1: “….Religion should not be allowed to come into Politics….Religion is merely a matter between man and God”. [Jinnah, Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, 7 February 1935]
2: “….in the name of Humanity, I care more for them [the Untouchables] than for Mussalmans.” [Jinnah, speaking about the Shudras or Untouchables, during his address at the All India Muslim League session at Delhi, 1934]
3: “….I’m NOT fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan.” [Jinnah, Press Conference, 14 November 1946]
4: “…. 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.” [Jinnah, Presidential address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi, 11 August 1947]
5: “….no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and Equal citizens of One State.” [Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947]
6: “…. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in due course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of the individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State “. [Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 11 August 1947]
7: “But make no mistake: Pakistan is NOT a theocracy or anything like it.” [Jinnah, Message to the people of Australia, 19 February 1948]
Whenever Jinnah uses the terms “Islam” and “Islamic” with reference to Pakistan, they are by no means in the sense of a Shariah State. Instead of focusing on the apparent tenor, which more often than not remains subject to diverse interpretations, debate and dispute, Jinnah very wisely remains focused on the SPIRIT of Islamic teachings, which in essence is also the spirit of every single known revealed religion. Thus he succeeds in upholding the secular cause without sacrificing the elements of morality and universal appeal. This spirit, according to him comprises of three elements – Equality, Justice and Fair play. Any state capable of providing these three to ALL its citizens would be, for all practical purposes “Islamic” in nature. The following two references are worthy of consideration:
8: “The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly…..Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught Equality of men, Justice and Fair play to ‘EVERYBODY’…..In any case Pakistan is NOT going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians and Parsis – but they are ALL Pakistanis. They will enjoy the SAME rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.” [Jinnah, February 1948.Talk on Pakistan broadcast to the people of USA]
9 : “Why this feeling of nervousness that the future constitution of Pakistan is going to be in conflict with Sharia Laws ?……Islamic principles today are as much applicable as they were 1300 years ago……Islam and its idealism have taught Equality, Justice and Fair play to EVERYBODY.” [Jinnah, 25 January 1948. Address to Bar Association Karachi]
Jinnah’s Secularism is obviously evident from his use of the term “EVERYBODY”. Even if he did not use the term “Secular” as overtly and frequently as one would have wished him to, his message is most patently one of “SECULARISM”.
I believe it was rather this ‘ambiguous secularism’ on part of Jinnah and others on the front lines of Pakistan movement that procured the impetus to a possible theocracy in Pakistan.
Much that we may assert that Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a liberal state, to which I readily agree, we can’t look off the historical facts that religion was still used as a central unifying point by the League, even if just to bear fruit to the efforts for a separate homeland. Compromises like these often have long-term impacts and that’s precisely what the chants for ‘Islamism’ and Jinnah’s ‘Islamic vision’ is which are oft-heard today.
The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan. Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February, 1948.”
Well. What I’ve gathered from Jinnah’s quotes is that he, even when clearly and totally renounced the nation of Pakistan being a theocracy, did admit and rather, cite at many occasions, Pakistan’s being a would-be Islamic state. Now how Jinnah perceived the two to be different, how the two are actually different and how our Mullah brigades take the very two to be different – that’s where the ambiguity lies.