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In the Spirit of Pluralism: APPAC Stands for Unity of The Pakistani Diaspora

In 1774 a Yong political thinker made a statement on what it entails to be a “newly arrived American.” The young scholar explained “Our ancestors possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice, has placed them.” The young scholar who spoke these words is none other American founding father Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson believed that all human beings had a right to no longer be subjugated to “arbitrary” rules, like those imposed on the citizens of England at the time. Jefferson believed that every human being deserved to be treated fairly, justly, and equally before the law, state, and government. In essence, he argued that everyone has the right to be “free from chance.”

The chance Jefferson is talking about here is a lot like what people would describe as “arbitrary power.” For Jefferson chance appears when a person has to pay a police office, government official, or local representative money to get anything accomplished. Chance is the spirit alive in countries where the law says one thing on Monday but can change completely on Tuesday. This chance is why many of our friends in the Pakistani-American community decided to come to America. We were sick of taking chances on rules that failed to uphold justice. We came to America to take a chance on real genuine opportunity.

It is with this same spirit in mind that APPAC is working to create greater opportunities for civic and political engagement among the Pakistani-American community. We are tired of taking chances that don’t offer any real solution to the problems that are facing our community. No longer can we sit by and allow a small group to decide the image, structure, and future of the Pakistani community in this country.

APPAC has embraced whole-heartedly the thinking of America’s top philosopher Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson believed that in a democracy you have to allow all voices to speak, even those from individuals and groups you find off-putting, rude, or in poor taste. Jefferson never suggested that you must agree with these individuals and their positions, only that you allow them to speak and work alongside them to achieve common goals that result in the greater good of society. The name of this idea is called “pluralism.”

Pluralism is a belief in the power to come together for a common goal while respecting each other’s differences of opinion, belief, and spiritual reality. APPAC embraces pluralism and understands that Jefferson is right when he says we can no longer rely on mere “chance.” APPAC believes in working with all the elements of our community so that we can take the lessons of Thomas Jefferson and put them in to practice. We seek to embrace pluralism and unite the community with one voice.

We hope to add your voice to our harmony!

David Hornung