Pakistan history, distorted by the literalists

Published: June 29, 2010

Literalists have always invented Islam depriving it of universalism

Recently released, the Brookings Institute report claims that the real cause of militancy in Pakistan is the public education system, and not religious schools (madrssas) because the majority of Pakistani students attend public school whereas only ten per cent attend madrassas. It states that Pakistani public schools disseminate militancy, hatred, jihad and distort history.

Until 1970, despite bureaucratic and military dictatorships, the Pakistani educational curriculum and textbooks, for example, had included the history of the Maurya and Gupta dynasties of the sub-continent conforming to the secular ideals of Pakistan clearly expressed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his speech to the constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947. Mohammad Ali Jinnah said:

“We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal Citizens of one state … Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual but in the sense as citizens of the state. …You may belong to any caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

Mohammad Ali Jinnah never used the term ‘Ideology of Pakistan’ during the struggle for independence nor after independence. Mohammad Ali Jinnah sternly scolded a prominent leader of Muslim League Raja Sahab Mahmudabad when he wrote to the historian Mohibul Hassan in 1939 that we want the dictatorship of Koranic laws. Sharifuddin Pirzada documented another failed attempt of an Abdul Hameed Kazi to propose a bill to create Pakistan as an Islamic state in All India Muslim League’s 1943 session.

In fact the term “Ideology” was first mentioned in 1962, fifteen years after independence, by a member of Jamat-e-Islami. In his monograph From Jinnah to Zia, Justice Munir writes:

“The Quaid-i-Azam never used the words ‘Ideology of Pakistan’ … For fifteen years after the establishment of Pakistan, the Ideology of Pakistan was not known to anybody until in 1962 a solitary member of the Jama’at-I-Islami used the words for the first time when the Political Parties Bill was being discussed. On this, Chaudhry Fazal Elahi, [who later became Pakistan’s president during Z. A. Bhutto’s regime], rose from his seat and objected that the ‘Ideology of Pakistan’ shall have to be defined. The member who had proposed the original amendment replied that the ‘Ideology of Pakistan was Islam’.”

The three rigid religious political parties Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Hind, the Majlis-i-Ahrar and Jamat-e-Islami were opposed to Muslim league and the demand for an independent Pakistan. In Punjab Majlis-i-Ahrar exploited Islamic ideology to defeat Muslim League in pre-partition election of 1945 calling Muslim League leaders ‘Kafirs’ and opposing their demand for a separate state.

Ironically, the term “Ideology of Pakistan” was also first coined and used by Jamat-e-Islami who were against the creation of Pakistan and they did not participate with the Muslim League in the movement for the independence of Pakistan.

After the independence of Pakistan, Jamat-e-Islami established its Pakistan chapter claiming that Pakistan was created for Muslims to live according to Islamic Shariah. Jamat-e-Islami even forgets that the Ahmadiya community supported Independence of Pakistan after Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s assurance that Pakistan will be a modern Muslim state, neutral on sectarian matters (Report of the Court of Inquiry, 1954: 196). However, Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan still cannot justify their opposition to the creation of Pakistan if it was being created only for Muslims to practice the literalist interpretation of Islam.

In late 1970’s, after the fall of East Pakistan, the Pakistani educational system began to implement the Islamisation project based on the literalist interpretation of Islam practiced by a very small percentage of the Muslim population. Jamat-e-Islami and other religious political parties championed the Islamisation project. This is a shameful testimonial to the twisted logic of the handful of Muslim literalists.

The unholy alliance of 1980s, between the dictatorial military regime of Pakistan under General Zia-ul-Haq, the unelected literalist religious political party Jamat-e-Islami and American government, cemented Islamisation of all Pakistani institutions including public educational institutions. The national education policy was Islamised in accordance with the narrow literal interpretation of Islam. The national educational curriculum was revised and textbooks were re-written to re-invent Pakistan as a purely religious society only for Muslim citizens.

Syed Abul A’la Maudoodi of Jama’at-e-Islami prescribed that all educational subjects should be taught from the perspective of the literal interpretation of Quran. Maudoodi did not accept the distinction between the religious and the non-religious worldly disciplines of education.

“In the teaching material, no concept of separation between the worldly and the religious be given; rather all the material be presented from the Islamic point of view.” (Curriculum Document, Primary Education, Class K-V, 1995, p. 41.)

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute found four major themes emerging strongly from their analysis of the curricula and textbooks of the three compulsory subjects:

1. that Pakistan is for Muslims alone;

2. that Islamic teachings, including a compulsory reading and memorisation of Qur’an, are to be included in all the subjects, hence to be forcibly taught to all the students, whatever their faith;

3. that Ideology of Pakistan is to be internalized as faith, and that hate be created against  Hindus and India; and

4. students are to be urged to take the path of Jehad and Shahadat.

Literalists have always invented Islam depriving it of universalism and divesting its teachings of its historic context. ‘Pakistan ideology’ is also a case of their figment of imagination that has no basis in Pakistani history.

Islam has multiple interpretations and only one of those interpretations, i.e., the literalist interpretation of Islam, is fatalistic and anti-humanistic. However, there are only a few Muslims who accept or live by the literalists’ interpretation of Islam, whereas more than 95 per cent of Muslims consciously reject the literalist interpretation of Islam.

Literalists themselves fail in avoiding contradictions in their own literal interpretation in their attitude and lifestyle. Zakir Naik, an Indian Muslim preacher of these parochial views of unequal human rights for men, women and for people of different faith has recently been restricted from giving a speech in UK and Canada but he is fighting against this verdict on the grounds of freedom of speech and equal human rights. They are not ready to allow equal human rights in their society while shamelessly demanding it from the secular societies.

These literalists simultaneously benefit from all the modern technologies, like getting photographed, using phones, watching television, flying in airplane, using western banking and so on; and criticise them all for being ‘non-Islamic’ and ‘secular’.

Literalists have a very small following because most people find it difficult to live in bad faith with a false consciousness, i.e. believing in one thing and doing its opposite. They have changed already, they should understand and accept it. The idea of a return is impossible; you cannot travel back in history.

Pakistani public education needs to focus on re-designing its curriculum, re-writing and reconstructing teaching material including textbooks and constructing a non-violent, democratic learning environment in the public schools to disseminate tolerant views and employment-oriented education.


Dr Shams Hamid

Analysis and intellectual discourse from Toronto based Research Fellow at the Centre of Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://osakauniversity anwaar ahmad

    Kamran Khan while introducing his today’s guest a former chief of ISI used these words “our armed forces are the custodian of ideological and geographical frontiers”.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Sajid Malick

    @anwar ahmad

    I first heared Kamran Khan utter these words in 1986 when I used to work with him at Daily News in Karachi. I have no problem, and I actually respect our army for protecting “geographical frontiers” but that is where the scope of custodial role ends. Pakistan army has carved out ideological role by aligning with the Mullahs. Army and a section of politicaly motivated mullahs crafted the narrative – framework of “ideology” in such a fashion that they can become the custodian, the master.

    Dr. Shams Hamid,

    I join you in loudly rejecting fundamentalism that is destroying our beloved nation. We can’t let the extremists, the jehadis, the suicide bombers destroy our lives. No more can we let them tie bombs to the belly of our youth…no more can we let them hide our women behind veil. No more can they deprive us of art, culture, science, and humanity. No more!

    No more can we dilute our debate by blaming external conspiracies; imperial design, Zionist strategy, Hindutva resurgence etc. Our enemies are within… Jihadis are the enemies no matter what cause they represent; Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir etc. No land, no territory, no nation, no state, no freedom, no independence can justify violence. No more can we tolerate those who preach voilence.

    Majority of the Pakistanis like me have resigned ourselves to the fate of oppression. We have been fearfull of the extremists. Instead of outright rejecting the authority of religion in our daily lives, we acquiesce. No more can we surrender to the oppressive religious zealots of our society.

    We must demand fundamental changes in education system of Pakistan. Your recommendations are very valid.Recommend

  • Masood

    Excellent article. I agree completelyRecommend

  • Qazi

    Yes, we need to reform our entire education system.Recommend

  • Manahil

    Secular, does not mean not having any religion, thats what these people do not understand. it means equal standing for all the religions. and Qaid-e-azam was for secularism, definitely.

    Also these literalists definitely have a following,If they have injected hatred, intolerance etc in public school curriculum, most of the pakistani population attend public schools thus few can rise above it. that is why we need an education reform.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    Two speeches of Qaid-e-Azim, One is at 1945, second is 1948…

    “Everyone, except those who are ignorant, knows that the Qur’an is the general code of the Muslims. A religious, social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal code!, it regulates EVERYTHING from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of all to those of individual; from morality to crime, from punishment here to that in the life to come, and our Prophet (PBUH) has enjoined on us that every Musalmaan should posses a copy of Qur’an and try to be his own priest. Therefore, Islam is NOT merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrines or rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim society, every department of life, collectively and individually!”

    (Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, September 1945)

    This quote shows that Islam has a lot of part to play in matters of s tate!. Quaid-e-Azam too, believed in this. Moreover, Quaid-e-Azam himself used to involve religion(ISLAM) in the matters of state!!

    “Remember we are building up a State which is going to play its full part in the destinies of the whole Islamic World. We, therefore need a wider outlook.”

    (Quaid-e-Azam 12th April 1948)Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    I hope writer will see this video.. .

    none of this information said in video is available in our text books:)Recommend

  • Tasneem Chowdhrey

    Bravo! doctor saheb. We need to start a dialogue not only on the content of edicatioal curriculum, but also the values that has been instilled in the last two generations of Pakistani youth.

    It appears there is no other passion left among us except for materilistic posessions!

    While the public educational system has been tweeked by literalist, the so called “ELITE” educational system is so blatantly infusing American Style Capitalism that all other values except for “Money” have siezed to exist.Recommend

  • Asif Khan

    First of all @ writer shams hamid. I partially agree with your article but again that is unfortunately as a nation if that is the case.

    Second @Hamza Baloch very nicely responded against the comments raised by various people. I think it will give good knowledge to various people.

    In my view there is very thin line between fundamentalism and dignified nations or person. I would request with everyone to read Allama Iqbal and Qauid-e-Azam before bring your mind out of politics, ethnic and cast issues.Recommend

  • Nausheen Khan

    I agree with Dr. Hamid, vigorously! Next time when you are in Karachi teaching at Iqra University I will make sure to take your course.Recommend

  • FastBowler

    Sir with all due respect, you have comprehended Quaid’s statement completely wrong. What the great Quaid actually endorsed through this statement was the fact that everyone would participate in making Pakistan a strong country irrespective of their religion and that no one would be forced to embrace Islam i.e. religious freedom which Muslims were denied of in India and it is also a basic fundamental of Islam itself.

    Moreover, why would Quiad e Azam have denied the offer of becoming the ruler of United India if he wanted Pakistan to be a secular state. Why did his addresses contain the concept of a ‘modern Islamic State’.

    I know you love democracy, weigh things before you write!!Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    I challenge the writer and readers that show me a single clear statement that Qaid said he want a “secular state” or “secular Pakistan”

    And “Manahil”, where you read this definition of “secular”??Recommend

  • Malik Rashid

    A nice article with a great suggestion. My half cent: Please do not indulge in Jinnah, Iqbal or any other personality from the past. Make your own argument. No one, I repeat no one is free of mistakes nor we ourselves are clear of bias. Let us present our thought with a focus on fixing things, one at a time. State, education and religion are 3 issues discussed here.
    Medieval religion collides with modern state and villagers find city dwellers weird. You must watch for traffic when crossing a road. Whether you said your prayer or not has no effect but the signal turns red and all traffic stops. Patriarchal ego clings to an identity that is obsolete. The reality that social contract and modern state lived for over two hundred years and the world is transforming into one global space now, highlights our slowness. We are still arguing over nation state and stuffing it with great grand father’s rules. Humanity has experimented this for two centuries and remedy for my ailment might be similar to one previously used by another. Distorting of education for commoners started long before Zia when Urdu in Pakistan and Hindi in India were declared as language of instruction for public schools. The elite retained convent schools for their off-springs. You see, coming out of peasantry into modern workmanship, both Pakistanis and Indians had similar mindset but Indians opted for a secular constitution that accommodated everybody, and they kicked the hindu tradition to allow 100% inheritance to hindu woman.Recommend

  • Naseer

    Mr. Rashid is wrong- Hindi was never imposed on Indian schools. Public schools in majority of Indian states teach courses in English. Local languages are taught as a separate subject.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Sajid Malick

    Dr. Shams Hamid, I do not intend to split hair but I noticed a contradiction. You write: “Literalists have always invented Islam depriving it of universalism and divesting its teachings of its historic context.”

    But the caption above says “Literalists have always re-invented Islam depriving it of universalism.” So which one is accurate “invented” or “re-invented.” I am sure you understand the theoretical implication of “re” in your argument :-)Recommend

  • MT

    Very good article. I agree with the author about changing education system to make it more tolerant. we should teach science, reason and rationality.Recommend

  • Ali Ahmad

    I am very impressed with this blog. ET rocks! Keep bringing writers like this and I will coming back to you… I will even send chain email to everyone on my email list and ask them to send it to 7 people they know :-) Otherwise Omar Quresihi will come in their dreams.Recommend

  • Shams Hamid

    I am grateful to everyone for their interaction. This piece argues that the movement for independence was not based in “Islamic Ideology of Pakistan” and the opposition of all religious political parties like Majlis-i-Ahrar, Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Hind and Jamat-e-Islami for the demand for and independent state substantiates it. In fact Majlis-I-Ahrar used religious slogans like “Islam is in danger’ during the election in Punjab and they criticized Muslim League leaders as ‘Kafirs’.

    Israr Ahmed’s video lecture shows that Jinnah was clearly stating that Pakistan is going to be an Islamic country based in Islamic ideology, if this was so why all religious political parties chose to oppose it then?

    Another point that we noted was the gradual transformation of Pakistani education based on the literalist interpretation of Islam. Following the dictates of America, Zia, in alliance with the religious parties, islamized Pakistani educational curriculum and textbooks replacing history with fiction. Much before the recent Brookings institute report, SDI compiled a report with the leading Pakistani intellectuals and educationists in 2002 that showed the Islamization of curriculum and textbooks with examples.

    We have been teaching distorted and fictional history in our public schools for a longtime. We need to systematically educate Pakistani children, instead of systematically mis-educating them.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid

    Here is an excerpt from an article ‘English in India’

    Some idea of the possibilities of studying English in India can be found in the 1992 Fifth All-India Education Survey. According to the survey, only 1.3 percent of primary schools, 3.4 percent of upper primary schools, 3.9 percent of middle schools, and 13.2 percent of high schools use English as a medium of instruction. Schools treating English as the first language (requiring ten years of study) are only 0.6 percent of rural primary schools, 2.8 percent of rural high schools, and 9.9 percent of urban high schools. English in India is offered as a second language (six years of study) in 51 percent of rural primary schools, 55 percent of urban primary schools, 57 percent of rural high schools, and 51 percent of urban high schools. As a third language (three years of study), English is offered in 5 percent of rural primary schools, 21 percent of urban primary schools, 44 percent of rural high schools, and 41 percent of urban high schools. These statistics show a considerable desire to study English among people receiving a mostly vernacular education, even in the countryside.

  • Shams Hamid

    @Tasneem Chowdhrey
    Thank you for brining another important aspect of our education, i.e., elite education with an altogether distinct curriculum and textbooks that is totally removed from Pakistan’s context. This education system keeps the elites as alienated from the realities of Pakistan as it is needed to operate as an elite from the top.

    “What the great Quaid actually endorsed through this statement was the fact that everyone would participate in making Pakistan a strong country irrespective of their religion and that no one would be forced to embrace Islam i.e. religious freedom which Muslims were denied of in India and it is also a basic fundamental of Islam itself.”

    I agree with everything you wrote here and I guess this blog maintains this as well. However, your claim that Muslims were denied religious freedom in India is unclear. Are you referring to pre-partitioned India or Partitioned India? And could you please explain how? Because my understanding is that post-partitioned India is a secular country that allows Muslim to practice Muslim Law.

    Finally, yes I do advocate democracy and do not find any reason to be apologetic about it. And Turkey is a modern state of majority Muslim and it is secular. And most of Muslim states in past have been secular. Even today there are only three Muslim states Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan that claim to be an “Islamic state”, the rest of Muslim states don’t.

    @Ibrahim Sajid Malick
    Thank you for pointing out the error in the caption, I did not write ‘re-invent’, as you pointed out, I wrote ‘invent’. I hope the editors will kindly correct it.

    @Malik Rashid
    “Please do not indulge in Jinnah, Iqbal or any other personality from the past. Make your own argument. No one, I repeat no one is free of mistakes nor we ourselves are clear of bias.”

    I totally agree that none of us is free of bias and we should make our own argument, however, fictionalized history transforms our present and future as well. We have to set the record straight for our children so that their present and future actions are not based in fiction but in reality.

    @Hamza Baloch
    I appreciate your disagreement and I tried to answer your criticism in my previous post. I watched the video of Dr. Israr Ahmed on youtube yet my argument in this blog as well as in my previous post that why, if Moulvi Mohammad Ali Jinnah was working to establish an Islamic state, all the religious parties opposed him in his endeavour?

    Religious leaders did not call Jinnah a Moulvi then, instead he was even called ‘Kafir’ and so was Allama Iqbal.

    “Secular, does not mean not having any religion, thats what these people do not understand. it means equal standing for all the religions.”

    You are correct. Secularism means separation of religion from politics. As Jinnah said in his speech that State has no business with the faith of its citizen.

    @anwaar ahmad
    Army is definitely our protector of our geographical boundaries. However, they are definitely not the custodians of our ideology.

    @Ali Ahmad, Masood, Qazi, Manahil, Asif Khan, Nausheen, Naseer and MT

    Thank you for your interact and appreciation.Recommend

  • Naseer

    Mr. Rashid,

    I grew up in Lucknow and I went to local public school (1988-1998). All subjects were taught in English.

    Report you qouted is generalizing about India.Recommend

  • Tasneem Chowdhrey

    I somehow have a feeling people are debating on issues that are secondary, Dr. Hamid’s point is:
    “Pakistani public education needs to focus on re-designing its curriculum, re-writing and reconstructing teaching material including textbooks and constructing a non-violent, democratic learning environment in the public schools to disseminate tolerant views and employment-oriented education.”
    Though I do not necessarily agree with “employment-oriented education”, any and all education is like teaching someone how to fish!
    I couldn’t agree more with the point on need for major overhauling of education system.
    Starting point may be to do away with policies imposed by “Foriegners” through thier financing.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid

    “Report you quoted is generalizing about India.”

    Yes, the Fifth All-India Education Survey of 1992 is about whole India. You must have been to one of those 13% schools.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid

    Shams Hamid
    Setting historic records straight would be a specialized task in itself. Quotes provided by Hamza Baloch show us that Jinnah used the phrase ‘a complete code’ for Islam and you contend that Jinnah never used ‘Islamic Ideology’. I am not sure if the point that Jinnah wanted a secular Pakistan gets established here. We know for sure that teaching ignorance at school is like defrauding students and parents. I fully support the line of change you recommend for Pakistan’s public education. I share the idea of a secular Pakistan with you irrespective of compromises made by politicians and military dictators.Recommend

  • Yunus

    @Tasneem Chowdhrey
    What “foreigners” you are talking about? Please explain because I am tired to “foreign hands” in every thing. Even when the newspaper boy doesn’t deliver paper in the morning my father thinks it could be a foreign hand.Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    @Shams Hamid: Thanks for your reply.
    Dear, why religious party was against the creation of Pakistan, its simple asnwer is given by altaf hussain:)

    listen “nara-e-Pakistan” @ 5 min of this video

  • Khufaash

    Agreed! The so called Qauid never was that capable to develope an ideology. We created our own hi-stories just to justify the basis of its (Pakistan) foundation and to give a complete authority over all matters and resources to a single nation amongst us which has always benefited from and sided with the British raaj.Recommend

  • tanveer

    Brilliant Hamza Baloch! nice video.Recommend

  • Free Hussaini

    How a scholar died in Pakistan and how his death was reported.


    “Faisalabad—An elderly man died of a heart attack in Faisalabad as police officials and an employee of a sensitive department tried to arrest him. According to sources, Dr. Faqeer arrived at Fayyaz Colony on Tuesday night where two police officials and an employee of a sensitive department tried to arrest him. Meanwhile, he fell on the ground due to a heart attack. Hearing the commotion, the neighborhood people arrived at the spot after which the police officials fled the scene and the people apprehended the employee of the sensitive department and his accomplice. The local police arrived at the scene and moved the body to the Civil Hospital for autopsy whereas the two persons were arrested. Dr. Faqeer was a P.H.D. and had founded an institution for chemical research work.”

    The above is an almost exact translation of a news story as its appears in the on-line version of the Urdu language Pakistani newspaper, Jang.Recommend

  • Anwar Ahmad

    If Jinnah wanted Islami Pakistan there was no need for Jamaat-e-Islami, Ahrars and many other like minded to oppose Pakistan movement. This opposition is in itselef a big proof. If Jinnah spoke about Islam at one or two occasions he also spoke about Pakistan for all religions countless times. We just bind ourselves to the distorted history taught to us in schools and preached by couple of hijackers who later started fatwa factories and damaged whole system.Recommend

  • asad latif

    kudos to the writer for carrying out a sensible and educated research into Barrister Jinnah’s vision of a balanced and a secular pakistani state. the 1940 lahore resolution also accorded autonomy to the federating units , adherence to which would have surely prevented the seperation of our bengali brothers. the people of pakistan were shortchanged in supporting a seperate homeland for muslims.Recommend

  • Tasneem Chowdhrey


    As mentioned in the article above:
    “The unholy alliance of 1980s, between the dictatorial military regime of Pakistan under General Zia-ul-Haq, the unelected literalist religious political party Jamat-e-Islami and American government, cemented Islamisation of all Pakistani institutions including public educational institutions.” and written about Saudi interference in our educational policy by the same writer elsewhere.
    I am as sick of blaming “OTHERS” for our state of affairs as anyone can be. However, some facts remain!
    My point is to take charge of our affairs:
    NOT to wait for the Government to deliver.
    NOT to wait for damn loans from multilateral agencies.
    NOT to wait for aid from so called Friends of Pakistan.
    NOT to wait for some LEADER to rise and guide.
    NOT keep waiting for MESSIAH or it will be too late.
    Our only hope are our children. Past two generations have been morally corrupted to such an extent that we can’t even distinguishing between Good and Bad, Right and Wrong.
    I have arrived at the conclusion that if only I could instill the correct values in my children I will live in peace.
    As Dr. Hamid pointed out the educational system is defrauding children and parents; we at our own individual level can at least be true to ur children and give them the true facts and perspective rather then subjecting them to generally prevailing “Dhakosla” of Pakistan and Islam.Recommend

  • Shams Hamid

    @FastBowler your claim is attested by this passage.
    “[The Muslims] were not allowed to profess their religion freely”. (M. Ikram Rabbani and Monawar Ali Sayyid, An Introduction to Pakistan studies, The Caravan Book House,Lahore, 1995, p 12)

    Here is a summary of some of the distortions:

    “The state’s major objectives – creating nationalism and support for the military –
    are attained by repeating a few basic messages in all the books.

    First, the non-Muslim part of Pakistan is ignored. Second, the borrowing from Hindu culture is either ignored or condemned. Third, the Pakistan movement is portrayed mostly in terms of the perfidy of Hindus and the British and the righteousness of the
    Muslims. After the partition, in which Hindus are reported to have massacred Muslims while Muslims are not shown to have treated the Hindus in the same
    manner, India is portrayed as the enemy, which is waiting to dismember Pakistan. The separation of Bangladesh in 1971 is portrayed as proof of this
    Indian policy rather than the result of the domination of the West Pakistan over East Bengal.

    Above all, the 1948, 1965 and 1971 wars are blamed entirely on India, and Pakistan is shown to have won the 1965 war. The armed forces are not only glorified but treated as if they were sacrosanct and above criticism.

    All eminent personalities associated with the Pakistan movement, especially M.A. Jinnah and Iqbal, are presented as orthodox Muslims and any aspect of their thoughts and behaviour which does not conform to this image is suppressed.

    Indeed, the overall effect of the ideological lessons is to make Islam reinforce and legitimise both Pakistani nationalism and militarisation.”

    (Tariq Rahman, Language-Teaching and World View in Urdu Medium Schools, Research Papers Series,
    SDPI, Islamabad, 1995.)Recommend

  • H Saqib

    If Pakistan was created in the name of Islam then mullahs would not have opposed it and a secular like Jinnah would not be leading Pakistan Movement.Recommend

  • Shahab

    More than 90% of pakistani population is muslim.So wht is wrong in calling pakistan as islamic state and implementing islamic rules and regulations in our country???Recommend

  • Malik Rashid

    “wht is wrong in calling pakistan as islamic state and implementing islamic rules”

    With religious zealots blowing up schools, bazars and innocent citizens, above question has been answered already. As a pretended/purported ‘Islamic republic’, today Pakistan is seen as a fatal danger to peace and civilization. Acts of terror originating in the name of Islam have decimated the state and jeopardized Muslim identity. Medieval religions precede nation states and they must submit to the rule of law. A rule of law aims for gender equality and medieval mindset resists in keeping women subjugated. Degradation of education is another example. Literalist interpretation of Islam has been rightly singled out as the culprit for this predicament. More than one billion Muslims in the one world have failed to produce a world class university. Not a single country with Muslim majority could become a peaceful, pluralist democracy. Peace.Recommend

  • Shams Hamid

    @Tasneem Chowdhrey
    Dear Tasneem, I am grateful to you to bring the discussion on the present distorted educational curriculum and learning materials. We already know through detailed analysis of SDI report that what is wrong and where. We now need to ascertain how far these issues are rectified by the recent reforms instituted by the federal and provincial educational ministries with the assistance of international donor agencies.

    @Malik Rashid
    You are right setting historic record straight is a specialized task and blogs like these can only try to point towards that task. I have mentioned SDI report compiled by leading educationists and intellectuals that shows the distortions and recommend how to fix it:…/State%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

    @Hamza Baloch
    Dearest Hamza Sahab, I again followed your links to watch Altaf Hussain’s Address where he justifies his comments that Pakistan’s creation has caused the violence in 1947 and 1970. Dr. Israr Ahmad on the other hand goes on with his insistence that he participated in the Pakistan’s Independence movement because it was for the creation of an Islamic country. None of these two videos clarify the contradiction involve in Religious political parties stand that why they opposed the creation of Pakistan using religious slogans and later claimed that Pakistan was created to become an Islamic state. I thank you for your input.

    You brought another angle to this debate. British administrator of Punjab, perhaps, reported to Viceroy during 1945 election that Muslim League’s leadership does not seem to have any clear idea of what does a separate Pakistan means. I guess Hamza Baloch and I should look at this issue from this perspective as well. Malik Rashid is also suggesting something similar that both my position as well as Hamza Baloch’s stance seems untenable because, as Anwar Ahmad is also pointing out that Jinnah spoke from a secular as well as from religious positions in his speeches.

    Majority of Europe is Christian but they transformed their state into secular state because otherwise their growth was stagnated and violence, militancy and extremism was propagated and tolerance for other religions and ideas was suppressed as long as they did not separate religion from politics.

    Thank you everone for your interesting remarks and enriching inputs.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Sajid Malick

    Reading all the comments on secularism I was reminded of the French poet Pascal who had said, “faith has many reasons that reason knows nothing of.”Recommend

  • Hamza Baloch

    @Shams Hamid,

    dear, 1st as altaf said after the partition Muslims strength decreased. The religious parties consider division of “hindustan” as a division of Muslims of sub continent.

    2nd, religious parties were/are not the representative of religious persons of Pakistan. Like a simple example of Dr Israr, he joined the JI and also left JI, but he remain a “Religious scholar” from last 50 years to till his death.. So dont mix the ideology of Pakistan with the religious parties of that time.”nara-e-Pakistan” was the voice of the Muslims of sub continent.Recommend

  • iqbal Alavi

    Its a nice artcle. Fully documented what I mean the refrences are authentic. Let us join the forces of change for the better. Let us accommodate other regious identities as your euqal human. We need peace and harmony.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Well, do you think one of the reasons for not opting for Secularism is that Pakistan or its early leaders thought that if they adopt Secularism they would not have an identity of their own,as India is built on the concept of Secularism?

    Or, that they thought that Islam is tolerant and vibrant enough to accommodate all Religions and/or is better than the concept of Secularism?

    Jinnah was a Secularist, no doubt, but he also used Islam as a tool. There is a grey area nobody can understand about him. Maybe he thought in the demand for Pakistan, he would get lot of goodies for the Muslims!

    Not intentions but actions matter. Jinnah,according to me, irrevocably ruined his secular image when he said there are 2 countries within India,ignoring centuries of tolerance between Hindus and Muslims. Also, he forgot about the Sikhs,Jains,Buddhists,etc who lived among Hindus and having no trouble with the majority community. He is too smart for not noticing my previous 2 points. He willfully ignored the past.

    But, I think India did the right thing by granting Pakistan to Jinnah. Jinnah had after all threatened Civil war! It was too risky for an infant nation like India. And, also now the 2 nation theory has lost with the creation of Bangladesh. Now, Pakistan should follow a strict version of Indian style secularism. European Secularism is not suited for a country like Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://facebook.come N A

    Dear All!!

    Mr. Jinnah he was a sincere leader but a bit confused too at the same time. He was neither secular nor truly religious… he stood somewhere between the two!

    As a result of this confusion we r a confused nation. its really good to know that there r so many intelligent people (especially youth) who have begun to question our identity, our politics, our education system and so on. but whats heart-breaking to me is the direction they have chosen: secularism.

    Islam, true islam and true islamic system is the only solution for Pakistan. i am not a mullah or a terrorist (some of u might have started considering it already). just read the Quran (with translation) and you will get the answer! Understand Seerat-un-Nabbi SAW and Grasp the meaning to Iqbal’s vision if you can … after all why on earth so many people died for.. just a piece of land?? hum to cut maray unhein khabar hi nahee……Recommend

  • sj

    @ mr shams hameed:well i read this article and totally diagrees wid it.. its just a clear reflection of mr shams hameed’s secular thoughts.. it has nothing to do with education..state or anything else… he said in the start of his article that the real cause of militancy in Pakistan is the public education system, and not religious schools.. well as you all know that the talibans are the one who are causing this terrorism..who have destroyed the image of islam… though i am sure that they are being used by and supported by some external agencies but even if we consider them reasponsible for all that millitancy, so my question to that author is that which school these talibans have studied from..???? do you think they have studied in the pakistani education system..??? its clearly NO…. infact they hav never even entered the schools… and then how could you blame the pakistani education system the real cause of millitancy.. and whta do you think about the muslims outside pakistan who were involved in your so-called terrorist acts??? do you think they all have studied in pakistani education system…. so my point was that the pakistani education system has nothing to do with this millitancy….infact the main reason is lack of knowledge and unawereness of islamic techings. and i total agree with WH that true islam and true islamic system is the only solution of all such issues
    now coming to the second point that related to the ideology of paikstan… i am seriously shocked to know authors views… i mean what the hell. you dont even know the basic purpose of pakistan.??? i think you hav forgotten the TWO-NATION THEORY.. you should have a look at it again.. that was the main reason to start a struggle for a seperate country.. infact pakistan was a dream of iqbal and his ideology is very clear..i think you hav also forgotten the slogans and banners used in pakistan movement i.e “PAKISTAN KA MATLAB KYA .. LA LIAHA ILALLHA”… i again agree here with WH that did we sacrifice millions of lives just for a piece of land???? now if we talk about the great leader QUAID E you can get your ans in this link even if we admit it that to some extent quaid e azam was a bit secualr in nature.. and that his ideology was a bit different (which i can surely say was not) but the milllions of muslims who sacrificed their lives n who struggled for pakistan had a very clear cut ideology…..

    @hamza baloch: i totaly agree with ur thoughts.. i reallly appreciate that…Recommend

  • Ifthikar

    Even Jinnah never used the word Secular in his entire lifeRecommend