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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Afghanistan-US relations: The Future at Risk
Ajit Kumar Singh
Afghanistan-US relations: The Future at Risk
Ajit Kumar Singh

According to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, at least 116 ISAF personnel have been killed in 69 "Green on Blue" or "insider attack" incidents since January 1, 2009 (all data till September 21, 2012). More worryingly, there has been a steep rise in such incidents over the recent past. There were just six "Green on Blue" incidents, and 10 ISAF fatalities, in 2009....

Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction-Part-I
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction-Part-I
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

The messenger lived even in death but the message perished. These places became nothing more than mere commercial centres or bazaars where people came to pray and brought offerings in exchange for fulfilment of wishes and showers of blessings. The wealthy and influential in the area became owners and proprietors of these places....

Under Siege in Quetta
Ghazi Salahuddin
Under Siege in Quetta
Ghazi Salahuddin

It is not another country but they do things differently in Balochistan or, to be more specific, in Quetta. I spent nearly three days in Quetta this week and, though I have been there a number of times, there was this feeling that you are exploring a new or changing territory.... it did not seem possible to escape from existing realities. There were hints, between the lines, in all activities and conversations about the tragic state of affairs....

 

"I have to go; you won't see me again," he said angrily to his mother. He was wrong. And he was right. The ongoing massacre of Hazaras by extremists in Balochistan is part of the killing of Shias all across the country, which has left hundreds dead and thousands mourning. Millions more have been outraged by the lack of action by the government....

 
Migrating Minorities of Pakistan
Durriya Hashmi
Migrating Minorities of Pakistan
Durriya Hashmi

While the Hindu community has a slight possibility to escape the hatred and extremist violence, Pakistani Christians --- the usual suspects in blasphemy cases --- ask where are they supposed to go? “It’s not only the minorities of Pakistan who wish to flee the country rather any sensible person who wants to live free and happily finds it impossible to live in this insecure society” says Zainab Naqvi, a resident of Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore.....

Non-Muslim children are required to read text books which contain material stating that “Hindus cannot be Muslims’ friends” and “Islam is the best religion” whereas Muslim children are taught that their religion is superior to all other religions. While any “Islamic” mullah of any brand is completely free to spread hatred against any other sect, Ahmadis cannot even hold sports in the open….

Genocide is the term that best describes the systematic extermination of the Shia taking place in Pakistan. Contrary to popular belief it is not the number of people killed but the intent of the killers to wipe out a social collectivity or force them into conversion or concealment of their faith that makes such campaign of terror a genocide....

Being Shia in Pakistan
Ale Natiq
Being Shia in Pakistan
Ale Natiq

...the wall opposite our door had a new wall chalking reading “Kaafir Kaafir Shia Kaafir” [Shias are infidels]. I recall asking my daada what does it mean and he replied saying “Kuch naee” [Nothing]. I never bothered erasing it, nor did any of my siblings or my cousins. Years passed, I changed school and a tonga replaced my daada but these wall chalking never stopped. Now that the tonga moved through different streets before taking me to school, I noticed this in every neighbourhood where Shia lived in town....

 
Extreme Is the New Moderate
Saroop Ijaz
Extreme Is the New Moderate
Saroop Ijaz

The state has no business or moral justification for prioritising one person’s sensibilities over another’s freedom and criminalising it. Hence, blasphemy laws should be repealed. This seems incredibly naïve and does not have enough strategy behind it. Both these objections are true. However, the alternative is much worse. Even if the moderate forces lose in both cases, a distinct possibility, there is honesty in only one position....

That the Shia mass murders have continued over the years with no legal and judiciary source or law enforcement agencies having sought to put an end to these brutalities indicates that these acts are but to be considered as part of a systematic and organized plot prodigiously funded and ingeniously engineered by internal and external forces with the express intention of making the pillars of Pakistani society fall to smithereens...

 

I repeatedly asked myself that If Aafia Siddiqui is Pakistan’s pride and daughter then why isn’t Rimsha Masih? Just because of the difference of the surname? Why don’t I see same zeal and enthusiasm in protest against Rimsha’s plight that we witnessed against Dr.Aafia’s arrest... I ask the same question from the people of the land of Pure, why can’t and don’t you own Rimsha as you own Dr.Aafia to be Pakistan’s pride and daughter?

 
The Economics of Hate in Pakistan
Mehreen Zahra-Malik
The Economics of Hate in Pakistan
Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Predictably, it began much before little Rimsha was accused of the incomprehensible – much before torn little pieces of religious paraphernalia were bandied about and their desecration decried. Venal mullahs, jilted neighbours, greedy influentials – the usual cast of characters that surround most sordid tales of blasphemy are, unsurprisingly, on the set of the Mehrabad miasma also....

The Pakistan we see today is not the Pakistan envisaged by the founders of this country. There were a lot of mishaps surrounding the birth of this country as it faced a pre-mature labour. Short-sightedness on the part of leaders of the Pakistan Movement coupled with the intrigue that arose by the parting Britishers resulted in a country that was in shambles as soon as it came into existence....

 
Pakistan: Misuse of the Blasphemy Law
Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi
Pakistan: Misuse of the Blasphemy Law
Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi

The Holy Quran prescribes restraint and distancing from blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint. Pakistan belongs as much to the non-Muslims as to the Muslims. Blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal vendettas. And so, we demand a thorough and fair probe into the case involving Rimsha. Strict action should be taken against all those accusing the girl if she is found innocent....

Sectarian Tensions Rock Libya
Linda Gradstein
Sectarian Tensions Rock Libya
Linda Gradstein

A series of recent attacks has raised the specter of sectarian violence in the country. Last week, attackers bulldozed a mosque containing graves belonging to Sufi Muslims in the capital of Tripoli. Government officials blamed an armed Islamist group. One day earlier another Sufi mosque was attacked and its library burned.

 

While other Muslims performed takbiran, or recitation of Islamic laudations, to gratefully welcome Idul Fitri, Sampang Shiites were callously warned not to do the same. Before the heartless attacks took place, several non-Shiite Muslims went to the Shiites’ houses and asked, “Are you still Shiites, or have you already repented and forsworn? If you remain Shiites, we will burn your houses and if you oppose us, you will be killed.”

 

Sectarian violence has resurged in Pakistan in 2012, after TTP-backed militant outfits intensified their campaign against Shias, security analysts say. There was a significant decrease in sectarian attacks in 2011, according to a report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS). But unlike in 2010, the violence was not confined to a few cities.

 
Do Ahmadis Deserve To Live In Pakistan?
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Do Ahmadis Deserve To Live In Pakistan?
Yasser Latif Hamdani

This past Eid, in the E Sector of Rawalpindi's Satellite Town, the Police stopped Ahmadis from offering Eid prayers at their place of worship called Eiwan-e-Tauheed. Only days earlier, Hafizabad police raided an Ahmadi cemetery in Mangat Ucha village and desecrated the tombstones by erasing the Kalima from the graves.

Shia Genocide: What’s In A Name?
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Shia Genocide: What’s In A Name?
Dr Mohammad Taqi

Is it Shia genocide or is it the genocide of the ethnic Hazaras of Quetta? What about the Gilgiti, Balti and Peshawari Shia then, or the Pashtun Shia of the Turi and Bangash tribes? Is it genocide at all? Why call it genocide when the state is allegedly not involved or supporting the perpetrators? And so continues the debate over the semantics of mass murder.

What Makes A Good Muslim
Tazeen Javed
What Makes A Good Muslim
Tazeen Javed

The Wahabi interpretation of Islam taught at schools like Al Huda shuns something as simple as a birthday celebration as a foreign concept or a mehndi function a legacy of living with Hindus. Basant is a festival indigenous to Punjab marking the advent of spring. It dates back 3,000 years and has traditionally been celebrated by people of all religions in Punjab.

 

Nothing surprising, especially in a Pakistan that began to take shape from the early 1980s onwards; and/or when the state under General Ziaul Haq actually encouraged the proliferation of violent Islamist and sectarian organisations as a way to bolster its efforts to whip up a jihadist frenzy against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan.

 

"The killings are doubtless the work of those who want to destroy Pakistan, but a failure to nab and punish the killers is also contributing to the same end," the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement. "The authorities owe an explanation to the people for their inability to crack down on sectarian killers and for the most flagrant failure in protecting the lives of citizens." ...

 

Are human lives less important than Samosas and ostriches? Apparently, it seems this just might be the case in Pakistan. Why else would government leaders along with the Chief Justice have the time to pass rulings and notices on these and stay silent on the Shia killings taking place in the country?...

Pakistan Is No Different From Burma
Mani Khawaja
Pakistan Is No Different From Burma
Mani Khawaja

As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail. She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there.....

Welcome to Pakistan: A nightmare society beyond pity or parody, where handicapped 11-year-old girls must be locked up to ensure their own safety. According to the Blasphemy Law, anyone found guilty of insulting the Prophet Muhammad or the Koran can be sentenced to death. With blind religious extremism on the upswing, there is no shortage of Hammad Malik types — self-appointed religious vigilantes on the lookout for any transgression, real or imagined.....

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