Islam and Sectarianism
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"....
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....
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...
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...
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....
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
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
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.....
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.
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. ....
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.