Not a Theocracy
“The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in right, dignity, and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds, and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan. Not only are most of us Muslims but we have our own history, customs and traditions and those ways of thought, outlook and instinct which go to make up a sense of nationality.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Broadcast to the people of Australia / 19th Feb, 1948
The world owes something to the individuals who uncovered some new moral insight, denounced horrible acts and innovated history’s moral trajectory towards justice.
Majority of Pakistanis are Muslims and for the Muslims -- such an individual is Prophet Muhammad -- who disrupted the age of ignorance in Arabia.
The Muslims view Prophet Muhammad as history’s finale of divine revelations to propel an era in which morality had a rational basis.
Therefore, the Muslim way of thought is centered around rationality. Further, the definition of a Muslim - as per the Quran - is someone who commits to living in peace and is a seeker of truth. It is unfortunate to observe that this definitive attribute of Muslims is diluted in the current Muslim regions but we must self-correct ourselves.
Pakistanis share a very deep sense of reverence for the human dignity and equality of all people, races, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations. We adhere to Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon that emphasized equality: “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action.”
As a result of this doctrine --- Pakistanis share a very deep sense of brotherhood and unity among themselves and with the world at large.
However, Pakistan is absolutely not a theocracy and will never be one. This is because when power is confined to the members of one religion or sect -- there is inevitably a severe ideological censorship. Sincere believers will be anxious to spread true faith; others will be content with outward conformity. The former attitude kills the free exercise of intelligence; the latter promotes hypocrisy. The rulers, in a theocracy, are likely to be fanatics; being fanatics, they will be severe; being severe, they will be opposed; being opposed, they will become more severe. Their power-impulses will wear, even to themselves, the cloak of religious zeal, and will, therefore, be subject to no restraint which can devolve into brutality.
Instead, Pakistan will strive for power to be distributed among all minorities, races, and sects -- provided all work in the long-term interest of the state.
Islam is rational and promotes tolerance towards all creeds. The Quran clearly states - in no uncertain terms -- that let there be no compulsion in religion. Pakistan will strive and is determined to achieve the manifestation of this Quranic doctrine.
Pakistan’s history of self-determination and Jinnah’s freedom-struggle to uphold human rights defines its national characteristics that are centered around liberty, equality, justice, and fraternity of all individuals.