Letter: Sensible Humanist approach to Islam

To understand Islam in practical terms in the modern age, look no further than the Indian subcontinent for how otherwise similar societies evolve.

Partition in 1947 left two nations led by secularists (Nehru and Jinnah). But one, Jinnah, died about a year after independence. By 1950, Pakistan had codified Islam into its nationalism and started a path towards theocracy. By 1971, the two-nation theory had fallen apart and somewhat led to East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh. In the 1970s, the Ahmadiyyas were particularly targeted and declared non-Muslim. This persecution continues today. In pursuit of the theocracy, Pakistan teaches itself selective history and willful,
institutionalized discrimination, bordering on hate (http://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases/3661-pakistans-educational-system-fuels-religious-discrimination.html).

My point is that Pakistan, today, is on the brink of complete Islamisation primarily because its early leaders chose that route. India, with all its massive problems considered, chose to be secular. In part, that is what has saved it from disintegrating (it is centuries away from being a superpower).

These three countries are the same people culturally but have chosen different paths and have measurable, meaningful differences with respect to human freedoms.

Islam has always been a political ideology and tackling its innate imperial impulses requires at least the same effort as the one that separated Christianity from state rule. Good luck.

-Chakkar

One Response to Letter: Sensible Humanist approach to Islam

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I recall of Indian history (which seems to be confirmed by Wikipedia, for what that’s worth), Pakistan was explicitly Muslim from the start and a vast number of the Muslims in India left for Pakistan upon partition. Saying that Pakistan has “become” an Islamic religious state is being a bit disingenuous.

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