TRUTH IS TEXTUAL NOT NUMERICAL
(Editorial, Khilafah Magazine, issue 8, May 1998)
Secular politics has a problem when it comes to establishing the rights of people in lands. It cannot see beyond numbers. This was seen clearly in the recent furore over the current census in Pakistan. This extensive piece of work is due for publication in June/July 1998, although it may be delayed. Yet, secular politicians have already challenged its legitimacy, through their fear about the numbers it might throw up.
In the words of a Pakistani Government official, "We will wait for the right moment which may come after US President Bill Clinton’s visit to Pakistan later this year, to disclose the sensitive demographic data which is bound to invite sharp reaction from the losers in the census game." Indeed, reaction was forth-coming, though whether it was sharp was questionable. The Mutahida Qawmi Movement (MQM) has stated that it will not accept the results of the census unless it shows figures that are favourable for the Mohajir in Sind province. Groups representing the Pashtoons and Balochis have raised similar objections. Albeit this is a very strange way of evaluating whether a census is accurate or not, this reveals much about the mindset of secular politicians. MQM and others are acutely aware that numbers translate into political clout in secular government.
Around the world secular politicians use numbers to back their claims. The Jews of Israel are well practised at playing the numbers game. Their claim to a homeland involved some rather adept census fixing. This involved jumping up the number of Jews through revision of Jewish law to accommodate Ethiopian and Russian Jews. It also involved ‘persuading’ Jews to immigrate to Israel, by Israeli-sponsored attacks on Jews in Europe. Lastly it involved harassing Palestinians into leaving to prevent their numbers embarrassing their claim to Israel. Secular number-obsessed politics rewarded their underhand tactics with the right to a state.