Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Cure to Racism?

Over on the Partition of India blog, is posted an excerpt from a paper by Venkat Dhulipala, which describes Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani's Quranic/historic justification for Pakistan, that was influential in the founding of Pakistan.

One thing bothered me:
Usmani outlined Pakistan's significance to Islam in the modern world by declaring that Pakistan was the first step in the process of self purification of Muslims, purging them of all their earlier narrow identities based on race, class, sect, language and region and creating an equal brotherhood of Islam as had been the case in Medina.
The problem with this equal brotherhood is that it deals with differences by trying to eradicate them.  Eliminate differences in language by forcing everyone to one language.  Eliminate differences in tradition by eliminating all pre-Islamic literature and art.  Eliminate differences in dress by getting everyone into one costume. 

It is as though, since we all have different faces, any "narrow identity" based on the face can be dissolved by requiring everyone to keep their face covered with a strip of black cloth.  (Even so, some will try to decorate the black cloth.)

This equal brotherhood idea is not a way of living with being different.  It is closer to "if you are different, you don't live".    It as though religious edict can negate reality. 

This project has resulted in the colossal failure that is Pakistan.