Identity, Equality, Unity
We are publishing the following email by Mr. Abdul Nishapuri (sent to the WSF Google Group) which offers useful suggestions for better advocacy for human rights of Shia Muslims in Pakistan and also internationally.
For detailed information about the World Shia Forum (WSF), you may wish to read these two posts:
5 July 2012
The most targeted faith group in Pakistan in terms of numerics is the Shia Muslims whose ethnic diversity is similar to the rest of the population of which they comprise between 15-20% of the total. The systematic targeting and massacres of Shias in Pakistan have not received proper attention. Pakistan’s mainstream media and human rights groups have either ignored this issue or not given it the attention it deserves. When they have covered this, they have deliberately misrepresented this issue in ethnic or Sunni vs Shia sectarian terms and created various red herrings and false discourses to shield criticism from the real reason behind Shia Genocide in Pakistan. This reason is the State patronage of extremist Takfiri Deobandi-Salafi militias for strategic depth in neighbouring countries. In order to protect the interests of the military establishment that dominates the State, both media and human rights groups have misreported the issue of Shia Genocide.
The World Shia Forum (WSF) is an opportunity for us to have a united front, strategy and distribution of duties in order to raise voice against the persecution and genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan and also internationally.
Here are a few Shia or other pro-human rights Tweeples (in alphabetical order) who highlight Shia genocide in Pakistan. You may wish to follow each one of them and support (Retweet) each other’s campaign and tweets for effective advocacy.
@AbdulNishapuri @Afrin_Abbas @ahadhussain @ahsenshah62 @AiliaZehra @alexpressed @AliAbbasTaj @AliAMuntaziri @anserabbas @AnsarKhakwani @AnwarChangezi2 @asifuet @Chipmaze @coffee_n_cream @Darveshh @DukhtareHazara @haideraliturab @HaiderKarrar @Hassnain1 @HashimRG @Hassan28087744 @iqrarshah5 @irfhabib @Ishtiaquehussai @jaafernaqvi @JheeraBlade @Karachi_Post @karbalaequetta @KarrarrHussain @Karachi_Post @Kayehenn @Laibaah1 @MahdiBaloch @MaulaBuksh @mazdaki @MidhatZ @mustafaa80 @naqvisat @NaseemChaudhry @panjatanepak5 @PakiReasoner @PakistanEHRC @Qalandram @QuettaSettler @razaazadar @razajaf @sahaider @SaveShiaMuslims @SayedModarresi @SchimiHusseyn @ShiaHazara1 @shiasmspk @ShiaNewz @Shafique110 @shahbazzahid @ShiaKilling @shiitenews110 @shiapost @SNNMedia @SlmnAkhtar @smhaider @sudixitca @Trackerinblue @Taruqeer14 @Wimbledonboy @WorldShiaForum @XahraKaxmi @XainGardezi @y2raza @ZainabBinte_Ali
I might have missed a few names. Please feel free to add.
In the short term, there is a dire need to raise a loud voice in a united protest action (on Twitter, facebook, blogs etc) against the daily persecutions and killings of Shias in Pakistan, with responsibility for these crimes clearly laid at the correct doorstep(s), i.e., Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban who are supported by Pakistan army and are financed by Saudi Arabia.
However, we should consider the possibility of not limiting ourselves to just one or two campaigns on social media. WSF can be a vehicle for an overall campaign to raise a set of just and humane demands, with the short term aim of stopping Shia genocide, and the long-term aim of changing the way the overall society thinks and behaves with regard to Shias.
I think we need to coordinate our activism better for a more forceful impact. We need to change the mindset and win allies even if they are from other sects (Sunni, Salafi, moderate Deobandi, Ahmadi) or faiths (Christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists etc). It’s more like forging partnership with men on women’s rights issues and it works.
World Shia Forum (WSF) will provide the organisational framework to highlight Shia genocide and persecution, the way it should be done, in a more open, public manner.
Pakistan Equality and Human Rights Commission (PEHRC), LUBP Shia Killing website, Karbala-e-Quetta and other similar fronts are there to support us.
Let’s bring all Shias together, some of them can be secular, others can be more religious, some of them can have different political or religious ideologies or practice. We should bring all of them to one platform to have one untied voice against Shia genocide by Takfiri Deobandi terrorists.
We can use the WSF for effective advocacy, build positive pressure on media, government, political parties and international community, ally with like minded organisations on human rights issues that are ignored by the mainstream media and elite HR activists.
Later we can write reports, develop campaigning materials etc.
Organizational framework: Given that WSF is a non-partisan Shia rights forum, it can be our starting point for a loose organizational framework. By and by, this can be formalized into a formal organization based on members contributions and substantive work. Perhaps all those who show interest and actively participate in the next few weeks and months could be informally treated as members of the first working group after a few months.
Within this specific google group (i.e., all those reading this email), we have currently 40 plus members. I think all of them have presence on Twitter. Imagine if all 25 or more support our cause on Twitter and also via various blog posts, research reports, that could make a significant impact on politicians, rights groups and media persons.
We need to have legitimate voice and representation from all ethnic groups of Shias in Pakistan and abroad, including but not limited to: Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtoon, Punjabi, Saraiki, Gilgiti, Hazara, etc. That will give us legitimacy and inclusion.
For better advocacy, we need to tabulate some data on killings and persecution. For example the database on Shia genocide prepared by LUBP can be useful start. We really need data along these lines in order to present a convincing case to international media and human rights groups.
I have seen that our efforts on Twitter are currently quite disjointed. 35 is a a big number on Twitter, however, we need more coordination. I suggest we should use common hashtags to make an impact and also to make our presence felt.
For example, each one of our tweet which is related to Shia genocide could comprise the #ShiaGenocide hashtag. We should also specifically mention #TakfiriDeobandi terrorists of Sipah Sahaba and Taliban in our tweets to mention the group responsible for Shia genocide. We must not use vague terms e.g., Zionist, foreign conspiracies, terrorists etc.
The minimum common agenda of all of us being together is to highlight Shia genocide and advocate equal rights and protection, and also question those journalists and rights activists who can actually make a difference by highlighting the issue and real perpetrators (ISI sponsored Takfiri Deobandis (ASWJ, Taliban) and all other extremist groups and their allies responsible).
It is also important to win friends and bring on board others who share the same views as long as they are part of our advocacy and those who believe in equal rights for all.
These are a few suggestions which I have prepared/compiled after consultation with other colleagues and also in the light of previous correspondence.
Please treat the above suggestions as a working draft only; feel free to amend or improve as appropriate.
We need to bring in more activists on board. Please suggest their email addresses and Twitter Ids etc.
World Shia Forum
Twitter: @WorldShiaForum and @AliAbbasTaj
Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/worldshiaforum
WSF General Google Group page: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/worldshiaforum
WSF General Goog Group email address: WorldShiaForum@googlegroups.com