Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our beloved Quaid on the issue of Palestine

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (bottom row, third from left) with Grand Mufti of Palestine in Cairo [1946]

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 dishonored her proclamation to the Arabs, which had guaranteed 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 honor 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.”

[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. p. 272.]
At the same session at Lucknow, under the Presidency of Jinnah, the All-India Muslim League passed the following resolution on Palestine:
“The All-India Muslim League declares, in the name of the Mussalmans of India, that the recommendations of the Royal Palestine Commission and the subsequent statement of policy presented… to Parliament conflict with their religious sentiments and in the interests of world peace demands its rescission without further delay".
“The All-India Muslim League appeals to the rulers of Muslim countries to continue to use their powerful influence and best endeavours to save the holy places in Palestine from the sacrilege of non-Muslim domination and the Arabs of the Holy Land from the enslavement of British Imperialism backed by Jewish finance".
“The All-India Muslim League places on record its complete confidence in the Supreme Muslim Council and the Arab Higher Committee under the leadership of His Eminence the Grand Mufti, and warns the local administration in Palestine not to aggravate the resentment already created in the Muslim world by a policy of repression… obstensibly to uphold law and order, but in reality calculated to further the interest of aliens through the scheme of partition".
“This Session of the All-India Muslim League warns the British Government that if it fails to alter its present pro-Jewish policy in Palestine, the Mussalmans of India, in consonance with the rest of the Islamic world, will look upon British as the enemy of Islam and shall be forced to adopt all necessary measures according to the dictates of their faith.”
During the years that followed the Royal Commission Report, the Arab rebellion, led by the Grand Mufti Al-Haj Amin al-Hussaini and the Arab Higher Committee, rose to an unprecedented fury. The number of Jewish colonies, which had risen from 22 in 1900 to 47 in 1917, was now 200. case for partition had thus been treacherously forged, and the Jewish “national home” was now to become the “State of Israel.”

[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. pp. 277-278]
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…"
[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. p. 307]
World War II broke out in 1939. On the one hand, the British Government in India sought Muslim co-operation with the war effort, and on the other, they conspired with the Zionists to open the doors wide for Jewish immigrants entering Palestine as “war refugees.” On 21st March 1940, in his presidential address to the All-India Muslim League Session at Lahore — at which the historic “Pakistan” resolution was passed — Muhammad Ali Jinnah reported on his negotiations with the British Government, saying:
“We are told that endeavors, earnest endeavors, are being made to meet the reasonable, national demands of the Arabs. Well, we cannot be satisfied by earnest endeavours, sincere endeavours, best endeavours. We want that the British Government should in fact and actually meet the demands of the Arabs in Palestine.”
[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. p. 334]
At the same session at Lahore, under the presidentship of Jinnah, the All-India Muslim League passed the following resolution, moved by Abdur Rahman Siddiqui who had attended the Palestine Conference in Cairo the preceding year:
“The All-India Muslim League views with grave concern the inordinate delay on the part of the British Government in coming to a settlement with the Arabs in Palestine, and places on record its considered opinion, in clear and unequivocal language, that no arrangements of a piecemeal character will be made in Palestine which are contrary in spirit and opposed to the pledges given to the Muslim world, and particularly to the Muslims in India, to secure their active assistance in the War of 1914-18. Further, the League warns the British Government against the danger of taking advantage of the presence of a large British force in the Holy Land to overawe the Arabs and force them into submission".
[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. p. 346]
At the All-India Muslim League Session held at Delhi in April 1943, under the presidentship of Jinnah, the following resolution “from the chair” was adopted:
“This Session of the All-India Muslim League views with great concern and alarm the new Zionist propaganda and move in the U.S.A., which is putting pressure on the U.S. Government, firstly to remove all present restrictions on Jewish immigration in Palestine, and secondly to adopt the policy of converting Palestine into a Jewish State.

“In the opinion of this Session the aim of this new Zionist move is to make Jewish majority in Palestine a fait accompli by opening her doors to the Jewish war refugees, on the ground of the war emergency and the persecution of Jews in Europe.

“This Session condemns this new move as a deliberate attempt to perpetrate a wrong on the Arab and Islamic world at a time when the Arab National Higher Committee of Palestine stands disbanded and the Arab Nationalists are, at present, almost defenceless against organized Jewry and High Finance in the world.

“This Session, reiterating its demands for the fulfilment of Arab national demands for Arab independence in Palestine and Syria, solemnly warns the British Government against any step or move which may prove detrimental to Arab national interests, and declares that such a policy will be bitterly resented by the whole Arab Islamic world as an outrage on democracy and justice and inalienable Arab rights to their homeland.”
[Reference: Syed Sharifuddin, Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan (Karachi 1970) Vol. II. pp. 439-440]
The War ended in 1945. During the two years that followed the Muslims of the Subcontinent were locked in a life-and-death struggle against the British Government and the Hindu Congress. They were made to wade through blood and fire, but, Allah be praised, they emerged triumphant, and on 14th August 1947 there appeared on the map of the world the sovereign and independent State of Pakistan.

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 28th 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 … and Kashmir should serve as 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.”
[Reference: Speeches: Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as G.G. of Pakistan, 1947-48 (Pakistan Publications, Karachi)]


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