You can’t do both, chapter 297

I think Ahmed Rashid, much as I value his work, is over-optimistic about what is possible.

Taseer’s death has unleashed the mad dogs of hell, inspiring the minority of fanatics to go to any lengths to destroy the democratic, secular and moderate Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

How can there be such a thing as a secular Islamic Republic of anything? Or a secular Christian or Hindu one either?

I don’t think there can. That’s where Jinnah went wrong, and it’s where the whole idea falls apart before it takes its first breath. People who think there can be such a thing don’t grasp what “secular” means. An Islamic Republic is, obviously, an officially religious state, and that is the very thing that a secular state can’t be.

The idea must be that you can do both…but how could you? If it’s Islamic it’s Islamic, and then it’s not secular. You can’t do both. And that’s exactly why Pakistan is so fucked up, and getting more so every day.

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