Muslim Reformer: We Muslims Are Totally Self-Unaware Cry-Bullies

"It is precisely this lack of internal criticism that is allowing Muslim-majority societies to fall apartwhile we insist everyone else is worse."

In an opinion piece for the Times of Israel Wednesday, Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz asserts that his fellow Muslims are "un-aware cry-bullies," and he uses the separation of Pakistan and India (the partition) in 1947, and Muslim support for it, to make his point. 

"This month saw the anniversary of an event known as 'partition,'" Nawaz begins.

"That is, the violent and still contested division of Pakistan and India in 1947." He then provides background on the partition before juxtaposing it with modern-day Israel: 

Prior to the British Raj, the Muslim Moguls had ruled India. Steeped in that sense of history and heritage, Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah argued that were Muslims to be left a minority in India, its majority Hindu population would not treat them fairly. This is known as the ‘two nation theory.’ Hindsight may indeed have proven Jinnah wrong.

Pakistan, after all, does rather a poor job itself of treating Muslims fairly, but I can see why Jinnah’s Muslim League party felt insecure about this prospect. This is especially so considering the recent resurgence in Hindu nationalism under the ruling BJP.

And though Jinnah wanted a homeland for Muslims carved out of the Indian crown jewel, he was no religious man himself. Famously trained at Lincoln’s Inn as a barrister-at-law, Jinnah is reported to have drunk alcohol, ate pork and married outside of his narrow faith community to a Parsi.

Indeed, in one of his most well-known speeches addressing Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, Jinnah stressed that his vision for Pakistan was for it to be a place where “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.”

Of course, the exact opposite eventually happened to Pakistan. Much of Pakistan’s spiral towards religious fanaticism since was due to Jinnah dying only one year after the creation of his country, but some of it can be traced to the founding philosophy of creating a nation based on solely a religious identity.

Nawaz then makes his comparison to Zionism and the founding of Israel:

But that’s done now. Pakistan exists, and though many question her current trajectory, no serious public figure questions her legitimacy. Certainly, few Muslims do. And yet a few months later, the state of Israel was created as a homeland for Jews.

The founding Zionists were convinced, just like Jinnah, that Jews could not risk being a minority ever again. And so, largely following the vision of Theodore Herzl, the Zionist movement was born.

In 1948 Israel came about in precisely the same way, and for precisely the same reasons as Pakistan. Except, after the Holocaust and World War Two Jews had more justification for their fear than we Muslims.

It is uncanny how little difference there exists in the founding justification and subsequent behaviour of these two states. In both cases, the founders were non-devout and secular. [...]

[...]

Many Sikhs never truly overcame the loss of control over their holy sites, sparking a Khalistan independence movement, and in one case leading to the assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguard.

And yet, there are no calls to boycott Pakistan by the far-left and their Islamist fellow-travellers.

No fashionable movement exists to shame musicians who choose to perform there, no blockade of speakers at universities and no protests decrying the ‘historic injustices’ of the Punjabis.

The truth is, there is absolutely nothing that can be said of Israel, that cannot be said of Pakistan.

This incessant focus by us Muslims on the state of Israel – even as jihadists burn everything around us – is the perennial ‘whatabout’ excuse used to distract us from considering self-scrutiny and introspection.

Nawaz then drives his point home, stating, "it is precisely this lack of internal criticism that is allowing Muslim-majority societies to fall apart at the seams while we insist that everyone else is worse than us."

"We Muslims have become the totally self-unaware cry-bully in the school playground."

Now let's see the international Muslim community condemn Nawaz for simply telling the truth. 

Issues