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Islam and Sectarianism

If we do not put our faith in reason and rationality, we will be wiped out altogether. This is not a warning but a statement of fact. Any state with an ideology other than the ideology of the welfare of its citizens is bound to crash and burn because any other ideology is akin to a highly inflammable fuel source. It burns brightly and quickly and there is not enough to replenish it at the source.

 

Pakistan continues its tragic journey down the xenophobic abyss. As this country gets over a blood-soaked Eid, let me recall a 44-word short story by Saadat Hasan Manto. He wrote: “Ripping the belly cleanly, the knife moved in a straight line down the midriff, in the process slashing the cord, which had held the man’s Pyjamas in place. The one with the knife took one look and exclaimed regretfully, ‘Tut, tut, tut! … Mishtake!”...

 

A series of murderous attacks on members of the Shia community were unleashed in Kohistan, Karachi and Quetta last week. Those killed in the Kohistan incident were headed home for Eid Traditionally, different religious communities have lived in harmony in Gilgit-Baltistan and Astore is no different. People in general are tolerant and are not easily provoked by such targeted acts of terrorism. However, it would be naïve to think that the repeated occurrence of such incidents is not taking its toll on the public.....

The initial mistake — now slowly being clarified — is that everyone assumed there is one North Waziristan. But in this debate there are actually two North Waziristans: Miranshah and Mir Ali. Loosely, Miranshah represents the American fixation: the Haqqanis. Mir Ali represents the Pakistani focus: the Pakistan-centric militants….

 

If we do not find a solution besides the machine gun and the tank – which we have already seen to be helpless against a barefoot child with a stone in his hand – we may lose it all. The State of Israel is liable to become a passing phenomenon like the First Temple and the Second Temple. The terrible tragedy is that our neighbours are in the same rotten situation; they have no Gandhi and we do not even have a mini-Roosevelt....

But the only comforting point is that the point of reference, i.e. the Quran is present in its original form and anyone can approach it and verify the claim of any sect on the basis of the guidance of Allah. But the problem is that the Shaikh says that the Quran cannot be understood by people by themselves. This is another lie that is being promoted in the name of God and his Messenger

The Consequences of Hate
Feisal H Naqvi
The Consequences of Hate
By Feisal H Naqvi

The English-speaking liberal elite of Pakistan tends to take a look around its immediate environs and concludes that things cannot possibly be so bad as reported because, after all, we live in a country which is heir to ancient cultures of poetry and dance.... As a Shia, I know that these trends are likely to end badly for me. All I am telling you, dear reader, is that this will end badly for you too....

Who are the Rohingya?
Khaled Ahmed
Who are the Rohingya?
By Khaled Ahmed

The sense of mountain or hill is derived from the sense of mounting, rising and growing. Indian music has a word for the rising note: ‘arohi’. The literal meaning of ‘aroha’ is ‘to mount’. Hindi also adds the word for horse (‘asva’) to mean ‘rider’. Thus, ‘arohi’ becomes ‘asvaroha’, meaning someone mounted on a horse. In Persian, we have the word ‘savar’ for ‘horse-rider’, also written ‘asvar’ to point to ‘asva’ the horse in it. Music notes ascend (arohi) and descend (avarohi)....

 
The Self-Respecting Baloch Have No Expectations
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
The Self-Respecting Baloch Have No Expectations
By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Sheikh Saadi narrates a story in Gulistan of a self-respecting person severely wounded while battling the Mongols being told that a miserly and ill-tempered person of a nearby village had medicine that may cure him. He replied that the miser probably would not part with it and even if he does, no certainty that it would cure him, so it is better to die with dignity. The self-respecting Baloch are not waiting for the medicine from the misers and courageously putting up a fight for their rights....

 
The Stateless Rohingya and Pakistan
Huma Yusuf
The Stateless Rohingya and Pakistan
By Huma Yusuf

The debate about how Pakistanis should react to the violence has pitted liberals against conservatives in a way that says far more about Pakistani society and the appalling state of national discourse than it does about the plight of the Rohingya. In this polarised and politically expedient context, how can national conversations about the persecution of Muslim communities abroad be had more productively...

Stop Myanmar Violence before Jihadis Step In
Naveed Hussain
Stop Myanmar Violence before Jihadis Step In
By Naveed Hussain

Hundreds of Rohingyas — a destitute, marginalised Muslim community disowned by the state — have been killed and maimed and tens of thousands made to flee their homes following organised attacks on villages by local Arakanese Buddhists. Inaction would only help radicals and jihadists, who might use the ‘Muslim genocide’ in Myanmar as a rallying call....

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....

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