THE secularism in vogue in Western countries is a brand that crosses all limits of moderation.The origin of secularism was a reaction to the exploitative and unchecked joint political power of the fabulously rich priests and holy emperors in mediaeval times. The coup de grace to this nexus was delivered during the French Revolution.
A declaration of one of the revolutionary philosophers, Denis Diderot, is indicative of the mood of the times: “There can be no peace in the world until the last king is strangulated by the entrails of the last priest.”
Undeniably, temperance and moderation is the essence of wisdom in a civilised society. Secularism, however, is fundamentally a political concept. Unfortunately, it is a most misunderstood and misinterpreted term in Pakistan. While the Western brand of secularism is impossible in Pakistan, a modern democratic state in the light of Jinnah’s speech of August 11, 1947 is the right option for us.
Brig. ( r) Usman Shah