*Selections from the Munir Report (1954)*
12) Other incidents
a.) Other incidents of an Islamic State are that all sculpture, playing of cards, portrait painting, photographing human beings, music, dancing, mixed acting, cinemas, and theatres will have to be closed. Thus says Maulana Abdul Haleem Qasimi, representative of Jami'at-ul-Ulama-i-Pakistan: --
"Q:-- What are your views on tashbih and tamseel?
A.-- You should ask me a concrete question.
Q.--What are your views on lahw-o-la'b?
A.-- The same is my reply to this question.
Q.-- What are your views about portrait painting?
A.-- There is nothing against it if any such painting becomes necessary.
Q.-- What about photography?
A.-- My reply to it is the same as the reply regarding portrait painting.
Q.-- What about sculpture as an art?
A.-- It is prohibited by our religion.
Q.-- Will you bring playing of cards in lahw-o-la'b?
A.-- Yes, it will amount to lahw-o-la'b.
Q.-- What about music and dancing?
A.-- It is all forbidden by our religion.
Q.-- What about drama and acting?
A .-- It all depends on what kind of acting you mean. If it involves immodesty and intermixture of sexes, the Islamic law is against it.
Q.-- If the State is founded on your ideals, will you make a law stopping portrait painting, photographing of human beings, sculpture, playing of cards, music, dancing, actingm and all cinemas and theatres?
A.-- Keeping in view the present form of these activities, my answer is in the affirmative."
b.) Maulana. Abdul Haamid Badayuni considers it to be a sin (ma'siyal) on the part of professors of anatomy to dissect dead bodies of Muslims to explain points of anatomy to the students.
c.) The soldier or the policeman will have the right, on grounds of religion, to disobey a command by a superior authority. Maulana Abul Hasanat's view on this is as follows: --
"I believe that if a policeman is required to do something which we consider to be contrary to our religion, it should be the duty of the policeman to disobey the authority. The same would be my answer if 'army' were substituted for 'police'.
Q.-- You stated yesterday that if a policeman or a soldier was required by a superior authority to do what you considered to be contrary to religion, it would be the duty of that policeman or the soldier to disobey such authority. Will you give the policeman or the soldier the right of himself determining whether the command he is given by his superior authority
is contrary to religion?
A.-- Most certainly.
Q.- -Supposc there is war between Pakistan and another Muslim country and the soldier feels that Pakistan is in the wrong and that to shoot a soldier of the other country is contrary to religion. Do you think he would be justified in disobeying his commanding officer?
A.-- In such a contingency the soldier should take a fatwa of the ulama."
d.) We have dwelt at some length on the subject of Islamic State not because we intended to write a thesis against or in favour of such State, but merely with a view to presenting a clear picture of the numerous possibilities that may in future arise if the true causes of the ideological confusion which contributed to the spread and intensity of the [recent anti-Ahmadi] disturbances are not precisely located. That such confusion did exist is obvious because otherwise Muslim Leaguers, whose own Government was in office, would not have risen against it; a sense of loyalty and public duty would not have departed from public officials who went about like maniacs howling against their own Government and officers; respect for property and human life would not have disappeared in the common man, who with no scruple or compunction began freely to indulgc in loot, arson and murder; politicians would not have shirked facing the men who had installed them in their offices; and administrators would not have felt hesitant or diffident in performing what was their obvious duty.
If there is one thing which has been conclusively demonstrated in this inquiry, it is that provided you can persuade the masses to believe that something they are asked to do is religiously right or enjoined by religion, you can set them to any course of action, regardless of all considerations of discipline, loyalty, decency, morality, or civic sense.
e.) Pakistan is being taken by the common man -- though it is not -- as an Islamic State. This belief has been encouraged by the ceaseless clamour for Islam and an Islamic State that is being heard from all quarters since the establishment of Pakistan. The phantom of an Islamic State has haunted the Musalman throughout the ages, and is a result of the memory of the glorious past when Islam, rising like a storm from the least expected quarter of the world -- the wilds of Arabia -- instantly enveloped the world, pulling down from their high pedestal gods who had ruled over man since the creation, uprooting centuries-old institutions and superstitions, and supplanting all civilisations that had been built on an enslaved humanity.
What is 125 years in human history -- nay, in the history of a people -- and yet, during this brief period Islam spread from the Indus to the Atlantic and Spain, and from the borders of China to Egypt, and the sons of the desert installed themselves in all old centres of civilisation -- in Ctesiphon, Damascus, Alexandria, India and all places associated with the names of the Sumerian and the Assyrian civilisations.
Historians have often posed the question: what would have been the state of the world today if Muawiya's siege of Constantinople had succeeded, or if the proverbial Arab instinct for plunder had not suddenly seized the mujahids of Abdur Rahman in their fight against Charles Martel on the plains of Tours in Southern France. Maybe Muslims would have discovered America long before Columbus did, and the entire world would have been Moslemised; maybe Islam itself would have been Europeanised. It is this brilliant achievement of the Arabian nomads, the like of which the world had never seen before, that makes the Musalman of today live in the past and yearn for the return of the glory that was Islam.
He finds himself standing on the crossroads, wrapped in the mantle of the past and with the dead weight of centuries on his back, frustrated and bewildered and hesitant to turn one corner or the other. The freshness and the simplicity of the faith, which gave determination to his mind and spring to his muscle, is now denied to him. He has neither the means nor the ability to conquer, and there are no countries to conquer. Little does he understand that the forces which are pitted against him are entirely different from those against which early Islam had to fight, and that on the clues given by his own ancestors, the human mind has achieved results which he cannot understand.
He therefore finds himself in a state of helplessness, waiting for someone to come and help him out of this morass of uncertainty and confusion. And he will go on waiting like this without anything happening. Nothing but a bold re-orientation of Islam, to separate the vital from the lifeless, can preserve it as a World Idea, and convert the Musalman into a citizen of the present and the future world, from the archaic incongruity that he is today.
f.) It is this lack of bold and clear thinking, the inability to understand and take decisions, which has brought about in Pakistan a confusion which will persist, and repeatedly create situations of the kind we have been inquiring into, until our leaders have a clear conception of the goal and of the means to reach it. It requires no imagination to realise that irreconciliables remain irreconciliable even if you believe or wish to the contrary. Opposing principles, if left to themselves, can only produce confusion and disorder, and the application of a neutralising agency to them can only produce a dead result.
Unless, in case of conflict between two ideologies, our leaders have
the desire and the ability to elect, uncertainty must continue. And as
long as we rely on the hammer when a file is needed, and press Islam into
service to solve situations it was never intended to solve, frustration
and disappointment must dog our steps. The sublime faith called Islam will
live even if our leaders are not there to enforce it. It lives in the individual,
in his soul and outlook, in all his relations with God and men, from the
cradle to the grave; and our politicians should understand that if Divine
commands cannot make or keep a man a Musalman, their statutes will not.
On to: *13) Khwaja Nazim-ud-din's reaction to the demands*