L’ombre du croissant

NEW YORK – Tandis que le Pakistan s’atrophie dans sa crise existentielle, une question essentielle sur la nature du pays s’impose : les citoyens sont-ils des Pakistanais musulmans ou des musulmans pakistanais ? Qu’est-ce qui vient en premier : la foi ou le drapeau ?

Peu de Pakistanais répondent facilement à cette question. La plupart de la soi-disant « élite cultivée » du pays n’a aucun problème, semble-t-il, à s’identifier d’abord comme musulmane, puis comme Pakistanaise. D’aucuns pensent que la religion est ce qu’ils ont de plus cher et qu’ils y resteront loyaux toute leur vie. D’autres, qui disent pourtant n’avoir cure de la religion, admettent que le Pakistan signifie finalement si peu à leurs yeux, que leur loyauté envers la religion passe avant leur loyauté envers le pays.

Cette volonté de faire passer l’état après Dieu, même parmi les personnes les plus éduquées, est au cœur de la crise que traverse le Pakistan. Comment ce pays peut-il prospérer si la majeure partie de ces citoyens voue allégeance à l’état seulement en second ? Comment peut-il progresser si, comme l’écrivain M. J. Akbar l’a remarqué « l’idée du Pakistan est moins forte que l’idée du Pakistanais. »

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