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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Ayatollah Sistani, one of the highest and most reputable religious figures amongst the Shias, publicly called for everyone to comply with the prohibitions and restrictions on the visits to the holy sites, Friday prayers and all forms of collective gathering. Yet very significantly, Al Sadr’s defiance of Sistani did not pay off….

 

Sunni extremist outfits such as Ahl-e-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat (ASWJ), the front organisation of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) have a strong presence in Gilgit Baltistan in particular….

All the demands included in the charter are all based on the law of the land and hence no one can find any fault with them. There were some demands for a new social contract which to my mind needs better elaboration....

 

The Objectives Resolution passed on 12 March 1949 was seen as a compromise between the secularists, modernist Muslims and the Islamists in the newly founded Pakistan. The document had also faced vociferous criticism from the minorities who feared that it was committing Pakistan to an exclusivist theocratic polity…..

Since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, until the mid-1970s, the Pakistani government was largely secular. But on 26 March 1971, Eastern Pakistan was declared the independent state of Bangladesh, and most of the Pakistani Hindus (who lived in Bangladesh) separated from Pakistan...

 The use of religious and sectarian branding for this purpose is a lethal tactic used by Saudi Arabia and Iran, deepening the Shia-Sunni divide in Muslim societies....

 

Since Balochistan’s overall economy is reliant on government resources, its poverty-stricken population suffered heavily from the total developmental shutdown...

 

As a result, young Pashtuns with political and intellectual ideas become the riders of two boats. In this scenario, they don’t see a bright future in Pakistan either for themselves as individuals or for Pashtuns in general...

Nevertheless, in my view, many socio-political and economic challenges that contribute to sectarianism in the Muslim World are at least in part rooted in failures of Muslims to thinking about Islam and the Islamic intellectual tradition in new ways, ways that have the potential to transcend the historical (religio-doctrinal) divides and associated animosities that have existed between Sunnis and Shi’is since the very inception of Islam....

The share of Sindh in jobs in the federal ministries, corporations and auxiliary entities, gas and oil resources and federally funded development schemes has always been sidestepped or ignored...

 

Like in any civil war, the biggest hurdle to coexistence between Islamists and secularists in the Middle East is getting key players from both camps to recognize the impossibility of victory and the need for unpopular compromises....

As sectarian tensions escalate and we edge closer to another regional conflict, now is the time for leaders to resist calls for revenge and retaliation. They must refuse to feed the dogs of war...

I will visit your grave when I go to Iraq, but I know that you are not only there. Your face is on so many walls, banners, T-shirts, and your spirit is everywhere. Your brothers and sisters, Thanwa’s children, are still fighting for the new Iraq you dreamed of and loved....

 
Shia-Sunni Divide: Practical Steps towards Unity
Shia-Sunni Divide: Practical Steps towards Unity
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam

Down the line the debates about these historical facts and events are being raked even today and on their basis each sect tries to denounce the other as heretic and infidel. These historical facts can’t be corrected now, and there is no reason for Shia or Sunni to declare each other infidels on the basis of certain circumstances or different interpretation of historical facts....

 

Muslims should publish literature pointing out the flaws in their faith and fight their beliefs ideologically in the light of the Quran and Hadith if they think they are on the wrong path. After that, they should leave the matter to God. No one will be accountable for the wrongs of others....

During the corresponding period of 2018, five tribal elders had died in three incidents; and in the remaining period of 2018, there was one more incident resulting in one death....

But it also wants to work with other countries, without regard to religion. This will mean that political Islamic groups, such as the IRGC or Brotherhood, will find themselves to be strange bedfellows against common adversaries...

 

It bears repeating again and again that when certain sections within the Muslim community tried to bring pressure to bear on the founder of this nation on the Ahmadi issue, he put his foot down and refused to turn them out of the Muslim League....

A place of worship for Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan cannot be called a mosque under Pakistani Law, which prohibits Ahmadis from claiming to be Muslim, under Ordinance XX [Anti-Islamic Activities of the Quadiani Group, Lahori Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance (1984)]....

 

Her voice broke. Tears overcame Zeinab Mirza, a political studies lecturer at the American University of Beirut. She was crying for Lebanon’s awakening. “In a way,” she said, “We were in a coma before.”...

Thus, taking pride in one's culture and ethnicity is permissible in Islam to the extent that it does not sacrifice religious unity. Righteous is the criterion of superiority and committing violence and causing bloodbath in the name of cultural identity is not approved by the Quran...

Imran stood at the UNGA podium lamenting Islamophobia in the West, while the Shia Muslims live in ghettos in Pakistan and the Ahmadis are ostracised out of his own government. Shias and Ahmadis have sustained scores of casualties at the hands of Imran Khan’s darling Taliban and other assorted jihadists.....

Instead of boasting too much about the brilliance of one’s own sect (all communities do that), we should focus on action (Amal) as to who is doing the greatest good to others....

A general argument can be made that Pakistan’s power elites have been patronising religious, ethnic, cultural and racial disagreements to further their regime, instead of looking at the diversity of religious, cultural and societal opinion in Pakistan as a sign of inclusiveness and plurality. ...

Civilians have borne the brunt of terrorism in the District, with Shia Hazaras particularly under attack. Over a period of almost 20 years, according to the SATP database, at least 367 Shia Hazaras were killed in Quetta, while another 113 sustained injuries....

 
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