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Ostracize Akbaruddin Owaisi: He has denigrated Hindu divinities, something even Sangh Pariwar did not do in respect to Muslim divinities
Dileep Padgaonkar

The parivar bigots have been condemned, especially by secular Hindus. But the worst of these bigots have not done what Owaisi has done: he has denigrated the divinities that Hindus hold with utmost respect. Not once has any Hindu bigot attacked Allah or his Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him.) But this riff-raff of a politician has spoken in the most venomous terms about the divinities that are dear to the Hindu community. This affront will not be forgotten.

 Regardless of what the courts have in store for him, public opinion should bring pressure to bear on political parties to ostracize this man who spouts venom not just against Hindus but against citizens of all faiths who owe their primary allegiance to the Constitution. Doom stares the Congress, and other political parties that wear the secular badge on their sleeve, if they refuse to read the writing on the wall. And the writing on the wall is: Owaisi is a threat not only to inter-community harmony but to the security of India. He is, for all practical purposes, a fifth columnist.

No Justice In Pakistan
Eric S. Margolis

No Justice In Pakistan
Eric S. Margolis

Benazir and I met in Washington during the early 1990’s at a mutual friend’s home. She was exiled from Pakistan and quite alone in Washington, low on both money and hope. I offered to help her. Perhaps it was her beauty and charm, or my weakness for underdogs. Some Pakistani readers wrote in claiming I had been “bewitched” by Benazir. I confess she was indeed quite bewitching.

 

Ten Arab Lessons From The Past Year
Rami G. Khouri

First, it is now clearer than ever that there is no such thing as a cohesive, single “Arab World,” as every Arab country follows a different path in pursuing its own political reconfiguration. For the first time ever in their history, ordinary Arab men and women are driving the political changes under way, revealing the variety of identities, sentiments, legitimacies and conditions in different Arab countries, with their own character, nuance and agency.

 

It is intriguing and at the same time disappointing that the Egyptians who had put up a formidable fight against the modern day pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak, fighting and laying down lives for the cause of democracy and freedom, demonstrated unexplainable indifference when the time to choose or reject the draft constitution to give final shape to their destiny arrived. Only 33 per cent of the population exercised their votes that too on such an important referendum that could determine their future, raising questions on the legitimacy of the outcome. Out of the people voted, about 66 per cent said they wanted the country to have Sharia law as its guiding force. It means a considerable section (at least 35 per cent) wanted a secular constitution. It is important to note that majority in Cairo, the capital of Egypt opposed the Sharia based constitution.

Communalism And The Two-Nation Theory
Saad Hafiz

Press Council of India Chairperson Justice (Retd) Katju was quoted recently as saying that “Before 1857, there was zero percent communalism. Today 80 percent Hindus and 80 percent Muslims are communal.” Justice Katju is also reported to have said, “The cause of the Kashmir problem is the partition of India on a totally bogus basis — the two nation theory — that Hindus and Muslims are separate nations.”

 

The Challenge of Muslim Youth: A Yearning For Democracy, A Deep Sense Of Loss, Not Just Of Personal Or Political Freedom, But Of Opportunity
Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Arab awakening was driven by youth, organized by technology, and fired by a hunger for political change. In seeking more open societies and more responsive governments, young Arabs demonstrated a yearning for democracy. But they also expressed a deep sense of loss — not just of personal or political freedom, but of opportunity.

 

Objectives Resolution Secularism-13: Sikhs Opposed the Bifurcation of Punjab
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

All hell broke loose on the Sikhs of Pindi, Jhelum, Chakwal, Taxila, Wah and Gujar Khan on March 4, 1947. They were slaughtered and burnt alive; their heir was trimmed; they were circumcised in public; they were forced to convert to Islam. The modesty of Sikh women was enraged. The wells in the Pothuhar region were stacked with the dead bodies of Sikh girls. In Kahuta village alone, 2000 Sikhs were burnt alive. -- Wajahat Masood

Objectives Resolution and Secularism –14: When Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs Became Beasts
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

After mid-July both the cities became a part of such a communal confrontation that can be called the duet of barbarism. The irresponsible inflammatory oration of the religious leaders of two communities was reaching its crescendo. The cut-off organs of Muslim victims would be sent to Lahore in brass containers (the circumcised organs would indicate the religious identity of the dead). The next day, the brave men of Lahore would despatch a gift of similar nature to Amritsar. A train of Muslim refugees coming from east Punjab was slaughtered in Amritsar, and the next day a whole train of non-Muslim refugees was massacred. When a procession of nude girls was taken out in Lahore, the Muslim girls were meted out the same treatment in the streets of Amritsar the following day. When the Muslim localities were burnt down in Amritsar, the incidents of burning down of non-Muslim localities started in Lahore. A number of Muslim authors have written in their books without any regret or remorse, rather with a little pride that in the non-Muslim locality of Lahore called Shah Almi which was a marvel of architecture, the Hindus had made proper arrangements for protection against the attacks of the rioters. But some Muslim youths sneaked into Shah Almi through underground drains, and the locality comprising beautiful timber framed homes turned into ashes in no time. -- Wajahat Masood

 

Objectives Resolutions and Secularism – Part 12: In Those Days, Indulging In Riots Was Considered By Muslims an Islamic Duty
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

“(During that period), Sardar Shaukat Hayat called me and told me that serious riots were going to happen for which weapons must be collected. Those would come from the Frontier Province but the co-operation of the railway staff was required. I gathered the Muslims of the line staff. They showed their readiness and swore that they would not retreat even if they had to go to jail or even lay down their lives. A committee was formed and responsibilities were distributed. I gave all the details to Sardar Shaukat Hayat. He told me to go to Delhi at once and apprise Liaqat Ali Khan of the developments. I reached Delhi the following day. Liaqat Ali Khan was the Finance Minister in the Muslim League-Congress coalition government. He probably had before-hand information of my arrival. Seeing my card he called me and listened to all the details attentively. He promised me further instructions and asked me to keep it a secret. During the same time I was appointed the deputy secretary in the Finance ministry and shifted from Lahore to Delhi. I do not know how useful the organisation formed by me was but from the large scale killings that took place afterwards; I can guess that it must have helped to an extent.” -- Wajahat Masood

 

Objectives Resolution and Secularism—Part 11: Riots Were Incited By Muslim League Who Distributed Petrol Coupons to Cadres to Burn the Houses and Shops of Hindus in Calcutta
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

The governor of Bengal Fredrick John Brose, in his confidential letter (IOR:L/P&J/8/655f.f95.96-107) written on August 22, 1946 to the Viceroy Lord Wavell gave some details of the events that occurred August 16, 1947 onwards. According to him the Muslim League had organised a meeting at the Ochterlony Monument in Calcutta at 4 P.M. which was supposed to be addressed by Prime Minister Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardi and Khwaja Nazimuddin. However, the reports of tensions had started pouring in in the police headquarters from as early as 10 in the morning. The Muslim League activists were forcing the shops to shut down. Most of the people coming towards the place of meeting were carrying lathis, rods and spears. Muslim League ministers had distributed petrol coupons to the office bearers of the Muslim League so that the houses and shops of Hindus could be burnt. The rations enough for ten thousand workers for a month had been stored. -- Wajahat Masood

Objectives Resolution and Secularism— Part 10: Newly Formed Pakistan Had Ample Opportunities for Muslim Officers
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

As the news of riots in West Punjab and the subsequent forced evacuations started to pour in, the Muslim officials became increasingly worried about the grand houses, shops, factories and fertile fields the non-Muslim population was leaving behind. It is true that the motives of all the Muslim officials could not be called in question. It can undoubtedly be said that the Muslim officials did not display high moral values. Many intellectuals believe that the political anarchy, moral degradation and corruption in Pakistan started with the plundering of the abandoned properties. -- Wajahat Masood

Objectives Resolution and Secularism—9: Maulana Maudoodi Did Not Care If Muslims in India Were Treated Like Malechchas and Shudras
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

In his historical statement he (Maulana Maududi) further said: "If we establish an Islamic government in Pakistan, we will not have any objections if the Muslims are treated like Malechhas and Shudras, the laws of Manu are applied to them and they are not entitled to the rights of the citizens and participation in the governance in India."....

This is a fact worthy to be noted that Qaid-e-Azam Md Ali Jinnah had appointed Joginder Nath Mandal, a Hindu as the first Law Minister of Pakistan and Zafarullah Khan the Foreign Minister in December 1947. No Maulvi had the guts to demand the removal of Joginder Nath Mandal or Zafarullah Khan on the basis of belief during Qaid-e-Azam's life. One interesting aspect of the whole episode is that the Ulema’s stance was that the foundation of law-making should be laid on Sharia and Mohammad Ali Jinnah was appointing a Hindu as the law minister. -- Wajahat Masood

 

Perennially Enraged Society Should Find No Angst to Spare
Barkha Dutt

Sixteen years after they were first charged in the 1996 Delhi blasts, the high court set aside the death sentence slapped on Mahmud Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain, both from Kashmir - dismissing the prosecution case as one built on "grave lapses". Though both young men were acquitted by the judges who felt that "minimum standards of probe were not maintained",...

Babri Masjid Demolition That Rebuilt a Community
Mazher Hussain

Coupled with this was the structural exclusion of the Muslim community from the general domain of development by the establishment and society at large, restricting access to educational, economic and development opportunities that reduced the community’s circumstances to a level below that of Dalits, according to available data. Even the Constitution of India excludes Muslims from the domain of entitlements by extending reservations on religious lines...

Objectives Resolution and Secularism—Part 8: Jafri Conference Demands Inclusion of Shias in Pakistan’s Legislative Body
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

In Muslim sultanates many an anti-Sharia step would be taken in the presence of Ulema and oppressive orders and instructions used to be issued. But except some bright examples, the Ulema never dared to oppose them. During the kingdoms after the fall of the Abbasid caliphate the Ulema had enjoyed the status of advisors (and of course, declared jihad as and when required.) But they did not have the courage to demand that the reigns of the kingdom be handed over to them so that they could run the government according to the Islamic Sharia system. This is a historical fact that in Muslim governments the army enjoyed greater powers and influence than the religious peshwas. In fact, the demand for the Islamic laws by the religious peshwas after the formation of Pakistan got a fillip from some specific conditions and circumstances which arose accidentally and which had no relation with the original plan of the division of the country. Before going into the detail, let's have a look on the demands for forming the government of Pakistan on the basis of Islamic Sharia. -- Wajahat Masood

 

Remembering To Forget: Memorial for Bal Thackeray or for the 900 victims of Mumbai riots for which he was indicted by Sri Krishna commission?
Meena Menon

While there is a clamour for a statue to the late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, indicted by the Srikrishna Commission for his role in the riots after the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992, there are no memorials to the over 900 people who were killed and many more who went missing. While justice for survivors has been delayed and denied, some are still fighting for close to 20 years with a system that is unyielding. The riots divided the city, hardening stereotypes, creating more ghettos and putting a question mark forever on Mumbai’s cosmopolitan veneer....

This Is Not the Dawn We Dreamt Of, 67 Years Ago
Syeda Hameed

"We won't play with her, she is a Muslim." This happened to me more than once, and every time, I would go back home ashamed and scared. The experience went on to become a public issue after a story I wrote - 'You have to learn to make friends' - was published in Shankar's Weekly and received international acclaim. It was beautifully illustrated by an Argentinian artist who was moved to tears after reading it. Later, Rajkamal Publications turned it into a lovely little book and published it in three languages….

Objectives Resolution And Secularism-7: Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani’s Prophetic Dream about Jinnah
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

"To say that Pakistan was established with the purpose of promoting fundamentalism would tantamount to putting false allegation against Jinnah because the majority of the religious leaders did not favour the establishment of Pakistan. If they regarded the movement for Pakistan an Islamic movement, as they say today, why did they not support Pakistan then? The truth is that they were all (be it a religious leader or spiritual guide) opposing the movement tooth and nail. Today they would like to have us believe that the poem sung by children, 'Pakistan ka matlab kya, la ilaha illallah, is the slogan of Pakistan. The fact is that neither Qaid-e-Azam nor anyone of us ever owned up to the slogan."-- Wajahat Masood

Objectives Resolution and Secularism--Part 4: Jinnah’s Secularism was undermined by the Mullahs
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

 

After the arrival of the British in the sub-continent, their educational, technical and administrative supremacy outplayed the intellectual depth, political vision and administrative capabilities of the Muslim religious leaders. For centuries, the religious scholars had closed the paths of human possibilities by putting a lock of heavenly revelations on knowledge, governance and distribution of resources. The changes rekindled the desire of renaissance of their pomp and retinue in the past among the religious leaders. The arrival of the European colonialists destroyed the interests of the local peshwas. As a result of the scientific discoveries and inventions, the hold of the religious leaders on the people's mind loosened. The religious peshwas tried to reclaim their hold and influence by criticising the industrial civilisation with the interpretations and representations of historical facts. The military, political and administrative success of the European invaders was indebted to the modern way of thinking and scientific approach. Therefore, the religious leaders reacted against the modernity. -- Wajahat Masood

Objectives Resolution and Secularism -- Part 6: Jinnah Sought Support of Ahmadi Spiritual Head for the Establishment of Pakistan
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

On February 22, 1946, the governor of Punjab Sir Burtrand Glency wrote in his fortnightly confidential report to the Viceroy Wavell:"The leaders of the Muslim League are gradually turning towards extremism in their speeches. The Maulvis peers (spiritual guides) and students are touring across the state telling people that if they did not vote the Muslim League candidates, they would be out of the purview of Islam and their Nikahs would automatically become null and void. Irrespective of what the results of the elections are going to be, the aggressive campaign run by the Muslim League is sure to increase the number of their seats in the forthcoming elections." -- Wajahat Masood

 

Objectives Resolution and Secularism -- Part 5: Muslim League Used Manzilgah Mosque in The Same Way As BJP Used Babri Masjid For Political Gains
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr. Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demanded a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr. Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

Hamza Alwi writes, "The Khilafat Movement weakened the Muslim League and gave the Ulema an opportunity to carve out a place in politics. The amalgamation of religion and politics badly affected the political mentality of the Muslims of the subcontinent and they lost political vision and the ability to perceive political issues in political perspective. They started to look at every issue from religious angle instead of political point of view. This pushed the Muslims towards political backwardness gradually.

Leaders like Chaudhary Khaliquzzaman too had warned against the demerits of the association of the Ulema with the Khilafat movement saying “they (the leaders of the Khilafat Movement) are actually playing with fire by working with them. The religious leaders will get swayed along with the Muslims of India." It would not be irrelevant to mention here that shortly after the formation of Pakistan Chaudhary Khaliquzzaman used to make regular trips to the middle-east countries with the flag of "Islamistan" in the backdrop of the cold war. -- Wajahat Masood

 

Objectives Resolution and Secularism--Part 3: Jinnah’s Secularism Was Undermined by the Mullahs
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demand a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

 

On September 1, 1947, Shabbir Ahmad Usmani had issued a press release whose every word was a reply to the speech delivered by the Qaid-e-Azam in the Legislative Assembly on August 11, 1947 just 20 days ago. Some sentences are reproduced here: "I want to make it very clear that this resounding victory of Qaid-e-Azam (the establishment of Pakistan) owes to the discipline and restraint of the Muslims. Muslims are religious by nature and the basis of the Two-nation Theory is also religion. If the Muslim Ulema-e-Deen (religious scholars) had not joined this movement lending it a religious hue, Qaid-e-Azam or any other leader with however great diplomatic abilities or even the Muslim League would not have been able to generate such degree of passion among the Muslims. Nonetheless, with the joint efforts of the Ulema-e-Deen and the Muslim leaders, the Muslims woke up and agreed upon one objective. We should now necessarily put all our efforts to prepare the Constitution of Pakistan by keeping before us the natural and universal principles of Islam as they are the sole remedy for the current malady. If we failed to do so, then the western democracy will pervade with all its vices and the destructive nationalism will replace the internationalism of Islam." -- Wajahat Masood...

 

Objectives Resolution and Secularism--Part 2: Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani Was the Pioneer of Non-State Militantism in Pakistan
Wajahat Masood

The founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, pleaded for a separate country for Muslims but his political upbringing in a pluralist society prevented him from declaring Pakistan an Islamic state. Contrary to the general perception in India, Mr Jinnah was arguably a secular and liberal Muslim who wanted a Pakistan where all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the constitution irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, although one then justifiably wonders why did he demand a separate nation for Muslims in the first place. Several top leaders of the Hindu Right in India too acknowledge his secular credentials now. Jinnah may have wanted a secular Pakistan but leaders like Liaqat Ali Khan and power hungry, opportunistic religious leaders, particularly Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, wanted it to be otherwise. In this beautifully written series titled, "Objectives Resolution and Secularism", Pakistani journalist Mr Wajahat Masood delves deep into history to find out how Jinnah's dream of a secular and democratic Pakistan was shattered. – Editor

 

On September 1, 1947, Shabbir Ahmad Usmani had issued a press release whose every word was a reply to the speech delivered by the Qaid-e-Azam in the Legislative Assembly on August 11, 1947 just 20 days ago. Some sentences are reproduced here: "I want to make it very clear that this resounding victory of Qaid-e-Azam (the establishment of Pakistan) owes to the discipline and restraint of the Muslims. Muslims are religious by nature and the basis of the Two-nation Theory is also religion. If the Muslim Ulema-e-Deen (religious scholars) had not joined this movement lending it a religious hue, Qaid-e-Azam or any other leader with however great diplomatic abilities or even the Muslim League would not have been able to generate such degree of passion among the Muslims. Nonetheless, with the joint efforts of the Ulema-e-Deen and the Muslim leaders, the Muslims woke up and agreed upon one objective. We should now necessarily put all our efforts to prepare the Constitution of Pakistan by keeping before us the natural and universal principles of Islam as they are the sole remedy for the current malady. If we failed to do so, then the western democracy will pervade with all its vices and the destructive nationalism will replace the internationalism of Islam." -- Wajahat Masood....

I Have Learned Not To Learn a Lesson from the Distorted History
Sabir Nazar

History is a very tricky subject. A famous quote by Aldous Huxley says, “That men do not learn from history is the most important lesson that history has to teach.” I don’t agree with this assertion as I have learnt lessons from history and have actually practiced a few of them in my life. Another historian believes that history is the selection of facts and events that suits our point of view. This is a universal lesson and is practiced by everyone in Pakistan....

Palestine/Israel, Ramjanmabhoomi/Babri Masjid:  Religious Real Estate Disputes
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

I don’t know if God exists—in the form that many religionists imagine God as. But if God is, I don’t see any way in which God’s will in a real estate dispute of this sort can be discerned by ordinary mortals. One might argue that in this case the only solution is to seek guidance from religious scriptures. But, clearly, this would be unacceptable to both parties in a property dispute with theological implications, because the scriptures of one party would not be accepted as a criterion by the other….

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