The curse of the minorities!

Source/Credit: The Express Tribune: By Yaqoob Khan Bangash / Ocotber 10, 2011

Everyone in this world is a minority in one way or the other. In a society, men are either the majority or the dominant sex, one religion outnumbers another, one sect has more followers than the other, or one ethnicity overwhelms another smaller one numerically. In civilised societies and mature democracies, the emphasis for the last few decades has been to recognise such differences and to take steps to offer equal opportunities to everyone. Belgium, for example, has developed a complex federal system where the three linguistic communities have maximum autonomy within the Belgian constitution. Obviously, these systems do not make everyone happy, but their evolution exhibits attempts by countries to evolve in ways so that no one feels like a minority — everyone feels, and is effectively, a full citizen of the country.

Pakistan is the creation of a minority complex. The Muslims in India were fearful of the numerical majority of the Hindus, post the British departure, and therefore wanted a separate homeland for themselves so that they could safeguard their interests. So, in the words of the Muslim League, India was inhabited by only two communities: Muslim and Hindu, where both needed separation.

What the Muslim League forgot in this ‘Two Nation’ theory was the fact that the Muslims were not a homogenous community. There were a lot of internal fissures amongst the Muslims and several sections of the Muslim community were oppressed and discriminated against. Differentiation on the basis of caste, sect and ethnicity ran deep amongst the Muslims of South Asia.

When Pakistan was created, only people belonging to non-Muslim religions were considered minorities. Therefore, Christians and Hindus became easy targets for anti-western and anti-India attacks respectively. They were also clearly discriminated against in the constitution, the civil services, education and in general. Hence, when human rights groups focused on ‘minority persecution’, the gaze easily centred on these embattled communities.

Read more:

Categories: Religion

3 replies

  1. “O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and fear Him particularly respecting ties of relationship. Indeed, Allah watches over you.” (Al Quran 4:2)

  2. “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Indeed, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.” (Al Quran 49:14)

Leave a Reply to Rafiq A. Tschannen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.