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…
Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in 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 each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
Opponents, at home and abroad, often interpret these words to mean that Jinnah was going secular. On this basis, religiously-identified opponents argue that Jinnah’s vision was not consistent with Islam and should be modified, while liberals and progressives suggest that since these words betray secular thought, therefore the concept of Pakistan as defined by the founding fathers elsewhere should be thrown out of the window and replaced with Western secularism.
What did Jinnah really mean? A few key documents shall be presented in the next few posts (and the popular strand of Rumi, Goethe, etc shall resume after that).
- Read complete text of Jinnah's speech on the Republic of Rumi Website.