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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Pakistan Waging Dirty War on Its Balochs
Makhan Saikia

The continued slaughtering of the minority Hazaras, Shias and currently the Punjabis, either by the Taliban or by the extreme sectarian groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), is further complicating the situation in Balochistan. Indeed the outfits like the LeJ are committed to eliminating the minorities like the Hazaras from the face of the country and the Pakistani State is a mute spectator....

 

Forced Conversions in Pakistan: A Dark Reality
Nasir Saeed

Since there is an urgent need, and minorities have a longstanding demand, now even the Senate committee has once again recommended that instead of blaming media and NGOs for defaming Pakistan, government must bring this matter to parliament, and introduce legislation to stop the ongoing forced conversion of girls and women belonging to minority religions...

 

Remembering Zafrullah Khan: Ahmadis and an Unsung Hero
Tahir Mahmood

The Ahmadiyya community regards its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian in Punjab, as a prophet and, for that reason; mainstream Muslims do not recognise them as a part of their community. But the fundamental declaration of faith in Islam — there is none to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet — does not expressly say that Muhammad was the “last” prophet....

Impoverished Balochistan Bleeds through A Thousand Cuts
Stanly Johny

“The main victims of this violence are the people of Balochistan who are being systematically targeted by paramilitary groups, allegedly sponsored by the Pakistani authorities. Extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances are the most common practices,”....

 

The Persecution of Afghanistan's Hazaras Has Less to Do with Religion Than You Think
Arif Rafiq

Today, Iran uses Hazara Shias as cannon fodder to fight its war in Syria. Poor Afghan Hazaras residing in Iran are offered Iranian citizenship to fight in Syria. While some Afghans are offered carrots, others are offered sticks. There are indications others—including poor, illegal workers in Iran—are compelled to go fight in Syria....

 

Ordinary Iraqis Defy Sectarianism after Islamic State’s Attacks on Baghdad
Balsam Mustafa

Unfortunately, far from being challenged, the “Shias versus Sunnis” theme is still lazily rehearsed in much of the mainstream media. But while the mainstream media fails to challenge IS’s sectarian propaganda, Iraqi activists, bloggers, and citizens are constantly trying to establish a counter-narrative, encouraging a language of unity and highlighting national identity beyond ethnicity or religion....

 

Strife within Different Streams of Islam
Makhan Saikia

The so-called guardians of the two prominent branches of Islam, Iran and Saudi Arabia, by now, must call for a political truce; else, once known as one of the rare cradles of human civilisation, the nations of the Middle East will soon turn out to be a graveyard for sure....

The Nation State’s Fatal Defect
Khaled Ahmed

The process of “expelling the trash” goes on among many nations. It is visible as is intolerance in India these days but without the sanction of law. Many nations have done it in the past through “pogroms” and concentration camps, but in the 21st century it is the Muslim state that is particularly afflicted by it, at times under law but also with impunity....

 

Making Art from Pakistan’s Chaos
Aatish Taseer

Pakistan, founded in 1947 as a homeland for India’s Muslims, once had a very strong identity. But it has been discredited, at first through successive military coups that undermined civilian governments, and later through terrorism, insurgency and the vanishing writ of the state from great sections of the country....

 

"My main intention was to objectively address as many key issues as possible that one sect may have towards the other sect, and then break down the misconceptions so that some kind of bridge could be built once they realise they have so much in common"....

 

Pakistan: State-backed Religious Zealotry Behind Ahmadi Apartheid
Ambreen Agha

Ahmadis differ with other Muslim sects over the finality of Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet. The Ahmadi branch of Islam was founded on March 23, 1889, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian town of pre-partition Punjab. They believe in the Prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and have endured discrimination and violent persecution for holding this belief....

 

Ahmadi Embarrassment
Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan was created in the name of Islam because all Muslims in south Asia presumably felt like a nation. No one bothered to check if there were any footnotes to this feeling. But soon after they got Pakistan, Muslims started feeling odd living together. The first “exception” were the Ahmadis...

 

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,,,

Beyond Blasphemy: Untouchability Is What Pakistan Should Really Be Talking About
Haroon Khalid

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

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

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....

The Hypocrisy of Muslim Outrage in Pakistan
Mahwash Badar

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...

 

Live Your Life; Let Other Pakistanis Live Too
Shamim Masih

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

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

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.....

 

Pakistan's Terrorism Problem Can't Be Solved Without Protecting Its Minorities
Rozina Ali

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. .....

 


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