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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Channels like Geo, ARY, Aaj, SAMA, and Dunia have been interviewing leaders of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who spit venom about the Shias. On these channels, they have shamelessly declared that the Shias are kafir. On 10 January, there was a blast in a Tablighi (Islamic-Proselytizing) seminary in Swat. The blast took place in the afternoon. Initially 5 men were reported dead. The blast, later reported as a suicide bombing, was part of the Deobandi infighting going on between the Taliban and the Tablighis....

Saudi money sponsored jihadist madrasas all over Pakistan. The “moderate faction” of the Pakistani army permitted Jihadist militias to operate outside the law because “higher objectives” were in view. The smaller, but more clear-sighted Islamist faction did the same for they wanted these militias to help transform Pakistani society itself. Virulent anti-Shia propaganda exploded out of these madrasas (some regularly visited by senior state functionaries and openly funded by beloved Saudi donors) alongside Kashmiri Jihad and strategic depth in Central Asia. …

 
Political Islam Divides Arabs
Talal Salman, Tr. From Arabic New Age Islam

Before the outbreak of political Islam, any support or objection was focused on political factors and the practices of ruling regimes. But when the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists came to power, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and of course Libya, political rhetoric took on a sectarian and later takfiri character. Thus, the Copts were the first to be removed from the Egyptian political equation.Then, Salafist voices began to exclude Muslims not affiliated to the Brotherhood or the Salafists from Islam itself. Takfiris are everywhere, and takfir is a political approach, not a sectarian approach leading to the declaration of opposing religious groups and individuals apostates. Furthermore, the Salafists and Sunni extremists excluded all Shiites from Arabism, then from Islam as a whole.

 
Let’s Mourn Together
Editorial in the Sawt al Haque, Tr. New Age Islam

Why is it so on every Muharram? Why does the government become so much shaky, nervous, panicked and livid? The simple reason behind all this communalism whose poison has polluted the minds and the hatred has filled the heart. The occasions or events that otherwise might have become an opportunity for strengthening harmony and a matter of pride turns out to be the cause of rifts, bloodshed and hatred.

 
Pakistan In Throes Of Genocidal Ideology
Ismail Salami
Pakistan In Throes Of Genocidal Ideology
Ismail Salami

The assassination attempts in Pakistan initially included the Shia elites such as doctors, professors, engineers, and lawyers. However, in recent months, the appalling assassinations have come to encompass any Shia gatherings regardless of their social ranks. Unfortunately, the Pakistani government has constantly tried to put a lid on these crimes, attribute them to sectarian violence and refuse to arrest the guilty parties.

 

Wednesday's bombings of a Shia Muslim neighbourhood in the Pakistani city of Quetta that killed almost 100 people is a grim reminder of the power of sectarian militants to act as the arbiters of peace - and war - in this country. Since 2004-05, they have steadily spread their wings in south western Balochistan province, where the ethnic Hazara community of Shia Muslims has been their main target.

 
Sectarian killings in Pakistan: Why it is not possible to stop them?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
Sectarian killings in Pakistan: Why it is not possible to stop them?
Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

Among such madrasas of Karachi, Bannauri Town, New Town and Jamey Farouqi have played a major role as the ulema and students graduating from these madrasas have carried forward communal and religious extremism across the whole country. If the religious literature is studied, the madrasas of Karachi are in the front in this matter too whether it is the printing of the second edition of Maulana Manzoor Nomani’s communal books or incendiary articles of Maulana Mahmood Abbasi or Maulana Yousuf Ludhianvi’s communal articles laced with literary flavour. Even the intellectual upbringing of Maulana Azam Tarique is indebted to the atmosphere of the madrasas in Karachi.

If the Brotherhood continues its approach of monopolizing power — while giving a share of it to the Salafists — and adopting the logic of sectarianism by denying the Islam of Muslims who disagree with their views on religion and worldly affairs, as well as non-Muslims, a comprehensive nationalist disaster threatens all Arab countries without exception.

 

As chilling as the killing of Shias by Pakistani terrorists, who want them to be declared non-Muslims, is the general acceptance of sectarian violence. According to Islamic Research Institute Director-General Khalid Masud, Shias have traditionally been leading contributors to the intellectual discourse among the subcontinent’s Muslims. Yet, a recent Pew Research Centre study showed that 50 per cent of Pakistanis do not accept Shias as Muslims.

Islam and Intra-faith Unity - Is it Possible?
Asghar Ali Engineer
Islam and Intra-faith Unity - Is it Possible?
Asghar Ali Engineer

Often it leads to bloodshed too. Extremists like Taliban kill non-Wahabi Muslims on large scale and we witness this at its worst in countries like Iraq where Taliban have killed thousands of Muslims in sectarian basis. It is not even revenge killing but killing simply on the basis of sectarianism. This is of course to increase ones political power. It is interesting to note that though in Iraq Shah’s are in majority yet it is they who are being killed in large numbers in bomb blasts....

I’m not aware of which sects have claimed that they are the saved sect, however know that Ahl-us-Sunnah wa’al Jamaa’ah (i.e. Sunni/Salafi/those who are following the Qur’an & Sunnah without adding or subtracting) is the only group that will be saved from the hell fire. This is based on the following Hadith of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

“And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects all of which except one will go to Hell and they (i.e. the Saved Sect) are those who are upon what I and My Companions are upon (i.e. those who follow My Way and the Way of my Companions.)”

[Reported by At-Tirmidhi - Hasan]

Hence the term ‘saved sect’ because this is the group that will be saved from Jahannam, as authentically reported.

Saudi Oil Money behind Wahhabi War Waged On Indonesia's Shi'ites
Rossie Indira and Andre Vltchek
Saudi Oil Money behind Wahhabi War Waged On Indonesia's Shi'ites
Rossie Indira and Andre Vltchek

Indonesia's Shi'ite minority is under heavy attack. Men, women, and children have been assaulted, schools damaged, and villages burned to the ground. Many have been killed. It is becoming increasingly clear that Saudi Arabia's intolerant brand of Wahabi Sunni Islam - propagated far and wide by Saudi oil money - is behind most of assaults. They were shouting that Shi'a teaching is misguided and that spilling our blood is Halal [permissible under Islamic law]....

This is the story of the Biharis of Geneva Camp. A community of over 160,000 people who have lived for the last 40 years and will likely live and die in congested ghettoes at makeshift camps and shanties all over Bangladesh. Geneva Camp is just one of the 70 camps all over Bangladesh set up immediately after the Liberation War of 1971....

 

Calligraphers linger at the gates of an ancient graveyard in this brooding city in western Pakistan, charged with a macabre and increasingly in-demand task: inscribing the tombstones of the latest victims of the sectarian death squads that openly roam these streets. For at least a year now, Sunni extremist gunmen have been methodically attacking members of the Hazara community....

 

Hi, I am a Pakistani. I am a Muslim first (because I have been told this since the day I was born and my teachers also told me that this is the reason I got this country) and then I am a Pakistani. Until I reached college, I had no idea what a Sunni or a Shia was until I saw some of my friends in college say the prayers differently. I was also informed that my country considers Ahmedis as ‘Kafirs’, I found it quite strange as they looked just like me because Kafirs in my opinion were always supposed to be white skinned....

An eerie feeling of terror began to linger as we observed the changes all around. Containers placed as road blocks, more black and brown uniforms visible and sudden emergence of hatred filled graffiti by banned militant outfits. All of this heralded that the month of Muharram was here. Why are ‘they’ after our blood? Are we really that different? It was report of a local broadcast channel, in which an entire family from the Ahle Sunnat sect shared how they commemorate the first ten days of Muharram in almost the same way as their Shia brothers....

In 2011, a doctor belonging to the Ismaili sect was framed by a medical representative whose name began with the prefix Mohammad. The medical representative accused the doctor of throwing his visiting card bearing his name on the ground. This way, he claimed, the doctor committed blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This is one of the instances how blasphemy charges are brought against professional or religious opponents which are most often dismissed by the courts….

 
Schism Widening Between Shia and Sunni Muslims
Nighat Kamal Aziz
Schism Widening Between Shia and Sunni Muslims
Nighat Kamal Aziz

Mourning the martyrs of Karbala, the near and dear ones of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who laid down their lives protecting Islam achieving an exemplary death, is the right of all Muslims. Shias cannot be denied their right to do so in whatever way they think befitting. However, they can carry out their message equally effectively by adopting safer ways of doing it. They can beat their opponents, not by dying an unnecessary death, but by adopting different ways of commemorating Karbala.....

Balochistan : Charting The Uncharted
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Balochistan : Charting The Uncharted
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Balochistan cannot and should not be an exclusively Baloch club; different people have lived here since centuries and have as much right as the ethnic Baloch to live in peace here “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances existing already, given and inherited from the past” — Karl Marx….

 
Hijrah Lessons for Muslim Minorities
Dr. Wael Shihab
Hijrah Lessons for Muslim Minorities
Dr. Wael Shihab

Prophet Muhammad and his Companions exerted their utmost efforts to defend their country, Madinah, against foreign aggression and attacks. They fought all invading forces which attacked and targeted their city, even when aggressors were from their original tribes and cities. In the 5th. year of Hijrah, for example, the Prophet and his Companions courageously defended Madinah against the allied tribes led by Quraish, which had gathered in large numbers to invade the city….

The situation is deteriorating until the time has come when a young female student would turn to her teachers for help regarding an alleged sexual assault case and the school authorities would simply ignore her. I am concerned – and rightly so – about the momentum this unhealthy phenomenal is getting. When a crime is committed by a Muslim, the entire community is dragged into the witness box and is forced to apologize for it....

Fractured and Flailing Nature of Governance across Pakistan
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Fractured and Flailing Nature of Governance across Pakistan
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

It is not surprising, consequently, that the affected people, as a last resort, are approaching the Courts in the hope of some relief. The rise in such incidents only adds to the misery that the Province is facing as a result of terrorism and sectarian violence. According to partial data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, at least 11,782 persons, including 3,986 civilians, 1,465 SF personnel and 6,331 ‘militants’ have been killed in terrorism-related incidents since 2005....

 

Facebook tagging, which was used as the pretext of the attacks, was doctored first and then circulated en masse to create a frenzy. The success of the effort is beyond doubt. Therefore, the incidents cannot be portrayed as spontaneous attacks by outraged mobs. Burmese Rohingya refugees residing in the area have been described as suspects in the execution of the attacks, if not in the planning. Save a few individuals of the Rohingya community,...

 

In Zamfara State tent, pilgrims were seen sleeping in front of toilets. Some of the states pilgrims' boards' banners were covered by mount of refuse. Weekly Trust learnt that even the VIP tents, a stone throw from Jamarat, where the Nigerian Amirul Hajj and Sultan of Sokoto was accommodated was not free of refuse. On Saturday night, just in front of luxurious Tent A, where the Sultan and his delegation were camped, was a pile of refuse....

With a few hundred hard-core cadres, the highly secretive LeJ aims to trigger sectarian violence that would pave the way for a Sunni theocracy in U.S.-allied Pakistan, say Pakistan police and intelligence officials. Its immediate goal, they say, is to stoke the intense Sunni-Shiite violence that has pushed countries like Iraq close to civil war. More than 300 Shiites have been killed in Pakistan so far this year in sectarian conflict...

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