Monday, February 23, 2009

Muslims and Democracy...c.1950

This is for all those--both Islamists and Islamophobes--who ... remember this is from -- before those who would totemize Islam (Islamists, if you will) started to dominate the discourse and the News:
"... we have proved it to the world more than once. We established Pakistan because of our passion for what we call the Islamic way of life. This is no narrow sectarian, or medieval, or theocratic or intolerant conception. It means no more and no less than this: that we believe in God and atheistic doctrines cannot flourish amongst us. That we believe in the equality of men and the equality of civic rights and opportunities for all, irrespective of their religious belief. That we believe in social justice, ... that we believe in democracy, not as a political creed; but as a part of our religious faith ... the way of life that we have chosen for ourselves, [is] not a new concoction, but one that is based on a body of belief and tradition that have been handed down to us by our forefathers"
full speech audio at: http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/50/50-05khan-audio.html
Liaquat Ali Khan, First Prime Minister of Pakistan, at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 16, 1950.

March 23rd is "Pakistan Day", the anniversary both of the day in 1940 when the All India Muslim League adopted as its official position the "Lahore Resolution" (a.k.a. the Pakistan Resolution). and of the day in 1956 when Pakistan adopted its first constitution and becoming a democracy--thus finally ending almost a hundred years of a British sovereign reigning in large parts of South Asia.

I'd like to propose that we declare March 23rd "International Democracy in the Muslim World Day". Any takers?
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