How Did This Start?
In united India, when Muslims were divided into sects, someone might have whispered in the ear of apparently secular Jinnah, “Islamic touch de dein”, which later unified the Muslims under the banner of Islam, leading to the creation of Pakistan. Cool.
Then, after independence, fighting against hegemonic India and a much bigger and stronger Indian army for the liberation of Kashmir was terrifying for the infant state of Pakistan. Someone might have whispered in the ear of then leaders, “Islamic touch de dein”, which turned this war into a jihad, leading to a stalemate and didn’t change Kashmiris’s fate. Was it cool?
Later, when Fatimah Jinnah contested against Ayub Khan, someone would have said in former General’s ear, “Sir, Islamic touch de dein”, who invited scholars to support him and those scholars issued a verdict against Ms. Jinnah stating that Islam doesn’t allow a woman to be a ruler. Her character was also assassinated. Not so cool, right?
Past Drives Our Present
For having secular and socialist beliefs, PPP and Awami league were attacked by Islamic parties, mobilised by Yahya Khan. Very nice Islamic touch for political gains.
During the 1971 war, Yahya Khan in West Pakistan and A.A.K Niazi in East Pakistan invoked the spirit of Jihad to fight the enemy, the Muslims of East Pakistan, which led to the dismemberment of Pakistan. Another Islamic touch failed. Thanda thanda, cool cool. Right?
Under the pressure of rightists, Bhutto gave an Islamic touch to socialism and it became Islamic socialism. Then, he introduced the plan of the Islamic bomb and mobilised Islamist militias in Afghanistan to gain leverage over Kabul. Guess what was the result of this Islamic touch? Hint: It failed.
During Zia’s reign, there was no Islamic touch. Yeah, you got me right. That was a process of complete Islamisation of Pakistan. He used Islam to counter his political foes. Religious parties were politicized, and the judicial system and education sectors were Islamised, leading to the unprecedented rise in sectarianism. The war against USSR was tagged as Jihad. Poor students from Madrassahs were provoked to join this so-called ‘sacred war’. Then Talibanization caused more damage to already crumbling Pakistan. Taliban, who were trained by the Pak army to fight in Afghanistan, were later hunted down by Pak Army itself as the war had blown back. Scholars, who issued fatwas of Jihad, didn’t want their own children to participate in the sacred war and if any of their kids sneaked out for Jihad, they went after him and brought him back. Beta, jannat ki zrurt gareeb k bchay ko ha. Tm to hmare noor e chasham ho. Tmhry bgair tmhri maa kese zinda rhy gi. Tmhy apny burhy bap ka khyal nhe aya? I am no longer feeling cool. ‘
Fast forward, Qasim Suri whispered in IK’s ear, “Islamic touch de dein”. Bravo.
Islamic narrative has been hijacked by a number of forces, who distorted the teachings of Islam to achieve political and strategic gains. This needs to end. It was cool until we didn’t know that PTI leadership discusses ‘Islamic touch’ as a way of exploiting the religious sentiments of the people of Pakistan. It’s not cool anymore.
Islamic touches never worked and will never work for this country. Our religious beliefs, languages, culture, and traditions are different. We cannot be unified based on religion, language, culture, or tradition. We are a diverse nation. If there is anything that can unify us is our identity as a Pakistani. No matter which sect we follow, which language we speak, what our culture or tradition is, or in which province we live, WE ALL ARE PAKISTANIS. This should be the unifying force. But, wait. Who is even trying to unite this nation? They divide and rule.
P.s: Yes, women were and can be rulers. Ye kisi aur wqt discuss krein ge.