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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Pakistan’s Non-Muslims and Muslims: Equal Citizens, Eh
Yaqoob Khan Bangash
Pakistan’s Non-Muslims and Muslims: Equal Citizens, Eh
Yaqoob Khan Bangash

Yet most Pakistanis are not even bothered to treat them equally, let alone better. Pakistanis are often quick to come out on the streets to protest atrocities against Muslims elsewhere, be it the atrocities being committed in Palestine, Burma or Kosovo (and I am not criticising that!), yet they are quiet when their own co-citizens are abducted, forcibly converted, falsely charged with blasphemy, raped and abused,,,

However, that night at Nankana Sahib, I had placed myself for the first time in the shoes of the religious minorities and tried to feel, if only for a fleeing moment, what they feel every time they are refused at a restaurant or offered special utensils which they are expected to clean themselves...

 

How it was forcibly annexed to Pakistan, how the freedom movement there was brutally crushed and leaders like Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti murdered by the Pakistani state is another sordid story...

 
Are Ahmadis Muslims? Let Us Ask Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Kashif N. Chaudhry
Are Ahmadis Muslims? Let Us Ask Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Kashif N. Chaudhry

I call on such Muslim bodies to see the beauty in diversity and appreciate the value in embracing pluralism and inclusivity within Islam. I call on them to the ways of Prophet Muhammad. When it came to him, it was quite clear who must be counted with the Muslims: Anyone who claimed to be one. And who actually was a true Muslim from within? He let God be the judge of that!....

Related Article:

Muslim Juhala threaten Mayawati government over Ahmadiya issue

The Spiritual Genocide of a Godly people: the Case of Ahmadis in Pakistan

Anti-Ahmadism In India

The Middle East: Beyond the Sectarian Divide
Hayder al-Khoei
The Middle East: Beyond the Sectarian Divide
Hayder al-Khoei

In 2006, when Shia tribes in Iraq wanted to retaliate after Salafi-jihadists demolished a sacred shrine, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Iraq’s highest religious authority, told the Shias that the 'Sunnis are ourselves, not just our brothers'. Sunni tribes also aggressively fought and almost defeated Al-Qaeda in Iraq, an earlier incarnation of ISIS....

Think, dear patriotic Pakistanis, before you share photos of Israeli terror and Donald Trump and Bharatiya Janata Party and Muslims in Burma and Yemen and Syria. Think of all those poor, terrified, silent Christians who do not know what their crime is living in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Think of every mullah who has tried to hijack power in our country....

 

The factions in conflict—a polite word for acrimony and divisions—under the umbrella of the very Deen that instructs them that they are committing shirk by rejecting the commandment of God, in whom they believe, that is, they have Iman:

30-31…do not be of those who are polytheist-mushrik......

As Muslims, we already have enough Islamophobia and religious misunderstandings to occupy our lives until the end of time. Therefore the misunderstandings and bigotry that happen within our own communities is baffling and honestly quite sad...

 

Was this country only made for Muslims? Do we, Christians, have no right to live our lives? Will justice be done? Is this a safe place for our children? I am familiar with government-issued statements that minorities have been given equal rights; some minority parliamentarians are doing the same. Moreover, some so-called patriots try to show their loyalty by criticising and alienating others....

 
Sunni Muslim, Is That Who I Am?
Dr. Mike Ghouse
Sunni Muslim, Is That Who I Am?
Dr. Mike Ghouse

First of all, Prophet Muhammad knew only one group of people; Muslims! Prefixes like Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, WD Muhammad, Alawaite, Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahl-e-Hadith, Ahl-e-bait etc., were not in his vocabulary nor can anyone ascribe these words to him – he did not use them. ....

I am proud that an Ahmadi in Pakistan strengthened my faith more than any Maulvi could, that a Hindu in Pakistan showed me the art of coexistence finer than a Muslim here could and that a Pakistani Christian taught me the value of prayer better than any preacher could.....

 
Gilgit-Baltistan: Progressive Marginalization
Ajit Kumar Singh
Gilgit-Baltistan: Progressive Marginalization
Ajit Kumar Singh

Despite decades of military subjugation, demographic engineering, and the ceding of some territories and influence to China, Islamabad has failed to win the support of the people of GB. Its further militarization of the region perpetuates a strategy of indiscriminate use of force to silence local voices, even as local populations are progressively marginalized.....

 

Unlike the Taliban, who follow the Deobandi and Salafi strains of Islam, Barelvis are relatively tolerant of minorities. Still, when I spoke with Raza Rumi, a commentator and analyst based in Ithaca, he said that blasphemy was a key issue for the Barelvis and that they condone violence to protect religion. .....

 

It cannot be disputed that these governments are responsible for the greater defamation of Islam today, by helping to create the terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Daesh. By shedding human blood and vandalizing the holy graves of prophets and shrines of God's saints across the Muslim world, they continue to defame Islam and Muslims the world over. Thousands of innocent Palestinians have been victims of Israeli- violence over the years. Still, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and other Wahhabi governments are silent onlookers of this dance of destruction. ....

At a place where differences had no significance, we were the guests of God. Hence, we were very careful not to upset our host. We knew none of us, black or white, Shiite or Sunni, rich or poor, were privileged in the presence of God. We were competing to please one another, because we knew that this was also the way to please the Creator....

 

The murderer of Salman Taseer met his fate in Pakistan. Perhaps this was a way for Pakistan's army elite and politicians to deliver a message to official bodyguards that no one would be spared if they killed bosses. However, there is no such message for Shahbaz Bhatti's murderers, since Bhatti belonged to Pakistan's poor Christian community. ....

 
Arabs Must Reject Sectarianism
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
Arabs Must Reject Sectarianism
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

The sectarian divisions that have evolved into armed conflicts and produced armed militias are politically manufactured. Those who would tear us Arabs apart to suit their own agendas are using fiery religious rhetoric for their own ends. We, the citizens of the United Arab Emirates – and all GCC states – have never differentiated between Sunni and Shiite nationals.

 
Balochistan Matters
Hussain Nadim
Balochistan Matters
Hussain Nadim

The fact is that Balochistan can never truly develop, even with ten more of the economic corridors or industrial zones, unless and until there isn’t first a development of human capacity in the province. Infrastructure, rail and roads do not develop the people, it’s the people that develop and maximise the benefit out of infrastructure and other projects.

 
What It Means To Be A Muhajir?
Maria Sartaj
What It Means To Be A Muhajir?
Maria Sartaj

The humans of Karachi are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a condition where the hostage starts expressing empathy for his captor. Karachites are psychologically ailing on many levels and need healing of all sorts but this can only come from introspection. If he were alive today, Mohammed Ali Jinnah would be considered a mahajir and a person of a persecuted religious minority as well, and this certainly isn’t the Pakistan one’s forefathers moved hundreds of kilometres for.

In Israel, Racism Is the Law
Ben White
In Israel, Racism Is the Law
Ben White

"Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits." To enforce this "two-tier system", the Israeli military conducts nightly raids, detains Palestinians without trial or charge, tortures detainees.....

 

Non-Muslim minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have been the victims of suicide bomb attacks on their neighbourhoods, and their community members have been converted to Islam against their will. Houses of worship of non-Muslims as well as of Muslim minority sects have been attacked and bombed while filled with worshippers.....

 

From the beginning of the last century, when reformers dominated their civil societies under secular dictators, to the end of it, when they reached back to a more “original” or “pure” Islam while aspiring to democracy, they have seemed to embrace an internecine frenzy. A sliding back to “pure” Islam has inevitably become sectarian between the Sunni majority and the Shia minority, to say nothing of the other deviant sects that get trampled as the big sects brawl.

 

Those who are being oppressed have to be from a similar background. Those who were killed have to share their beliefs. If they do not have identical beliefs, the news of their oppression or genocide deserves a cursory glance and nothing more. “Closing the gap” doesn’t mean for everyone to homogenize their beliefs, it means extending our hands in respect and recognition of the fact that someone from another school of thought is still our equal in faith. ....

Halting the demolitions is therefore vital to ward off any future violations. This settler-dominated Israeli coalition is sniffing every opportunity to expand its settler-colonial empire in the West Bank. The demolitions are one core part of bringing this about and one that Israel has practised around 50,000 times since 1967.....

 

Sectarianism today is a perfect storm — the product of a confluence of factors at play in the region. The first culprit in stoking sectarian conflict is Islamism. This modern-day ideology, born in the 1930s, calls for an ideal Islamic state built on the foundations of Islamic law and Sharia. The Islamic state is a utopian panacea that looks to religion to perfect modernity. But the Islamic state is not a generic idea, as it requires harkening to either Shiite or Sunni conceptions of Islam….

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