Secularism: Another face of Masonic Lodges? PART VI

By Naveed Tajammal

After  the creation of a secular state in new Turkey, a far cry from the original territorial boundaries of old Turkey. The western powers had gradually insured this issue, since the turn of tide in1683, and destruction of Janissaries, in 1826. The tanzimats or reforms of 1839 & 1856, and setting up of 1500, western-run schools & colleges, and enforcing that the old mektab & madrassah educational should stagnant. By virtue of this vaccum, and no counter argument to oppose the new ideas, as preached by these new masters of western schools, doubts and confusions were created, and hence emerged a new breed called the Kamalists. Younger generation were by an engineered educational policies told that ,their mode of education and religion were the cause of their lagging behind, in the world spheres, the main hurdle in the path of progress, The same story is being repeated here in Pakistan, the two enlightened factions, within the Turkish Empire the Jews & Christians ensured this ,objective being to uproot the Islamic order & its educational system of mektab & madrassah and with it the code of life. Supplemented by a new dress, insignia, culture and a script for the old TURK, all for the grounds ,that it was a requirement for modernization.

The axe, fell on the Dervish Orders and the office of Sheikh-ul- Islam, and the Code of Shariat ,in the courts ,was also dispensed with, and the religion declared a private matter, religious teaching was prohibited, except in the family, The areas, most effected, were urban, here, the party officials enforced the writ of the state, so in these early days, with the cream of TURKS dead, vigor lost, the mosques became deserted ,much to the joy of Christians and secular Eastern Turkey and western were two different worlds, even in the new boundaries of this secular state as late as 1955,when Adnan Menderes, as the Prime Minister came heavily on the Jews and Christians of only Istanbul ,for which he lost his head,eventually.150,000.Greeks and allied races dominated the trade of this city which was,the cause of economic failure of new democratic government.

After the implementation of 1924 constitution, a Director of Religious Affairs (DINYANET ISHLERI MUDURLUGU) was set up ,to control all religious activity in the state, all mullahs ,khitabs and imams, were registered and to preach Islam, a government license, was a must ,under the new policy of rules. If any body was found preaching contrary to the guide line, he was to be penalized as per the new law.

In Nov 1924, a law was enforced ,by which all were to wear western dress, and in lieu ,of the turban or fez, the, ‘HAT’, was introduced. In Feb,1926,in place of Shariat, came the Swiss Code.In1928 Article no.2 of the Constitution, ‘The religion of Turkish State, is Islam’ was deleted.In August,1928,MustaphaKamal, introduced the final blow to uproot the past, the introduction of the roman script in lieu of the perso-arabic script.

The outcome of these mad ventures was, that in absence of any moral control over the new generation, as well the elders, drink, gambling and other vices became rife ,things went from bad to worse ,the new modern government, perforce had to take some action. During the month of February 1946,the debate took place in the parliament ,when all members of both the parties, spoke in favor of some moral or religious instructions in schools.

The most glaring and unfortunate part of this modernization was that, after undergoing a 20 years ban, on religious teachings, ‘THERE WERE NO INSTRUCTORS QUALIFIED TO TEACH THE LESSONS OF ISLAM,’IN THE OLD CALIPHATE OF ISLAM  courtesy the Kamalist zealots.By the end of 1940’s,the government had realized that the vacuum in the Turks was reaching the limits. A need for spiritual guidance was required, the most sad part of all was that till 1950.or before Adnan Menderes came to power, the azan (the call to prayer).as per the orders of the founder of new Secular Turkey the “Attaturk’, was given only in Turkish.”TANGRI ULUG DIR, TEK DIR’ had taken place of ‘ALLAH HO AKBAR,ALLAH HO AKBAR”(Allah is greatAallah is one).

The new government in 1950,only 12 years after the death of Attaturk,in 1938,had made it mandatory in all schools, to teach the Holy Quran, and religious training schools ,for the imams called, IMAM OKULARI, were established .Even though the Kamalist in the army ensured that the French :LYCEE. system was not abolished, in the educational set ups. But, in 1951, the teaching of Arabic had also become obligatory for all schools, thus ended to some extent the secular education.

The realization had dawned unto the modern Turkish statesmen ,and thank Allah for that, ‘MAN CANNOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE AND THERE IS A SPHERE OF LIFE INTO WHICH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CANNOT PENETRATE”. Earlier in 1949,only 11 years after the death of attaturk, the faculty of divinity ,The only institution of its kind in the then Islamic world had been set up. Which taught, the study of Islam ,its principles ,and history ,along with a study of comparative religions. The revival process had started by men like Adnan Menderes ,in the forefront, and he eventually gave his head for the cause. he it was who had challenged the dogma’s of a secular army led state .The same Turk ,in the first ever fair elections, in Turkey, gave a thumping 408 seats to the democrats of Menderes .Out of a house of 487 seats, the first step of new government was the amendment in the Article 526, of the Penal Code, which forbid the AZ AN, as had been stated earlier ,in any language other than Turkish. The ban on Programmes and the recitations of the HOLY QURAN,  the radio was introduced ,as was it introduced in the schools ,in those days ,the busts and statues of attaturk too had been vandalized.

So we see what a harm a small elite, led by fools ,can do to a nation .entrenched by powers. The final aim of these articles spread over seven series ,was to thread to gather, very briefly the past of once glorious Muslim Empire led by capable men and statesmen .and its fate in the hands of secular lot. It should be an eye opener for those in Pakistan, who unaware of our past, roots, culture, insignia and language propagate a secular state for us. They all are products of the western English medium schools, which has cut them off from the ground realities.  Like aliens they live in Pakistan and sound like his master’s voice ,the mind set of those who are not sincere to our state and religion . Through the print as well the visual media are subverting the mindset of our newer generation,our dress, insignia, and language. Courtesy this lot are being changed, all in a slogan for modernization ,and moving towards a better civilization, which itself is in a mental vacuum .Though economically strong ,the fate of Union Jack or the British who got all changes done is in front of us, only 63 years back-the sun never set in this Empire,as in one part of the world the British flag was lowered in the other it arose with the sunrise. and today it is a Empire no more !!

The analogy of turkey, was given primarily because of our very old association with the Turk ,in the historical sense as well ,the actual home land of the Turks ,is still ,attached with our northern boundary, the area now called’’ Sinkiang’’ ,however, it is the old ‘’Altia sheher’ or the six cities, or what was the old Turan, the land of AFRIASAB ,the historical khaqan of the Turks ,and the ruler of Kashghar or the old URDU KAND.


(The writer has over 26 years of experience in investigative historical research).

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  • Major Shahid Rehman  On September 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Good.Needs more elaboration on how the Ottoman empire ended.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 6:17 am

      Thankyou for the feedback sir,as i wrote elsewhere ,my constraint is space and the patience of the reader, the majority are more into reading shorter versions,alas that cannot be done,unless each article has pages of foot notes to explain,the good translations of major works, like those done by major.H.G Raverty are classics but,very few read them,and comprehend what is being said,unless they have a study of the past.
      regards & salaam.

  • Pagal  On September 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The same franchise formula is being sold all over the muslim world through propaganda

  • Saulat Khan  On September 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    What a FANTASTIC finale Tajammal Sahib.
    According to Country Reports 2007, women who wore headscarves and their supporters “were disciplined or lost their jobs in the public sector” (US 11 Mar. 2008, Sec. 2.c). Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that in late 2005, the Administrative Supreme Court ruled that a teacher was not eligible for a promotion in her school because she wore a headscarf outside of work (Jan. 2007). An immigration counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Ankara stated in 27 April 2005 correspondence with the Research Directorate that public servants are not permitted to wear a headscarf while on duty, but headscarved women may be employed in the private sector. In 12 April 2005 correspondence sent to the Research Directorate, a professor of political science specializing in women’s issues in Turkey at Bogazici University in Istanbul indicated that women who wear a headscarf “could possibly be denied employment in private or government sectors.” Conversely, some municipalities with a more traditional constituency might attempt to hire specifically those women who wear a headscarf (Professor 12 Apr. 2005). The professor did add, however, that headscarved women generally experience difficulty in obtaining positions as teachers, judges, lawyers, or doctors in the public service (ibid.). More recent or corroborating information on the headscarf ban in the public service could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
    The London-based Sunday Times reports that while the ban is officially in place only in the public sphere, many private firms similarly avoid hiring women who wear headscarves (6 May 2007). MERO notes that women who wear headscarves may have more difficulty finding a job or obtaining a desirable wage (Apr. 2008), although this could not be corroborated among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.According to the Sunday Times, headscarves are banned inside Turkish hospitals, and doctors may not don a headscarf on the job (6 May 2007). Nevertheless, MERO reports that under Turkey’s current administration, seen by secularists to have a hidden religious agenda (The New York Times 19 Feb. 2008; Washington Post 26 Feb. 2008), doctors who wear headscarves have been employed in some public hospitals (MERO Apr. 2008).
    What a MESS Turkey made of herself.
    Kawwa chala hunse ki chal aur apni chal bhi bhool giya!

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 6:27 am

      Dear Saulat Khan,
      Thankyou for the appreciation,Turkey will remain, A Nation divided in two worlds, the seed sown by the kemalists,has to be uprooted only then will it revert back in the old grove.Even now eastern and western Turkey have separate ways,dress & values.

  • Ronald Turner  On September 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Well capped indeed.

  • Tarah Sarwar  On September 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Since 2001, Turkey’s Muslim identity has come to the foreground as a precious feature praised in Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv. Being Muslim does not make Turkey unique, though; there are, after all, 57 other Muslim-majority countries like Turkey. Rather, what made Turkey special was the country’s unique Western overlay in domestic and foreign policy, specifically its secular democratic political culture, its NATO membership and its good ties with Israel.

    Here is a lesson for friends of Turkey who want to help the country remain true to its self: Turkey is special because it is a secular democracy, a NATO member and because it has maintained cordial relations with Israel. If Turkey is to continue to be unique, this view has to drive Turkish policy.
    I think Attaturk was great, one must move on to a contemporary world,after all!

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 6:45 am

      Dear Tarah,
      You must first understand the animosity of the Turk against the Arab, then will you comprehend the rationale of why the Turk maintains relations with the Israeli, Secularism has nothing to do with it.

      • Rizwan  On March 28, 2014 at 8:08 am

        but sir is it a good enough excuse to stand with Israel while they butcher Palestinians…I don’t see any reason why is this so….

  • Raheel Dogar  On September 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Turkey’s Islamist ruling coalition faces the courts and military in a showdown for the nation’s future. Will Turkey move closer to the liberal democracies or away from them?

    This tension has riven Turkey since its founding as a secular state by Atatürk. But the strains are peaking now. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ultraconservative allies in the Fethullah Gülen Movement, known as Gülenists, have been deploying friendly police agents to wiretap and arrest top military officers on coup charges. Gülenists prosecutors are arresting secular prosecutors who were investigating fundraising networks run by the movement and its connections to terrorists in Chechnya and Hamas. The question is whether the AKP will provoke the military and judiciary—the pillars of Atatürk’s secular system—to fight back or will it find a peaceful way out?

    From the moment the AKP rose to power in 2002, Turkey has witnessed low-intensity conflict between this moderate Islamist party and the secular institutions, topped by the courts and the military. The conflict is intensifying as the AKP grows closer to the power-hungry Gülenists, who are working to infiltrate the secular institutions. Last week police, almost certainly linked to Gülen, arrested 49 military officers, including active-duty admirals and former commanders of the Turkish Navy and Air Force, and charged them with authoring a 5,000-page memorandum warning that the Turkish military planned to bomb Istanbul’s historic mosques and shoot down its own planes to justify a coup. The absurdity of the charge was lost on no one. “If the Turkish military was going to do a coup, they would not be writing a 5,000-page memo about it,” a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey told me. Still, Turkey is convulsed by coup rumors and denials.

    The coup frenzy erupted just three days after a jihadist newspaper published a leaked wiretap of the Army chief of staff, saying that the military has been infiltrated. Though under Turkish law it is illegal to wiretap without a court order and or to publish such a wiretap, prosecutors made no move to investigate, suggesting tacit official approval of attacks on the military. Gülen did not take credit for this wiretap, but in recent years many wiretaps of the military have been leaked, always appearing first in pro-Gülen media.

    This campaign could become the final battle for control of Turkey. In the 1990s, the military purged members of Islamist movements and Gülenists from its ranks, which pushed the movement’s founder to move to the United States, where he still resides. But by 2000, the Gülenists were making a comeback, by restablishing themselves in the bureaucracy and setting up public relations outfits in the West. In 2002 they backed the AKP in the election that brought the Islamists to power, and in return the AKP appointed Gülenists to key posts in every secular institution, from the courts to business lobbies and media, except the military. Now Gülen’s pressure on the military is designed to crack the last secular bastion. One possible outcome is that the demoralized military will fold, accepting Islamists in its ranks, and losing its identity. Or the military may respond to Gülen provocations by launching the coup—God forbid—that it stands accused of plotting. This would destroy the military’s standing as a defender of democracy and boost the popularity of the AKP, slipping due to massive unemployment and failed efforts to pacify Kurdish terrorists. Turks would flock to the underdog.

    The courts face a similar dilemma. Atatürk built a secular judiciary to defend his European-style republic. In 2008 the courts launched a case attempting to shut down the AKP on the grounds that it was forcing religious control on secular institutions, and lost. That attempt only increased the popularity of the AKP, which has become increasingly authoritarian since, dismissing checks and balances and pressing tax and criminal cases against liberal media tycoons. Any new judicial effort to shut down an elected ruling party is likely to backfire, too.
    Personally I feel, this conflict was created by Attaturk, by imposing rules,laws,views in conflict with Islamic tenants.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 6:52 am

      Dear Raheel.
      an excellent summary of the present conflict within the Turk identity.

  • Tarun  On September 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Jai Ram Ji KI!

    • Qamar Taseer  On September 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Troll…..U Still Around?

      • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 6:55 am


      • Tarun  On September 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

        Ram, Ram, we are not trolls but Krishan ji’s truth bearers that U Muslims cannot appreciate.

      • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

        sure and in which time zone did this kirshan exist ?????

  • Qamar Taseer  On September 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Secularism has been one of the “fundamental and unchanging principles”guiding the Turkish Republic since its founding in 1923. It also has been theprinciple that has produced considerable domestic political tension. Over the years,political parties have emerged that appeared to challenge that principle and to striveto restore religion to a central place in the state. Each time, the party has eventuallybeen banned from the political stage. The Justice and Development Party (AKP),formed in 2001, has Islamist roots and claims to be conservative and democratic.The AKP won the 2002 and 2007 national elections by wide margins, yet its victorieshave not ended the secular-religious tensions in the country.
    The AKP narrowly survived a lawsuit seeking its closure on July 30, 2008,when the Constitutional Court held that the party was a “focal point of anti-secularactivities,” but opted for a financial penalty instead of a ban. Some analysts contendthat the party is on “probation,” but it is not yet clear how the court case will affectAKP’s conduct. In the near term, it is proposing to pursue additional reformsrequired to achieve European Union (EU) membership. If AKP renews andstrengthens its mandate in the March 2009 municipal elections or in early nationalelections, it might then opt for a more aggressive agenda.
    At the same time, police have unearthed what they claim is a conspiracy, calledErgenekon, of ultranationalists and secularists to create chaos in the country andprovoke the military to overthrow the government. Those arrested include tworetired four-star generals. The case will be presented in Court beginning in October2008. Some suggest that the arrests are evidence of Turkey’s progress as ademocracy because the “deep state” or elite who have manipulated and controlled thepolitical system for 50 years are finally being confronted. Others charge that theAKP is using the affair to intimidate its opponents and that the authorities’ handlingof those charged fails to meet international standards. The powerful Turkish militaryhas been unusually quiet throughout the closure case and the Ergenekon revelationsand appears to be cooperating with the Ergenekon investigation.The United States is concerned for stability in Turkey because it is a strategicpartner and NATO ally. The Bush Administration has closely monitored recentdevelopments in Turkey, which it continues to view as a secular democracy thatcould serve as an inspiration for other Muslim majority countries. The recentdomestic turmoil may either strengthen Turkey’s democracy or cast a shadow on it.
    (This report will be updated if developments warrant. It is a sequel to CRSReport RL34039, Turkey’s 2007 Elections: Crisis of Identity and Power, by CarolMigdalovitz, which may be consulted for background).
    THE TITLE OF THIS REPORT IS:Turkey: Update on Crisis of Identity and Power


  • Anthony Lawson  On September 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Hello Yasmeen,

    History is of interest to me, of course, but the fine details about religious teachings, masonic lodges and other hocus pocus, which I regard as little more than organised superstitions, are lost on me.

    As an example, I regard what was supposed to have been said by Jesus Christ as a very good yardstick for being a decent person: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but this does not seem to apply to amplified messages broadcast to the faithful five time a day, or loud church bells spoiling a Sunday-morning sleep in. Religions, like superstitions, should be practiced very quietly, among those who believe them, and not imposed on others, in any way.

    Take care,


    • pakpotpourri2  On September 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      Dear Anthony
      I love your honesty.Thank you for being a dear & reading it.
      You take care now.

  • Asad Rehman  On September 2, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Great series of articles giving a clear picture (for the first time to a layman like me) on how Turkey came to be what it is.I cannot be sure about this, but I do not think that Mr. Tajammul and the other contributors have been to Pakistan’s Madressahs and seen what is taught and how it is taught.
    We do not need to use a word like ‘Secularism’ to reorganize the teaching systems there. It is time for the State to take control of these schools. The recent floods have glaringly, for the first time shown, the shocking neglect the Administration of this country has imposed on the 70% rural population of the Nation.
    Time to take control and change it. We will not get another opportunity.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 8:14 am

      Dear Asad,
      Thankyou for the kind comments let me assure you i have very strong rural background, not only that i am well aware of the thanna & kutchery being permanent litigant of the lower courts. I have been part of national assembly elections procedures in Chakwal and muzafargarh,as well those of zila council and union councils,and provincial assembly.i am well aware of the Madressah, AND the reason why it thrives, it is a reaction to the English medium schools.No state has succeeded in imposing its WILL,when the conditions get bad they go underground,reread my last part above,and see the out come,in the soviet union a iron whip had been used,the religion went underground.
      it is the policy of reason which succeeds.and wins over the common man.Western cultures cannot be forced & neither can that change the mindset. Our statecraft is composed of aliens cut off from the world of the under class of tens of millions,and so is the urban lot.

  • SHWEBO  On September 2, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Well concluded, would love to read future course of action recommended by the writer so that we do not repeat mistakes highlighted in painstakingly well researched paper.
    Thanks for giving us such an enlightening study.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 8:17 am

      And who sir will adhere or listen to my rant ?????/

      • Qamar Taseer  On September 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

        More people than U realize Sir.

  • Rameez Sultan  On September 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Why Turks still have an identity crisis after eighty years of the Kemalist modernization process? I argue that Kemalism, deeply obsessed with nationalism and secularism (Laïcité), averted many equivocal principles by originating vague definitions. Thus, Kemalism failed to construct a mutual and generally accepted identity and profoundly baffled Turkish society while it turned itself into a Kafkaesque state ideology. There is a deep confusion and growing criticism of the current identity debates in Turkey,these are the result of the experience with the hybrid ideology of Kemalism and the emergence of a new civic Turkish identity.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

      Dear Rameez ,
      well said,in fact the term ‘Laicite’ exactly defines the french ideology currently in vogue in Turkey,since 1924.The french inspired ottoman intellectuals brought the idea,the concordat of 1905 in France gave it a new meaning, on the lighter side please keep in mind that the french law says that ,accused is guilty till he proves his innocence,and so is the case in the ‘Laicite’ form of secularism,the religion has to prove that it exists in the hearts of its people,only then will the Turk uproot it.Turkish Army or Secular judiciary cannot stop it.when the time comes.

  • Parveen  On September 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Actually Rameez, when the modern Turkish republic was born in 1923, its founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk pushed through what was arguably the most radical programme of secularisation ever attempted in any Muslim society, before or since.

    Ataturk believed secular nationalism was an essential hallmark of modernity and progress.But in Turkey today the tensions between religion and state are all too apparent.Turks are culturally and historically Muslim. They live in a predominantly Muslim region.

    It is as hard to imagine Turkey without Islam as to think of Istanbul without its famous skyline of mosques and minarets.Yet the country is polarised between, on the one hand, pious (and sometimes politically active) Muslims and, on the other, the secular urban elite, which includes the powerful military.

    One sign of this polarisation is the periodic controversy over how women should dress.

    Muslim women argue that wearing a headscarf is a human right and a religious duty.

    Secularists see the headscarf as a provocative political symbol, and have managed to get it banned from universities, state schools and government ministries.Since the 1970s there have been a series of Muslim political parties, the latest of which, Justice and Development, came to power with a big majority last year.The military view the current prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as an Islamist in disguise.

    They have bitter memories of the country’s first Islamist prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, whom they forced from power in 1997 after only a year in office.Justice and Development reject the Islamist label. They say they accept the secular state, and claim to be Muslim Democrats rather like Europe’s Christian Democrats.

    But the issue of religion refuses to go away, and is a visible or invisible factor in both domestic and foreign policy.Attitudes to Islam colour the way the European Union sees Turkey’s aspirations for membership, even though European politicians seldom mention it out loud.

    Under the EU’s official criteria, the country must meet certain political and economic requirements, such as improving human rights.

    But lurking in the background is the cultural question.Is the EU, in reality, a Christian club? Or is it conceivable that a Muslim country, already a Nato member, could one day become a member?

    In its foreign relations, Turkey tries to face both ways.

    Wealthy Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia are important trading partners.

    But this does not stop the Turks having an important (if low-key) military partnership with Israel.

    Optimists see Turkey as a model for other Muslim societies – a pro-Western state, practising multi-party democracy, which has turned its back on Muslim radicalism.

    Others believe the Turks have yet to resolve a deep-seated crisis of identity.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 9:52 am


  • Tarun  On September 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Naveed Ji
    I THOUGHT you were the expert on history?
    Jai Ram Ji Ki.

    • Naveed Tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Tarun,why do you not go and explore some other site ??? in any case India is presently not being discussed,so why do you have to feel threatened ?//

  • Rais  On September 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Pakistan MUST wake up to it’s IDENTITY.IF this happens, elements within & outside CANNOT take advantage of us.

  • Inam Khan  On September 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm


  • Ittifaq Ajmal  On September 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Though Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims, those who demanded the state were secular minded. And early death of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, left the question of Islam’s role in society unresolved. Pakistan’s rulers and military have frequently used religion to define state ideology.Pakistan today is undergoing an identity crisis.One of the causes of this conflict is that the Pakistani society possesses imported cultures along with its own; varying with the diverse regions. The numerous cultures tend to conflict with one another.1) There exists a culture conflict in Pakistan which having started in the 19th century has greatly accelerated since the formation of Pakistan. Two major explanations can be given for this conflict: a) a lack of cultural knowledge (as indicated in Test II) which may be responsible for poor identification with the Pakistani culture and/or b) the use of Western culture as a yard-stick of measurement of the cultural refinement of a person. In spite of this trend of using the Western culture as a measure of refinement, there still remains a certain loyalty towards the inherited Pakistani culture. This is where the conflict arises–the choice between two cultural models, both having certain positive, intriguing elements. 2) This culture conflict, which exists in the Pakistani-society today has affected the personal identity of its citizens described in this dissertation as “identity crisis”. The identity of an individual incorporates culture and cultural values. If the culture and the cultural values are unclear to the individual (“culture conflict”), then the result will be faulty identity formation or “identity crisis”. When a majority of a nation’s citizens undergo such a conflict, it then becomes a national crisis. Test I indicates that there is exceptionally high anxiety prevalent among the youth of Pakistan. This anxiety is a direct measure of the inner conflicts of these people. There is also a general dis-contentment among the nation’s population which lends support to this finding. 3) Pakistan is more or less a homogenous nation as in regards to culture, religion, and race (each region is in itself homogenous). Since it has been suggested that culture conflict does exist in Pakistan, it can be concluded that culture conflict can exist in a mono-cultural setting.

    • Naveed Tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      Dear IttifaqAjmal,
      Identity crisis is a issue confined to urban elite,at grass roots we have no issue.

  • Zia Uddin Ahmed  On September 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Though I am no strong reader to history and rather poor in capitalising such happening of Islam through ages, this article is an eye opener for me, the current wave of natural calamity, the bad omen on our cricket team, the weak government institutions and waves of target killing and the most recent tragic incident in Lahore, all show how the state is being led. Now or rather very soon we shall hear through our TV channels a sudden change of the state governorship, The lion shall wake up with a loud roar flooding the the removal of the top crust, and a formation of a government NEVER EVER witnessed by any Pakistani citizen, The CJ of Pakistan shall declare a change, a change by the constitutional powers vested in him to mend the system, who shall run the daily affairs is a big guess right now, and who who is going to be taken to task, all within the parameters of justice. The world shall breath a sign of relief, the foreign states shall extend fullest support to the newly formed government, aid shall flow like th flood waters have, peoples unrest shall transform into a wave of national rebuilding and bright days shall lay ahead.
    The banner of Islam was disfigured by Ziaul Haq, the heroine culture, gun running, talibanisation, and poor governance was his creation and went unchecked. Today we are facing the crisis and I feel its reached its apex or has peaked, the road downwards from this bad governance has ended by the last straw Zardari, all what we now see is the start of a new era. Inshallah we shall rise, like a seed bearing the hot, and dry days, with things rotting above have now transformed into a good manure for that small seed. It shall sprout in the coming days and shall grow into a good strong tree, bearing nice good health fruits for our future generation..
    I am writing this as my fingers are telling me to punch the keys of my laptop to form a vision that I see is coming up. PAKISTAN ZINDBAD

  • Naveed Tajammal  On September 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    well said.

  • SAMEEH  On September 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you YAA for a lesson in history.
    What a beautiful series.
    I’ve had the set of articles bound in a book form.
    What a SUPERB Blog!

  • Siddiq Bajwa  On September 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Pakistan is at war: after decades of ambivalence the Pakistan Army has engaged the spawn of its Cold War tryst with the USA, the Taliban, in a fight-to-the-death among the peaks and valleys of the country’s far North West.
    The first result of this engagement is the largest displacement of South Asians since that which accompanied the partition of India in 1947—over three million men, women and children in teeming, makeshift camps.

    The second is that groups affiliated with the Taliban now engage in near-daily suicide attacks against government and civilian targets, ruthlessly killing all those who oppose them, and a fair few who would sympathize with them if they were ever given the chance to speak.

    And third: while public opinion across Pakistan has come to support military action, the war has significantly sharpened the crisis of identity that has plagued Pakistan from its birth. For decades, Pakistanis had been told (and sometimes believed) that Islamic militants posed no threat to their society and were a source of “strategic depth” in case of an Indian attack. As such, the debate over how to tackle the Taliban has become part of the broader question of what kind of society and nation-state Pakistan should be.
    The founder-creator of Pakistan (and the divider of India) was Mohammad Ali Jinnah, known in Pakistan as the Quaid e Azam or “Great Leader”. Jinnah spent most of his political career working towards an inter-communal arrangement for an independent and unified Indian state. In his late middle age, however, he became a champion of Muslim separatism on the basis of the “Two-Nation Theory”; a theory which describes the Hindus and Muslims of the Indian subcontinent as two nations, separated by religion and culture, defined by their opposition to another, and unable to coexist within a single state.
    At the same time, however, Jinnah clearly never imagined Pakistan as either a theocratic or a religious state. On the eve of Partition, before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Jinnah declared:

    You are free; 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.

    The apparent contradiction between Jinnah’s demand for a separate state on the basis of religious difference and his pluralistic declaration once that state was won is at the root of Pakistan’s identity crisis. The existence of this contradiction divided Jinnah’s audience and Pakistani opinion ever since. And while the calls for an Islamic State were (and continue to be) led by the Jamaat-e-Islami, a party which began in its life in opposition to “secular” Jinnah and his Pakistan, the story of Pakistan’s manifest destiny as an Islamic state proved the easier sell, and thus that is the story that has made it into the textbooks.

    By the constitution’s third iteration in 1973 (the brainchild of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, father of Benazir Bhutto) Islam was the state religion and various provisions stamped the slogans of Islam all over the apparatus and business of state. These included establishing a definition of Muslim-hood that excommunicated the entire Ahmedi community. The state now became the arbiter of who was to be considered ‘Muslim’—a dangerous and divisive development. Since then governments, both civilian and military, have championed their ‘Islamic reforms’ as evidence of their commitment to an Islamic Pakistan.

    In 1979, after deposing and executing Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, General Zia ul Haq launched a sweeping programme of Islamization which aimed to replace the kaleidoscope of Pakistani society with the monochrome of Wahabi Islam, imported from Saudi Arabia. Zia’s used Islamic identity to emphasize the differences between Pakistanis and their enemies du jour.; the ‘godless’ Soviet forces in Afghanistan, the ‘pagan’ Indian forces in Kashmir, and the ‘apostate’ local groups that opposed his regime.

    However, Zia’s religious prescription for Pakistan’s identity crisis did nothing to dilute the tribal allegiances, feudal ties and ethnic distinctions1 which still form the primary prism through which Pakistanis identify each other and themselves. Instead, his programme multiplied the fault lines already present; pitting Sunni against Shia and folk religionists against puritans. In the end, Zia’s desire to create a national consciousness based primarily on a specific interpretation of Islam engendered intolerance, xenophobia and stunted the development of a genuinely unifying national identity.In order to develop an effective national identity and tackle Islamic militancy, Pakistanis must reach a consensus on the meaning of their state, the source of its moral authority, and the values and beliefs that it must uphold. The slogan of Islam has failed to provide this meaning.

    Instead, Pakistanis would do well to recall that the Pakistan Movement was inspired by the unifying theme of Jinnah’s career: his belief that the rights and aspirations of minorities must be protected against the tyranny of the majority. Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as a society where the rule of law protected fundamental rights and guaranteed opportunities to every citizen of the state. Making this principle the basis of all state functions would help to eliminate the religious, ethnic, gender, and economic divisions that underlie the many grievances within Pakistani society and have contributed to rise of Islamic militancy.

    The international community can play a vital role in aiding the development of a more inclusive Pakistani identity by supporting the civil institutions that guarantee individual rights and reverse decades of miseducation designed to breed hostility and prejudice. Pakistanis must work to eliminate agents and attitudes within government and civil society that wish to perpetuate the divisive politics of communalism and religious intolerance. Together these efforts can realize Jinnah’s vision of an inclusive society that truly represents the rich diversity of peoples and opinions that is Pakistan.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 3, 2010 at 5:10 am

      Dear Siddiq Bajwa,
      Your well explained note,and the propositions tabulated if implemented at this stage by who ever,will have a series of its own,’concatenations’,that is how i see,being a student of history.

  • Rashid Inam  On September 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    The recent exchange of polarised articles, following the Sialkot tragedy, have left me perplexed. Both sides have exhibited tremendous scorn for each other and questioned the authenticity of the ‘other’s’ commitment to Pakistan. The existential conflict which these articles exhibited remind me of a painting by the famous French artist Paul Gauguin which hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston titled: D’où Venons Nous? Que Sommes Nous? Où Allons Nous? Which translates as Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Gauguin painted this huge canvas in 1897 while living as a French expatriate in Tahiti. He questioned his own identity in this colonial. The crises that are befalling Pakistan are also leading the country to ask such similar questions. So what exactly does it mean to be a Pakistani? First, let us be clear that nationalism is an inherently synthetic phenomenon and there is nothing ‘natural’ about any form of nationalism. Those who suggest that somehow a larger Indian subcontinent was “natural nationalism” following colonial departure forget the motley assemblage of bitterly divided princely states that existed during much of the subcontinent’s history.
    Human rights laws and international norms are increasingly critical of nationalism along ethnic lines. At a practical level, the most defining “natural” element of nationalism is language — because communication is the most essential element of human relations. We can look different and overcome our prejudices if we can communicate effectively.
    Language is clearly a fracturing factor in Pakistani perceptions of their identity. Most of the readers of Pakistan’s English newspapers rarely read an Urdu daily. Gone are the days when poets like Faiz could be professors of English but write poetry in Urdu, allowing for an exchange of ideas across social strata that had been defined by language. A few veteran journalists such as Khaled Ahmed have to translate Urdu articles for the ‘Angraizi-walas’ who stumble through an occasional headline in the vernacular press. We are further divided by supremacist views about provincial languages. The only way out is for more Pakistanis to become multilingual at levels of proficiency that allow us to interact with the popular culture of communities across the nation.
    Another fracture that is apparent regarding Pakistani identity is connection to the physical land and residence within the country. Often resident Pakistanis dismiss those of us who live abroad as being unauthentic “sell-outs” and somehow lesser citizens. Yet in a world of structural inequality, diaspora communities are a seminal way of development. Consider the citizens of Lebanon — 70 per cent of whom reside outside their country but share a passion for their homeland. No doubt empathy and connection are important and getting a good dose of load shedding and local angst is often needed for an expatriate’s reality check. However, we should not question each other’s commitment and sincerity in this regard.
    Perhaps the most potent fracture in Pakistan’s identity crisis remains religion. Pakistan, Israel, and East Timor are the only three countries to have been formed in modern times on the primary basis of religious nationalism. This is where we need to exert the most effort in peace-building. Such action does not mean we disparage religion, but rather that embrace a more pluralistic understanding of our dominant faith.
    Going back to Gauguin’s painting, we should move beyond his first two questions and spend more time in considering his third question: Where are we going? Let’s quell the cynicism, sarcasm and innuendo and work on clear solutions for the problems that will define the future of Pakistan.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 3, 2010 at 6:23 am

      Dear Rashid Inam,
      The fault was with our leaders of the past, they may have been students of law or political sciences or poetry,but they lacked an in-depth study of the civilization whom they had chosen to represent,and seek its re birth or what most call partition a wrong word ,if you accept the term partition mentally you accept the propaganda of ”Nehru’s oneness of India, or that of a sub continent.
      unfortunately our leaders relied just on religion as the cause of divide.But failed to understand the internal dynamics,the british had created our entities like punjab, sind,balluchistan,nwfp,fata, or the northern areas,all in their rule period,we broke away from the rule of mughal empire in 1739 AD.
      They (British) wiped out our educational system, over the years,and in 1854 imposed on us two Greek languages, Urdu and English, people were clueless of them,still where in general till the same year mentioned before (1854) the Anglo Saxon laws were imposed on us,you had massive linguistics riots in East Pakistan as well later in sindh province too,balluchi hard liners do not accept it, neither do the pushtuns, ever wondered why so ???? the so called punjabi’s fail to realize that their language is not punjabi by any yard stick.kindly whenever you have time,read, two of articles posted on yasmeen’s blogs,one is the historical perspective of what is being taught in our English medium schools,the other is a review of Atizaz Ahsans ‘indus saga’.

  • Raheel Dogar  On September 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Pakistan means different things to different people. The diversity of views on Pakistan is both structural and constructed. People tend to look at the state from their divergent social, economic, cultural and political interests. And the state’s own failure to mediate and resolve these conflicting interests has added to its multiple identities. The basic questions pertaining to the state’s nature, duties and objectives have been deliberately ignored or relegated to expediency and ad hocism, creating an unnatural and unsustainable political structure to benefit a minority of interests comprising social oligarchs and state operators.To elaborate this point, the two primal questions concerning the nature of the state and political system need to be revisited. The first is whether Pakistan was to be a quasi-theocracy or a liberal welfare state. This question still remains unresolved. As a result, half the country was lost and the remaining half is afflicted with religious extremism and violence. The war on terror — a globalised conflagration between the local/regional jihadis and the rest of the world — has further muddled the identity of Pakistan, rendering it to be perceived as an obscurantist ‘terrorist exporting state’. Second, whether the armed forces have a role in the political system. This is another question that has been the subject of controversy. Theoretically, their role had nothing to do with politics. But whenever the chips were down, they received legitimacy at the hands of the courts and a section of the political leadership welcomed them as legitimate political stakeholders. As a result, on the one hand, the common man lost his rights and liberties to autocracy, and on the other, the country lost its sovereignty to the West, becoming an appendage to their strategic alliances: SEATO, CENTO, the CIA-run anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, and the ongoing US-led war on terror.Unfortunately, the question about the nature of the state continues to gnaw at the liberal foundations of the state, costing it social harmony, peace and progress.

    • naveed tajammal  On September 3, 2010 at 6:50 am

      Dear Raheel
      Thankyou for your thoughts,yes you are right we are indeed caught between the devil and the deep sea,on the question of the role of our state, but remember we are not the only ones here the turks for one are too,in the same boat as they want to get rid of the secularism,as is seen,so will you see changes all over,the case of soviet empire is in front of us,now the same republics seek their past and are re establishing themselves,the call for an pan-turanean state as envisaged by ‘Enver Pasha’ is in offing,the ‘kizil elma’.of the turks world over.
      what we would in the end,need, is the emergence of a true leader,who will lose his head,but will set the nation on the track.

  • Tariq AbdulMajeed Haider  On September 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I have been absent due to very pressing reaqsons and missed your earlier articles only the last one i have been able read. I am an admirer of your extensive knowldge of\history. If you kindly directme how to get hold all the articles, i will much obliged.

    • Naveed Tajammal  On September 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm


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