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Absolute gem from a 1962 Foreign Office report on Pakistan:

As a unifying factor, as a refuge from the appalling conditions in which the mass of Pakistanis exist, and as a worthy and decent background to most personal lives, Islam is a source of strength – especially in the broad, humane and forward looking form taught by Ayub. It also inspires to some extent a healthy dislike and distrust of Communism. But the other side of the coin is that the fatalism which Islam seems to encourage constitutes a formidable obstacle to self-improvement. Pakistan – like other Muslim countries – is plagued by the patent inadequacy for modern purposes of the social side of Islam. It also suffers from its share of reactionary, heresy-hunting and Christian-baiting Muslim divines – “the turbaned kind”, as Gertrude Bell once called them, “whom I would like to seal into a bottle”

 


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Written by szerlem

April 3, 2011 at 23:42

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