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.