As part of its policy to foster an atmosphere of meaningful intellectual discourse, Pakistan Insider encourages budding writers, and invites recognized analysts, to write guest posts for the website.
We believe in freedom of speech with responsibility. At the same time, we believe there is a lack of discourse on issues which are often ignored, sidelined or simply censored because they do not conform with beliefs held by the majority.
The foundation of alternative discourse lies in the will to think distinctly without being concerned about social and political taboos.
During the struggle for Independence, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah sat across the British imperialists who had destroyed not only the Mughal Empire but also the Ottoman Caliphate. The same British colonialists also looted, ransacked and plundered resources belonging to people of the Indian Subcontinent. Muslims in particular were discriminated against despite some visible liberties.
The persecution, torture and humiliation which inhabitants of the Indian Subcontinent in general and the Muslim world in particular faced at the hands of the British crown were unparalleled.
Slavery was associated with Muslims. And yet, the Founder of Pakistan, instead of establishing a rebel militia or resorting to terrorism, believed in three things:
1) Faith: That the conviction of a true Muslim will not prevent him from speaking up against a tyrant.
2) Unity: That a house which is divided in itself will not stand. Hence, sectarianism and domestic differences among Muslims were shunned.
3) Discipline: That a Muslim believes in the power of Wisdom. That a Muslim is one who does not harm someone with his tongue and hand.
Most back then must have assumed the same; that a man like Jinnah was negotiating with the devil. Luminaries like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan are still spoken ill of, simply because they taught Muslims how to act dignified and self-respecting in the most uncomfortable circumstances. Leaders like these knew well what the British had done to Muslims. They preferred dialogue so that their imperial masters could get a taste of Muslim character and conviction firsthand.
During his stay in Madina, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) signed a pact with the People of the Book (Jews, Christians) and even pagans. “Come to common terms” is what a verse of The Qur’an also teaches us. It is worth pondering: was the Prophet (pbuh) unaware that the Jews he was negotiating and making peace agreements for co-existence with, were descendants of the same Bani Israel who blasphemed against Hazrat Maryam (pbuh), who martyred Prophet Yahya (pbuh), who betrayed and disappointed Prophet Musa (pbuh)? Did the Prophet (pbuh), God Forbid, not know of their history, track record and disobedience toward prophets and their own Creator?
And yet the Prophet (pbuh) preferred the path of peace, tolerance and good will toward even his fiercest of enemies. Besides being the Last and Final Messenger of God, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a military strategist, diplomat, conflict negotiator and peace messenger par excellence. His exemplary character even granted amnesty and pardon to all evil-doers in Makkah when it was conquered by Muslims from Madina.
Anyhow, we the team at Pakistan Insider are neither justifying nor discrediting the apparently “outrageous” op-ed. We reiterate that the op-ed expressed the author’s own views, not ours as a forum.
We are simply saying that ideas should be challenged with counter-ideas, not personal abuse or outright insults.
We ask our newfound critics, can we not even tolerate someone’s personal opinion? Why should we be so insecure about our faith, policies and beliefs?
As a responsible and patriotic forum that promotes the positive image of Pakistan, our team aims also to promote intellectual discourse and let the world know that we Pakistanis have the capacity, courage and confidence to think outside the box in view of changing times.
The team at Pakistan Insider is convinced that Islam is the solution for all mankind and Pakistan is a gift from God. We believe in the words of Sufi Barkat Ali who remarked that “The day is not far when the world’s decisions will be decided by Pakistan”. To pave the way for such a progressive and robust status in the future, it is imperative that voices of reason, be they in favor or in opposition to commonly-held beliefs, be allowed the right to share their views as long as ethics are maintained.
At the end, we would be pleased to receive articles in apropos of the one which many took as “offensive”. If any of our readers wish to share decent write-ups rejecting the 5 reasons presented by the author, they may send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for review. We promise not to censor content which challenges another author’s views, as long as decency is maintained and ad hominem attacks are not included.
To those who understand and support us, likewise to those who insulted and abused us, may God bless you all.
Team Pakistan Insider