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Islam and Sectarianism

Middle East Suffers Sectarian Meltdown
Bill Stewart
Middle East Suffers Sectarian Meltdown
Bill Stewart

It is true that barbarism has often followed in the wake of religion. Right now, it is Islam that is in the dock, as sectarianism tears Syria and Iraq apart and the forces of the Islamic State militants shoot and behead their captives in a deliberate orgy of terror....

 

The Sunni-Shiite divide has hardened as Shiites have consolidated and monopolized power – creating the conditions for IS to seize earlier this month Ramadi, the capital of Anbar and of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland. Calling the divide “a very old debate” that many Muslim scholars once thought was nearly forgotten, Masmoudi says sectarian tensions won’t abate until regional powers stop stoking them. Those regional powers are primarily Shiite Iran, he says, but also Iran’s rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia....

 
The Necessity of Tolerance among Muslims: Hazrat Said Nursi on Bridging the Sunni and Shi’a Sectarianism
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
The Necessity of Tolerance among Muslims: Hazrat Said Nursi on Bridging the Sunni and Shi’a Sectarianism
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

Hazrat Nursi reminds both Shi’as and Sunnis (and indeed all Muslims) that the purpose why they should always be in harmony with each other is for the realization of the success and victory (faith) of Islam in this present world. Amity and fraternity among all Muslim groups (Jamaat) are for the purpose of Ittihad Muhammadi (unity of all the followers of Prophet Muhammad). All Muslims are Ahl-al Qiblah (people of one direction and perspective); thus, they should manifest this oneness of mind and heart at all times (Cf. Damascus Sermon, op. cit.). In Hazrat Nursi’s Damascus Sermon, he plainly states that when the worldwide Islamic Ummah will comply with this call of unity, then Nusrat (help) from Allahu Taala will come from on high, and will make the Muslim Ummah victorious once again.....

Terrorism myth and the ISIL war advances warrant rethinking and nobody is ready to face the reality check. Facts speak the language of reality loud and clear. Time and history are not on the side of American-led war adventures and humanitarian disasters happening daily throughout the Arabian Peninsula. All war monsters are on the losing end. None can explain logically why and for what purpose are they engaged in humanitarian catastrophes. Logic seeks truth....

 
Deadly Delusions
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Deadly Delusions
Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has already raised concerns about the increasing civilian casualties in the ongoing operation in Kalat, Balochistan. On the other hand, by delinking the brutal sectarian slaughter of the Ismaili Shias from endemic rabid Jihadism, the state gets to skirt its responsibility to confront and control the latter. Conceding, on the state’s part, the bitter truth that sectarian killers such as those who perpetrated the Safoora Chowk massacre are but a subset of the rampant and increasingly virulent jihadist milieu will require soul-searching and correcting policies that have taken Pakistan from one disaster to another....

 

We cannot allow this hatred to spread anymore. We must not stand idly by while evil men who are bent on rending our social fabric continue with their destructive deeds. Many of us had hoped that the Center for National Dialogue would play a bigger role in addressing the sectarian divide and in uniting our nation….

 

The Muslim world is experiencing widespread unrest, which has led to a division among Muslims. The divide takes a graver dimension on a daily basis, disrupting social harmony. The divide among Muslims means a weakening of Islam and Islamic communities, leading to total collapse....

 
Pakistan That Bleeds
Mehr Tarar
Pakistan That Bleeds
Mehr Tarar

The tags of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are bestowed as per the status of the divine power that is being prayed to. Islam, despite being the religion of almost 98 per cent of the population, is being ‘protected’ by those who think their ideology is the only one that matters. Instead of focusing on the true teachings of the Holy Quran and Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that stress unequivocally the rights of all human beings to live unharmed regarding the practising of their faiths, here the differences are delineated in blood....

 
Pakistan of the Ismailis
Zaigham Khan
Pakistan of the Ismailis
Zaigham Khan

Aga Khan had finally ordered them to convert to Islam if they wanted to keep the connection. They found it easier to leave their religion than disobey their spiritual mentor. With the help of local Muslims, they converted to Islam in a simple ceremony held at a Sunni mosque, though they chose to embrace the Ismaili denomination....

 

Another historian to bring the Isma’ilis and God face to face – instead of on the same side – is Baha ad-Din Ibn Shaddad (1147 AD – 1234 AD), the biographer of Salah-ad-Din Ayyubi, the great Muslim military commander. Ibn Shaddad writes that after the Isma’ilis attempted to assassinate Salah-ad-Din in 1176 AD, “God delivered him from their plots”. For the staunchly religious, there could be no worse insult....

The murder of Sabeen and Waheedur Rehman, be it the Army Public School or people persecuted for the blasphemy law, be it the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or its many off-shoots, be it the Peshawar church attack or the attack on Ismailis in Karachi, be it the multiple bomb blasts on Shia imambargahs all over the country or the innocent blood spilled due to terrorism, at some level, we owe all of this to you and your ideologies....

 
Pakistan: Escalating Savagery
Ambreen Agha
Pakistan: Escalating Savagery
Ambreen Agha

"The gunmen stopped the bus and first fired at it from outside. Then they entered inside the bus and opened fire indiscriminately. After that they checked to see if anyone was left uninjured." One of the wounded women narrating the spine-chilling incident said, "As the gunmen climbed on to the bus, one of them shouted, 'Kill them all!' Then they started firing at everyone they saw....

 

In the pamphlet, the attackers have expressed their allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). Whatever the forensic evidence leads us to, the motive for this heinous crime is clear: religious intolerance and bigotry. Karachi, in this case, is home to many religious seminaries, some of them run by the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat....

 
Pakistan: No Respite from Sectarian Islamist Terrorism
Zeeshan Salahuddin
Pakistan: No Respite from Sectarian Islamist Terrorism
Zeeshan Salahuddin

The Shia community was the largest victim, accounting for nearly 60% of the casualties for the first quarter, followed by the Christian and Hindu communities. TTP-Jundullah claimed 184 of the sectarian casualties, thus accounting for 48% of the violence committed. By all accounts, sectarian violence has decreased in all regions of Pakistan except Balochistan....

 

Every time there has been a tragic attack, people change their Facebook display pictures to black or to pictures condemning the attack. They call it a ‘Black Day’. But the reality is, we have observed so many ‘black days’ and have changed our display pictures so many times that we have lost count....

 

The men boarded the bus and shot dead more than 40 men and women one by one. Many of them were shot in the head. “The terrorists walked down the aisle shooting and killing them. All of it was done very calmly. Not a single windowpane has been shattered....

 

There is something sickeningly wrong when slaughter is revenged by the deafening sounds of, ‘bleat, bleat’, while armchair warriors beat their chests and retire for the night. There is something nauseatingly wrong when 45 executed bodies cannot make the leader do the right thing. For make no mistake: we are living in the midst of genocide. ....

Ismailis, a peaceful community of Muslims, share a closeness with the country’s Shia minority and are thus victimised. Seventy per cent of Pakistan’s Muslims are Sunni. And in this predominantly Muslim country, it is no longer Hindus or Christians who face the largest threat of violence from orthodox and radicalised groups but Shias....

Why Shiite Expansion Will Be Short-Lived
Kamran Bokhari
Why Shiite Expansion Will Be Short-Lived
Kamran Bokhari

Iran and the Shiites appear to be in better shape than Saudi Arabia and the Sunnis. Hezbollah and other militias have helped al Assad remain in power. The fight against extremist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State have given Iran time to regroup, as have the nuclear negotiations with the United States. Moreover, the Saudis have been preoccupied with the Houthi rebellion in Yemen....

Worthy of Being Murdered (Wajib-ul-Qatl)
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Worthy of Being Murdered (Wajib-ul-Qatl)
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

The Shia and Ahmadis are dubbed heretics for differing from the Deobandi, Wahabbi or Salafi interpretation of Islamic theology and history. Narrowing down said interpretation would not only ensure that the likes of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have no reason to kill us, it would ascertain the unity of Muslims, by apostatising plurality of interpretations. Incorporating secularism and pluralism would have meant the state having to go through the trouble of fighting the war against the Taliban, and the more daunting prospect of taking on ISIS that has penetrated the Af-Pak region.

Zehra's experience of religious discrimination as a child hit me particularly hard, because while she was being bullied and labeled a ‘non-believer’, I remember kids in my class raising the Shia-Sunni debate as well. I remember being asked which of the two I was. I did not even know what Shia or Sunni was at the time....

 

Today, the results of this ‘survey’ are now null and void – 43 people from the Ismaili community were killed in a bus attack today. Pakistan has completely failed in protecting one of the most peaceful and sacrificing religious minorities of the country. There is no longer any room for error. No Ismaili has ever been involved in politics or crimes in Karachi yet they are being targeted for a war they are not even a part of....

The world should hold out the hope that a catastrophic sectarian war can be prevented but knowing the past behaviours of US and Israel of fomenting crisis after crisis in the region over the past four decades, it is difficult that such a hope can materialize now or in the near future, more so now since the Gulf monarchies are willing partners due to their imbibed fear of Iran....

 

The Hajj form cannot simply ask a woman if she wishes to abide by law or not. Pakistan is a Sunni-majority country and Sunni Fiqh has it mandatory for women to have a Mehram accompanying them on Hajj. For the minority Shia, there is allowance for going without a Mehram, but only because their own religious law....

 

Fragmentation and disorder in Balochistan has adversely affected the political and social process. Disunity among both tribal chiefs and moderate political elements has encouraged the authorities to increase the ferocity of the promotion of their agenda with support garnered by military and the intelligence agencies....

 


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