Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Thank You, Hamza Ali Abbasi, For Supporting My Right to Be Ahmadi
Kashif Chaudhry

Pakistani actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi, is always in the headlines for one reason or another. Recently, I wrote an article criticising his comments that apparently belittled Pakistan’s minorities. However, this time I am writing to congratulate him on supporting Pakistan’s minority Muslim communities – or at least those that self-identify as such.

Pakistan: The Sectarian Fire
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Pakistan: The Sectarian Fire
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Sectarian strife has afflicted Pakistan virtually from the moment of its birth, but has escalated continuously since 1979, with the then President General Zia-ul-Haq's 'Islamicisation' of Pakistani politics. Shias resisted this process as the 'Sunnification' of Pakistan, since most of the laws and regulations introduced were based on Sunni Fiqh (Jurisprudence). Notably, in July 1980, 25,000 Shias gathered in Islamabad to protest the Islamicisation laws....


This level of harmony is common in Bangladesh, even outside an Islamic context; Hindu Pujas are routinely attended by Muslims and Hindus alike, across the country. None of this has ever been an issue in Bangladesh, not that is, until a strident and divisive Salafism started taking root here.


Power and Sectarian Politics, Again
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

This phenomenon is among the main viruses infecting contemporary Indonesian democracy. In the case of Sampang in Madura, the supposed deviance of Shia is being exploited by certain groups to gain political support for the upcoming local elections there. In other regions, local leaders have passed sharia-based bylaws to woo popular support.


The misguiding concepts of the two groups about each other have done nothing more than seriously destroying the unity of Muslims around the world while provoking hatred and anger for each other. The discussions are mostly superficial and I being a Sunni myself do not believe in the core Shia concepts but I was once a believer of many misconceptions regarding Shias.

Suicide Attacks Against Shias: New Age Islam’s Selection From Pakistan Press, 30 October 2015

Suicide Attacks against Shias

By Syed Kamran Hashmi

Jihad Packets

By Tammy Swofford

When rape is not considered rape

By Zeeba T Hashmi

Obama’s Decision and Taliban Reaction

By Zafar Iqbal Yousafzai

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau


The emotive issue of Syria is an obvious place to start to expose the flaws in the sectarian approach. Iran supports the Assad government, the argument goes, because the core of the Syrian state is Alawite, a sub-branch of Shi’ism. But there are at least three reasons why the idea that a sectarian bond explains Iranian backing for Damascus is wrong.

Who is Killing Pakistan's Shias?
Malik Siraj Akbar

In a January 2015 report Conflict Dynamics in Sindh published by the United States Institute for Peace, authors Huma Yusuf and Syed Shoaib Hassan warned that extremist organizations were increasingly active in Sindh's central and northern districts. Sectarian militant groups and the anti-state Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were consolidating their presence in the province in the rural areas.

Is Saudization A Form Of Racism?
Ibrahim Muhammad Badawood

Is Saudization A Form Of Racism?
Ibrahim Muhammad Badawood

Racism is a thorny issue although Islam set the limits and boundaries over 1400 years ago when Allah the Almighty revealed the Qura’nic ayah: “Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you” (49:13). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “there is no preference for Arabs over non-Arabs, nor for non-Arabs over Arabs. Preference is only through righteousness.”

Russia and Iraq: Putin, Champion of the Shia

Not all Sunnis and Shias are so entrenched, however. Militiamen loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a powerful Shia cleric, insist they will fight Russians as fiercely as they once fought Americans. And Sunnis hopeful of returning to Mosul, Iraq’s second city now in IS’s hands, doubt Mr Obama is up to the job. To retake Mosul, we’ll need the Russians,” says Mishaan al-Jabbouri, a Sunni politician and tribal leader who was briefly Mosul’s mayor.


The Deceit Of Sectarianism
Ibrahim Kalin

Sectarianism subverts politics at both national and regional levels and breeds extremism in the end. It takes religious, ethnic and secular forms or a combination of them. It is grounded in a deceitful self-centrism. It enforces polarization while claiming to protect its own interest. It resorts to extremism in the name of fighting it.


Sectarian Incitement As A Weapon In The Gulf
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

A video showing a Saudi young man verbally abusing a taxi driver because he hanged a picture of a religious symbol in his car has recently gone viral, with many voicing support for the taxi driver and demanding his rights be defended.


This Black Woman’s Anti-Muslim Rant Shows How Deep British Racism Goes
Joseph Harker

We’re getting used to racist rants being filmed, shared and loaded on to YouTube. The latest example, however, is not only shocking but, for me, deeply depressing too. Footage taken on a bus in Brent, north London, this week shows an Islamophobic rant by one women against two other passengers. “Fucking Isis bitches,” she calls them. “Go back to your country where they’re bombing every day.” The original film of the tirade lasts, in total, five long minutes.


The recent national meeting of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) elected senior cleric Ma’ruf Amin as its chairman for the next five years, succeeding Din Syamsuddin, shortly after Ma’ruf was elected supreme leader or rais aam of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).


The ground reality is that Pakistan has settled its own nationals, besides Afghan, Chinese and other nationals by thousand folds, to change the demography on one side and multiplied its Army, Para Military and Punjab rangers on the other. After demolishing Gilgit Scouts Pakistan also punished the NLI by sending them to the civil war zones in Pakistan after 1999 Kargil war, when NLI demonstrated tremendous bravery against Indian Army. Due to their courageous acts of bravery in the war, Pakistan Army headed by General Musharraf realised the threat of keeping NLI within GB and subsequently displaced NLI from GILGIT BALTISTAN and dispatched them to the deeply troubled areas of Pakistan.....


Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan: The Legally Declared Non-Muslims
Raza Habib Raja

Ahmedis are a relatively recent sect of Islam, and ever since their formation, they have been despised. However, before the passing of the Second Amendment, they had not been actively discriminated by the state, all of which subsequently changed. ...

Qur’anic View of Success in Human Life
Qazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

Islam Demands total acceptance of the Truth and does not allow any partial acceptance.  An opportunistic Trend of Partial Acceptance creates a fertile ground for mushrooming hypocrisy which is more harmful than total rejection of the Truth. There is no scope for hypocrisy in Islam, but partial acceptance encourages hypocrisy and adds to their number within the ranks of the Muslim Community. Total Acceptance and allegiance to the Quranic Truth is an essential criterion of Faith of a Muslim and translating this Faith into Action to serve the cause of Allah in this world, is the essence and most fundamental strategy of Islamic Code of Life. ....


Fighting Sectarianism in Islam
Sayeeda Warsi

The universal Islamic definition of what constitutes a believer in Islam is extremely simple: La Ilaha Illallah Muhammad ur Rasulullah: a belief in God and Muhammad as his Prophet (peace be upon him). There are no other stipulations or conditions at all for belief. Even at the time of the Prophet, there were differences of opinion between his Companions over his religious instructions that were interpreted in different ways, even over sacred duties such as prayers. The Prophet viewed those differences of opinions as healthy, as an inevitable diversity, and even as a blessing of, the faith.

Pakistan Is the Fountainhead of Sectarian Extremism
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan is the fountainhead of sectarian extremism. Not only did it violate all principles of citizenship and a citizen’s relations with the state, it dealt a deathblow to Muslim unity in Pakistan. Takfir (to declare someone an apostate) is not a recent phenomenon: Muslims have been declaring other Muslims Kafirs (infidels) for centuries now. In the 1940s, Jinnah was declared not just a Kaafir but the Kaafir-e-Azam or the great infidel by the Ulema (clergy) opposing him. His crime was twofold....

How Social Media Magnifies Sectarian Hatred in Lebanon
Diana Moukalled

Yes, technology has changed a lot of things; however, there are things it could not change such as one’s mind who is mainly responsible for what we commit, feel and say. Social media helps spreading and generalizing ideas but if we want, it can also be used to prevent the spread of racial ideologies and feelings of hatred.....


There is no legal/constitutional judicial mechanism in place to protect the people against mass human rights violations. Many indigenous people are facing death sentences in Gilgit Baltistan Jails for their petty crimes without giving them access to any legal/constitutional recourses like High Court and Supreme Court. On the other hand, Pakistani terrorists who actually commit terrorism are never brought to any of these illegal and un-constitutional courts set up in the region. Some of Pakistani terrorists, who were actually caught by local Police in defiance of the ISI......


Fleeing Their Homes in Balochistan
Zeeba T Hashmi

Once a harmonious and tolerant society, Balochistan is now marred by religious bigotry, faith-based violent attacks and kidnappings for ransom. The deteriorating law and order situation is forcing a large number of people to flee the province, thus stalling the economic, religious and cultural vibrancy of the province. ...


Shattering the Myths about Kuwaiti Shia
Ibrahim Al-Marashi

The Kuwaiti Sunni response in the aftermath of this attack has served as a powerful rejoinder to the persistent primordial assumptions of "ancient-sectarian hatred" as something that is integral to the region, existing since time immemorial.  ....


Sectarian Mosque Attacks — Time For Action!
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

Intellectual issues and events would be discussed, but often in an academic mode of respect, tolerance and acceptance.  Sermons were carefully worded not to upset anyone. I miss that atmosphere, today, in the lands of Islam. I see mosques assigned to each sect exclusively.  I watch satellite channels promoting sectarian disagreements. I hear highly respected scholars, who have a large following, spreading hate speech......

Sectarianism Is Bad… Until It Is Your Side That Is Inciting It
H.A. Hellyer

.... Gulf state leaders have come out publicly against the attacks against Shiites in Kuwait and Saudi. But how many public figures, preachers and otherwise, have been censured from actual supporting the radical sectarianism they promote or control, in the context of conflicts in the region? Have all governments really taken the necessary steps to curb the sectarianism that many in different parts of officialdom do support, often materially, particularly via religious establishments?....

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