Jinnah and Iqbal’s Support For The Palestinians


Little light is thrown upon or reflected on the views of the towering personalities who helped to shape the reality that came to be known as Pakistan, over the problem of Palestine. With the recent attack on the Freedom Flotilla by Israel which was bound to take aid for the people of Gaza and also had 3 Pakistanis amongst its passengers of 600, many people have wondered what relation does Pakistan share with Palestine?

In this regard, I decided to search and gather through sources the thoughts of Jinnah and Iqbal over this conflict in the Middle East.

The content below is from my collection of different articles on this topic:

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From Roedad Khan’s  ‘So many questions: so few answers’ :

“On May 25, 1945, Mr. Jinnah declared:

“If Britain goes back even on the plighted word of hers, which is the barest justice done to the Arabs, it will be against the deepest sentiments and views of the Muslims of the world and it will constitute a breach of the solemn assurances given to the Musalmans of India whose sympathy and support were secured for the prosecution of the war on the basis of this promise… It is too dangerous a game to play and a bait to get the support… of the Jews for electioneering purposes, for it will certainly alienate and exasperate the Muslim world and lead to most disastrous consequences”.

Addressing a mass meeting in Bombay on November 8, 1945, Mr Jinnah said:

“We Musalmans of India, are one with the Arab world on this issue. It is not a question of a National Home for Jews in Palestine. It is a question of Jews reconquering Palestine, which they had lost 2000 years ago, with the help of British bayonets and American money. I have no enmity against Jews. I know they were treated very badly in some parts of civilized Europe. But why should Palestine be dumped with such a large number of Jews? If Jews want to reconquer Palestine, let them face Arabs without British or American help.”



Referring to the efforts made by President Truman to put pressure on British government to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine, Mr. Jinnah said,here comes the President of a great country thinking entirely of Jewry and the interests of Jews. President Truman had the effrontery to put pressure on the British government to allow a million Jews into Palestine, while he has agreed, after a long period of vacillation, to allow only a 100 Indians to migrate to the United States of America”.
When a section of the audience shouted, ‘shame’, ‘shame’, Mr Jinnah turned around and exclaimed:

“It is not shame. It is monstrous and criminal. Why doesn’t President Truman take one million Jews into USA? The reason is that the Jews do not want a National Home in Palestine. What they want is to reconquer Palestine, which they lost 2000 years ago, with the help of British bayonets and American money”.

Mr Jinnah then declared that if the British government tried to violate the solemn pledge given to the Arabs in Palestine and allow the Jews into Palestine, as suggested by President Truman, there would be no peace in the Middle East and the whole Islamic world would revolt. The consequences would be disastrous.

“The Muslims of India would not remain as mere spectators. They would help the Arabs in Palestine by all possible means”.

The Palestinian cause continued to be championed by Pakistan after the emergence of the new state. In an interview with Duncan Hooper, Reuters’ correspondent, Mr. Jinnah warned that, if Palestine was partitioned:

“There was bound to be the gravest disaster and unprecedented conflict, not only between the Arabs and the Authority that would undertake to enforce the Partition plan, but the entire Muslim world will revolt… Pakistan will have no other course left but to give its fullest support to the Arabs”.

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The following is from ‘Iqbal and Jinnah on Palestine’ by Dr. Ghulam Ali Chaudhry:

Muhammad Iqbal asked them a question, through the answer to it he well knew:

“If the Jew had a right to the soil of Palestine, Why can’t the Arab lay claim to Spain? No, British Imperialism has other aims. It’s no tale of citron, honey or dates.”


In poem after poem, Iqbal attacked the two Mandatories, Britain and France, for their ghastly deeds in Palestine and Syria.

In the 1930’s the situation in Palestine became increasingly alarming. The British adopted ruthlessly repressive measures to quell Arab opposition, and the result was a general revolt. When in July 1937 the Royal Commission under Lord Peel recommended partition and further Jewish immigration, the whole world of Islam was left aghast.

Miss Farquharson of the National League of England requested Muhammad Iqbal to express his views on these shocking recommendations. Writing to her on 20 July 1937, he said:

We must not forget that Palestine does not belong to England. She is holding it under a mandate from the League of Nations, which Muslim Asia is now learning to regard as an Anglo-French institution invented for the purpose of dividing the territories of weaker Muslim peoples. Nor does Palestine belong to the Jews who abandoned it of their own free will long before its possession by the Arabs. Nor is Zionism a religious movement…. Indeed the impression given to the unprejudiced reader is that Zionism as a movement was deliberately created, not for the purpose of giving a National Home to the Jews but for the purpose of giving a home to British Imperialism on the Mediterranean littoral.

“The Report amounts, on the whole, to a sale under duress to the British of the Holy Places in the shape of the permanent mandate which the Commission has invented in order to cover their imperialist designs. The price of this sale is an amount of money to the Arabs plus an appeal to their generosity and a piece of land to the Jews. I do hope that British statesmen will abandon this policy of actual hostility to the Arabs and restore their country to them.”

Allama Muhammad Iqbal had insistently struck in his work this same note of mistrust of the presiding powers of the present-day world and prescribed this same remedy of self-reliance for the Muslim individual and the Muslim community. He hadn’t lived to see his dream of Pakistan come true or to watch the vile producing the last bloody act of the tragedy in Kashmir and Palestine. 

Allama Muhammad Iqbal passed away on 21 April 1938 but his call rang on through the Muslim soul.

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[Continued passages from Dr. Ghulam Ali Chaudhry’s work]
 
On 15 October 1937, in the course of his presidential address to the All-India Muslim League Session at Lucknow, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said:
  

“May I now turn and refer to the question of Palestine? It has moved the Mussalmans all over India most deeply. The whole policy of the British Government has been a betrayal of the Arabs, from its very inception. Fullest advantage has been taken of their trusting nature. Great Britain has dishonoured her proclamation to the Arabs, which had guaran-teed them complete independence for the Arab homelands and the formation of an Arab Confederation under the stress of the Great War.
After having utilized them, by giving them false promises, they installed themselves as the Mandatory Power with that infamous Balfour Declaration, which was obviously irreconcilable and incapable of simultaneous execution.
Then, having pursued the policy to find a national home for the Jews, Great Britain now proposes to partition Palestine, and the Royal Commission’s recommendation completes the tragedy. If given effect to, it must necessarily lead to the complete ruination and destruction of every legitimate aspiration of the Arabs in their homeland — and now we are asked to-look at the realities! But who created this situation? It has been the handiwork of and brought about sedulously by the British statesmen … I am sure I am speaking not only of the Mussalmans of India but of the world; and all sections of thinking and fair-minded people will agree, when I say that Great Britain will be digging its grave if she fails to honour her original proclamation, promises and intentions — pre war and even post-war — which were so unequivocally expressed to the Arabs and the world at large.
I find that a very tense feeling of excitement has been created and the British Government, out of sheer desperation, are resorting to repressive measures, and ruthlessly dealing with the public opinion of the Arabs in Palestine. The Muslims of India will stand solid and will help the Arabs in every way they can in the brave and just struggle that they are carrying on against all odds.”

 

On 26 December 1938, in his presidential address to the All-India Muslim League at Patna, Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared:

“I know how deeply Muslim feelings have been stirred over the issue of Palestine. I know Muslims will not shirk from any sacrifice if required to help the Arabs who are engaged in the fight for their national freedom. You know the Arabs have been treated shamelessly — men who fighting for the freedom of their country, have been described as gangsters, and subjected to all forms of repression. For defending their homelands, they are being put down at the point of the bayonet, and with the help of martial laws. But no nation, no people who are worth living as a nation, can achieve anything great without making great sacrifices, such as the Arabs of Palestine are making. All our sympathies are with those valiant martyrs who are fighting the battle of freedom against usurpers. They are being subjected to monstrous injustices which are being propped up by British Imperialism with the ulterior motire of placating the international Jewry which commands the money-bags…”

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah died with a thorn in his heart.

For barely two weeks before he passed away on 11 September 1948, he said in his Eid-ul-Fitr message on 27th August 1948:

“My Eid message to our brother Muslim States is one of friendship and goodwill. We are all passing through perilous times. The drama of power politics that is being staged in Palestine, Indonesia and Kashmir should serve an eye opener to us. It is only by putting up a united front that we can make our voice felt in the counsels of the world.

Let me, therefore, appeal to you–in whatever language you may put, when the essence of my advice is boiled down, it comes to this–that every Mussalman should serve Pakistan honestly, sincerely and selflessly.”

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In solidarity and support with the Palestinian people, Pakistan stands with you.

– Hafsa Khawaja

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O’ Pakistani : A Call For 23rd March


 

Passed have seven decades,
Since the foundations of your land were laid,
On the 23rd of March,
In Manto Park,
The voices of Muslims were finally hearkened,
Put forward was a genuine intreperation,
Of Sir Syed’s thoughts,
Chaudhri Rehmat’s words,
And Iqbal’s dream,
As a path to a cherished destination,
Jinnah spoke, firm and tall,
Infront of struggle’s iron walls,
Demanded what belonged to us!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            

So what holds you back O’ Pakistani today?
Which shackles touch your skin?
Which ropes tie your tongue?
What blinds your eyes?
To save Jinnah’s burning Pakistan?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

What blocks the sound in your ears?
Of your soil’s screams,
Screaming to be heard by her sons,
Once which was given to you as Iqbal’s dream,
Why do you sit and watch?
When devils savour your motherland’s flesh?
On her face when ramble conspirators in cahoots?

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Where were you?
When trampled was her dignity under marching boots?
In anarchy’s dump when she begins to drown,
Or in rains of terror, she is left to stand,
To foreign lands why do you run?
Evading to lend her a hand or be of a service to her?
                                                                                                                                                                                                         

You ask what Pakistan has given you,
Have you ever asked youself what you have given her?
Why do you desert and abandon your own destiny?
Your future, the land of your posterity?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

What would Jinnah and Iqbal say?
For walking corprses did they so much envisage?
As to those whose eyes towards realities and brutalities are shut,
The face of change truly shuns,
How long for a saviour will you wait?
When you are the saviour of your own fate!
When what seemed impossible,
Through ails and illnesses,
Quaid-e-Azam achieved,
He stood and bestowed..
For us what the King had decreed,
A sky above your head,
The ground beneath your feet,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

So,
What holds you back today O’ Pakistani?
To save for what leaders fought daringly against the wave of time,
Every foe’s try,
The Minar-e-Pakistan is still seen,
But seldom contain,
The passion that surged in the hearts and reigned,
Of those 70 years before, who once crowded Manto Park’s ground,
So let nothing hold you back O’ Pakistani !
To conquer what Jinnah had spoken of on this day,
Pakistan!
To conquer your own destiny!

                                                                                                                      

Hafsa Khawaja

Wake Up ‘O My People – A Youth’s Plea


“Which was once formed on the name of peace,
Now roam it freely raven beasts,
Vicious intentions of these shadows of feinds,
Drenched with the blood of its sons are this land’s streets,
Fear is the thorny crown of each heart,
Piercing the inside with each breath taken,
Blasts rock the ground beneath billions of feet,
Prayers on murmuring lips and beliefs left shaken,
With each step of loved ones out of secure doors,
Dread greets each heart beat,

Emergency declared in hospitals,
Cities on high alert,
Back to the dim despondence we revert,
From the little intervals of glimpses of silence,
Considered by us as peace,
Hope and light upon us readily frowns,
Students sit home,
With schools shut down,

With each bomb making a crater,
For many dawns the birth of dooms-day,
Slips the life out of mourning mothers and moaning daughters,
Running to places to collect the remains of dead sons and fathers,
The dark clouds of bereavement linger on many homes,
Stripped are even mosques of security with blood-painted domes,
Laughters disappear from twinkling faces,
For witnessed they have the killings of their parents,
And from their little minds horror fails to be erased,

Targeted are funerals,
Above our heads fly foreign drones,
To oblivious innocents whose lives they leave torn,

Amongst ourselves,
Rove our invitations to death,
Militants under the skin of a human,
Mullahs with beards,
And devils with no beards but sitting on thrones as rulers they appear,

Wake up ‘O My People!
Wake up!
Why do you still sleep after sixty-three years?
When blood-stained are our frontiers?
And the sounds of war unleash in our ears?
Defend your identity,
Raise you head,
Let not the truth of Islam perish,
In what the extremists flourish,
Hands are abandoned by the Creator,
When they remain only to beg and pray!
Wake up ‘O My People And Fight!
For this burning heaven,
This land of pure,
Where rascals rule!
How many more tears will you shed?
To your children will you tell of a life of fear that you lead?
And the coming tomorrow,
That belongs to you!
Make Jinnah’s Pakistan with the blood in your veins,
Wake up and and salvage your fate!”

Hafsa Khawaja

Jinnah’s Pakistan- Are We Near?


Jinnah’s Pakistan. This is one dream that all of Pakistan yearns to achieve and are rueful over not being able to achieve in the past 63 years. Usually we blame others for what we face today but have we ever mused if we have even tried to be close to Jinnah’s Pakistan? Have we acknowledged our own weaknesses and faults? And the amends that we need to make? After reading a book of quotations of Jinnah that I posses, I decided to analyse and write about how far we are from being near to the land of pure that the Quaid envisaged.
Below are some quotations and the current situation of Pakistan in relevance to them:

“You must learn to distinguish between your love for your province and your love and duty to your State as a whole. Our duty to the State takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision, and [a] greater sense of patriotism. Our duty to the State often demands that we must be ready to submerge our individual and provincial interests into the common cause for a common good. Our duty to the State comes first : our duty to our Province, to our district, to our town, and to our village and ourselves comes next”

– Speech at Islamia College, Peshawar 12 April 1948

“Let me warn you in the clearest terms of the dangers that still face Pakistan…Having failed to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, thwarted and frustrated by their failure, the enemies of Pakistan have now turned their attention to disrupt the State by creating a split amongst the Muslims of Pakistan. These attempts have taken the shape of principally of encouraging provinicialism. As long as you do not through off this poison [provincialism] in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanzie yourself into a real, true nation….”

– Address, Public Meeting, Dacca 21 March 1948

[In Pakistan, such a divide, mentioned by our founder 62 years ago is still crystal clear in our nation. The poison of provincialism still lingers in the body of Pakistan. One of the most recent events that we saw last year were of the IDP’s of Swat entry in Sindh being protested and warned against by a few political parties. This was not a small incident but discrimination against our own Pakistani brothers only for the reason that they belonged to another province. This was not only against the definitions of a nation but also against the brother-hood that Islam strongly preaches.
The Sindh-Card hoopla and Sindhi-Topi Day are also both, in my opinion, a component of the very poison to spread it farther into the nation. I myself am proud of my province and do encourage the promotion of my province’s specific culture and specialities but I found the Sindh-Topi Day to be politically hijacked and motivated. Sindhis are also, repeatedly and wrongly, taught of a myth of their victim-hood facilitated by the Punjabis by certain political parties to gain their political mileage. Such selfish plots have lead to, although small, such as a movement for a separate province of Sindh and hatred amongst Sindhis for the people of Punjab. We are all Pakistanis and our province, city, district and towns do come after that. Pakistan is our identity, not our province.]

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“I want you to keep your heads up as citizens of a free and independent sovereign State. Praise your Government when it deserves. Criticise your Government fearlessly when it deserves, but do not go on all the time attacking, indulging in destructive criticism, taking delight in running down the Ministry or the officials.”
One of the most deplorable traits that have been developed within us due to a past marred with tragedies, losses, conspiracies and despair is the degree of pessimism and cynicism. We have lost all sense of respect and pride, disregarding the achievements of our people and the mere blessing of having been born in an independent land, a place to call home. We need to regain our sense of pride in our land and the fact that we belong to it, remembering that every nation has to go through a rough patch and a testing time before it reaches the height of success.
Our officials are corrupt and thus our criticism is natural but those steps that they take for the nation’s betterment (though seldom they are indeed) should be openly praised. Useless and baseless defamation and criticism of Government officals and those who represent us should certainly be spared. Above all, if they are indeed so wrong and devoid of honesty, why do we ELECT them?

– Reply to welcome address, Edwardes College, Peshawar, 18th April 1948

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“During my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the implications of the Oath taken by the troops of Pakistan. Ofcourse, an oath is merely a matter of form ; what is more important is the true spirit and the heart. But it is an important form and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescirbed oath to you :
‘I solemnly affirm in the presence of the Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the
Constitution and the Domination of Pakistan and that I will as in duty bound honestly
and faithfully serve in the Domination of Pakistan Forces and go within the terms of
my enrolment wherever I may be ordered by air, land or sea and that I will observe
and obey all commands of any officer set over me….’

– Address, Staff College, Quetta, 14th June 1948

“Never forget that you are the servants of the state. You do not make policy. It is we, the people’s representatives, who decide how the country is to be run. Your job is to only obey the decisions of your civilian masters.”
– Address at Military Staff College

Four Martial Laws and almost 40 years of dictatorship in Pakistan’s 63 years which included the rape of our nation’s sovereignity and sowing the seeds of problems that we are reaping today, all were due to the Generals who like the Quaid said, had forgotten the oath they took.It is inevitable that in such a long time of dictatorship, the influence and role of the military in the decision-making of the country. Our army inherited the British Military traditions and its officer crops were trained under British Military institutions established under colonial rule. With the decline of political institutions, they expanded their role and even reached the Presidency. Corruption, nepotism, avarice and greed were rampant in these years. The cancers that reside in Pakistan today, were assisted by Generals and their cronies. Our Army has always seemed to be oblivious of Jinnah’s words and their actual duty. They have played a major role in pulling Pakistan to the brink of collapse and anarchy. Our Army-men need to read these quotes of the Quaid and imprint them in their minds, it was their this lack of morals and integrity and intentional neglect of the Founder’s words and not only the Generals but support of the presumed and self-proclaimed ‘intelligentsia’ and elite of our society for dictatorships that made us stand here today.
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“We do not cherish aggresive designs against any country or nation.”
– Part of a broad-cast to USA, February 1948

Ironically, Pakistanis nowadays have actually started buliding up an aggressive attitude towards certain nations for they blindly blame them for what we face today. I mean India and Israel, certain ‘intellectuals’ have began infusing the ideas and notions of a wars which is a blatant promotion of extremism. Their reasoning and ‘analysis’ of the current situation of Pakistan is that each of our conflicts and predicaments has been caused by other nations conspiring against us and their Ingelligence Agencies, for this they mould facts to their own liking and to back their views. Blaming others is the most simple way out to hide your own faults and to reason your suffering and so the popularity of such views are growing and farthering the cherishing of aggresive designs against countries etc (against Jinnah’s words).
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– Hafsa Khawaja