This is with reference to Farooq Suleria’s article ‘Imran Khan’s sloganeering’ (July 11). It is a little unjust to say that Imran Khan is merely involved in sloganeering. In the past he has done exemplary philanthropic work which means that he can turn rhetoric into reality. Whether or not the West adopted the welfare model given by Islam is an academic debate. Europe derived a lot from the Islamic civilisation. René Descartes quotes Imam Ghazali with such intensity that even sometimes misses out on footnotes. Simply because Singapore is smaller than Pakistan in terms of population does not mean that its model of economic prosperity cannot be fully or partially emulated. If the political machinery in Singapore is ‘repressive’, does it mean that the western democracies, especially in the post 9/11 perspective, are immaculate? Over the decades the concept of democracy has been in a revisionist process.
The writer’s inside-out overview of the Swedish welfare model and the dynamics of politics are correct but what he fails to address is that Imran has never claimed to emulate it as such. To Imran, as well as any student of history, it is a reference to go back to the basic concepts of the Islamic welfare state which some Eurocentric minds singularly believe to have emerged from western political landscape.