Identity, Equality, Unity
On June 6, 1963, at least 116 Shia Muslims were massacred in the village of Thehri in the Khairpur district of Sindh province in Pakistan while taking part in the juloos of the Day of Ashura. Police stood by while radical Deobandis and Wahhabis massacred Shias. At midnight, to ensure that every one was dead, the Wahhabis of Thehri took empty water buckets and shouted the slogan of ‘Ya Hussain’ while walking in groups among the injured and dead, asking if anyone needs water. When someone would reply, the person was slaughtered ruthlessly. It must be noted that many of the people who slaughtered Momineen were the Hafiz-e-Quran students of Wahhabi madressas. Although almost all of the Momineen in Therhi were martyred, the oppression was not over. To hide their heinous crime, they collected all the dead bodies, put them in an empty well and planned to burn them using kerosene. However, the police arrived and took the dead bodies into custody.
This was the first major incident of Shia genocide in Pakistan. Justice was never done for the martyrs of Therhi and the anti-Shia terrorists and masterminds of the Therhi massacre were not given any punishment. In fact, the Government of Pakistan ordered major news outlets not to report the incident to avoid sectarian strife across the country. The incident was brushed under the proverbial rug, while hundreds of family members were left with no recourse for their indescribable grief. This lack of prosecution culminated in what we see today as the genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan with impunity, as now reported by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Even today, the Tragedy at Thehri is hardly talked about, let alone written about and discussed.
The video below is a tribute to the martyrs of Therhi, made on the anniversary of the incident this past year. It shows the tombstones and innocent faces of the young men who marched to their deaths, fearless, continuing their practice of Azadari in the face of imminent death:
The 50th anniversary of the Tragedy at Therhi is this coming June 6, 2013. Inshallah, we must plan events and rallies across the world to discuss and bring more light to this first act of grave injustice to innocent Shias in Pakistan, who were doing nothing more than practicing their faith. Please share this video and message.
Sources – Pictures and detailed summaries of the incident can be found at the following links: