Peace & Prosperity
“I assure your Excellency that we in Pakistan will give you our support and cooperation which you may require in promoting the relationship of goodwill and friendship between our two countries and I trust that in the result, Pakistan and France will unitedly play their part in re-establishing peace and prosperity in the present distracted world.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Common ideals of Pakistan and France
- Context: Reply to the Speech made by the First Ambassador of the Republic of France to Pakistan at the time of Presenting credentials to the Quaid-e-Azam on 21st January, 1948.
In 1429, a young girl appeared from the marches of Lorraine and in a few short months single-handedly changed France’s fate. She led the French army to its first victory against the English army in decades when she lifted the siege of Orléans in May 1429. A month later, she liberated the Loire from the stranglehold the English army had put on it. Joan of Arc claimed that her quest to save France was, by her own admission, divinely inspired.
There is a church downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, US* on the corner of Cedar and Tenth Streets. Every large pane in the church, with the exception of one, is dedicated to a French saint, and every inscription on every stained-glass window, with the exception of that one, links the mission of that saint with the life of France herself. The message to be read in the decorative elements of the church is a clear and distinct one: France is a sacred nation.
Alphonse de Lamartine, Knight of Pratz was a French author, poet, and statesman who was instrumental in the foundation of the Second Republic, and the continuation of the Tricolore as the flag of France. He expressed an interesting opinion of Prophet Muhammad:
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls. Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire — that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
Islam is definitely a religion of peace, compassion, empathy, justice, fairplay and scientific discovery. There’s greater overlap in values than differences between France and Pakistan. We are confident that through enhanced understanding of our shared values, Islamophobia in France will successfully diminish. The dividends of mutual understanding and peace will always be greater than any conflict.
The freedom and peace-loving people of Pakistan lend their support and cooperation to building a strong, peaceful, and lasting friendship with France. À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible.
*source: On Fate of Nations, Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall | 2001, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture
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