Thursday, July 1, 2010

What counts?

In the "J-Man and his Pakistan" published in the Daily Times, we are given the number:

Three dozen.
All of these groups, of course, use the same arguments and the same selective quotes out of context from Jinnah.  Jinnah’s ambiguous references to Islam, Islamic ideals and Islamic unity are used to demolish his vision of the state which he clearly expressed on — as per last count — at least three dozen occasions.
To which I add some more numbers:

In my book I showed that there are literally hundreds of references to Islamic terminology and principles in Mr. Jinnah’s speeches. Additionally, whilst he stressed the absolute equality of non-Muslim citizens in Pakistan, he never once used the word ‘secular’ to describe the country.
Prof Abdul Waheed Siddiqui has counted 90 speeches made by Jinnah between 1940 and 1947 in which he spoke of an Islamic State.
 I think Hoodbhoy has it right:
Decades after the horrific bloodbath of Partition, the idea of Pakistan remains hotly debated. It did not help that Jinnah died in 1948, just a year after Pakistan was born, with his plans still ambiguously stated. He authored no books and wrote no policy paper. He did make many speeches, of which several were driven by political expediency and are frankly contradictory. These are freely cherry-picked today, with some finding in them a liberal and secular voice; others, an embodiment of Islamic values. The confusion is irresolvable.

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