Identity, Equality, Unity
“When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”
Once again in Quetta, having killed 81 people, a massacre killing media, police and rescue workers as double bombs exploded, shows the callous disregard for both non-targets and targets, when Takfiri Deobandis are out to murder who? Absent in most press reports are the intended targets: Shias. The Rehmattullah Chowk on Alamdar Road explosion, and second Airport area blast brought the dead and injured to 69 and 120 respectively. This was a Shia-target operation by Takfiri Deobandis.
These explosions on Alamdar Road were clearly meant for innocent Shias, with no concern for others in collateral damage – subsequent bombs targeted Shias and anyone else in the way. On Twitter the ASWJ-LeJ have not only claimed responsibility, they are bragging about their part. If the Sunni community think that silence is appropriate, “because, after all, aren’t Shias Kafirs?” I would ask them to remember that moderate Sunnis are also being killed, as are Hindus, Sufis, Ahmadis, and Christians.
It is easy to default to doing nothing. To be of the unwitting consensual; to be silent; or, to report and do nothing. But this encourages Shia Genocide in Pakistan. Pakistan authorities exist to protect its people. That is the purpose of government together with authorities of law and order. But, even laws don’t guarantee protection unless “the people” are willing to step up and make a change.
While some sections of Pakistan’s civil society seem to have finally woken up from their slumber on the ongoing Shia Genocide, it is still worrying to see the over all trends. Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy was still denying Shia Genocide only days agohttp://criticalppp.com/archives/235017 . So was prominent TV anchor, Nasim Zehra herself a Shiahttp://criticalppp.com/archives/236329 .
Instead of informing the global community of the ongoing Shia Genocide, Pakistan’s well educated urban elites were busy in misrepresenting this in vague terms such as “sectarian” and “ethnic violence”. This way, they were deliberately obscuring both the victim (Shias) as well as the perpetrators (Takfiri Deobandi militants belong to ASWJ-LeJ and the Taliban).
While Shia Killing, LUBP and World Shia Forum were crying hoarse about this issue, Pakistan’s civil society was busy in the selective condemnation of the murder of one influential young man by another influential young man in the posh suburbs of Karachi. The daily killings and massacres of Shias all over Pakistan did not merit their attention aside from token and vague mentions on social media. As an American, it concerns me that some of Pakistan’s celebrity activists are conducting their selective activism from the proceeds of our tax dollars which have been granted to their various NGOs.
While Shias in Pakistan are standing peacefully in the front line against the Taliban and sustaining daily casualties, these civil society folks pretend as if they are the only liberal partners we have in Pakistan. Meanwhile their stance against the Taliban ranges from fuzzy to apologist.
In the United States, pre-civil war, Reconstruction period the U.S. government failed to protect its African-American population- not yet citizens. After 14th Amendment granted citizenship for blacks, and equal protection clause, it was still unable and unwilling to protect its African-Americans; the subsequent 15th Amendment clause prohibiting the denial of voting (suffrage) based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude changed little. The U.S. government was still unable to protect its African-Americans, though proudly now, newly established citizens. This began the horrid, “Jim Crow” period unreported at the time, and is an egregious blot on our U.S. history. Everything is not an analogy, but it is reminiscent of the Shia “unreported” government-sponsored oppression through the decades. The U.S. story of the Native American, if not genocide, what would we call it? The contrast then and now, of the many estimates of U.S. Native American population prior to European contact was greater than 12 million, and four centuries later, the population approximately 237,000 thousand (close to 95% gone)- all well documented. This is an American tragedy we feel, in books that make one weep, Dee Brown’s, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” So, besides the Jewish Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, history shows the us, the U.S., and many countries out of the scope of this essay, that indeed, we sometimes fail our minorities at the cost of genocidal numbers. In India (the recent fatal gang-rape of an innocent woman) and Saudi Arabia (beating of unescorted women), including China infanticide of female children; many Muslim (“Honor killings”) and African countries women die of female circumcision; governments and authorities fail to protect their women, or minority ethnic groups. Silence can be “golden,” and Silence can contribute to bloodshed; Silence can “kill.”
Today, silence over #ShiaGenocide means Pakistan has failed to protect the Shia. The vision of Jinnah (who was himself a Shia), a state for Muslims, with harmony for Muslim and non-Muslims, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, does not exist. Takfiri Deobandi terrorists are supported by the Pakistan Army and ISI, murdering Shia with impunity. Lack of knowledge is no longer an excuse. The Shia genocide can no longer be attributed to lack of information. The #ShiaGenocide twitters, the Shia Genocide blogs, and LUBP, including even my early report on this: December 2011:
and, again, the widely publicized essay published in LUBP, 10 April, 2012
This only a miniscule example of many, many articles since then and now on Shia Genocide, on LUBP, in Dawn, in Blogs, and Twitter; Including marches in Pakistan with Sunni and Shia solidarity; in both the U.S. and Pakistan. Therefore, information has been plentiful. Action has not been the result; Silence has been the reaction,
“At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right”
― Miguel de Unamuno
The mainstream media, also apparently in fear of Takfiri Deobandi Jihadists, remain silent, or obfuscate the issue as “sectarian conflicts,” or Hazara historical problems. In doing so, give themselves credit for speaking out, but, fail to address the real on-going genocide that mounts now to 20,000 Shia dead since mid-1980s..
One is reminded of root occurrences within Pakistan that align with political aberrations that contributed to radicals and growing distrust of the Shiites. General Zia who made it a state-policy to indicate whether a person was Sunni or Shia on all government documents. This may have officially ended traditional Quranic tolerance, discouraging the past sense of unity between different sects. Mindful of my own extensive research, I ask: Is there not one Allah (SWT); is there not one direction of prayer? Is there not one Quran? Is there not one last Prophet (PBUH), who also happened to honor the prophet Jesus? Is not the meaning of the word, ‘isla,” interpreted as “submission before the one and only God?” and is not the term, “Muslim,” “one who submits before one and only God?” I read of no real dogma in the Quran. In the tradition of Islam, isn’t it factual that, ijtihad becomes the end result in the Muslim practice of consultation (shura) as being part of building of a consensus (ijma)? Such processes are common in other tolerant religions. And thus, as Islam has been, the utilization of democratic principles, allowing for diversity. These elements of traditional tolerance may have been lost due to politically-motivated opportunists within Pakistan; and has contributed to radical Deobandis’ propaganda amongst the vulnerable. Overlooking for now, Zulfi Bhutto’s political pressure to exclude Ahmedis, allows a more brief analysis. It is mainly the dark, specter of Zia-ul-Haq’s version of Islamization of Pakistan and his extremist interpretations of what being a Muslim requires that appears to have sabotaged Jinnah’s spoken hope of honoring all religions and interpretations under one God. Indeed, Jinnah’s and later, Benazir Bhutto’s visions were similar, welcoming secular community with diverse beliefs. There would be no Shia genocide were there a government and Constitutional Law in place that disallowed oppression of minorities as a state-policy.
Pitting Sunni against Shia, historically, affords a convenient spinning point for the media to emphasize sectarian over genocidal homicide and affords a point of departure for manufacturing animosity against Shia in general. It sets up the platform for brain-washing of the lower-income, uneducated and Madrassa orphans, to demonize Shia, and waste their lives and Shia lives, by suicide bomb. Even the Iranian/Iraqi war was often cast as a Shia/Sunni fight, when even a cursory investigation reveals that it was over disputed control over the Arvand Roud-Shatt al-Arab waterway. Indeed, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 was cast as Sharia law under a Shia Islam, when in reality it became “Khomeinism,” his own interpretation, not representative of Quranic principles- or, traditional Shiism; and Zia’s military dictatorship used the most radical of Sunni interpretations for political ends encouraging separation.
Enter the Takfiris! Those that cast all those that are different from their own beliefs, as Kafirs. As most of those of us that are informed by now know, this is not based on the Quran, but rather Wahabbi/Salafist interpretations. These self-appointed gatekeepers of the faith group all others as Kafirs. The genocidal intentions start there. Salafi-Takfiris, unlike the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the reasonable processes of the law, declare apostasy and personal Jihad against whom they will- in this case: Shia; among those lesser involved: Hindus, Sufis, Ahmadis, and Christains are also at risk. These are the Takfiri Deobandi of which we speak. They are paradoxically enemies of the state, and yet, state-sponsored. They are linked with and supported by every Salafist group from the Haqqani Network to al Qaeda.
The elected Pakistan state government has become unwittingly apologists for the Jihadists, through their silence of the duplicity of the Pak Army. Perhaps this is out of fear of the military, giving lip-service only to the loss of Shia lives; the only group with sufficient resources at this point in Pakistan to stop such slaughter is one of the region’s largest, wealthiest, and well-armed military – your own Pakistani Army. But, its support for Salafist jihadists protected within the Strategic Depth program, which awaits American troop pull-out in Afghanistan, and dreams of forays into Kashmir, and Mumbai-type bombings for the future, and remains silent on Shia-genocide. Therefore, all government officials now give only passing reference to Shias being massacred. The Supreme Court assists by releasing known terrorists; No help is on the way. No plan has emerged.
Where are the Muslim scholars that could speak out against Shia genocide? Some have, to their credit. But, en masse? No. Where are the Muslims with influence that could speak out against Shia genocide? (Though I acknowledge those Sunnis who join in voicing concern, still, the majority remain silent.) The Sunni mufti, qadi, faqih, or muhaddith? Or, the village mullahs and imamsthat might speak out? Is there in fact, an Ulema? The Ummah, a Jinnah might have expected to emerge; If there is an Ummah, they are largely silent, and therefore part of the problem. Moderate Sunnis, while not specifically the problem, join in the culpability by silence. (Again, in deference, my apologies to those brave Sunnis and Sufis that speak up):
If silence continues, the only other recourse are the Shia and Sunni coming together with secular population to stop the slaughter and insist the government bring Takfiri Deobandis and its Jihadist supporters to justice. This is possible.
Source : LUBP