “Islamofascist”? So far as I am aware this term was coined by the Americans and swallowed whole by our westernised fascists, who were mostly bought off with wads of dollars or frightened out of their wits by the Americans’ “shock and awe” tactics. My hunch is that they sold themselves cheap – they could have asked for a higher price.

Let me state once again: Journalists like Haroon-ur-Rasheed, Saleem Safi, Dr Safdar Mahmood, Hamid Mir, Rauf Klasra, Javed Chaudhry, etc are our national treasure, Pakistanis we can be truly proud of.

Haroon-ur-Rasheed’s : “Mai.n 9 saal aavaarah phirta rahaa hoo.n” – in his inimitable way he is criticising them all, the judiciary, the executive, the legislature and the heads of political parties.



My interlocutor retorted:
“What is Islamofasism? you have asked. An ideology which says that we must conquer the world in the name of Allah and fly Pakistani/Islamic flag in places like Delhi, Moscow and New York. Islamofascism is the ideology which says killing in the name of Islam is justified. This is what all the Taliban and Saudia stand for including the journalists of your choice.”

ME:
“In view of your clarification of the term “Islamofascism”, will you kindly apologise for your earlier rude remarks about some half a dozen Pakistani journalists whose names I mentioned above? I can assure that none of them is in the least bit interested in such crazy antics as “conquering the world, killing in the name of Allah, etc.”, as you put it.

The real mass murderers today are the Americans who have destroyed some three million Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani lives. When was the last time you protested against this bloodbath? As Muslims we are allowed to fight in self-defence. Unfortunately, what we see in Pakistan is the shameless spectacle of our westernised fascists colluding with Americans and causing yet more deaths of fellow Muslims. The half dozen journalists, Haroon-ur-Rasheed et al, wish nothing more than to see Pakistan untangle itself from the clutches of the USA and to deal with our problems in our own way. The so-called “Afghan Taliban” are fighting foreign occupation forces in their own country and we should stay clear of any involvement in this American adventure for the region’s natural resources. That, in a nutshell, is the honourable journalists’ point of view.”

The man was unmoved. He barked:
“People like Haroon ur Rashid are as much Islamofascist as Zaid Hamid and Dr Israr. The only difference is that their modus operandi is different. So I do not owe apology to anyone.”

ME:
This is yet another attempt to appeal to your good sense. For some reason you seem unable to put away your ingrained prejudices and embrace a broad cross-section of Pakistani society.

You have provided me with a definition of the term “Islamofascism” and I have shown you why it is totally inappropriate to apply that term to people like Haroon. Far from offering an apology, you now justify that insult under the pretext of something you call Haroon’s – and others’? – “modus operandi”. If this is not a figment of somebody’s imagination, kindly explain what it is you are alluding to.

You continue using the term “Islamofascism”, quite oblivious of its undertones of mockery for Islam, our Deen. This term was coined by people who loathe Islam and Muslims and it is a matter of considerable shame that it has been so enthusiastically embraced by the very people who ought to be telling the Americans to stop the use of this pejorative term.


Finally, I would advise you not to use immoderate language. Do I have to spell out the obvious to you? What distinguishes Urdu journalism from the pathetic level of newspapers like 'Dawn' is the knowledge and wisdom – as opposed to mere education – that so many Urdu journalists possess, and the indefinable quality they have that captures the essence of ‘Pakistaniat’.”

The conversation then moved on to a completely separate subject – I hope to write about that in my next blog post.

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