Posted @ PakTea
Religion has never been a part of state in Pakistan, in fact only been abused to serve political motives since her inception. Despairingly, dilemma of Pakistani intellectuals is that in a peripheral discourse of Jinnah as a secular or Islamist, even the meaning of a sovereign dominion has been lost, let alone Islamic Pakistan.
Sadly, both the seculars and the Islamists use the same obsolete version of Islam to justify their claims. A liberated, democratic, just, economically effectual Pakistan is consistent with what Jinnah envisioned as well as Islamic principals.
The expeditiously changing global socio-political environment after a failed WOT resulting in altering socio-religious dynamics globally, now makes the narrative of Zia and textbook indoctrination as sole radicalization agent irrelevant. It does not explain post-WOT sudden surge in Islam globally, rapid Islamization even radicalization of the west and rising racism. Thus making the secular doctrine, inconsistent with the “timeline”, getting groundless and unconvincing every passing day. Opportunist mullah, still to-date is getting leverage and excuses, cashing on the developments around, living on a vacuum created by failed state policies and lack of interest from intellectuals to feed the on growing demand vis-à-vis religious interpretations. It follows that; religion neither should be abandoned using clergy as an excuse, nor be left exclusively in cult domain.
Pragmatically, viability of an Islamic state consistent with the 21st century should now be the objective. Say, it is not rocket science to interpret that future belongs to interest-free banking (not the pseudo Shariah banking being offered). Recessions, debts, global financial crisis paves the way for a revised system. However, imperative is this serious discourse must not be left for inept mullahs, instead skilled banking professionals should carve a way forming a roadmap, gradually altering the system. Certainly, somewhere in the Europe steps will be taken now for similar reforms (e.g. debates over ethical banking, full reserve banking perhaps a precursor).
Likewise, primary objective of a fair judicial mechanism in any civilized society is to ensure justice provision for the weak and minority (might being always right manages). Apart from the Medina treaty, there are innumerable examples throughout the Islamic history of minorities particularly Jews being well protected and flourishing in an Islamic set-up. Moreover, I am unable to grasp, in a state where majority is not getting justice, and the law of the jungle prevails, how could minorities ever be protected?
Ostensibly, merely discarding Iqbal as an Indian poet is a disservice to his enlightening prose pieces. Taking him as a philosopher would reveal his religious reconstruction as a powerful tool, which portrays a picture of Islam that is neither left nor right, but perfectly coherent with 21st century. Like for Caliphate, Iqbal’s panislamic concept is not precisely what mullahs have portrayed. In his own words (prose):
“Equipped with penetrative thought and fresh experience the world of Islam should courageously proceed to the work of reconstruction before them”
“For the present every Muslim nation must sink into her own deeper self; temporarily focus her vision on herself alone, until all are strong and powerful to form a living family of republics. A true and living unity, according to the nationalists thinkers, is not so easy as to be achieved by a merely symbolical overlordship”
“It seems to me that God is slowly bringing home to us the truth that Islam is neither Nationalism or Imperialism but a League of Nations which recognizes artificial boundaries and racial distinctions for facility of reference only, and not for restricting the social horizons of its members”
I perceive this impression of caliphate somewhat similar to a UN body or say EU or a proactive OIC.
Unlike mullahs “Ameer-ul-momineen” monarchic dogma, he advocates caliphate to be a Republican type of government with power shared by one assembly, and not overruled by one person. Albeit, supremacy lies with God.
“Should the caliphate be vested in a single person? Turkey’s Ijtehad is that according to the spirit of Islam the caliphate or imamate cane be vested in a body of persons, or an elected assembly. The religious doctors of Islam in Egypt and India, so far as I know, have not yet expressed themselves on this point. Personally, I believe the Turkish view is perfectly sound. It is hardly necessary to argue this point. The republican form of government is not only thoroughly consistent with the spirit of Islam, but has also become a necessity in view of the new forces that are set free in the world of Islam.”
Devising the concept of “Spiritual Democracy” as the ultimate aim of Islam, he advocates vision and spiritual enterprise as fundamental leadership credential-“Two hundred thickheads altogether cannot yield what a single visionary can”. And as Paulo Coelho rightly tweets, “Spirituality is not all about meditation and prayer, you have to act it!” Following this, if vision, integrity, and honesty be made the criterion to choose leadership instead of lingo-provincial based sectarianism, ultimately a spirited, progressive democratic state consistent with Islam will be instituted.
The future belongs to invigorated or reconstructed Islam, nor is secular, neither theocracy an option. Kamal’s constitutionally secular Turkey is propitiously and serenely transforming into Erdogan’s modern Islamic Turkey, having civil supremacy, and leading Europe in economic growth. Why can’t we do this?