Pakistan needs irreligious Government Executives and Education, only then the democratic will of the people of Pakistan can be realized.
Executive Branch in the Government of Pakistan means all Federal and Provincial Officers, Judiciary, Bureaucrats, teachers, and Professors.
Now, I will explain why it is critical.
What is being “Irreligious”?
- “Unbelief” is when a particular government does not prefer a particular religion. It is somewhat similar to being irreligious.
- “Secularism” means that the constitution, Government, and society have no official religion at all.
- Being irreligious or rational lies somewhere in-between.
Is being Irreligious the same as Irreligion?
Not really, Irreligion means an active rejection of religions, however, being irreligious means that being neglectful of having religion as the only source of faith.
Types of Irreligions
Philosophy and higher Intellectual Perspectives on Faith
Pakistan Government’s irreligious origins
Pakistan was destined to be a progressive Muslim Nationalist country by the founding fathers.
“You may belong to any religion, caste, or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” Muhammad Ali Jinnah
That ideal was only possible through an irreligious Executive and education system.
Along the way, due to geopolitical compulsions, Pakistani society drifted toward a rigid variant of Islam that was enforced top-down right up to the classrooms.
This is sacrilegious in a modern, educated, and confident society as the minority gets marginalized first, then every sect deviating from the mean becomes suspect.
As expected, the Pakistani society nosedive into a fearful, untrusting, incompetent, poor, and fragmented society, partly because of the misuse of Islam by state functionaries masquerading as saviors.
Pakistan’s experiment with religiosity and martial patriotism
This experiment has been repeated many times in the history of modern man starting from Constantine of Rome, with the same eventual disastrous results.
However, Pakistan’s tyrannical rulers had to try it once again.
Now that the result of this experiment is clear to all, I will explain what happened.
Tyrants know that naïve and ignorant people can easily be exploited by creating communal differences, and martial patriotism while criminal masqueraders continue to grow in power.
Modi of India is a recent example.
That is why the richest people in Pakistan act deeply religious and lap up to whoever holds power in Pakistan.
If religion does not work, try jingoistic Patriotism – especially Anti-India sentiment – to enslave poor people further.
That is why only definite social climbers in Pakistan are Armed Forces Officers and religious leaders.
What happens to a brutalized society?
So, it’s either tyrants or some foreign power that simply delivers people from their misery by exploiting this deliberate divide.
This is what happened in Bangladesh – erstwhile East Pakistan.
It is true that religiosity in society helps the less educated and economically independent citizenry to make sense of the disparity around them – and keeps them happy and satisfied – for a while.
Such an underdeveloped society stays stable under state-sponsored religious dogma and over-the-top Patriotic fear but doesn’t do well in productivity.
Most often than not, these religious societies, like Pakistan are desperately poor and will stay this way.
These desperate people remain exploited till the time a richer power develops an interest in their land.
Then, all hell breaks loose in the form of civil war.
Pakistan is just about there if not passed through the first awakening.
Why does not Pakistan’s democracy deliver?
Truly democratic societies, the ones that negotiate on the table, the distribution of resources and irritants through a social contract and constitution as the guiding document.
An independent Judiciary, and the unbiased executive branch, implement this social contract, without prejudice – hence everyone does well rapidly.
This is because it unleashes bottled creativity and individual genius that creates more wealth for all.
This is the reason why minimally religious western societies have been able to harvest the best and the brightest minds from the world and dominate for at least 300 years.
Pakistan has not been lucky.
Human Development Index and Secular outlook in Society
Research has also shown that all societies that have a steep growth curve in the Human development index become increasingly secular and irreligious.
This increasing irreligiosity has been observed in Muslim societies like the ones in Iran and UAE as soon as education, health, and competence increased.
This can be understood through common sense, as a confident, secure and economically self-sufficient population would not be cowed down or intimidated by religious or demagogic leaders.
Every society must grow, eventually, whatever country the group of people lives in – Pakistan is no exception.
When the natural equilibrium for every developing society is to become irreligious further along in time, then there is no point in keeping the people hostile to one form of religious practice or excessive Patriotic Fear.
Does irreligious mean Atheistic?
Irreligious does not mean that individual people cannot practice their faith and relationship with God.
At least one brand of religious practice does not need to be sponsored through state executives, universities, and schools.
There is also evidence to show that all top 10 highly developed societies in the world are largely irreligious and their governments are secular in any religion.
What is Pakistan to do?
Pakistan does not necessarily have to swing to full secular form.
- Pakistan can retain the gains of being religious and still progress rapidly as the USA has.
- The only difference is that religion, especially “Christianity” has no mention in the USA’s constitution, but has repeatedly mentioned Pakistan’s.
In the USA, this fact gives the religious minorities, and all talented marginalized segments of society level ground to grow personally– something vital for a nation’s success.
Every individual in such a society contributes toward progress without fear of injustice or discrimination.
Pakistan has tinkered with religion and now all national institutes are full of opportunists who use dogmatic, ritualistic Islam and rabid patriotism to control and amass power.
Pakistan should slowly but surely revert to the median line in religion, through democratic processes.
- Re indoctrinating governments’ machinery to eliminate all symbols of religion from the workspace.
- Recruiting only officers that consider religious practice their personal matter.
- Removing all symbols and practices of promoting a single sect of religion in universities and educational institutions.
- Roping in renegade religious schools under the law of the land and introducing Theology, Ethics, Philosophy, and Sociology as subjects for the award of Ph.D. degrees – instead of Alam e Deen.
- Creating a semi-autonomous religious body headed by a scholar appointed by the elected prime minister, that regulates interpretation of Islamic laws to Pakistanize religious edicts for bettering the people through
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of thought
- Freedom of affiliation
- Freedom to protest
- Justice for all
- Allowing the immigration to talented individuals from all religions.
The government is supposed to invoke trust and dependability, not invoke fear.
This comes with having democratically elected legislators free of coercive pressure from religious groups, armed groups, and coup plotters – the irreligious executive branch ensures this safe structure.
The most intractable problems of Pakistani society like illiteracy, overpopulation, lack of civic sense, rule of law, extremism, and incompetence can be traced to coercion by power-hungry religious groups and coup plotters in the shadows of the executive branch.
What does Islam and the Quran have to say about protecting minorities
Quran clearly states that
- “ There is no compulsion in religion”
- “And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are on the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers?” Quran 10:99
- “Therefore, do remind them, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them” Quran 88:21-22
- “for, every community faces a direction of its own, of which he is the focal point” (2:148)
- “And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance.” (6:108).
- “O you who do not believe! I worship not what you worship and you are not worshiping what I worship; …Therefore, to you your religion and me my religion” Al Kafirun:109–6
- “as for such (unbelievers) who do not fight against you because of (your) faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave toward them with full equity” (60:8-9).
The controversy over Jizyah Poll Tax in Islamic Societies
Jizyah or poll tax on unbelievers was a routine matter in the 5th century – sort of protection money.
When the Islamic empire expanded, in the 8th century, it became institutionalized but never crossed 1% of the total income of non-Muslim able-bodied men who did not participate in the war draft and had the means to pay.
Every Muslim, on the other hand, had to compulsorily participate in the war draft and had to pay 2.5% of his annual income.
In a modern Islamic state like Pakistan that does not need to expand, Jaziya makes no sense.
This is what the Quran and Islam talks about the Jizya Tax
- Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day, and who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, and who follow not the Religion of Truth among those who were given the Book, till they pay the jizya with a willing hand, being humbled” Quran 9:29
- Caliph Omar’s instructions on his death bead were; “I instruct you to be good to Dhimmis (non-Muslims) for they are your responsibility. Do not tax them beyond their capacity. Ensure that they pay the Jizya without undue inconvenience. . . with regards to people, I enjoin upon you to administer justice with an even hand. See that the legitimate requirements are met. Be concerned for their welfare. Ensure the safety of their person and property… treat all the people as equal. Be a pillar of strength for those who are weak and oppressed. Those who are strong but do wrong, make them pay for their wrongdoing.”
So, the focus in Islam is not on enslaving non-muslims through official sanctioned religious edicts, but on building a just, equitable, and progressive society.
This would come naturally when the government does not adopt one particular religion and is not coerced.
Where did this obscurantism come from?
Quran does not specifically mention that Islam has to be the state religion, however, guidance from Islamic instructions is necessary.
The use of religion in Islamic empires was necessary because they had to expand and keep their guard up. There were no specific world rules and was no United Nations.
When Muslim Empire failed, opportunistic preachers and cheap rulers took over.
In this time, countries of the World have become too close for a particular country to walk off on a tangent path, misaligned from the rest.
Irresponsible Pakistani leaders have done just that.
The Brand of People Pakistan is producing
Everyone expects countries to produce people that are well rounded in basic civilities, and Pakistan is no exception.
The product Brand Pakistan is producing right now is
- Excessively religious
- Intolerant toward queers, and different people.
- Uneducated or poorly educated
- Uncivilized for a modern society
- Tribal in outlook
- Shabbily dressed
- Poorly read.
- Untrained to build a working relationship with women.
- Unable to function in a western office environment.
- Static or regressive outlook on life
- Has an international Muslim identity – Pakiistaniat takes a back seat
- Pakistani Muslim identity – incorporate the essence of Islam
- Having faith in the supremacy of Allah
- Protector of the oppressed, whatever their religion, nationality, gender, or orientation.
- A symbol of strength for the family and community.
- Prays directly to Allah.
- Firm character and integrity.
- Less power-hungry.
- Acceptance of other religions
- Know how to function with women and westerners in the workspace.
- Function well in a gender-neutral and unconventional work environment
- Basing people worth on their competence and character, not religion
- Immaculately dressed
- Well read.
- An important knot in the social network
- Quality Educated.
- Quality Mentored
- Nuclear Family oriented
- Pluralistic in outlook
- Accepting diversity and different people
The world is too close now to fool everyone all the time.
Pakistani elite should relinquish control and let a genuine Pakistani Muslim identity emerge.
Pakistan’s executive branch must detox itself of religion and toxic power-hungry elements to protect democratically elected leaders making laws for bettering all sorts of people in the nation – and that starts with irreligious education.
If the Pakistani elite, which includes religious and military power centers do not heed this advice, the world will eventually get it done, with or without our consent – but not without a huge price tag.
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May the silent hardworking majority have their day!