Secular Jinnah

Family of the Heart - DIALOGUE & DISCUSSIONS 

Dear Mr. Bashy Quraishy,

I endorse your views and appreciate your laudatory remarks about the founder of Pakistan. Was Quaid a secularist? This debate initiated by the FOTH is alarming as well as interesting. There should be no doubt in it that Mr. Jinnah on different occasions said that the Quran would be our constitution. The Quaid was proud of being a Muslim. When he said: " There is not one but two nations living in India; the Hindus and the Muslims". He associated himself with the Muslim nation. But it is on record that he opposed obdurate theocracy. He rejected religious extremism. In his speech he once clearly announced that Pakistan was created and now the followers of all faiths were free to go their temples and churches. Actually, there is the Quranic verse that ordains respect for all faiths and tolerance for every creed. The Quran says:" For you your religion and for me mine". This is Islamic universal and secular mantra. Secularism does not mean the negation of religion or atheism. In modern terminology it means respect for all religions. The radicals and fundamentalists are hard liners and they believe in extremism. The interpretation of Dr. Iqbal and Quaid-e- Azam was liberal and fraternal. Both rejected priesthood and promoted the rational, democratic, progressive and secular concept of Islam. In this sense, of course, Quaid was a secularist.

Sincerely yours,

Dr.Maqsood Jafri

New York

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