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Muslim first or Pakistani first?

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S.M.R

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By Khaled Ahmed
Published: September 17, 2011

Renowned Islamic orator Zakir Naik was on a TV channel talking to British Pakistanis about their identity. (I heard his entry into the UK has recently been banned.) He said, why get embarrassed when the Brits ask you: are you a Muslim first or British first? His solution to the dilemma concealed in this question was: ask a counter-question, “Are you a human being first or a Briton first?”

Naik said: turn the tables, let the Briton be embarrassed. When asked this question, he will have to say he is a human being first. The situation created by this confusion will spare the Pakistani Briton the dilemma of a clash between his religious identity and his national one. But what Naik said pertained to an issue that raises its head in Pakistan too.

Are we Muslims, Pakistani first or Muslim first? The answer today is Muslims. I once conducted a TV debate in 2006 with an audience, and those who said they were Muslim first, won by a 90 per cent count. Pakistan is an Islamic state and all of us are Muslims; therefore, it is easy to say that we are Muslims first and then Pakistani. The Pakistan Movement should also support this thesis because we claim that Muslims had become a nation before they demanded a state.

But the nation-state poses a problem. What if I ask a Christian Pakistani the same question? The truth is all of them say, they are Pakistani first. Why do they do this? Why are the non-Muslims insisting on being Pakistanis first? The answer is that they want to be treated equally with other Pakistanis. If they emphasised their Christian identity and put it before their Pakistani one, they might be treated unequally.

The nation-state in Europe favours multiple identities and demands that all identities be treated equally. And for that, all those who live in the UK must call themselves Britons first. The question arises: why only should the Muslims as a minority insist that they are Muslims first? It is clear that unlike the Christian minority in Pakistan, they, as a Muslim minority, want to stand apart. What is hidden behind this gesture is a refusal to integrate. And the trick is that they know that the UK will treat them equally under law, even if they don’t integrate.

This is not so in Pakistan. The nation state wanted to gloss over secondary or tertiary identities to create unity. In Pakistan, the first problem that arose was linked to regional identities: Sindhi, Punjabi, Bengali, Baloch, Pakhtun, etc. The state wanted them to be only Pakistanis and said so. When it did not work, it abolished the provinces. Now as far as religious identities are concerned, Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim, and most of us don’t care if non-Muslims are treated unequally. If we were like the Brits, we would have said we are Pakistanis first.

The nation-state is no utopia but it is better than any other kind of states. Its nationalism can embrace all the people living in it and all of them can be given the name of the state. Because of inherent racism, the nation-state in Europe has legitimised multiculturalism as a way of national life. (Multiculturalism there is declining now because of problems of integration faced by immigrants.) Zakir Naik must also tell Muslim Brits how to tackle the consequences of non-integration.

In Pakistan, the non-Muslim instinctively wants to integrate as a Pakistani; in the UK the Muslim minority wants to stand apart. There, the majority wants to be British first on the principle of equality; here, the minority non-Muslim is appealing for equality as a Pakistani. The conclusion is simple: the majority community in Pakistan doesn’t much care if the non-Muslims are treated unequally.

Muslim first or Pakistani first? – The Express Tribune


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Well... I will call myself Pakistani Muslim. As I was born in Pakistan and in a Muslim family... and to the utmost strange, both things happened simultaneously.
 

muse

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Us and Them -- look at the difference:


Why are the non-Muslims insisting on being Pakistanis first? The answer is that they want to be treated equally with other Pakistanis. If they emphasised their Christian identity and put it before their Pakistani one, they might be treated unequally.

The nation-state in Europe favours multiple identities and demands that all identities be treated equally. And for that, all those who live in the UK must call themselves Britons first. The question arises: why only should the Muslims as a minority insist that they are Muslims first? It is clear that unlike the Christian minority in Pakistan, they, as a Muslim minority, want to stand apart. What is hidden behind this gesture is a refusal to integrate. And the trick is that they know that the UK will treat them equally under law, even if they don’t integrate.


The substance of the liberal secular position - EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW
 

S.M.R

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Imagine, what would become of Islamic world, without Pakistan..... and you'll have your answer.

To me there is no Islamic World at all. These are just countries having muslim majority in there. Every one looks at its own interest. We need to throw this Islamic World Phoebia away, and need to just think for Pakistan.
 

DV RULES

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To me there is no Islamic World at all. These are just countries having muslim majority in there. Every one looks at its own interest. We need to throw this Islamic World Phoebia away, and need to just think for Pakistan.

but how many people can through this phobia away and will readu to think about Pakistan with different views?
 

DV RULES

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Islamic world is not only dedicated to Pakistan and there are countries which should also take some responsibilities and we have to step for our development leaving these ideology behind, after all Muslims and religion not a property but faith on God.
 

TARIQ BN ZIYAAD

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Assalam alaikum

wow 90 percent
Khaled Ahmad sahib we muslims take pride of being muslims. we don't treat our non muslims citicizens right bcoz we r away from islam. some hater of islam who doesnot want our society to implement the islamic just system otherwise we have great examples

TARIQ
 

unicorn

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How people start doing maths on the things we love most.Those who ask these sort of questions does not truly understand.
 

kas786

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People need to wake up and realize that we're Pakistanis first and Muslims second. To be honest with you guys, I have yet to see a "real" muslim in today's world - someone who follows Islam 100% (And NO, it is not impossible to do). They're all a bunch of hypocrites.

Reminds me of the teenagers killed in Sialkot. Do you guys think Moiz and Munib would have been ruthlessly killed like that in Western Society? Even if the incident ended up occurring in the West, I can assure you that someone or at least some people would've stepped in to put an end to the massacre.

Gotta love being part of the "Ummah". It truly is an honor.
 

VCheng

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Imagine, what would become of Islamic world, without Pakistan..... and you'll have your answer.

No country should have such an exaggerated sense of self-worth, from USA to Djibouti, and including Pakistan. The world will do just fine, thank you.
 

hawx

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Imagine, what would become of Islamic world, without Pakistan..... and you'll have your answer.

what pakistan has that other muslim countries not ? except nukes ? Iran will soon or already may have there nukes,so please listen to mr vcheng and live in real world !
 

American Pakistani

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I beleive Nationality & Religion must not be put together, both falls in different category. We all are Pakistanis. Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Sikhs it is our personnal belief. If any outsider will attack our motherland, he will not sort out Muslim or Christian thing & kill. Further i would like to ask that which Muslim country had come to help Pakistan? Take Middle East countries for example they have lot of money but did they think to invest it in Pakistan because Pakistan was Muslim country? They had happily invest money in India(just example, no offence intended) or technologically superior Muslim countries like Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, did they ever helped Pakistan in the field they are superior?
 

kas786

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I beleive Nationality & Religion must not be put together, both falls in different category. We all are Pakistanis. Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Sikhs it is our personnal belief. If any outsider will attack our motherland, he will not sort out Muslim or Christian thing & kill. Further i would like to ask that which Muslim country had come to help Pakistan? Take Middle East countries for example they have lot of money but did they think to invest it in Pakistan because Pakistan was Muslim country? They had happily invest money in India(just example, no offence intended) or technologically superior Muslim countries like Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, did they ever helped Pakistan in the field they are superior?

People fail to see that most Arabs in these Muslim countries consider us inferior to them - they don't even like us. And here we are trying to be Arabs and trying to glorify them (just because they are "descendants" of Muhammad PBUH and "safeguard" Mecca/Medina).
We're having a serious identity crisis - our nationality is:

Indian >> Pakistani
NOT
Arab >> Pakistani

We're from the Indian Subcontinent, not the Middle East!
 
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