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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

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...

Something Is Rotten In the State of Pakistan
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Something Is Rotten In the State of Pakistan
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The present situation is the cumulative effect of policies adopted since partition. The situation prevailing in Balochistan is ideal for the state functionaries — military and civil — to benefit exponentially from, which simply means that the worse the conditions are the more they profit. Willy-nilly one has to say what Marcellus says in Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” And there certainly is much that is rotten here....

 

Despite being heartbroken over the deteriorating situation for Christians in Egypt, friends say, Mina did not have sectarian tendencies. He always believed that the Christian problem was part of the bigger Egyptian problem. "Whenever sectarian problems take place, he would ask me, why do they always happen in poor places, why do we never hear of Muslims and Christians fighting in rich areas like Zamalek?”...

 

I remembered this point of caution and followed it. But just then, when I started to say "in the name of Allah", there was turmoil in the classroom. Horrified shrieks turned the silent afternoon into a hysterical cacophony. "What you are doing is wrong!", the girls screeched. Some of them were standing up in protest. I shot back, "How can it be wrong when this is how my grandma prays?"...

Towards Hotel Mohenjodaro
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Towards Hotel Mohenjodaro
Yasser Latif Hamdani

 The state must realise that it cannot have it both ways. It cannot declare an entire community non-Muslim and then deny them the protections that are granted to other religions. If Ahmedis constitute a religious minority, then its founder falls squarely within the ambit and scope of Section 295-A. Ahmedis may be considered non-Muslim, but does that mean they are to be considered non-citizens as well?...

Perhaps, the two most pressing issues were the Arab Spring as it was unfolding in Syria; and the US-Israeli standoff with Iran. The Rohingya problem had still not disappeared though it appeared that the intensity had gone out of the massacres, as in the case of Israeli occupation of Palestine, while the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continued much as before….

 

One of the best told narratives by Nigerians about their country revolves round the possibility of break-up of their country along ethnic and/or religious lines. What this means, in the opinion of tale-bearers, is that Nigeria should be three or more countries and not the ‘contraption’ of one, united country put together some 98 years ago....

 

Major media of Bangladesh decided not to embarrass the so-called progressive secular government by publishing these stories of minority persecution. During the immediate aftermath, government leadership, in the face of utter failure to control the situation in a timely manner, found it convenient to blame the opposition political parties. Eight months have passed, but no real efforts have been made to investigate and punish the perpetrators....

 
Punjabi Hindus Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — IV
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — IV
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

When Hindus did reach East Punjab, they had been reduced to the status of a nobody and nothing; they were mere refugees. Since not many Muslims who moved out were traders or business owners, as a result there was not enough property that could be claimed by refugees from West Punjab. Besides, the established rich Hindu business owners of East Punjab were not willing to give a helping hand to them….

 
A Ray of Hope?
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
A Ray of Hope?
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Mengal’s six points, not akin to Sheikh Mujib’s six points, are certainly not the demands that the Baloch have fought and shed blood for, but are his spin on his capitulation in preparation for participation in the elections in the hope to once again adorn the post of chief minister ... He has called for measures for the alleviation of symptoms but, unfortunately, has conveniently forgotten the disease that caused these symptoms in the first place....

 

A deeply divided nation, not yet 70 years old, is convulsed by religious violence. In one major city, members of a persecuted minority request that their children be permitted to read their Holy Book in school. Militant members of the religious majority are enraged. Their ensuing fulminations whip up hysteria, spawning riots and mob violence. The minority’s worship centers and homes are torched, and when the smoke has cleared, 20 people are dead. This is not a depiction of present-day Quetta, Karachi, or Lahore....

Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — III
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — III
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

In reality, the war was between Punjabis and those from the UP and Bihar because a large number of recruits of the Pakistan army were from Punjab and on the other side, the Indian army had the bulk of soldier recruitment from the UP and Bihar. Every Pakistani in Pakistan and especially Punjabis were made to believe that Pakistan had won the 1965 war. History will judge who the real winner in that war was....

 
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — II
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — II
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

The Pakistani Muslim soldier who died in the war was a martyr and so was the Indian Muslim soldier. Now the question is, who really is a martyr? The Sikhs for a long time had complained and wailed over the appalling conditions of their historical and holy Gurdwaras in west Punjab. Many writers and correspondents of west Punjab had extended them support to voice their concerns....

 

The migrations from divided India to Pakistan in 1947, and followed by the mass migrations from Bangladesh due to the partition of Pakistan in 1971 is a widely discussed background of the ethnic conflict in Sindh. The province is peopled by the human flows after 1947 from the Indian provinces which are today called Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra; later on in 1971 and thereafter from Dhaka....

Bajaur Agency: Reviving Terror
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Bajaur Agency: Reviving Terror
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Security officials claim that some 120 of the 400 militants who had sneaked into the region were killed during the operation, which lasted for 27 days, while the rest of the militants fled back to their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, leaving behind the bodies of several slain fighters. 25 soldiers were also killed in the operation. At least 12 soldiers were abducted and beheaded by the TTP....

 
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