Pakistan’s Jewish Connection
With all of the tumult in Pakistan during the last few days, it is interesting to remember the Jewish connection regarding modern Pakistan’s history. A figure who was somewhat involved in the area’s politics in the years before the establishment of Pakistan, and the future Pakistani representative at the UN is Muhammad Asad. Asad was the author of a number of books, among them The Message of the Quran and Road to Mecca. What makes Asad’s biography interesting is that he was born Leopold Weiss in Lvov/Lemberg, and later converted to Islam. For an good description of Weiss/Asad’s life and journey, read this selection from Martin Kramer’s book The Jewish Discovery of Islam. Lastly, before I was familiar with Muhammad Asad, I was exposed to the writings of his son, Talal Asad, the influential anthropologist and author of such works as Genealogies of Religion.