Muslims first, Pakistani distant second say majority: Gallup poll

Published: May 4, 2011
Significant majority of Pakistanis (59 per cent) choose to identify themselves as Muslims first.

Significant majority of Pakistanis (59 per cent) choose to identify themselves as Muslims first.

A majority of Pakistanis identify themselves as Muslims first, Pakistani second, a recent Gilani Poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan revealed.

In a survey, a nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked the following question:

Different people choose to identify themselves differently. What do you consider yourself to be, first and foremost?

The results of the poll showed that a significant majority of Pakistanis (59 per cent) choose to identify themselves as Muslims first.

A little less than a quarter of the population (22 per cent) considers being Pakistani as its primary identity, while 10 per cent put their provincial identity first and seven per cent chose to identify themselves as human beings first.

Results also revealed that a greater percentage of respondents belonging to lower income categories and young age groups identified themselves primarily as Muslims as compared to those belonging to higher income categories and older age groups.

The survey was carried out among a sample of 2,774 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country, during April 2011.

Error margin was estimated to be approximately 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Feroze
    May 4, 2011 - 8:24PM

    How sad is that?Recommend

  • khunshan
    May 4, 2011 - 8:25PM

    i am khunshan first xDRecommend

  • Nation Prevails
    May 4, 2011 - 8:29PM

    > Blockquote Results also revealed that a greater percentage of respondents belonging to lower income categories and young age groups identified themselves primarily as Muslims as compared to those belonging to higher income categories and older age groups.

    Does it mean that this is due to religion or is due to having a very little access to good jobs or due to reference system or recommendation system which many people don’t have ????Recommend

  • Majeed
    May 4, 2011 - 8:30PM

    We need to revisit and re-evaluate the two nations theory and reconstruct the idea of Pakistan. These results are disheartening. Because being a ‘good’ Muslim has not yielded a patriotic Pakistani. Recommend

  • Cautious
    May 4, 2011 - 8:36PM

    No surprise. You let the religious genie out of the bottle – the mullahs now run the country and your going to have a hard time putting that genie back into the bottle.Recommend

  • LOL
    May 4, 2011 - 8:43PM

    This is a very sad bit of information for the future of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Talha
    May 4, 2011 - 8:43PM

    Isn’t this the reason for all our problems?Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    May 4, 2011 - 8:48PM

    This is a strong proof of brain washing of illiterate & youngsters by selfish Muslim clergy network. Teachings of Islam clearly guide to be patriotic towards your country even if it is ruled by non-Muslim regime. Only exception is that if that regime disallows you to worship, you may stand opposed to it.
    Islam very clearly advises that your country comes first and if government hinders your worship, do not obey. In any non-Muslim country, a Muslim must be faithful and patriotic towards its own country.
    For example an Indian Muslim fighting against Pakistan is doing Jihad as good as any Muslim from an Islamic country.
    Pakistan comes first and then comes Islam.Recommend

  • Sri
    May 4, 2011 - 8:54PM

    Has this something to do with the fact that demonstrations against OBL’s killing is seen only in Pakistan. No such scenes even in the Arab world. Recommend

  • May 4, 2011 - 9:01PM

    *Subhan-allah, this is another prove that Pakistan was made as a Ideological Islamic State. *

  • Khurdra
    May 4, 2011 - 9:19PM

    “a recent Gilani Poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan revealed…..”
    Is Gilani = Gallup…??? Misprint…satire or anything else…..????
    and by the way people are not so proud to say they are Pakistanis because of the terrorists around them which in trun have been thrust upon them through foreign funding…..simple…
    take away terrorism, take away lazy leaders,, explore and extract oil and mineral in Baluchistan…you will see a whole new PROUD TO PAKISTANI generation getting regenerated……Recommend

  • Malay
    May 4, 2011 - 9:25PM

    Bangladesh was the 1st slap on the face of 2 nation theory.
    This looks like a 2nd one. Probably dividing the country on the basis of religion didn’t help much to foster a national identity.Recommend

  • Mahboob Siddiqui
    May 4, 2011 - 9:29PM

    They were till the army of unethical journalists and Anchors cropped up …..of course sponsored…..
    Besides the hordes of Mians/chaudharys/maliks/khans/bhais who descended on this hapless,hardworking,down to earth multitude of Pakistanis and this land which could provide for so many can barely cater to the needs of such evils ……embedded parasites…..Recommend

  • let there be peace
    May 4, 2011 - 9:38PM

    It is perfectly understandable.
    Pakistan is a vague term. It is neither language nor ethnicity based country. And if was based on culture/civilization it would have called itself northwest India.
    It is not a country in normal sense. It is just an ideology. For pakistanis their country is not motherland but just a piece of land looted from kaafirs.
    May be for Pakistani Muslims this means something great but for others it is dangerous. For other countries this means an ideology that says no Muslim in a non islamic country can be loyal to his/her country and people.
    Pakistan is not a country. It is an ideology. A dangerous ideology for rest of the world.Recommend

  • Rohail
    May 4, 2011 - 9:46PM

    I’m Earthling first.Recommend

    May 4, 2011 - 10:15PM

    Its heartening to see that 7% people preferred to be “Human” first and then something else. I believe this ration represent those people who believe that all human beings living in all corners of this planet are one and the same. And these artificial boundaries created by so called Nationalism, provincialism, religions and cultures mean nothing. What 59% ratio suggest is quite obvious and it reflects the sorry state of affairs in our society. Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana.
    May 4, 2011 - 10:31PM

    Alhamdolillah a Muslim first and then a Pakistani and Islam teaches me to be loyal to my homeland but Islam first and loyal to Pakistan, Alhamdolillah!Recommend

  • Angelos
    May 4, 2011 - 10:44PM

    Muslim first!Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    May 4, 2011 - 11:24PM

    People don’t become Terrorist thru Funding!! They do it thru Ideology!! Recommend

  • Whatever
    May 5, 2011 - 12:03AM

    When the angels comes to me in my grave, will I identify myself as a Muslim or a Pakistani to them?
    Think about it :)Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    May 5, 2011 - 12:31AM

    There are facts to support this survey. Protests against OBL’s death can only be seen in Pakistan in spite of the fact that he did not have anything to do with Muslims. Nobody has come on to the streets in the Arab world. Nobody in Palestine has protested though OBL has always mentioned Palestine in his videos. He had mentioned Kashmir only once and that too briefly. I have also noticed that the movement for Khilafat is the strongest in Pakistan. The most vociferous supporters of Khilafat are Pakistanis. It should also be noted that the Pakistani cricketers of eighties and nineties like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are all liberal and westernized. Shoib Akthar also fall in that category. On the other hand, the present crop are either too religious or pretend to be so. In India too, the Hindu nationalists were very influential in the 90s. But they have steadily lost their cultural impact though they are strong politically. Another fact is that the BJP is not strong in most of the 10 most economically relevant states in India. Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu,West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh etc are not BJP bastions. It is influential in Karnataka and Himachal Prdesh, but challenged strongly by other parties. Gujarat is the only BJP strong hold that is economically vibrant. But that is mostly due to the administrative capability of Modi rather than anything else. On the other hand, BJP is very influential in underdeveloped states like Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Orissa, Chathisgarh etc. This shows that economic development goes against extremism and religious intolerence whether in India or PakistanRecommend

  • Hafiz M Sohail
    May 5, 2011 - 12:42AM

    It is good we identify ourselves as Muslims first,, but in order to restore the lost position of the Muslim World,, I believe that we Muslim in Pakistan and all over the world should or must support Pakistan,,as it is only one Muslim power left among unfortunately many Muslims countries who can lead the Muslim Ummah,, so I suggest you all brothers and sisters not to talk against Pakistan,,, get united and face the enemies together with all other Muslim brothers and sisters in other countries…May Allah protect and unite us all Muslims….Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 5, 2011 - 12:54AM

    I am Proud Muslim first and Pakistani feel the same thats the good sign even if the world doesn’t like it…

    ET it offends me that some here are using name of or founder in insulting manner. hope its taken into noticeRecommend

  • gt
    May 5, 2011 - 1:12AM

    Lover of good food & beautiful women FIRST, FOREMOST & LAST. My sole identity.

    Why wait for heaven, make your own paradise on earth by making earth a paradise for all! Especially for women!

    Don’t stone them or bury women alive: if they are bugging you, send them over to me. Out of sight, out of mind. Khalas!Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    May 5, 2011 - 2:12AM

    @Hafiz M Sohail:
    What is your definition of ‘power’? Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria etc are all Muslim countries. I watched a Pakistani TV program on electricity shortage and the people were questioning the government about the shortage. A representative of the PML government in Punjab claimed that he has met the Chinese government to construct a dam and a wind farm for free as it is worthless to approach the federal government!! During the visit of Hilary Clinton, journalists were pleading her to give money for maintaining Punjab’s irrigation system and electricity grid. I do not think the Muslim countries mentioned above would agree to this definition of ‘power’. You might be thinking about your nuclear installations, which the whole of Pakistan is trying to protect when in other countries, these installations are for protecting the nation. Muslim nations have their own priorities, and do not live in a make believe world that they will save you. When the whole world is battering Pakistan, no Muslim country has come forward to defend you. Only China has publicly expressed support, and that is because they have real power. Recommend

  • G. Din
    May 5, 2011 - 2:38AM

    @Hafiz M Sohail:
    “…but in order to restore the lost position of the Muslim World,,”
    There doesn’t seem to be any indication that such a restoration is in the offing even in the remote future. So far what we have seen is that Muslims are fractious, excommunicate others of the same faith and then go on to clawing and mauling each other. This shows the mutual respect that should be at the foundation of any mutually beneficial outcome is totally lacking. Wishful thinking and uttering pious benedictions loudly, and saying numaz five times a day won’t bring that restoration nor would the ear-piercing cries of “Alla-u-Akbar”. Any such restoration needs hard work, introspection, deep reflection, more elbow grease, less talk and more coordinated action. Muslims are not suited to that!Recommend

  • Muslim
    May 5, 2011 - 2:55AM

    The survey is true……..even the %age is more than 59. The identity of religion is permanent. It is not changed with the passage of time or shifting oneself to another place. So religion is reality………accept or not. Recommend

  • shah sufi
    May 5, 2011 - 7:37AM

    Those who are afraid of Islam, are they really Muslim. This means death to dreams of spreading Bhuttoism in Pakistan. May Allah bless all Muslims around the world and protect them. Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 8:00AM

    Nationalism is the new false deity as Iqbal said. It is good Pakistanis are Muslim first and wont be asked in grave about their nationality. I doubt low income has something to do with it unless it is objective of poll to highlight. I see the same trend in people with different financial standings.Recommend

  • pl/sql
    May 5, 2011 - 8:29AM

    I was drinking coffee reading your comment and I spilled it all over my laptop laughing out loud. Thanks for the laugh :)Recommend

  • sudhir
    May 5, 2011 - 8:56AM

    Allah is our lord
    Mohammad is our commonder
    Quran is our constitution
    Jihad is our path
    Shahadat is our desire
    Khilafat is our aimRecommend

  • sudhir
    May 5, 2011 - 8:58AM

    Islam is totally opposed to the idea of Nationalism

    Islam is totally opposed to the idea of Nation. Nationalism as a concept is absolutely alien to Islam, because it (nationalism) calls for unity based on family and tribalistic ties, whereas Islam binds people together on ‘aqeedah’ (belief in Allah and His last messenger). Islam seeks ideological bonds.

    Abu Dawood narrates that the Prophet said, ‘He is not one of us who calls for ‘assabiyyah’ (nationalism/tribalism) or who fights for ‘assabiyyah’ or who dies for ‘assabiyyah’. In another Hadith, the Prophet is found stating, ‘Leave it (nationalism, racism, and patriotism), it is rotten.’ [Muslim and Bukhari] and in the Hadith recorded in Mishkat al-Masabith, the Prophet is found saying ‘Undoubtedly, Allah has removed from you the pride of arrogance of the age of ‘Jahilliyah’ (ignorance) and the glorification of ancestors. Now people are of two kinds-either believers who are aware, or transgressors who do wrong. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was made of clay. People should give up their pride in nations because that is a coal from the coals of hellfire. If they do not give this up, Allah will consider them lower than the lowly worm which pushes itself through ‘Khara’ (dung).’ [Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi]Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 9:00AM

    Our success And failure both Is in how much we follow our religion. We all know what happened to nations that preferred national pride over following the right way, so I don’t understand what part is confusing people here regarding patriotism vs. religious belief.

    moreover, a good Muslim will be a far better citizen than one who simply claims to be ‘patriotic’. A practising Muslim is honest, humble, efficient, educated and responsible and that’s what our country wants the most.Recommend

  • Anoop
    May 5, 2011 - 9:33AM

    If the same survey had been done in India, I am proud to say many would have replied that they were Indian first and Religion would have come later.

    2 Nation theory has utterly failed. No wonder Pakistan is in the state that it is in now.Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 10:30AM

    Were the respondents given the stated question open ended or were they given options?Recommend

  • Neeshay
    May 5, 2011 - 1:52PM

    Sudhir, Islam also asks u you stand up against tyranny and dictatorship. So then?
    It’s sad how Pakstani Muslims talk about the grave all the time. What that got to do with being a Patriot? The two are separate entities. Youre a Pakistani first, no matter what and then you’re a Muslims, Hindu, atheist, Christian in Pakistan. Whats the big deal? Will it take away the love for Allah from your heart, will it punish u in the grave?? Isn’t that a one in one thing with the lord? What are affairs of the country got to do with Islam.
    It’s sad, the poll should’ve asked Muslims or Jaahil fundos? My vote, pakistan’s full of short sighted, judgmental, aggressive Jaahil fundos. please don’t insult Allah’s religion by making such fools of yourselves. our god’s religion can’t be such a failure that we people need to defend it everyday and Muslims fighting with each other all the time. Tsk tsk. Recommend

  • Atif Shamim Syed
    May 5, 2011 - 3:14PM

    I think everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and should not be rediculed as we are doing here. Whether sonmeone puts Islam first or Pakistan is none of our business. The main issue is that how that love (or the lack of it) is manifested in our daily lives. I see a lot of people showing contempt at the majority who put Islam first. It is their opinion that everyone should consider themselves Pakistanis first. But didn’t Oscar Wilde say that ” Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”

    I think everyone is right in his/her own right.Recommend

  • Hasan Abidi
    May 5, 2011 - 4:09PM

    @ Neeshay

    Way to go Neeshay!

    Cant agree w ya more.

    In the words of that secular and enlightened poet Dr. Iqbal, who prophetically told wat was in store for us, some 80/90 years back

    ” Dil hai Musalmaan tera naa mera
    Tou bhee namazi, main bhee namazi
    Main jaanta hun anjaam uska
    Jis maar-e-kay main Mullah ho ghazi ”

    S u can c the prophecy has come true, much to our great misfortune.

    Mullah is unfortunately the ghazi in our society, not to mention always the “shaheed” as well.

    While bigotry and intolerance hv taken the centre stage, the norms and much cherished traditions of peaceful co existence and acceptance of diversity have been discarded to the dustbin of our socio-political discourse.

    Again in the words of Allam Iqbal

    ” Ajab nahi k Khuda tak teri rasaai ho
    Teri nigah say hai posheeda aadmi ka muqaam
    Teri namaz main baqi na jalal hai na jamal
    Teri azan main nahi meri sehar ka paighaam ”

    May God help our unfortunate homeland, and may God awaken the sleepy 180 million souls to the harsh n cruel realities of their existence before its way too late.Recommend

  • SaudiRules
    May 5, 2011 - 5:47PM

    Islam Rules! – SaudiRules :DRecommend

  • optimist
    May 5, 2011 - 5:48PM

    If this poll is true, then why Pakistanis
    reject religious parties???Recommend

  • Amna
    May 6, 2011 - 2:42PM

    it’s true needless to say. it makes sense too: kids are taught kalimah first and then they learn the national anthem. Recommend

  • Rehan Ali
    May 7, 2011 - 4:27PM

    Muslim first.
    Like it or not religion is the only thing keeping Pushtoon, Sindhis, Baluchis, Punjabis, Hazarwal, Saraikis and the mix plate of Mohajirs (hyderabadis, luckhnavis, delli walas, agre walas, UP and CP walas) together. Nationalism, in our case, cannot be afforded. Does, ANP, MQM, JSQM, BLA ring a bell?Recommend

  • Sheraz Dar
    May 11, 2011 - 2:36AM

    Why did they distinguish between Pakistan and Islam? As per the ulema (whom you like calling the mullahs) Pakistan is like a mosque and hence defending it and working to strengthen it is the responsibility of all Muslims. So like someone said above Pakistan is the manifestation of Islamic ideology and these two are indistinguishable.Recommend

  • Radial
    Jun 20, 2011 - 3:48PM

    It would be interesting to provide additional options to the survey respondents and see the relative importance of each. I mean additional options along the lines of sects (sunni) and sub-sects (sunni-deobandi), and then provincial or ethnic lines (punjabi, seraiki, mohajir), and socio-economic class (wealthy, middle class). I have a feeling that if provided an opportunity, they would select a sect or sub-sect rather than “muslim” and perhaps even select their provincial or ethnic identity before they select “Pakistani”Recommend

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