Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

This year, leaders from the Shia and Sunni Muslim communities have stepped up international efforts to pursue peaceful relationships between their two communities. Contrary to popular belief, Shia and Sunni Muslims mostly co-exist peacefully in most places around the world today….

Bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, Sistan-Baluchistan is known for lawlessness born partly of smuggling, especially of narcotics from the east. It also faces a long-running, “low-level” insurgency of militant groups fusing Baluch nationalism with Al-Qaeda language and practices, including beheadings…..


A Social Pariah Even In Maryland – All Because I Am Shia
Farheen Rizvi

Fortunately, in 2012, I moved out of that town but one question still continues to nag at me wherever I go; will we, the Pakistanis, ever leave our political affiliations and ethnic prejudices behind and become one nation?....

While Pakistan has officially tried to remain on the sidelines of the regular Shiite-Sunni flare-ups in the Middle East over the last few decades, backroom deals with Sunni monarchies like those being signed recently have not gone unnoticed domestically….


They Can Force Them To Convert To Islam But They Can’t Win Their Hearts!
Noman Ansari

As an expatriate boy growing up in Saudi Arabia, I dreaded attending my school’s mandatory afternoon prayer session. At the end of every long day in Manarat Al-Sharkia, all the Muslim students and teachers gathered before the final two classes to offer Zuhar (noon) prayers in the school’s stinking gym that carried a rancid air powerful enough to rival Hitler’s infamous gas chamber…..

Ankara Getting Ready For Worst Case Scenario in Iraq
Barçin Yinanç

Either Iraq has to change al-Maliki, or al-Maliki has to change; I heard a high level Turkish official saying both are unlikely to happen….


An Eye for an Eye Will Make Iraq Blind
Diana Moukalled

It is a rapid decline and a frantic return to a discourse which raises the slogans of revenge and blood, and drops all that remains of a state of law—if there was anything of it in the first place…..


Saudi Arabia’s Virulently Sectarian Geo-Policies behind Resurgence of Al Qaida in Iraq
Zayd Alisa

It is perfectly justifiable for marginalised minorities to join terrorist groups like AQI and turn their areas into a safe heaven and a launch-pad for suicide bombers to indiscriminately slaughter thousands of innocent civilians - for belonging to the majority - to bring the government to its knees. That was indeed Al Qaida’s narrative for bombing New York, London, Madrid and now Baghdad……

And then, unfortunately, just like it happens in low-budget movies, cupid struck when and where its least expected. After having spent my early twenties meeting many ‘unsuitable’ boys, Mr Right decided to swoop in on my 28th birthday. There was just one tiny catch – I belonged to the mainstream Sunni sect and he was Shia....


Multan: The Disturbing Parade
Mehr F Husain

Concerning themselves with the question of what it means to be Pakistani, religious organisations have rebranded themselves by appearing to work for the betterment of the country — harking back to 1947 and attempting to revive a “glorified” past as a means to unify the country regardless of ethnicity or sect....


Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Adnan Falak

Militant organisations are indiscriminately targeting Shias across Pakistan, assassinating their leaders and attacking their religious processions. According to Human Rights Watch, “The Pakistani Taliban and its affiliates have conducted unprecedented attacks in 2013 on the country’s Muslim and non-Muslim religious minorities, claiming responsibility for most major bombings and vowing further violence.....

Lahore Resolution and Pakistani Minorities
Yasser Latif Hamdani

 If we own the Lahore Resolution as the founding document of this country, we must endeavour to fulfil the promise that this Resolution makes explicitly to the minorities. What stands in the way of faithful execution of the Resolution in letter and spirit? It is the utter and total confusion that vested interests have managed to create about Pakistan and its founding principles. This distortion is carried on by both sides of the spectrum, ironically agreeing with each other unwittingly. It is quite disingenuously held that Pakistan was the consequence of a movement to create an exclusivist Islamic state....

Old Sufis, New Challenges
Nadeem F. Paracha

Old Sufis, New Challenges
Nadeem F. Paracha

They were of a land and society that was largely shaped by the deeds of hundreds of Sufi saints (especially Shah Abdul Latif) who preached tolerance and co-existence and was suspicious of those who were stripping the spiritual essence of Islam, and replacing it with a creed based on an obsession with rituals and a blinkered worldview....

Allamas, Professors and Pakhtuns
Farooq Sulehria

Professor Kamran is in the mood to grant concessions to Pakhtun culture; he glorifies the Taliban as anti-colonialists. Otherwise, they are eternal savages. In other words, neither our Allama nor our professor can see the Pakhtun beyond a stereotypical, monolith Pakhtun culture. It is always a warrior who articulates Pukhtun aspirations. If you cannot be rudimentary Ghamidi-style, you can be evasive and mystifying like our professor…..


The Displaced Mehsud Tribe
Kahar Zalmay

The entire Mehsud tribe of half a million people was displaced when the military operation Rah-i-Nijat (path of salvation) was launched in October 2009 against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Initially, the notification issued by the military through the political administration asked the Mehsud people to vacate their towns for a week — this later changed to two weeks — but it has been more than four years now, and they still wait for repatriation to their own homes.....


Lessons from Abbas Town: Stick Together, Whether You Are Shia or Sunni
Meriam Sabih

The residents who buried their dead, among them Shia and Sunni, Mohajir and Pashtun – even with tender wounds and passions running high – say they have no sectarian problems amongst them and they are “one brotherhood”. Women said residents even intermarried without stigma. In fact, they defiantly stated that the terrorists have made them more resolute in their common humanity and love for one another. Perhaps, this is precisely what the terrorists who attacked them hate most about them.....


Despite these very clear and straight-forward commandments, the “Muslim World” is quite the hub of violent sectarianism that causes much bloodshed within those regions. We have this nasty habit of cherry-picking the verses we choose to follow. So, the verses that call for unity often get ignored and are replaced with scholarly opinions that promote sectarianism. Furthermore, fundamentalism and bigotry play a part as well....

Sharia versus Secularism?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

Sharia versus Secularism?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The two extremes I speak of however believe in straitjackets, both in Sharia and secularism. Sharia to these two extremes is what the Taliban propose: beheadings, harsh punishments, closing up of women behind closed doors and a rebellion against reason and rationality.  Secularism to both these groups is a complete and total negation of religion....

The Enigmatic Pakhtun
Nadeem F. Paracha

The Enigmatic Pakhtun
Nadeem F. Paracha

“You know, these myths have been engrained so deep into the psyche of today’s Pakhtuns that if one starts to deconstruct them, he or she would first and foremost be admonished by today’s young Pakhtuns. They want to believe in these myths not knowing that, more often than not, these myths have reduced them to being conceived as some kind of brainless sub-humans who pick up a gun at the drop of a hat to defend things like honour, faith, tradition, etc.”....


Sunni-Shia Conflict: The House of Saud and the Ayatollahs in Iran Fighting Each Other Not Just For Influence but Even Perhaps For Survival
Douglas Murray

The war between Saudi and Iran has already reached America’s shores. It has been devastatingly fought out across Syria’s wasted land. In fact the only place where it has yet to strike meaningfully is on the soil of the main protagonists….


Shia-Sunni Conflict: Malaysia’s Sectarian Tensions Are Taking Political Overtones

In short, when Mohammad the Prophet died, Shia and Sunni Muslims became divided over who should take lead of the Islamic community. Shias believed that leadership should have been passed down along hereditary lines, giving leadership to Mohammad’s son-in-law and cousin, Ali bins Abu Talib. Sunni, on the other hand, believed that leadership should have been passed along by someone voted into power. Most early Muslims supported the idea of a vote and elected Abu Bakr to lead the Islamic community….


Racism! Just Don’t Call It Islamic!
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

“I may accept it if you said it was my way, my tribal rules, my Arab traditions, but I would not tolerate it if you call it Islamic!” I interrupted. “What you are doing is enslaving your daughter and forcing your personal choices on her. This may turn her against you, your society and tribe, and — if she believes you — against Islam! Thousands of girls have run away and many changed their religion because of their parents’ denial of basic rights…


Had Ali and Aisha Not Fought the Battle of Jamal, Islam May Have Been Saved From Battle of Siffin between Ali and Muawiya, Followed By Dynastic Khilafat and Violent Sectarianism
Ali Bulaç

I might be wrong, but it occurs to me that if the Jamal tragedy (A.D. 656) hadn't occurred, the Battle of Siffin (A.D. 657) would not have occurred either, and Mu’waiya ibn Abi Sufyan and Banu Umayyad would not have turned the caliphate into a sultanate so easily. Moreover, Hussain, the beloved grandson of the Prophet, would not have been martyred (A.D. 661), and this tragedy wouldn't have left such a deep scar, which couldn't be healed for many years….

Violent Sectarianism Is Not Inevitable, As History Shows
Sayeeda Warsi

I am a proud Muslim. I am patriotically British. Despite the oft asked unanswerable question as to which I am first – whether I am Muslim first or British first – I see no conflict in these parts of my identity. My patriotism and my faithfulness are both strong, positive forces which drive me. But I want to focus on an aspect of my identity that I have rarely mentioned publicly: my Sunni-Shia upbringing. In the past I have argued that faith forms the fault lines of modern conflict, something which has come into stark relief in recent years…..

Vicious Sectarianism Bodes Dark Future for Mideast
Mohammed Fahad al-Harthi

This region faces a dark and bloody future if nations continue to allow themselves to slip into sectarian warfare. There are no winners from this type of conflict. It inflicts severe harm even on those who instigate it. Divisions occur when groups of people eschew loyalty to their country’s laws and instead adopt dogmatic religious or ideological beliefs…..


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  • بہت بہت شکریہ جناب! اللہ عز و جل آپ کے مبارک کلمات کو مستجاب کرے۔ آمین بجاہ سید المرسلین صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
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  • بہت عمدہ ۔ اللہ تعالی ہم مسلمانوں کو صوفیائے کرام کے نہج پر شریعت و طریقت کو سمجھنے اور اس پر عمل کرنے ...
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Before I say anything further, could you please explain your questions? What do you mean by acceptance?....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
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  • Very true.
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