Civilization, religion and Pashtun nationalist

Riyatullah Farooqui


The writer is a senior journalist.

Judaism is the only religion in the world that exists on the basis of race. That is why the Jews preach to one another but do not invite non-Israelites to join their religion. Nor do they accept anyone who converts to Judaism.  

When Pashtun Tahafuz Movement was founded four years ago, this nationalist organization received support from Israel on the basis of race. In this regard, the issue of Pashtuns being of Jewish descent was once again raised.

As per my information, Pashtuns had come to the area after the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar (Bakht Nasr). Interestingly, Islam did not come to them in the form of an army, but Qais Abdul Rashid reached Madinah during the Prophet’s (S.A.W.W) time and returned to the region as the first preacher of Islam.

Muslims coming to Persia, instead of coming to the areas of present-day Afghanistan via Herat, advanced to North-West and went to Central Asia. There are no traces of an Arab army in the Khurasan region. If we look at the history of war here, in later periods we find only Muslim wars with the Hindu states of the region.

Our region is called the “Cradle of Civilizations”. Many civilizations with a history of thousands of years stand shoulder to shoulder here. For example, Chinese civilization, Indian civilization, Sindhi civilization, Pashtun civilization and Iranian civilization. Then the uniqueness of Pakistan in particular is that two of these civilizations are intertwined within the four borders of Pakistan: Pashtun and Sindhi civilizations, while  it share borders with other three civilization. Thus, Pakistan is the only country in the region that is directly connected to the five major civilizations of the region.

Historically, civilizations have existed on the basis of race. That is why no matter how much the change of religion has an effect, it does not completely eradicate the ethnic traditions of any civilization. And this end is not required of Islam. Islam’s conflict is only with those traditions which contradict the commands of Allah (SWT).

Therefore, Islam did not touch many of the ancient traditions of the Arabs themselves. That is why Muslims from different parts of the region have their own old cultural traditions. Therefore, when our Constitution says that there will be no legislation that contradicts the Qur’an and Sunnah, it is doing the first thing to prevent these ancient traditions.

It is the result of sensitivity to the ancient cultural traditions that contradict Islam that we keep hearing this interesting satire of the Pashtuns that there is a growing trend towards Hindu culture among the Punjabis who have migrated from India. References are also made to weddings or other social gatherings.

But the Pashtuns themselves forget that the chapter on Khyber which was uprooted by Hazrat Ali (A.S) has not been able to extricate itself from its memory till now. However, the Khyber chapter had nothing to do with the region, nor was it a Jewish sanctuary. The chapter on Khyber Arabs (not race) was a Jewish thing, and these Arab Jews themselves are third-class citizens in today’s Israel.

Israel’s upper class is European Jews, not Arabs. In the same way, there is something among the Pashtuns which Allah (SWT) has counted among the major crimes of the Jews. And that is “interest” and this is the curse that the Jews have imposed on the modern world in the form of a global financial system.

Interest transactions among Pashtuns are still worth trillions of rupees a year. I am personally aware of a reasonable number of billionaire Pashtuns whose total business is to provide money at interest. And their profiteering has nothing to do with the global system. Because they have an “undocumented” business.

It is a natural process that when the practice of religion in a civilization weakens, the inevitable result is that the classical traditions of that civilization replaces religious traditions. So among the Pashtuns who are far from religion, you will see “Chapter Khyber” first and then interest. And that is why in regions where religion is deeply rooted, religion is the first target of “nationalism”, because ethnic traditions cannot flourish with religion.

Regarding the late Bacha Khan, some religious scholars were saying that the latter loved the “Ulema” very much. As a reference, they use Bacha Khan’s dismissal of Deobandi Ulema in Delhi on the occasion of independence. But let me add that this understanding is applicable only to Indian or Punjabi Deobandi scholars. Otherwise, in the Pashtun belt, the lives of Bacha Khan and his family have been wasted in the struggle against the Ulema.

You will never hear from any Pashtun scholar that Bacha Khan was a very “scholarly friend”. He was a staunch Pashtun nationalist. And in that capacity, the clergy were his first target. Especially the poetry of his son Ghani Khan is in the orbit of “Mullah”. Because this family also knows very well that nationalism cannot make room without destroying religion.

Despite nearly a century of hard work, Pashtun nationalists have not yet learned that the greatest weakness of political nationalism is that it cannot be subordinated to any other “ism”. As soon as it touches the hand of another ism, it will lose its soul, because it can only unite with “race”.

And the condition of the Pashtun nationalists is that they first sided with Gandhi for help. When that didn’t work, the Communists left Kabul for Moscow. And when they failed there too, then after 9/11, they went straight to Washington. Thus, in the face of these hypocritical maneuvers, Pashtun nationalism lacks the basic potential to become a serious threat.

What is happening now is that the exclusion of religion from practice has resulted in the return of ancient ethnic and cultural traditions. And the ancient ethnic tradition and culture of the Pashtuns is Judaism. The Qur’an says about the Jews that they will always be dependent on others as punishment.

The result is that Pashtun nationalists, too, have been dependent on Gandhi, Khrushchev and Bush Jr., as a result of their proximity to Khyber and Jewish traditions, rather than to Islam. And the irony is that in today’s history, the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has once again orphaned these poor people. For them, the gates of Kabul are about to close again.