Amid vociferous slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, a section of a busy avenue in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, which last December was renamed after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was formally inaugurated at a largely-attended ceremony on Friday.
The decision to re-name the Coney Island Avenue, where the Pakistani community is concentrated, was taken in December 25– Quaid’s birthday, when the New York City Council adopted a resolution to honour the founder of Pakistan.
[CS: Was this really the priority on Christmas Day?]
The move was the result years of hard work and lobbying effort by the Pakistani community, especially the Pakistani-American Youth Organization (PAYO).
As Jumaane Williams, a city council member from Brooklyn who successfully piloted the resolution, unveiled, with the help of a string, the road sign “Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way” atop a pole, multi-coloured confetti was shot up in celebration, while Pakistani-Americans, carrying Pakistan’s flags, burst into cheers and chanted slogans.
Pakistani Consul-General in New York, Naeem Iqbal Cheema, was a special guest at the event.
PAYO President Waqil Ahmad profusely thanked Williams and other city council members for their efforts in realizing their dream of having ‘Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way’ in the area around the Coney Island Avenue, known as ‘little Pakistan’.
“It is a gift to the Pakistani-American community here as well as to the people of Pakistan,” he added.
Williams, the city council member, said it was an honour for him to serve the Pakistani community and to inaugurate the renamed avenue.
He said he was aware of the suffering the members Pakistani community had to endure following the 9/11 attacks.
But through resilience, the Pakistani community has now reached a point that the New York City Council bestowed a special honour on the father of their nation.
Consul General Cheema said that today’s ceremony reflected the close relations and friendship between the Pakistani community and the New York City Council.
He paid tributes to the Pakistani community, specially PAYO, for their hard work and for raising Pakistan’s prestige in the United States.
Cheema said the Council’s decision to honour the Quaid was a recognition of the great statesman, an outstanding lawyer and a revered political leader whose epic struggle resulted in the creation of Pakistan.
Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, head of America-Pakistan Political Action Committee (APPAC), urged the Pakistani community members to take active part in American politics in order to raise their profile.
We know how well that worked out for the non-Muslim Indians who lived in what is now Pakistan. Raising their Islamic profile is exactly how it started there.
As we posted previously here, more on Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the “founding” of Pakistan:
Jinnah began blatant use of religion to gain support of Muslim masses with highly incendiary slogans, frightening the masses that Hindus were going to destroy the Muslims after the British left India. Jinnah propounded his deceitful theory of Hindus and Muslims being “two separate nations” that could not live together and asked for creation of Pakistan, a land for Muslims, by division of India.
Jinnah’s chauvinistic propaganda and contrived ethnic conflict so effectively mobilized the Muslim population that in a short period of seven years, Muslim League went from winning less than five percent to over seventy five percent of the Muslim vote in provincial elections of 1945. It took only two more years for the country to be divided on the basis of religious hatred and massive violence.
Jinnah’s pathological politics resulted in a horrendous bloodbath. The Partition resulted in one of the most brutal and bloody forced migrations in history where Sikhs and Hindus were chased from newly created Pakistan and Muslims from India.
The ensuing violence resulted in massacre of approximately two million Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs and forcible expulsion of approximately seventeen million people from their homes. The Machiavellian policies of Pakistan are the legacy of the holocaust accompanying the Partition.
We are still reaping the bitter fruit of poisonous seeds Jinnah and the Muslim League planted in 1940s.
He [Jinnah] ate pork, drank alcohol, and could barely speak in Urdu, the language of pride for Indian Muslims.
More on Jinnah’s legacy via History And Disappearance Of Jewish Presence In Pakistan – Analysis.
On 15 August, India was partitioned and the Dominion of Pakistan was declared. Partition effectively signaled the end of the British Empire. Fearful of their future in the new Islamic state, Jews began to flee. Some from Afghanistan and the Bene Israel community in Lahore fled to Karachi and from there moved to Bombay. Muslim refugees from India called Mohajir streamed into Pakistan, and attacked Jewish sites. The situation was exacerbated by the declaration of independence for the state of Israel in May 1948. Many of the Karachi Jews left the city in 1948, after rioters attacked the Karachi synagogue during a demonstration in May of that year against President Truman’s recognition of Israel. Some members of the community emigrated to Israel via India, while others settled in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Pogroms against the Jews recurred during the Suez War in 1956 and the Six Day War in 1967. Most of the remaining Jews emigrated and, in 1968, the Pakistani Jewish community numbered only 350 in Karachi, with one synagogue, a welfare organization and a recreational organization. After 1968, there is no record of any Pakistani Jews outside Karachi.
So long Coney, it was nice knowin’ ya.