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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

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.

 

Iran’s inner opposition is always troubled with its own specific problems, and they don’t care about the problems of Sunnis. Any interest in the problems of Sunnis is deemed as animosity against the revolution and as separatism. So no one dares do this. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, Sunnis have been perceived as a national threat and, therefore, their activities have been continually monitored, and they have been classified as non-Islamic, uncultured and uncivilized, and this is how they are portrayed for Shiite Iranians….

 

The activists, on the other hand, remain weak, under threat and consumed by semantics to highlight, forcefully and meaningfully, the systematic extermination of the Shia. The ordinary Pakistani’s apathy is reminiscent of the second part of Glover’s quote: “The world would be a terrible place if the whole truth about this aspect of us was what Norman Geras had called ‘the contract of mutual indifference’: we leave other people in peril un-rescued and believe that others will do the same to us.”….

 

The Shias of Pakistan, along with scores of other vulnerable groups, have been under an unrelenting systematic assault since the height of the Pak-Saudi-US jihad against the erstwhile Soviet Union. But over the last several years the methodical, merciless butchery has reached a point that is gruesome even by Pakistani standards of viciousness and yet the slaughter of the Shias in Quetta, Kurram, Gilgit-Baltistan,

 

It was only after the killing of people like Malik Mannan, and several attacks on the army and the FC in late 2006 and early 2007 that the locals realized Al Qaeda and Taliban had taken over and were trying to turn their lives around. While the linkages between the army and certain militant groups are a historical reality, to claim that all militants remain proxies of the army is unfair. ….

 
Pakistan Imploding Under Sectarian Violence
Murtaza Haider is a professor in the Ted Rogers School
Pakistan Imploding Under Sectarian Violence
Murtaza Haider

As of late, the followers of majority Sunni sects, such as Bareli’s, have increasingly become targets of militants who are followers of radicalised Sunni sects. The attack on Data Darbar, the mausoleum of Lahore’s patron saint, in July 2010 left almost 50 moderate Sunni Muslims dead. In an earlier post, I reported police statistics which showed that almost 90 per cent of arrested terrorists in Pakistan were followers of the Disband sect…

 
For the Taliban, We are all wajib-ul-qatal
Irfan Husain is an author
For the Taliban, We are all wajib-ul-qatal
Irfan Husain

When the Taliban was reminded that the founder of Pakistan was a peaceful, tolerant man, he replied that Jinnah had ‘Ali’ in his name, and so must be a Shia. “We do not accept the Shia as Muslims,” he insisted. From considering the Shia to be non-Muslims, it seems there is only a short step to declaring them wajib-ul-qatal, or deserving of death, preferably by violent means….

“A couple of days ago, during a laboratory session, some students disrupted the lecture and started preaching how Ahmedis are non-Muslims and are wajib-ul-qatal. Brochures and booklets, entailing details of how Ahmedis should be prosecuted, are also being circulated amongst the students. So far, Ahmadi students have not been threatened, however, students report that they are constantly being followed and other students have boycotted them completely. …

Time to Establish the Abdus Salam Chair at LUMS
Dr Salam won the Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Time to Establish the Abdus Salam Chair at LUMS
Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari

Dr. Abdus Salam, one of the greatest scientists produced by the Islamic world and having received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, deserves such an honour by LUMS, Pakistan’s number one ranked institute by the Higher Education Commission. But what makes this gesture significant is that it is courageous, even though the intent of LUMS is only to honour the intellectual contribution of Dr. Salam. …

“I relayed the news on to colleagues and students at the cafeteria table. Some looked glumly at their plates but, a minute or two later, normal cheerful chatter resumed.” So wrote friend Pervez Hoodbhoy in this newspaper on March 5, in an op-ed titled “Run for your life”. What was the news? That those men, of the terrorist outfit Jundullah, had on February 28 executed 18 men in Kohistan after being singled out because of their sect. …

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy on March 5, 2012 read: This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)… he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just as Shias or Ahmadis…

Sindh and Balochistan: Self-inflicted Wounds
Shahzad Raza is TFT special correspondent based in Islamabad
Sindh and Balochistan: Self-inflicted Wounds
Shahzad Raza

Because of blood that was spilled 1400 years ago, the history of Islam is marred with the killing of thousands of Muslims over sectarian differences. Sectarianism in Pakistan is a dynamic phenomenon, and it always finds new battlegrounds, new recruits and new targets. The spectre now haunts urban Sindh and Balochistan. …

 
Ahmadis and Shias-  Run for Your Life
Pervez Hoodbhoy teaches physics and political science at LUMS
Ahmadis and Shias- Run for Your Life
Pervez Hoodbhoy

In Pakistan one’s religious faith, or lack of one, has become sufficient to warrant execution and murder. The killers do their job fearlessly and frequently. The 17th century philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, once observed that “men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it for religious conviction”. …

Gilgit-Baltistan: Murder most Foul
Ambreen Agha is a Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
Gilgit-Baltistan: Murder most Foul
Ambreen Agha

Gilgit-Baltistan has historically remained a peaceful region, with occasional cycles of orchestrated tension and violence. Shias were a majority in the region until the Government of Pakistan breached the State Subject Rules (SSR) promulgated in 1927 by the last Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh, in a massive effort at demographic re-engineering. …

The Rise of Violent Sectarianism
Raza Rumi is an author and journalist
The Rise of Violent Sectarianism
Raza Rumi

Denominational differences are not new to Islam, just as they are not to other religions. However, the history of sectarian violence in Pakistan is a phenomenon that, while drawing on old differences of faith, has unfolded in a modern context. The recent rise in sectarian killings, for instance, is a continuation of the trends already gathering pace in Pakistani society from the 1980s. …

Even though the Pakistan Army was able to crush tribal rebellions espousing Baluch nationalism, new generations of urban educated Baloch were drawn to their cause. “The Pakistani generals “keep making peace deals with jihadists who have killed thousands of their own people. We are not religious fanatic terrorists — so it won''t talk to us.”…

 

There’s a serious split in Hamas reflecting the growing civil war among Islamists along Sunni-Shia lines. What lies behind this split is the broader conflict between the Sunni and Shia Islamist camps. Palestinian politics are a mess. Nobody can deliver peace; no one will struggle to achieve a compromise peace agreement with Israel. ...

Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? ...

Thus, in a country where on the eve of Independence, Jinnah had proclaimed “You are free to go to your temples … mosques … or any other places of worship”, Ahmadis were barred from calling their places of worship mosques; the Kalima of Islam was removed from such buildings’ façade; holding prayers and congregations similar to those held by Muslims inside a building that resembled a mosque and keeping copies of the Quran in such places, were proscribed. -- Murtaza Razvi  

When I was studying at university, during a discussion over an economic issue, my professor (a PhD) uttered these words: “Alhamdulillah, I am a Sunni, I am a Muslim.” These words took me and many other students by surprise. The bizarre logic of uttering those unnecessary words in the midst of a discussion, especially when the class comprised of students from diverse religious backgrounds, was unfathomable. -- Sana Iqbal

My hypothesis is that the division of the Punjabi nation in 1947 produced a Pakistani Punjab that was heavily weighted in favour of the martial castes. The trading castes, which tend to be more pragmatic and balance society’s extremism mostly left to come to India. This has produced the imbalance which explains Pakistan’s fondness for a state dominated by soldiers. Gen Pervez Kayani runs the state’s foreign policy, security policy and most of its economic policy because the majority of Punjabis are comfortable with the idea of a warrior being in charge. India is ruled by a Punjabi from the Khatri trading caste, Manmohan Singh of Chakwal. The question is: Can caste be a predictor for such things? Yes it is. I did two studies that demonstrated it to me. -- Aakar Patel

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Good column! Jamelle Bouie is a very valuable acquisition for NYTimes' op-ed page.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Let us fight this oppression rather than talk about who is more responsible for it
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • When governments pander to orthodoxy, they make good governance impossible.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • @Mohammad Hussain HINDUS HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN HARMONY WITH ALL COMMUNITIES. TROUBLE SHOOTERS GET WHAT....
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • @Na H Il FACTS ARE BASED ON COMMON SENSE, WHICH IS MOST UNCOMMON WITH PEOPLE WHO USUALLY BRUSH IT ASIDE.
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • @ Dev Lmao even rioters nd supporters of mass murderers look concerned abt "harmony" No one can handle...
    ( By Mohammad Hussain )
  • @Dev Soni I would really like to know the fact....
    ( By Na H Il )
  • MADRASSAS ARE THE ROOT CAUSE OF RELIGIOUS FANATICISM AND SHOULD BE BANNED FOR RELIGIOUS HARMONY.
    ( By Dev Soni )
  • Iam humbly requesting all the learned friends please don't waste...
    ( By Attaullah Mahdi )
  • In India secularism means that tolerance of atrocity and exploration...
    ( By Satchidananda Mishra )
  • I think this is the best way to make presence on fb
    ( By Madhukar Sibal )
  • If any nation wants to learn how to treat a minority in times of need, please....
    ( By Ghulam Hussain )
  • Madarasas will flourish till the day of judgement. The critics and anmeies...
    ( By Ashiq Dar )
  • “It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Surely, in the body there is a small piece of flesh....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • This write-up points out to us a very deplorable situation developing in Pakistan. Pakistan has done practically nothing to....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Fully agree that "Oppression of Women Has Nothing to Do With Islam Rather It Is the Consequence of Cultural Practices"
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • The usual meaningless whataboutery from Hats Off!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off maliciously exaggerates "muslim sense of entitlement. and of course their inbred hatred of idolaters and polytheists, ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • by the where were you hiding after the lahore church blast? and under which stone....
    ( By hats off! )
  • islamophobia is the best defence against the islamic/muslim sense of entitlement...
    ( By hats off! )
  • sahih muslim 4-1039. so that is what the favorite wife of the prophet said...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Your criticism of Qutb was lukewarm but your support is firm.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Only the ignorant hatemongers still continue to badmouth CAIR...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You read the Quran as a slavish literalist but you do not have the wisdom to see....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You don't even have the sense to see that Pamela Taylor is not a critic of Islam...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • My question arose from your self-invented hypothesis that God sent subsequent....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Only a slavish literalist would call someone an apostate for rejecting words that insult....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Not only were Ilhan Omar's arguments valid, she knows the U.S. Constitution...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The ILO defines "gender equality" as follows: "Gender equality entails the concept....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I wonder how GM sb is blind to my criticism of Syed Qutub. However, I will not throw out the baby with the....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • every facilitator of cair or stealth jihadis by definition speak the truth. just like the "moderates".
    ( By hats off! )
  • I say what Allah says in the Quran about the Quran and about His previous Books. I do not say anything....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You are digressing. Pamela only sees problems and not solutions and the fact that the guidance....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You are the one who raised the question and have the answer as to why the final revelations....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Are you asking questions or taking up a position ? You are rejecting the verses which makes you an apostate. You ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • most of the islamic terrorists quote either hadees or the qur'an. those quoting....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sb. asks, "What is your basic belief about verse 9:5 which...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sb. is now trying to use the Quran as a weapon of war against me....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sb, asks, "Has GM sb proved that any people of earlier scriptures ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Without seeing a problem, how is one going to find a solution? As I said before...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )