Killing Shias is not jihad – stop this carnage

Posted by Raza Rumi

This is an old article – When the state kills – authored by Pakistan’s eminent intellectual Khaled Ahmed. It remains relevant for what is happening today – the carnage in Karachi and targetted killing of the Shia minority is a cause for concern for  Pakistanis who want the country to become a plural, tolerant and progressive society for all its citizens irrespective of their faith, caste or creed.

PTH strongly condemns the Karachi incidents and will continue to raise voice against extremism and sectarianism.

Leader of the anti-Shia religious party Sipah Sahaba, Maulana Azam Tariq, has been released after being honourably acquitted of all charges of terrorism. He was picked up after he went and met Maulana Akram Awan in Chakwal earlier in the year after the latter had threatened to overthrow General Musharraf and impose Shariat on Islamabad. Maulana Tariq had thereafter announced that his party will also forcibly impose principles of Sharia in selected cities of the country. While he was in jail facing trial, his party had warned the government of dire consequences. In the interim, there was a spate of shia killings in Karachi, mainly targeting doctors and other prominent personalities. Workers of Sipah Sahaba had started offering arrests to pressure the government into releasing their leader.
Lashkar and Sipah linkage:After being acquitted of charges of terrorism, Maulana Azam Tariq has once again publicly dissociated himself from the terrorist activities of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and called on it to give up violence. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, run by terrorist Riaz Basra, is dedicated to Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the founder of Sipah Sahaba. (Jhangvi’s anti-shia tapes are famous.) When the Lashkar activist who killed the Iranian diplomat Sadiq Ganji in Lahore in 1990 was about to be hanged Maulana Azam Tariq, instead of dissociating himself from the terrorist, actually led a campaign for the remission of his sentence and even offered diyat (blood money) to Iran. Another splinter of Sipah, Jaish-e-Muhammed, also reveres late Maulana Haq Nawaz jhangvi. In fact its leader Masood Azhar first wanted to name his militia Lashkar-e-Muhammad but was advised by his ‘handlers’ to avoid the association with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The sectarian Jaish was given territory near Balakot for guerrilla training for incursions into Kashmir, which makes the state party to the sectarian mess in Pakistan. It is expected that after the release of Maulana Azam Tariq the killings of doctors and prominent citizens of Karachi will taper off. This is not the first time the state has made a deal with him.

That the state is involved in Shia killings in Karachi has been reported in the press in Pakistan. That there is a strong Deobandi-Sipah presence in Karachi with links with MQM Haqiqi, courtesy intelligence agencies, has also been noted. This makes Maulana Azam Tariq the most powerful man from Karachi to Gilgit. Indeed there are cities where his writ runs stronger than that of the state. A French scholar who is writing his biography and lived in his house in Jhang for a time observed that Maulana Azam Tariq’s day normally began by giving orders to the city’s administration. His orders have been equally effective when he was in jail. He is in fact the most powerful man of the Deobandi jehad organised by the state and is definitely more powerful than the chief executive of Pakistan on a given day on the basis of his ability to make things happen.

State officers who kill Shias:The press is careful in reporting the sectarian truth in Karachi but some signs of a desperate kind of courage have come to light after the heart-rending murders of the Shia doctors in the city. Amjad Bashir Siddiqi wrote in The News (5 August 2001): ‘These sectarian organisations, with enormous money in their pockets, spend it without any limits to free terrorists or to bail them out, and more importantly, to ingress into the administration. Recently, money was spent to free a terrorist from the custody of CIA, who, three days later assassinated the chief of Sunni Tehreek, Saleem Qadiri. Lately, they are also trying to wriggle free another activist of their party now on death row and are ready to spend as much money as needed to ensure that Mansur, convicted for the killing of seven members of three families in PECHS back in 1993, gets bail’.

The article goes on to describe how the Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar, whose entry was banned in Sindh because of the wave of sectarian terrorism, was stopped at Karachi airport and was asked to go back. Azhar phoned someone and the ban was immediately lifted to allow him to enter Karachi, after which he had a meeting with home secretary, Sindh. Azhar also later went to Ghotki in violation of the ban and was ignored by the local SDM there who was probably himself anti-Shia. The officer was pulled up, but later still, when Maulana Azhar tried to enter Sukkur and was stopped by the district administration it was pulled up this time for not giving him unhampered passage to anywhere in the city. The article adds: ‘Another serious problem has been the criminalisation of the jehadi elements, some of whom have been involved in sectarian killings. Recently, commissioner Karachi Shafiqur Rehman Khwaja gave Rs 200,000 to the prime suspect of Saleem Qadri’s murder, Arshad Polka, as compensation money for being a victim of terrorism. Polka had died during the attack on the Sunni Tehreek leader.’ The article goes on to link the state machinery with sectarian killers. Officers aligned to sectarian killers do two things: they get the criminals released in case they are caught after the act, and they see to it that caught terrorists are not allowed to be linked to the jehadi militias. The state is in fact the killer of the Shia in Pakistan.

ISI and Shia killings:Monthly Newsline (June 2001) actually wrote that the intelligence agencies were ‘in’ with the sectarian terrorists: ‘The official quoted above has no hesitation in accusing the ISI of orchestrating such (Shia) murders through the militants of sectarian parties, adding that Sipah Sahaba terrorists are trained by the agency. The Sipah Sahaba are supported by the MQM Haqiqi Group. Sources reveal that Sipah Sahaba’s (sic!) Riaz Basra has been spotted in the company of a colonel who has also given him shelter in his house. Similarly, when three members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were picked up by the police, another colonel, who identified himself as their PRO, requested that they be released forthwith’. It should be noted that Riaz Basra has been described by the magazine as a Sipah activist! Karachi has killed 450 people in cases of sectarian violence since General Musharraf took over the government in October 1999. Lately the killing is one-sided because the Sunni-Deobandi combine is simply too strong to be countered by the Shia organisations.

The shia-sunni conflict is as old as Islam itself in the Indian subcontinent, but it was effectively marginalised by a secular British raj which treated it as a law-and-order issue. After 1947, the policy was continued and the worst sectarian riots were defined by the state as no more than public disorder which the executive handled as violation of the CRPC, the legal code of criminal procedure. The clergy involved in the conflict gradually became tired as the citizens mixed and intermarried across the sect boundaries. The breakdown of the secular state under General Zia’s martial law brought the shia-sunni differences to centre-stage.

General Zia versus the Shias:General Zia took over the populist slogan of Nizam-e-Mustafa and imposed ‘shariah’ on Pakistan. It really meant the imposition of the Sunni Hanafi ‘fiqh’ or jurisprudence followed by the majority population from which the shias were excluded. The two early laws under ‘shariah’ that he enforced failed miserably: the first, abolition of ‘riba’, failed because of the inability of the Islamic scholars to reinterpret Islam for modern conditions; the second, ‘zakat’, failed because the shia jurisprudence, called ‘Fiqha-e-Jaafaria’, had a conflicting interpretation of zakat. In 1980, an unprecedented procession of shias, led by Mufti Jaafar Hussain, laid siege to Islamabad and forced General Zia to exempt the shia community from the deduction of zakat. The concept of sunni ‘ushr’ (poor-due on land) is also rejected by shia jurisprudence.

It appears that, when the anti-shia movement started in Jhang in the 1980s, General Zia not only ignored it but saw it as his balancing act against the rebellious shia community. This was worsened by Imam Khomeini’s criticism of General Zia. The rise of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi in the stronghold of big shia landlords in Punjab changed the sectarian scene in Pakistan. There is evidence that General Zia was warned of Jhangvi’s anti-shia and anti-Iran movement, but he ignored the warning and allowed it to blossom into a full-fledged religious party called Anjuman-e-Sipah-e-Sahaba of Pakistan (ASSP). In small towns, the old shia-sunni debate restarted with the fury that had become dampened in the past. The tracts which carried this debate were scurrilous in the extreme and helped the clerics to whip up passions. Meanwhile, in 1986, General Zia allowed a ‘purge’ of Turi shias in the divided city of Parachinar (capital of Kurram Agency on the border with Afghanistan) at the hands of the sunni Afghan mujahideen in conjunction with the local sunni population.

Pakistan versus the Turis of Parachinar:Parachinar was the launching-pad of the Mujahideen attacks into Afghanistan and the Turis were not cooperative. Tehrike-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqha-e-Jaafaria had come into being during the dispute over zakat in 1980. When the Parachinar massacre occurred, it was led by a Turi leader, Allama Arif-ul-Hussaini. Allama Hussaini was murdered in Peshawar in August 1988, for which the Turis held General Zia responsible. That was also the year of General Zia’s death (within a fortnight of Hussaini’s murder) in an air-crash in Bahawalpur, and for a time there was rumour of shia involvement in his assassination although no solid evidence supporting this speculation was ever uncovered. The NWFP governor General Fazle Haq, whom the Turis accused of complicity in the murder of Allama Hussaini, was ambushed and killed in 1991. (Mehram Ali, the shia terrorist who blew up the Sipah leader Maulana Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi at the sessions court in Lahore, was trained in Parachinar).

In 1989, the Afghan mujahideen government-in-exile came into being in Peshawar after the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan. At the behest of Saudi Arabia, the exiled shia mujahideen of Iran were not included in this government. The Saudis, according to author Barnett R.Rubin in The Search for Peace in Afghanistan (page 103) paid over 23 million dollars a week during the 519-member session of the Mujahideen ‘shura’ as bribe for it. In 1990, Maulana Jhangvi was murdered at the climax of his anti-Iran and anti-shia campaign of extreme insult and denigration. The same year, as if in retaliation, an activist of Sipah-e-Sahaba shot the Iranian consul Sadiq Ganji dead in Lahore. The tit-for-tat killings were thus started. Maulana Isar-ul-Qasimi, chief of the Sipah, was gunned down in 1991.

Since then, the state of Pakistan has had to answer for the killing of more Iranians in Pakistan. Another consular officer was gunned down in Multan and a number of Iranian air force trainees were ambushed in Rawalpindi on inside information received by the killers, thus making the army not uninvolved in the sectarian mayhem. Most commentators in Pakistan are scared of telling the truth. Most inter-sectarian dialogue is fake since its great facade of speech-making is nothing but divine-sounding hogwash. Almost all Muslim clerics lie when it comes to sectarian deaths

Source: The Friday Times, Aug 31-Sep 06, 2001 | Vol. XIII, No. 27 issue


Filed under Pakistan

63 responses to “Killing Shias is not jihad – stop this carnage

  1. mazhur

    There are religious extremists in both the Sunni and Shia sects. Therefore to blame one for the other is not fair. There have been many instances of sunnis being killed by the other sects or by unknown killers purported to be Shias incognito.

    The strife for power between the two sects is historically backed by all-time killings and butchery of one another in the Islamic History. I have no basis to accept that the persistent hatred on the one for the other would ever end as both of them declare themselves to be on the right ‘path’ which is impossible. Unlike the Sunni majority in Pakistan the 6 or 7 per cent Shiites are highly organized and united. This ‘quality’ of theirs sometimes leads some of their extremist blocks to wage war against the Sunnis and vice versa. Then there is international politics as well which is working behind both the sects….Iran and Saudia…to keep up the ‘trouble’ for vested interest.

    As long as the Constitution of Pakistan remains to b e an Islamic Republic of Pakistan having the status of the Sunni state any effort by any other sect to snatch the control of the country would be futile. Until them all sects must respect the Constitution of the place they live in and as far as killing is concerned, its heinous in any or all event.

  2. Mustafa Shaban

    I condemn all sectarian violence, all who practice it and aid it are against Islam!

    @mazhur: Shia Sunni conflict has occured through history on certain occasions but overall Sunnii and Shia coexist peacefully in many places and did so in some places for a long time. It is extremists on both sides who kill innocents on both sides. Otherwise the majority public want to live in peace. It is also very much possible for Shias and Sunnis to coexist peacefully as has happened throughout most of our 1400 year history.

    Also there are many rumors about Iran backing Shia militants but I do not believe them. I think the accusations made against Iran by diffferent people is just propoganda.

  3. Rashid Saleem

    At one hand when our army is fighting the militants in the NWFP, this is the battle which needs to be fought by the Pakistani nation within them. Every human has a basic freedom of choice which entitles him which religion he would want to follow and to which intensity he would want to follow it. We cannot deny this basic human right to anyone. We must promote a culture of mutual understanding among ourselves.

  4. Ammar

    The sectarian elements have now embedded with the Pakistani Taliban so create a greater havoc, the arrest of Taliban commander Mullah Baradar from Karachi is an significant event .This should be an eye-opener for those who were so eager to blame a “hidden hand” behind terror attacks in Karachi.

    The intelligence apparatus needs to apprehend the extremists who are on a run in the aftermath of successful campaign in South Waziristan by the Pak Army so that such miscreants do not find any refuge in our cities.

  5. Bin Ismail


    The only hidden hand behind turmoils, in relation to Pakistan, has been the “Maulvi”. The “Maulvi” as a species, opposed Quaid-e-Azam bitterly, dubbing him Kafir-e-Azam and the country he was striving to create Paleedistan. Pakistan came into being contrary to the “holy will” of the “Maulvi” . It would be naive, rather juvenile, rather idiotic to imagine that the resilient Maulvi would have given up his “holy mission” to undo Pakistan.

  6. Nusrat Pasha

    Jihad is not killing in the first place. “Jihad” means striving for a righteous cause, and in most cases Jihad is meant to be directed against one’s own ego, for the purpose of self-cleansing. The Jihad of Combat is only one of the many forms of Jihad and is permitted only for defensive purposes.

    The Holy Quran aims at inculcating an attitude of tolerance, accommodation and acceptance with complete and absolute religious freedom for all. The Quran is in its very mood and attitude a ”Peace Mongering” scripture. The following Quranic references deserve some unbiased attention :

    1: ” There is NO coercion in matters of religion. ” (2:256 )
    2: ” Whoever chooses to believe LET him believe and whoever chooses to disbelieve LET him disbelieve ” (18:29)
    3: ” Permission to fight is given ONLY to those against whom war is waged, because they have been wronged ” (32:39).
    4: ” Your religion is for you and my religion is for me ” (109:6)

  7. Midfield Dynamo

    Who killed Zia? Iranians/Shias!
    “Come ….Come you come too” Zia said to me late night in the dark standing outside an MI8 chopper, shook my hand and asked “Tell me aren’t you going somewhere” insinuating that all the Ahmedi’s had migrated and you better follow while you can.
    Of course he knew the Ahmedi’s were not terrorists, but he used them as the willing horse suitable for the whip. A good diplomat in his heyday, he could have bridged the gap between Shia and Sunni, but unfortunately absolute power had gone to his head, the victory in Afghanistan, the impending victory in Khalistan were enough to give him the confidence of organizing the sectarian problem in Pakistan once and for all.
    Like Saudi Arabia, everyone in Pakistan was to dwell under a single faith.
    Why not the Ismaili’s, why not persecute them and declare them non-muslims, kill the leader without feeling or remorse. They suited his purpose, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the checkbook was with an Ismaili.
    Such selective cleansing is liable to have repercussions, and Pakistan’s sectarian mosaic is so complex, the tolerance level so low that it will be a miracle if we are able to co-exist.

  8. Why did Pakistani media boycott Brigadier Hussain Abbas’ funeral?

    Last week Brigadier Hussain Abbas was killed by the Taliban in the Waziristan area. The newspapers wrote as usual about the “martyrdom” of an army officer at the hands of the “militants” and not the Taliban. But the electronic media was even more curt. The news anchors vaguely spoke about the martyrdom of Brigadier Hussain Abbas, which was very unusual given that death of a high-level officer is discussed ad nauseum in the media as a part of the ideological-nationalist myth about the role of the Army in Pakistan’s “nation building”.

    Last Saturday Brigadier Hussain Abbas’ dead body was brought to his native village near Gujranwala for burial. The media as usual descended on the area interviewing people and relatives of the brigadier. Some journalists even forced his little kids to speak about their father and made them cry by asking sensitive qurestions (“Will you miss your father?”) which was an extremely heartless thing to do. But then this is common in Pakistan.

    What was interesting to know that not a single channel showed the actual burial and/or the funeral prayer of the brigadier, which was unprecedented because the media always shows these two events only to prove the Islamic side of martyrdom. But Brigadier Hussain Abbas was not given this honor. And the reason is not hard to find: He was a Shia Muslim.

    Since the Talibanic journalists, backed by Saudi and Al-Qaeda money and facilitated by the ISI, took over Pakistan post 9/11 (though they were in the field before 9/11, but not in command), the Shia suffering in Pakistan has been ignored. Everyone knows that the Taliban consider Shias kafir/inidel and routinely carry out acts of Shia carnage. But the media has never condemned the Taliban. This carnage is backed by the Deobandi-Wahabi fatwas that those who kill the Shias will go to paradise straightaway. Corrupted by petrodollars of the Wahabi Saudis and the drug money of the Al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Urdu media has turned complicit in the Shia persecution. Although the Saudi royal family and the Al-Qaeda are enemies, they are one when it comes to the hatred of the Shias. Both are Wahabi.

    The Urdu media’s boycott of the funeral of Brigadier Hussain Abbas was not an isolated incident. In 2008-9 the Taliban captured hundreds of Pakistan army soldiers in Swat. They separated Shia soldiers from Sunni soldiers. They gave every Sunni soldiers one thousand rupees each and asked them to go home. But they lined up every Shia soldier and slaughtered him. This is why, even today the place where the beheadings of the Shias were carried out is knows as “Khooni Chawk” or Bloody Square. At that time the media completely blacked out the beheadings. It was only a few Sunni soldiers who narrated this to people and it became known, but later they were asked to shut up by their superiors.

    In complicity with Saudi Wahabis and the Al Qaeda-Taliban axis of Islamofascism, the Urdu media does not want the people of Pakistan, the majority of whom want to live in peace, that the Shias have anything “Islamic” in them. The Shias are portrayed as a deviant sect of Islam which should be wiped out of existence. (This is what has been happening in Saudi Arabia for decades.) You will never read in any newspaper or find out on a TV channel that the creator of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia Muslim.

  9. Mazhur, You said that there are 6 or 7 per cent Shiites in Pakistan. Can you please cite your source? Thank you.

  10. I think that 7 percent is just too low compared to what I have read and/or heard. I think the issue here is about state policy and the way our security and law enforcement agencies are not always neutral which they ought to be.

  11. way more then 7 percent I am sure. Mullah Baradar just caught from Karachi. OMG! That’s a shock. So first people were saying foreign hands are involved in these attacks in Khi but now a major leader of Taliban is caught from here. Taliban need to be punished. They trying to initiate the shia suni thing again!!

  12. Ali Abbas

    @ 6-7% of Pakistan’s population are shias. This reminds me of Hamid Gul (of ISI Taliban romance fame) when he quoted the shia hazaras of Afghanistan as being 2% of the population (wheras they are closer to 15%). I suppose lowering the number makes the killing of shias by the State easier to digest.

  13. @Raza and Ali Abbas, I agree.

    Another point worth noting is the double standards of the ‘violence’ apologists with regards to minority rights in Pakistan.

    The same people who loudly bemoan the sufferings of Muslims in India, Palestinians in Israel, and Muslim immigrants in Europe find it extremely hard to shed a single tear for minorities in Pakistan.

    In some ways, the attitudes and behaviours of such apologists are no different from the BJP in India and the BNP in the UK.

  14. Midfield Dynamo

    Having read some of the comments it seems that the general consensus is that the perpetrators of sectarian violence must be weeded out of the Pakistani society. The tendency of mullahs or wannabe mullahs to incite religious fervor resulting in extremist action of violence, or for that matter in the case of Ahmedis unfair and arbitrary constitutional decrees must cease. It is not for the army or the ISI but the legislature to correct this wrong doing. All sects must have an equal right to practice their beliefs and should not be embarrassed, it is only when all come out in the open that such a vehement polarity will subside and we could go back to calling each other brother Muslims.

  15. Nusrat Pasha

    We simply have to go back to the words of Jinnah – “Religion must NOT be allowed to come into politics….Religion is merely a matter between man and God .” By adding the undeserved and undue prefix of ‘Islamic’ before ‘Republic of Pakistan’ and by adopting a State Religion, we have done a disservice to Islam, to Pakistan and to Quaid-e Azam.

  16. rex minor

    What is said in the article is very complex and not new. The citizens of Pakistan have been down graded as muslims after the partition in 1947. In name say they still regard themselves as muslims.
    Successive leaders, political as well as military have dispassionately harmed the fabric of the Society. The first order of the day was to protect the minority, hence, the white colour in the flag. The responsibility of performing this task rested with the State i.e, the elected Govt. and to some extent with the people to show tolerence and support.
    In practice, however, year after year things worsened and every section of the society has been trying to dominate the weaker in the chain, the migrants against the locals, Punjabis against the Pashtoons, Bengalis, Sindhis and Baluchis. Later on the Sunnis against the shias, Ahmedis and others. It does not help if one blames the individual actors in this shameful episode, neither the clergy nor the foreigners or more recently the Talibans. The responsibility rests with the Govt. and the State legislators and the will of the people should be reflected in laws of the country.
    Perhaps the Society as a whole needs to start from the basics;
    Though shall not kill, is the commandment of God and accepted by the followers of the Ibrahim religion. Now tell me what moral rights any one can put forward to kill another human and claim Jihad and martyrdom for the killer?
    Though shall not use God’s name in vain!!!

  17. Mustafa Shaban

    Shias account for 10% of Pakistan population. Heard that from reliable source.

  18. dude40000

    I totally agree with the author. Killing shias is not done dude. Killing evil Hindooos on the other hand is totally halaaaal onleee. Hindooun ki zehaniyat hi aisi hai.

    That’s the reason the title of this article is NOT “Killing any innocent civilian is NOT Jihad”.

    Hindoos are evil. Zaid hamid Paindaabad.

  19. Milind Kher

    Whoever has tried to wipe out Shias has ended up defeated and destroyed.

    Saddam tried it with Iraqi Shias and was defeated and killed himself.

    The Taliban massacred the Hazaras and then suffered a crushing defeat themselves. And today, American missiles hound them from pillar to post.

    Militants in Kashmir declared Shias as infidels. They have been decimated by Indian security forces.

    The Israelis suffered defeat at the hands of the Hezbollah.

    Today, in Pakistan, the anti Shia Taliban and Al Qaeda are fighting a battle for survival.

    And it is not the Sunnis who are anti Shia. Rather, it is a rabid and puritanical sect which is carrying out the anti Shia killings. And it is this same sect which carries out acts of terrorism throughout the world and brings a bad name to Islam.

    Shias, Sunnis and all other Muslims need to unite against this enemy.

  20. Nusrat Pasha

    The preceding comment by Dude40000 truly makes us realize that the title of this article is indeed too myopic. It should have more appropriately been “Killing Humans is not Jihad”.

    As far as the message of Islam is concerned, it is absolutely universal. The Quran introduces God to us as Rabb ul aalameen, meaning Lord of all the worlds. The Quran introduces the Holy Prophet to us as Rahmatun lil aalameen, meaning Mercy for all worlds. Allah and His messenger both are for the “aalameen” which could be translated as ‘all worlds’ as well as ‘all nations’. In either case the appeal of the Quran is a universal and an all-inclusive one.

    It is not the job, rather not even within the scope of any mortal to pass a judgement on the spiritual status of any human. This is God’s business. He alone is the Lord of the day of Judgement. Man’s judgement and his ability to judge is strictly confined to the material world.

    The final and eternal verdict of the Quran is as follows :
    1: ” There is NO coercion in matters of religion. ” (2:256 )
    2: ” Whoever chooses to believe LET him believe and whoever chooses to disbelieve LET him disbelieve ” (18:29)

  21. rex minor

    @Nusrat Pasha
    well said!
    @Milland Kher says
    “Shias, Sunnis and all other muslims need to unite against this enemy”.

    This enemy is no other than the “Evil”. That is why millions muslims go to Haj each year and symbolically throw stones at the evil. They need to turn it in reality and bring in legislations in their country to reflect it. Your one sided theory of allocating blame to specific people or section of the communities is no different than the George W and Tony blairs of the world.
    Are you really supporting the Indian military suppression of Kashmiris, and condoning the act of the US, Nato and Pakistan military killing of old, women and children in the Pashtoon territory? I did not expect this from an intellect of your calibre? Perhaps you would care to visit the civilian NGO hospital on the new battle front in Afghanistan where victims of the military bombing are being treated. And tell us if you justify the Taliban resistence or the US bombing? Incidently the Surgeon who despite danger to his life, is no other than a humanist volunteer who happens to have the hindu religion.
    My plea would be to let us support civilisation. Let us not justify killing of a human being, those who kill or going to get killed. This has been the the universal law of nature throughout history!

  22. rex minor

    Sorry, those who kill are going to get killed! This has been the universal law of nature. You do not need a qutation from Shakespear.

  23. Milind Kher

    @Rex Minor,

    If defending the rights of ther Shias is one sided in your scheme of thinking, I am proud to be one sided. The sacrifice of Imam Hussain (a.s.) will never be in vain.

  24. Mustafa Shaban

    @Nusrat, Rexminor: Totally agreed with your points.

    @Milind: We care about all human beings, not just one sect or religion. Imam Hussein (A.S) does not belong to shias or muslims, he belongs to humanity. I dont think we should try to keep our leaders for ourselves only, everybody can learn from him.

    Replacing one evil with another is not the right thing to do especially when many of innocents get kiled in the process

  25. Milind Kher

    @Mustafa Shaban,

    I agree with you completely. Imam Hussain (a.s.) is a symbol of strength for all the mazloom that belong to Bani Adam.

    However, what I was wanting to assert is the fact that Shias need to be respected and protected as valid members of the Ummah just like everybody else.

    Also, any forces trying to drive a wedge between the Shias and Sunnis need to be defeated.

  26. rex minor

    @ Milland Kher
    I agree with your explanation wholeheartedly! Rabids have a shorterlife, whereas, evil will be around until the world ends.

  27. dude40000

    Nusrat Pasha,

    Aha….. isn’t it sad that you had to quote from a book to prove to yourself and other Pakistanis on this website that killing of any human being is indeed wrong.

    Wouldn’t it have been better if one says “killing any human being for Jihad is bad. Period” without quoting any book. Really interesting to see how people across the border think.

  28. B. Civilian


    how do u know that pasha, kher or minor is from ‘across the border’?

  29. Nusrat Pasha

    dude 40000,

    If a Christian quotes from the Bible or a Hindu from the Gita, it does not at all suggest that the point being made is not valid without that quotation. It simply means that the scripture in question advocates a certain point, and that’s all.

    I assure you that I am not proving anything to myself. The simple point I’m making is that the Quran does not permit coercion in matters of faith and stands for complete religious freedom for all humans, this side or that side or any side of the border.

  30. dude40000

    Nusrat Pasha,

    And all I am saying is even if Quran or Bible said that “killing human beings for purposes of jihad or holy war is correct”, it would still be a horrible thing to do….think about it.

    It is very important to condemn killing of any human being irrespective of whether its written in any religious book (let me make it very clear I did not mention Quraan, it could as well have been bible or any other religion’s holy book). Because if you don’t, then you get into the mess of different interpretations by different people on what a book means or says.

    And it was sad to see that comment from you, because your first involuntary reaction was to quote a book and not condemn something because you are a human being first and then a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu.

  31. dude40000

    B. Civilian,

    Actually, i honestly don’t know which country they are from. I take that part of the comment back…apologies.

  32. Nusrat Pasha


    1: It would not be rational to base an argument on the assumption “even if Quran or Bible said…..”, because there are no [even if]s in relation to the texts of holy scriptures.

    2: If I have quoted the Quran, while condemning terrorism, it is not because terrorism could not have been condemned without quoting the Quran – it is because the true message of the Quran needs to be manifested.

    3: The Quran’s message needs to be clearly understood both by Muslims who attribute the wrong messages to it, and non-Muslims who subject the Quran to false accusations.

    4: “the mess of different interpretations by different people” emerges as a real mess only when religion gets entangled with the business of the state, otherwise at a social level difference of opinion among humans is perfectly normal and healthy.

  33. Bin Ismail

    I feel compelled to endorse the comment by Nusrat Pasha 100%. The worst part of the tragedy is that the most violent interpretations of Islamic teachings are done by those who are generally known as ulema. No wonder, throughout the history of Muslims, the clergy invariably opposed the sufis and saints. While the Sufi preached love from the same Quran, the Mulla insisted on hate. The Sufi held back from authority and political power and the Mulla remained focused on politics.

  34. Mustafa Shaban

    @Milind, you are rite on what you say. I would also like to add to that, that a shias life is the same value as a life of a sunni or any other sect and is also as valuable as any other human beings life. Nobody’s security is more important than the other. All human beings are equal and each protection is of equal importance.

  35. Nusrat Pasha

    Bin Ismail,

    Thank you for endorsing my views. In relation to your obsrvations may I respectfully add:

    1: In the history of Muslims, the first case of Politicised Clergy was during the reign of Yazeed, whose Council of Ulema unanimously declared Hazrat Imam Husain a kafir (disbeliever), a murtadd (apostate) and waajibul qatl (worthy of being put to death). The events of Karbala were only a logical consequence of this unanimity of political ulema. The dreadful lesson to be drawn from this fact is that a politicised clergy will inevitably give birth to state-backed atrocities and human tragedies.
    2: While ulema, in general, remained focused on acquiring political power and bringing reform by force, the Sufis remained more focused on spiritual cleansing, leading naturally to reform. Due to this inherent difference between the attitudes of the two, there also began to emerge two diverse modes of interpretation of the Quran. Interpretations made by the ulema were generally stern because that suited their authoritarian requirements. The interpretations done by the saints and sufis, were on the other hand benevolent and love-inspiring because that reflected the state of their own purified souls.
    3: Earlier, there was a comment by rexminor that “Evil” is the common enemy. Actually Evil is only a manifestation of human negativity. Negativity is an attribute of the human mind and soul. Therefore, Evil is not an external force, it is within us. Its existence has to recognized and neutralized. Hatred is the most common emotional manifestation of human negitivity. The only way to counter this force is by replacing hatred with love – love for all. And this precisely is what the Quran teaches.

  36. rex minor

    Let me add Immanuel Kant’s, the 18th century German metaphysic philosopher,) contribution on morality.

    ” Morality requires the Belief in the existence of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality”.

    The use of straight logic and simple common sense does not provide any firm basis for morals. The quotation from scriptures confirm the moral standards prescribed for the humans.

  37. B. Civilian

    @rex minor

    you’ve taken it for granted that we need ‘morals’ and gone straight to stating that without god/religion there can be no morals. depending on what you mean by ‘morals’, one might ignore for now the part that you seem to have taken for granted. but what are your reasons for stating that morals must have a subjective and not just objective basis?

  38. Nusrat Pasha

    @rex minor

    Well said. Although we agree on quoting from Holy Scriptures for the confirmation and validation of moral standards, yet we must keep ourselves conscious of the risks of having a State Religion. The blessings of faith and religion are best reaped at the levels of the individual and society. But at the level of statecraft, religion tends to get conveniently exploited and abused by politicians and ulema alike.

  39. Mustafa Shaban

    @Nusrat Pasha: I agree with what you are saying, at the saame time you should look more closely at the events of Karbala. Imam Hussein (A.S) was clearly disappointed at the social and political laziness of the people. A tyrant sits and nobody is standing up to him. The Prophet Muhammed (SAWW) also said that those who are not interested in the affairs of the Ummah are not of us. The point is, whatever system you have, religious or secular if the people do not seek to educate themselves in the matters of politics, religion and society and/or do not attempt to act as a pressure group on government and act only as spectators then no system can succeed. To the extent that people should be willing to give thier lives to fight for good governance and just system. A wise US president said that a nation is made with the blood of tyrants and martyrs. Standing up to secular and religious elites is a must. Otherwise they will continue to destroy the lives of people.

  40. Hayyer

    Kant wrote before the theory of evolution was propounded. It is a common fallacy that morals are founded upon notions of God and an afterlife.

  41. rex minor

    I am not a great admirer of the theory of evalution. For me the intelligent design of the human is of more importance.

    Kant’s most original contribution in philosophy is his “Copernican Revolution”, tthat as he puts it , it is the representation that makes the object possible rather than the object that makes the representation possible. This introduced the human mind as an active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception.I quoted Kant because he thought that he was vindicating both a scientific realism, where science really knows the world, and a moral realism, where there is objective moral obligation, for both of which a connection to external or objective existance is essential. Apart from this there are also terribly important features of things-in-themselves that we do have some notion about and that are of fundamental importance to to human life, not just morality but the three reasons as he called it, namely God, freedom and immortality.

    My personal opinion is that today the mankind has developed so far that the religion scriptures can be put aside unless one reaches at the cross point and the human soul is in need for spirtual enlightment.
    We all know that the powerful nations of the 20th century, made up of christians jews and muslims, have more or less incorporated their religion “musts” in their legislations. The reason for bringing in secularism was simply to remove the biased influence of the powerful Christian Church.
    @Hayyer, Bcivilian
    I am sorry, I am a believer in God and my religion guides me on moral codes, and I have no problems with non believers as long as we agree on the UN charter for human rights.
    Have a nice day.

  42. B. Civilian

    @rex minor

    since you have clarified that there is no claim to objectivity, i’ve no need to probe for reason.

    btw, how did people manage to conduct civilised debate before there was the UN Charter for HRs? 🙂

  43. rex minor

    They did not! People struggled through as they are currently doing in Africa! Even the religion is not able to eliminate ignorance!

  44. B. Civilian

    rex minor, any particular reason for singling out africa?

  45. rex minor

    @B civilian
    By simply watching the current events in Africa!

  46. Alethia

    The news that 2 Sikhs were beheaded by terrorists in NWFP have brought me to the depths of sadness. I am in a state of mourning for them.

    As a friend to both India and Pakistan, I am requesting especially Pakistanis to speak out to protest the actions of these extremists and let the world know that 99.999999% of Pakistanis love their Sikh compatriots and are mourning for their Sikh brethren…

  47. Hayyer

    Rex Minor:
    I am deeply impressed with your reading.
    Kant was talking of what is nowadays called a priori knowledge. The modern argument, at least some decades ago used to be about mathematics as the ultimate proof of a priori existence of facts that are not sense perceived.
    However a priori notions are now accounted for by modern evolution theory. Intelligent Design or ID has been shown up for what it is-Pious Hope. You should read Richard Dawkins. His latest book ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ is worth the effort.

  48. B. Civilian

    at least some decades ago used to be about mathematics as the ultimate proof of a priori existence of facts that are not sense perceived.
    However a priori notions are now accounted for by modern evolution theory.

    isn’t uncovering new aspects and effects of evolution just another confirmation that mathematics has the capability of a priori ‘knowledge’ but (or if) not understanding?

    isn’t there as much of a (reasonably fundamental) link between mathematics and evolution as there is between mathematics and all things physical and most things not physical (yet)?

    the idea that the universe is all about patterns and their combinations and re-combinations and all possible – probably an infinite number – permutations thereof, is what gives mathematics the potential to ‘pre-discover’. often the ‘pre-discovery’ can be seen as a prediction, ie a priori knowledge, only in hindsight.

    for there to be a pattern, there must exist some level of symmetry. so ‘predictability’ is built-in. (pure)mathematics is about finding new, and almost always ever complex, symmetries. playing with symmetries is a peculiarly demanding, time consuming, addictive, non-team ‘sport’ (..until non-matematicians find a physical use for it… not always rarely, centuries later, and then later another use, and later still yet another, sometimes).

    now those with even a little training in mathematics and/or philosophy can put the above in a simple, tidy sentence. thanks 😉

  49. Bin Ismail

    @rex minor, Hayyer, B. Civilian,

    With all due respects to all philosophers and thinkers, we need to philosophize and think on how to promote true religious tolerence and mutual religious respect.

  50. rex minor

    Bin Ismail,
    Well said, it is very complex. The responsibility rests with the Govt. for security and with the respective communities for a dialogue on tolerance and common values.

  51. rex minor

    I shall read the Dawkin’s latest book as you suggested! thank you for the tip though I do not normally read books which debase any religion.
    I hope that the great bioligist studying animals most of his life, on the footsteps of Darwin, is not doing that. He was brought up as a normal catholic/anglican christian and it is said that at nine years of age he started doubting the existence of God. I feel sorry for him, the science of biology is an unfinished subject and most probably in my view would eventualy bring science and religion much closer than already is.
    I shall also try to find out about the type of cromosols which he inherited. It is becoming more and more necessary, to learn about the genetic mix of people in order to understand their characterestics, and their ability to understand natural and super naturals and not simply their ethnic background.
    ” To cure modern illnesses this is becoming extremely important”.
    Some of his assumptions about the creation of a human being and the universe in my view tend to confuse today’s scientist. Eg. how much was taken by the creator to create the universe and the human. Also the science has not announced its last verdict on this theory anyway.
    I recognise that the scientists need to set aside presupposed assumptions from the religion, during their research work, but to take the findings of the incomplete research as an evidence to denounce one’s ancestors religion is a blasphemy.

    This is exactly what the Jews put forward their queries to Moses and when they finally had no doubt about the existence of the creator, they asked Moses what does God wants of them?

    My balanced views for favouring great thinkers like Kant and many others in my view is the cautious approach about the creator. Religion for me is an enlightning and I started experiencing it at the age of five, yes Five and it has not taken me away from science and knowledge.
    If others have been enlightened by studying science without any faith, then I applaud those individuals?

  52. rex minor

    it is a disgusting and shameful criminal act. I am not from the asian community either, but let this be said that such an act may not be the work of locals but foreigners who are now more in number than the locals. A visit to the remote corners of the NWFP would confirm to you the presence of sikhs for generations in their territory. In case they were foreigners, the responsibility is with the local intelligence who usually follow people on foot if necessary.

  53. Pingback: Killing Shias is not jihad « Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog

  54. rex minor

    It is good to note that the “axis of Shia and Sunni muslim States” is in the offing. Is Pakistan going to stay on the side lines or join in with Iran, Syria and Turkey?

  55. Amaar Ahmad

    I think what needs to be advocated in Pakistan and in the wider Muslim world is simply the message about the sanctity of life, liberty and private property both with religious and secular arguments.

    I don’t see a reason why the Quranic message of ‘for you, your religion and for me my religion’ cannot be propagated in both a secular and religious manner. The term ‘religion’ there is simply one’s behavior and outlook on life.

    Unfortunately, the loss of this message has reached endemic proportions in Muslim countries. Corruption, violence and abuse of moral values has reached a level which would put even atheists to shame (just compare Transparency International’s report and compare Scandinavian countries vis-a-vis Pakistan or Nigeria).

    But therein also lies a hope – as a Muslim for me at least. If people who do not have any faith in afterlife and God can create a relatively honest society can surely people who do believe in accountability to a higher power do have a better chance in social reformation.

  56. Who say shia’s killing is not Jihad FiSabillilah He is Mushrikk

    I say Shia is A Kafir/Mushrik/Dajjal/Yazeed/Munafiq/Kafir/Kuttah

  57. sharam aane chahye tum logo ko jo shia ko mar rahi ho are yah tu woh kom hai jise k wajhe se tum ko janat mai jaga mile ge tum logo ke yah sab harkat se aaj pure dunya mai tabai hai. talban rasul ko aur un ke family ko taslem karu nahi tu jahannum mai sad jao ge

  58. Rationalist

    “………though I do not normally read books which debase any religion……..”

    rex minor, why not? Doesn’t your statement imply that you have biased your mind that religion is beyond critical scrutiny and subject to intellectual cross-examination? Religion and the concept of God are man-made. So, aren’t you allowing your intellect to be boxed in by “a prori” man-made concepts?

    Why do we need religion, that too a man-made concept, to tell us what is right and wrong? Why do we need a book to tell us what is reasonable, logical and human?

  59. Rationalist

    rex minor, one more comment:

    “Religion for me is an enlightening and I started experiencing it at the age of five, yes Five and it has not taken me away from science and knowledge.”

    Aren’t you mistaking spirituality and human consciousness for religion?

    “If others have been enlightened by studying science without any faith, then I applaud those individuals?”

    There are indeed scores of people throughout history who have become “enlightened”, that is spiritually aware of human consciousness and our place in this vast universe.

  60. @Rationalist

    You are addressing one who has gone on to far higher and greater things. You are unlikely to get anything other than an echo if you address this personage.

  61. jenno Farooq

    Whether Shiites are 6% or 36%.This should not be the reason for digesting their Killings.My Neighbours Are shias last 10years i have counted 12 members of their family aged b/w 28-58, mostly doctors being killed.I am fed up of my friend next door complaining as if all sunnis are involved. But if they are just 6% , than 94% sunnis must not become beasts.

  62. Humanity

    @jenno Farooq “.. My Neighbours Are shias last 10years i have counted 12 members of their family aged b/w 28-58, mostly doctors being killed.I am fed up of my friend next door complaining as if all sunnis are involved. But if they are just 6% , than 94% sunnis must not become beasts.”

    I am so sorry that your neighbors are a nagging nuisance! So what if on average 1 family member is killed each year by bigots. Why don’t they just should suck it up? Why make a mountain of a molehill? Right?

    NO it is not right, Mr. Farooq. The shia neighbors rightfully mourn and complain because they want the 94% sunnis to SHOW some humanity. The indifference of the 94% sunnies implies they silently collude with the bigots. If they really are not beasts, why don’t the 94% sunnis shutter their businesses when Shia, Ahmadi, Christains, Hindus are gunned down, burned alive, or dug out from their graves? Just remember just one act of bigotry that goes unchecked is enough to decimate an entire community. That is how the conscience starts to rot and human becomes a beast.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

    You better get out of your comfort zone and do some thing about your guilty conscience for your own sake. Do something about the mourns and groans of your neighbor, before the beasts come for you!

  63. fightingchance71

    In one of the comments I read here, the writer was expressing his rationale of the Shahdat of Imam Hussain A.S., this is not the forum to claim such beliefs because it is controversial, others might feel differently about it, I could talk about the Aga Khan lineage to Imam Hussain A.S. and you may have a difference of opinion, I can talk about the piety of Bahauddin and you may have a difference of opinion, I could talk about Ahmedi beliefs and you may have a difference of opinion with it, I can talk of the tenets of the wahabi faith and you may have a difference of opinion on it.

    It is best to avoid controversy and preaching on a wide open forum, you can discuss it in private when your audience is a confirmed believer of your concept.

    It is such kind of loose talk which creates friction and leads acrimony often resulting in bloodshed. If you are not mature enough to understand the sensibilities of people it is better not to comment, otherwise you could create trouble for yourself or some innocent person from your community.