Intro to ‘Pak-Stan, Land of Pure’
Edited by John R. Houk
Shamim Masih writes about Sunni Muslims persecuting all the religious minorities of Pakistan. Shamim points out religious strife in Pakistan is largely due to the intolerance by Sunnis of all things not Muslim especially all things not Sunni Islam. Then Shamim segues how some Pakistani Sunnis flipped their lid when some students participated in an international student fair choosing Israel their nation to commemorate.
Now let me address Shamim’s title, “Pak-Stan, Land of Pure”:
Many writers translate the word ‘Pakistan’ as ‘Land of the Pure’; this is incorrect. The word Pakistan consists of two parts, i.e., Pak and Istan. While Pak is a Persian word, which mans (sic) holy/ pure/ clean, the word Istan is from the word isthan, which is a Hindi word meaning a place. For example ‘Janum Isthan’ means the place of birth. So the word Pakistan means a holy/ pure/ clean place (country) and not the ‘Land of the Pure’. The word Pak is an adjective which describes ‘Istan’ (Isthan), place and not its inhabitants. This is eulogized in the National Anthem; which begins as ‘Pak Sar Zamin Shad Baad’ As regards its inhabitants; all of them cannot be said to be pure as they have proved time and again. (The true meaning of Pakistan; By KHAWAJA MUHAMMAD BASHIR BUTT; The Nation; 1/19/13)
I suspect Shamim views the Land of the Pure through the filter of the hope that Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah was genuine in his founding speech proclaiming:
You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed. That has nothing to do with the business of the State. – Presidential address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi, 11 August 1947 (Muhammad Ali Jinnah; Wikiquote)
The minority religions in Pakistan to this do believe this was a promise for secular state in which all the citizens of Pakistan would enjoy equal civil rights. I believe this was a lie. You can read a decent essay that sets the case that Jinnah was not being honest to the future citizens of Pakistan: “Muslim Partition of an Independent and United India”.
If Pakistan was ever to be considered the Land of the Pure it was more in the sense of a Nazi Aryan pure race in which like Hitler’s German supremacy, Pakistan was intended to be an Islamic Supremacist State.
Pak-Stan, Land of Pure
Pakistani demanded expulsion of the students for displaying pro-Israel
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 11/4/2014 7:11 PM
ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi city was seized for three days due to the Moharam [Also Muharram] riots [Religious conflict between Sunnis and Shias – HERE and HERE] in October, 2013. Roads were blocked, mobile service was off and the residents faced a short fall off their household items. Sunni Muslims wanted to dictate to the other faiths of the country. There is large number of Shia Muslims living in the country, on every year when there is Moharam, the situation becomes worse. This has been [going] on for years, both targets each other; and thus the situation is getting worse day by day (I am sorry, but it is fact). When there are different schools of thought and people are from different faiths, you have to be tolerant. Tolerance is the essence of the faith you believe in.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah had conceived Pakistan as a democratic state for Muslims and all others, [where] they could live together in peace and harmony. And every Pakistani can worship freely according to his belief. Unfortunately a religious mind-set had started ruling after Pakistan’s independence. As a result, insecurity, terrorism and intolerance are prevailing in the country. No Pakistani feels safe and secure in the country either from the majority or minority. Minorities – weak segment of the society – is especially targeted [by the] majority Muslims, especially Shias are not protected.
Recently the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) arranged an international student fair at Faisal Mosque. Students publicly displayed Israeli culture & customs that include Israeli flags, photographs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Orthodox Jews, a high-tech manufacturing plant, and Jerusalem’s Al- Aqsa [See HERE]. The mere presence of the display triggered a ferocious and immediate reaction led by religious and student groups on campus and across the country. After a firestorm of criticism, authorities at the university empanelled a disciplinary committee to investigate and punish the students behind the stall. Even this was discussed in the parliament and parliamentarians demanded to take strict action against those students, who have promoted Israeli culture and painted it as land of peace and prosperity. Unfortunately people don’t accept others.
When there are different schools of thought and people are from a different faith, you have to be tolerant. Since, the people of Pakistan tied with Jordanians and Egyptians are the world’s most anti-Semitic people. According to the most recent Pew Global Attitudes Survey only 2% of all Pakistani polled reported favorable attitudes towards the Jewish people and Israel. Perhaps, they could be Christians. Christians around the world believe Jews as [the] favorite nation of God.
For more than a decade – Pakistan [has] faced terrorism and you [can] find different protests, mobile phone service [is often] off, sit-ins, energy shortages etc. The law and order situation has reached its worse. Politicians are smashing each other and only nationalism is seen in papers. Normally on every other occasion, when people are celebrating their special days, mobile service usually is off. This is so-called precautionary measure taken for security reasons.
Biblically speaking- Jews, Christians and Muslims are siblings of Abraham. Thus Pakistani Christians believe and obey the Word of God. We being Christians believe that Jacob (son of Isaac) was named Israel by God. And God loved Israel throughout his life and ordered to bless Israel. It is written in the Bible; Genesis 27:28-29 ……. May nations serve you and people bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers…… may those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.
When it is written in the Bible, we being Christian have to follow the teaching and we bless Israel. When it is written; those who bless [Israel will] be blessed. Isaac’s blessing was irrevocable. Israel is the land of prophets; most of messages came from this soil.
I give you an example, Hindus of India chose to be secular as that is what their religion teaches; acceptance. When there are 330 million gods you have to be tolerant. That is the beauty of pantheism and polytheism. There are around 180 million Muslims in India. Not only the population is increasing by the percentage but the total population is increasing too. It is due to tolerance from Hindus that Muslims are just multiplying in India.
The authorities have to realize that many Hindus are migrating to India and thousands of Pakistani Christians and Shia Hazaras are seeking asylum in different countries. It doesn’t make any difference if Pakistan does not accept Israel. Israel exists and it is member of United Nations. And most importantly Christ Jesus was born in Jerusalem and set an example of tolerance. A land of peace and prosperity; live long Israel.
Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST and CADD
Human Rights Activist
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Edited by John R. Houk
All links and text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
© Shamim Masih