New Age Islam
Sun Jun 13 2021, 06:35 AM

Islam and Sectarianism ( 20 Apr 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

The Ghost of Sectarianism


By Syeda Ammara Fatima

April 15, 2015

Hold your breaths down, make your eyes be closed and get yourself 1400 years back. What do you see? What do you notice? Isn’t there a glory, glare and honour for a nation, which has now lost all these ornaments being distracted from its origin? Yes, you must have observed, and be proud of it. Or you might be getting it as an illusion of your sight, but you are erroneous as it is the golden yore of this nation, which we call “Muslims”. It is the time of its climax, when the other nations of the world used to swear of its unity and oneness. Now have a look at the current plight of the Muslims. Feel the difference? Why is it so? Where has it lost all of its charm and glory? What are the factors responsible for bringing the Ummah at this awful juncture of its existence?

A single word that can answer all the questions asked above, is “sectarianism”. All those societies, where this curse lies, become paralyzed, withdraw from the category of elevation and the difference of good and evil gets diminished there. Unfortunately, this vice has pinioned the whole Islamic world. The issue of sectarianism didn’t just came to the forefront out of the blue, but Muslims have been fighting and killing each other on sectarian basis for a long time.

States like Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan are threatened by sectarianism, as each of these states have a majority of a specific sect and a minority of others. For instance, Pakistan and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are Sunni-majority states while Iran and Iraq are dominated by Shias. And now, the issue of intra-state sectarianism has brought their respective states at war with each other on sectarian basis.

According to a report, hundreds of Muslims are killed on sectarian basis every year. If Muslims had their priorities focused on education and well-being of their respective communities instead of fighting with each other, they could have been the ruling Empire of other nations.

These are the reasons Muslims are considered to be the reason of terrorism in the world. And, no one but Muslims as a whole have been affected due to all these reasons. Not only Muslims but the image of Islam has been negatively portrayed in front the world. The peaceful image of Islam is presented as a religion that promotes extremism.

Islamic states have much more problems to handle, for example, the leading economy of the world is not an Islamic country, nor any of them is technologically advanced. However, there are some Muslim countries who are proving  themselves to best in various fields. But again, it is not a coincident that there has been little or no sectarian-based conflicts in such Muslim states.

These countries include U.A.E, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia and some other. Hence, it can be said that the glory and honour of Muslims can be revived, if the curse of sectarianism is removed from the Muslim World.

However to achieve this daunting task, Muslim leaders will need to have courage and determination to awaken the Muslim Ummah and make them realize how badly this ghost of sectarianism has pinioned them.

Syeda Ammara Fatima is a student of Journalism at Islamic International University.