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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Arguing against what has become orthodoxy is difficult because most of the people who hold to its tenets are not malicious, just indolent and a little frightened. They have a genuine fear of racism, however ill thought through, and that speaks to their credit. Argument must be joined, however, because supporters of identity politics bundle the objects of their concern into racial and religious boxes, and label them "handle with care"....

 

“The breed of Qadianis will never change. They may multiply up to 99 generations; still the 100th one will continue to be a dualist-infidel and apostate. The reason is that their crime is a never-ending one. The offence will never cease to exist in their progeny. Let it be clear to every Muslim that the crime of apostasy runs throughout the lineage of a Qadiani….

As has become a pattern amongst the chauvinist Rakhine writers their narrative about the ‘other’ people – the Rohingyas of Arakan – all start with the British colonization of the territory in 1826 after the first Anglo-Burma War of 1824-26, as if they had no past connection to the soil of Arakan. Theirs is a flawed theory that is so childish that one can only pity their proponents and promoters on their level of ignorance....

“Burmese helicopter set fire to three boats carrying nearly 50 Muslim Rohingyas fleeing sectarian violence in western Burma in an attack that is believed to have killed everyone on board,”... Why would anyone take such fatal risks? Refugees are attempting to escape imminent death, torture or arrest at the hands of the Ethnic Buddhist Rakhine majority,...

 

What hurts is that the Saudis address the white expats of Europe and America as ‘rafiq’ (friend). What of the concept of ‘ummah’, he asks, which means that all Muslims are one nation? He discovers that ‘ummah’ applies only to Saudis, Iraqis, Egyptians, Yemenis, Kuwaitis Bahrainis, Emiratis, etc., but not to others. Arabs only, it seems, qualify. The Saudis abolished slavery only recently in 1974. Then why are we ‘Miskeen’? Is it really abolished though? ...

There are those who champion religious minorities and raise their voices against oppression. There are those who believe that Pakistanis have ‘bigger things to worry about’. And then there are those who actively pedal an anti-minority, pro-religious violence stance. So secure are Qadri’s family in their piety they said that although Mumtaz is their youngest brother, his actions mean they all “look up to him”. “His trial is not just about him. The whole ummah is on trial.”...

Bloodied Dreams, Wall of Silence
Abbas Nasir
Bloodied Dreams, Wall of Silence
Abbas Nasir

WE have made this Islamic Republic such a heaven on earth that we struggle to find words, often fight over these, to describe what its proud sons are capable of. Butchery, slaughter, carnage, mass murder and of course genocide have been variously used to describe such bloodlust as is being evidenced in the Balochistan capital. Your vocabulary is as good as mine. And what do we do? We prioritise. In Balochistan, our first priority is to tackle those who are ‘threatening the integrity of the state at the behest of their foreign masters’....

Gangs of Wasseypur: Wild West Comes To Bihar
Poster, Gangs of Wasseypur
Gangs of Wasseypur: Wild West Comes To Bihar
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

 The film, based on actual news reports, is a multi-generational account of a blood feud between two Muslim families―one Pathan and the other Qureshi (butcher)―and how it is used by a powerful Hindu Bhumihar for political gains… The Khan and the Qureshi communities live on different streets of the village. Although both are Muslim and pray at the same mosque, there is no love lost between them. The Qureshis are dominant, and all other Muslims are afraid of them. The dichotomy has little to do with religion, sect, ideology or beliefs. It’s rooted in local history and is all the more real for it, surviving colonial rule, Independence, Emergency, the transfer of mining rights from the British to local contractors and back to the government, even the death of illegal mining as a lucrative business. Governments, politics and economics change, but the social fracture remains....

'We expect that till the end of August, this anarchy would continue, when finally, Insha Allah, Supreme Court and army would then be forced to step in decisively to bring in a caretaker government which would start to stabilize the country. Insha Allah, there will be no elections. Also, Insha Allah, the PPP regime and the PML (N) will not form the caretakers as they plan to do. This duty will also be done by the SC and army, Insha Allah'. ...

The incessant bombing of churches and Christian populated areas in the Northern part of Nigeria by members of the Boko Haram sect is causing concern in some quarters, with examples of countries like the former Soviet Union being cited as countries that started the same way and ended as history. In this piece, “The attacks on Christian worshippers in Kaduna and Zaria last Sunday, claimed by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and the consequent reprisals on innocent Muslims, represents a dangerous descent into anomie, ....

 

The perpetrators of the Bengali genocide never learnt anything from history. This time the playing field is Balochistan and the targets are Baloch intellectuals. There has always been a cleansing by occupiers and dictators of the intelligentsia who stand out from the masses. The occupiers have reasons to do this as intellectuals and artists, based on their popularity and position in society, are the kind of people who would be most able to influence the masses....

 
All Hail My Sectarian God
Kiran Nazish
All Hail My Sectarian God
Kiran Nazish

In Pakistan a mosque is not the house of God, but the house of a sectarian God. Although Muslim sects across the world have their own separate mosques for the reasons of Imamat, procedure and methodology of prayers, no one is ever stopped from entering a place of worship or called a Kafir inside one just because they do not come from the same sect. Sectarianism divides our politics, our military, our media and even our militant groups. Eventually our people divide themselves....

They only came to pray. They paid with their lives. Friday Prayers on 28th May 2010 for the Ahmadis of Lahore will always be remembered in blood and tears. The Friday congregation of the community gathered as usual to offer their devotion. Immaculately dressed, heads bowed before God, serenity in the air. Then terror struck. Armed men with suicide vests and grenades descended like demons on two of the major Ahmediyya mosques in the city, proceeding to systematically target and kill those present at a leisurely pace over the next few hours. ...

Will Indian Muslims Too Engage in Sectarian Bloodshed as do Pakistanis?
Asghar Ansari, Group Editor, UNN
Will Indian Muslims Too Engage in Sectarian Bloodshed as do Pakistanis?
Asghar Ansari, UNN, Tr. New Age Islam

The Muslim societies which were known in the world for their brotherhood and religious unity are also being affected by this militant outlook. Exactly the same situation can be seen evolving in the Indian Muslim community. This is highly dangerous. If this chronic disease is not stopped at the earliest from spreading further, India too could be engulfed in militancy as is Pakistan already.

Holy names of holy companions of the Prophet (saw) are being used for creating sectarian hatred in a way that has been done in Iraq and Pakistan before.  It seems as if organisers of conferences on the name of Sahaba-e-Keram will very soon start establishing organisations like Sipah-e-Sahaba, Ansar-ul-Islam, Ansar-ul-Asnata, Asbat-ul-Ansar and Jamiat-ul-Ansar and killing Muslims who do not follow their views in India too exactly along the line of what is happening in Swat, Para, Chinar and Afghanistan....

Prior to his assassination by Sunni militants in 1988, Al-Hussaini openly spoke in Pakistan of the theocratic political system put in place in Iran by Khomeini Al-Hussaini had a “militant political approach” to his activism, which at the time “brought him greater influence among a more assertive new generation of Shias [in Pakistan].”[11] It is, however, important to note that the militancy that Al-Hussaini embraced, and which resonated so well with segments of the Shia activists in Pakistan, occurred at a time of great sectarian tensions in the country.....

Solution of Balochistan
Najam Sethi
Solution of Balochistan
Najam Sethi

We are not sanguine. Four years ago, President Asif Zardari pledged to solve the problem "inherited from the Musharraf regime". The military has a simplistic view of the problem: the Baloch separatists are misguided, aided and abetted by enemies Afghanistan and India, even America, to attack Pakistan's security agencies, fuel chaos and fear, and create the pre-conditions for dismembering Pakistan; the solution is to crush the insurgents without regard for niceties like due process of law and human rights....

Khyber Agency: Another Futile Operation
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Khyber Agency: Another Futile Operation
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

The strategic location of the Khyber Agency, which borders Afghanistan to the east, the Orakzai Agency to the south, Mohmand Agency to the north and Peshawar District to the east, has always attracted the militants. The Agency provides a buffer zone between Afghanistan and Peshawar. Moreover, in recent times, it has provided safe heaven to militants escaping from the adjacent Agencies, when they are targeted by major 'military operations'....

 

Much has been spoken about the body politic of a Seraiki Province, mostly with reference to power politics. Let us now think of its’ soul what, in my opinion, lies in language, literature and culture of an ethno-nationality. Any people can wake up to one’s identity any time, depending on times and triggers. But surely it does. Identity movements all over the globe stand witness to it….

 

The hate campaign against Ahmedis is particularly ironical, for their contribution to the creation and consolidation of Pakistan is very well known. Suffice it to mention here a few names: Sir Chaudhry Zafrullah Khan, Professor Abdus Salam, M M Ahmad, Lt-General Akhtar Abdul Malik, Lt-General Abdul Ali Malik and Maj-General Iftikhar Janjua. …

 

Many of the globe-trotting greybeards who met there, and at a similar gathering in Qatar in 2007, remain actively and optimistically engaged. But seen from the outside, feuds between Sunnis, who make up roughly 80% of the world’s Muslims, and the Shia minority (most of the rest), remain savage and are, in some ways, worsening……

 

Karachi: Machiavellian Operations
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Karachi: Machiavellian Operations
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Continuing their policy of playing one group against another, reports indicate that Security Forces (SFs) were using the rival Arshad Pappu gang in the ‘operation’. Source indicated that the SFs had decided to ‘hand over’ Lyari to the Arshad Pappu gang after the ‘evacuation’ of PAC operatives. The PAC is allegedly linked to, and supported by, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan….

 

 

The administrator remarked that the tiles carrying Quranic verses had been shattered into pieces while being removed. It is strange, he said, that the complainants had not objected to the “desecration of the holy words”. “They were scared,” said Ahmed, “we picked up the broken tiles and have saved them to preserve their sanctity.”…

 

The policemen etched out the verses at the main gate and entrance to the main hall. They were about to tear down the minarets, about five feet high, at the main gate too, but local Ahmedis convinced them to give them a day to cover them as demolishing them would have damaged the whole structure…

Historically, Kashmir has been dominated by Sufi Islam, a mystical branch of the faith that the puritanically minded abhor. But Al Kindi plans to change all that. In a region already wracked by internal division and foreign pressure, he represents yet another potentially destabilizing force: orthodox Salafism, aggressively expansionist and imported from Saudi Arabia….

Since 2001, the Baloch are in a state of insurgency. Across the province, even beyond the provincial borders, in Baloch areas, forces have been deployed and there is regular fighting. Pakistan forces and agencies have allegedly kidnapped thousands of political activists. About 300 bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons have been found in different places. The Pashtuns have raised no voice on these incidents. There is no condemnation by politicians and even intellectuals on the Baloch agony.

 
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