By Yasser Latif Hamdani
A new lie has been concocted by chachas of Nazaria-e-Pakistan now especially by Orya Maqbool Jan and Safdar Mahmood- two of the most dishonest liars when it comes to the history of Pakistan. The story goes that there was a Department of Islamic Reconstruction and to chair this Department of Reconstruction of Islam, Jinnah chose Muhammad Asad, formerly Leopold Weiss, the “Jewish Lawrence of Arabia”.
Here is the problem: The Facts- yes those inconvenient little things.
1. There is absolutely no reference to a Department of Islamic Reconstruction in any of the official documents of the Government of Pakistan. The one rather unofficial looking “picture” of the so called department with Asad sitting in the middle says “Department of Islamic Reconstruction West Punjab”. Frankly to me it remains a mystery as to what this department was and who was funding it. If someone can help me locate some reference, notification or law from the Gazettes of Pakistan on this mysterious department, I’d be eternally grateful.
2. There is no reference to “Allama” Asad aka Lepold Weiss in Jinnah Papers. Jinnah never corresponded with him, never met him and never appointed him to anything. I have looked through Jinnah Papers as well Jinnah’s correspondence during this period. Even the Shamsul Hassan collection has no reference to this Allama Asad. There is absolutely no primary source evidence that shows this Allama as being associated with the Pakistan Government. How strange then that Jinnah who meticulously saved his correspondence forgot to mention this.
Behind this nefarious and ridiculously inaccurate distortion of history, it is easy enough to discern the work of Jamaat-e-Islami. Jamaat-e-Islami, having failed to convince the people of Pakistan that it was secretly supporting the creation of the new state even when Maududi was abusing Jinnah, has now resorted to plan B. It is easy enough to do – get a few bloggers to write blogs and claim this that and other about this Allama Asad fellow. The latest one is a blog on Express Tribune no less extolling the virtues of the great Allama Asad and his association with Mr. Jinnah. Reference? Works of Orya Maqbool Jan and Safdar Mahmood.
I therefore challenge those who are promoting this lie to produce even a shred of evidence from primary source documents proving their case. I have nothing against Asad whoever he was. He may have been a soldier of fortune looking to contribute to a new Muslim majority nation state. Good for him. But to invent a whole super text of his association with Jinnah etc? Really? Do the promoters of this new myth really think no one is going to call their lie for what it is? A lie?
A gentleman sent me an online version of Asad’s book “Principles of State and Government in Islam” where he claims that he headed what seems to be an Islamic Reconstruction Department in West Punjab. Even if that were true, which would require confirmation, that does not connect Asad to Jinnah or the Central Pakistan Government.
How ironic is our dilemma as a country? We abuse and insult Zafrulla Khan, a man who Jinnah appointed as Pakistan’s first representative to the UN, Pakistan’s first foreign minister and Pakistan’s lawyer before the boundary commission but are willing to latch on to the most tenuous of claims by some Jewish convert to Islam of having been head of some provincial department, if at all. The ridiculous blog in Express Tribune speaks of Asad being the “first citizen of Pakistan”. What an utter and total national shame.