Islam, Pakistan

Pakistan and the Plight of Shia Muslims

On August 11, 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave expression to his vision of Pakistan in an address to the Constituent Assembly. He spoke of an inclusive and impartial government, religious freedom, rule of law and equality for all. His address was class oratory expertise & a strong espousal of a secular state in which every citizen would be free to follow his own religion. The State shall make no distinction between the citizens on the grounds of faith. His frequently quoted part of the speech, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State” is hijacked by those who urged common Muslims not to side with Jinnah when he was striving for a sovereign and separate homeland. The people who now aver to be the most patriotic and well wishers of Pakistan ridiculed the title “Quaid e Azam” (The Great Leader) given to Jinnah by his followers and ascribed him as “Kafir e Azam” (The Great disbeliever).  Founder of Jamat e Islami, Abul A’ala Maududi penned his thoughts about Jinnah: “It is forbidden to vote for [Jinnah’s] Muslim League”. The political differences between Jinnah and the religious parties led by Muslim clerics are well documented but even then incongruously the same cult of religious fanatics claims to be the savior of the country they opposed vigorously when the Pakistan Movement was in full swing. As a nation we set off for an entirely opposite destiny to Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan adopted an extremely confused and impractical resolution known as Objective Resolution on March 12, 1949. After years of Military rule in Pakistan, It was the most atrocious military ruler Zia ul Haq who left no stone unturned in nurturing extremism, sectarianism and barbarianism among the illiterate masses in the name of Islam. He misused Islam not only to prolong his reign but also to spread hatred against the minorities living in Pakistan and consequently drove the final nail in the coffin of an already depleted Pakistan.

Read more: Pakistan and the Plight of Shia Muslims.

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