Our Islamists and their lies

Daily Times: Speaking to the Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI’s) three-day convention in Lahore, the ameer (chief) of the party, Sirajul Haq, told his followers that UK agents in Pakistan were trying to spread the propaganda that Jinnah had envisaged Pakistan to be a secular state. He went on to claim Jinnah had written a letter to Maulana Maududi promising an Islamic state. This is absolutely and completely untrue. There is no letter whatsoever that Jinnah ever wrote to Maulana Maududi. It is highly unlikely that Jinnah even knew of Maududi’s existence, who was at best a marginal character in the 1940s. Maududi had been highly critical, in language bordering on abusive, of Jinnah and the Muslim League but he was never considered enough of a nuisance for Jinnah to respond to Maududi’s scurrilous abuse.

 

This is not the first time the JI or others have ascribed pure hogwash to Mr Jinnah. In the 1980s they popularised a quote from Jinnah that Pakistan was going to be a laboratory of Islam, something he supposedly uttered during a visit to Peshawar’s Islamia College in January 1948. The only problem? Jinnah did not go to Peshawar in January 1948. This quote, however, has made it to our national consciousness through Zia’s Pakistan Studies curriculum. Others like Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani had taken to this posthumous Islamisation much earlier, referring to a letter Jinnah supposedly wrote to the Pir of Manki Sharif promising Sharia.

 

Others jumped onto that bandwagon yet, to this day, not even a single authentic copy of the letter has been produced by proponents of this claim. This is not to say that the famed letter to Manki did not exist but the fact that the original letter said something quite different, i.e. Pakistan’s creation would not impact the application of Muslim personal law, aka Sharia, on Muslim citizens (as it does not in India either). The real question that must be asked is why such a surety was needed when the popular claim — forwarded by the JI and others — is that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. The answer to that is that Pakistan was not created in the name of Islam and this is precisely why the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, JI and Majlis-e-Ahrar opposed its creation. They could, under no circumstances, envisage an Islamic state being founded by a Shia Khoja — Jinnah — aided by an Ahmedi, i.e. Zafrullah Khan.

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