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For Muslims, There Is No Escape From Islam

In a recent survey conducted in Britain, the British Muslims were asked: Do you consider yourselves British first and Muslims then, or Muslims first and British then?
93% replied “Muslims first”.
This sort of response in such overwhelming numbers shocked most of Britishers who were quick to raise doubts about the loyalties of British Muslims.
Then a leading analyst came out with an interesting finding.
“If the people of Pakistan are asked a similar question,” he said, “90% are going not to think twice before making known their answer. Muslims first.”
“Meaning thereby,” the analyst continued, “that whatever be their nationality, location or citizenship, the followers of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) are bound together in brotherhood, and prefer to be recognized more as Muslims than as any other identity.”
Some ‘learned’ critics of this point of view may come up with arguments to the effect that “if there is any unquestionable truth in the universal brotherhood of Islam, why have they so frequently engaged in feuds, combats and sustained acrimony?”
The answer to this line of argument is quite simple. Don’t sons of the same father quite often confront each other in matters of ego and self-interest?
These matters apart —I mean the matters of ‘ego’ and ‘self-interest’, the recognized measure of determining ‘identity’ cannot be challenged. Among those who bow before one God, follow one Prophet, and obey one command (Al Quran), there is a universal bond that has stood the test of time till today.
General Pervez Musharraf’s extensively advertised slogan ‘Pakistan First’ does have a rationale when it is taken into account that the statehood of Pakistan is constituted of different ethnicities and racial as well as linguistic pluralities.
But when it comes to a single choice —Pakistanis first or Muslims first —no Muslim is likely to turn his back on Islam.
Early last century Kemal Ata Turk tried —to a great degree of success too — to transform Turkey’s identity. For decades that followed the death of Ata Turk, Turks remained Turks first—and everything else afterwards.
Then in the sixties of the last century a prime minister in Turkey was hanged for the crime of being not “Kemalist and Turkish” enough.
There has been no escape for Turkey from the fallout of that tragic hanging. The voice of Adnan Mendres has been echoing in the skies of Turkey ever since.
And today Turkey is being governed by a party whose leaders are accused by the West as well as by Turkey’s Kemalist army, of harbouring Islamic ambitions.
The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister have spouses who have refused to shun their Islamic “scarves” to earn entry into the Turkey’s parliament!
It is being predicted that the elections scheduled on the 22nd of July 2007 are going to put Turkey back on the road to its Islamic past.
“Muslims First” will soon be the cry of most Turks.

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