Identity, Equality, Unity
The World Shia Forum (WSF) welcomes U.S. President Obama’s condemnation of Takfiri Salafist violence and incitement against Shiite Muslims and Sunni Sufi Muslims. Thousands of Shiite Muslims and Sunni Sufi Muslims have been killed in Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and other countries at the hands of Takfiri Salafist and Takfiri Deobandi Muslims who operate as Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Ansar Al Sharia, Jundullah etc. In Pakistan alone, at least 19,000 Shiites have been killed in what may be described as a gradual genocide. According to a recent statement by Human Rights Watch, Shia killings in Pakistan by extremist groups allied with the military have escalated in Pakistan. Saudi-linked Takfiri Salafists were also involved in the murder of U.S. Ambassador in Libya a few weeks ago. Similar excesses against Shia and Sufi have been reported in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Libya, Mali and other countries.
Here are relevant excerpts from President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly
New York City, NY on September 25, 2012:
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them.
All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces.
Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than ten Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; and several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.
The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained. The same impulses toward extremism are used to justify war between Sunnis and Shia, between tribes and clans. It leads not to strength and prosperity but to chaos. In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence. Extremists understand this. And because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant. They do not build, they only destroy.
It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past. We cannot afford to get it wrong. We must seize this moment. And America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.
The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.
For the first time in the world history, a U.S. President has acknowledged the distinction between the oppressed Muslims (Shias, Sufis) and the oppressors (Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis). For the first time, a world leader of highest stature has condemned murders and incitement to violence against Shias and Sufi Muslims taking place at the hands of Takfiri militant groups.
When Muslim Leaders, governments and OIC leaders are unable to condemn Shia Genocide and Sufi Sunni massacre, President Obama is condemning it. This is a moment of reflection for Pakistan President Zardari, Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and other leaders of the Muslim world.
We welcome President Barack Hussein Obama’s call for tolerance, equality and humanity. On behalf of World Shia Forum, we hope to work together with all pro-democracy leaders, groups, countries, communities and organizations to build a world based on mutual respect, tolerance, freedom, democracy, justice and human rights.