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Low-key Ashura


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In a week since the commencement of Muharram, at least 16 lives have been lost to targeted sectarian attacks on Imambargahs in Karachi and Rawalpindi. In addition, there have been reports of bombs being defused and removed from sensitive areas in the run up to Ashura. This, in spite of the government’s restrictions and bans on the use of mobile phones and motorbikes, among other preventive security measures.

It is clear that given the current security situation of the country, it would be wise to remain cautious during a sensitive period such as Ashura. There have been suggestions to curb the threats of attacks on Muharram processions by taking alternate routes that comprise roads which are less frequented and congested. Meanwhile, some officials have also urged people to try and remain indoors and hold their religious gatherings away from sites that are commonly targeted by assailants, especially in the wake of sectarian violence.

Is it wrong, then, for officials to suggest that processions be kept low-key affairs and in smaller numbers? There remains a great deal of respect towards the religious zeal and emotions of Shias during Muharram, however, would it be better to take preventive measures during rallies and processions, especially when thousands of innocent lives are at stake?

Would indoor gatherings, lesser number and smaller sizes of processions help avert threats that are known to lurk on such religious events?

The number of attacks and deaths that have occurred during these seven days is already close to the figures from last Muharram and with the increasing number of threats and bombs being found, would it not be sensible to try and lessen the damage by acting cautiously?

Comments (116) Closed

Raza Nov 24, 2012 02:44pm
Being a Muslim, In Other word , We ourselves help the enemy to be successful. Low Key that is what the Enemy Want. It will continue till The Day Of Zahoor-e-Imam.
Mehdi Nov 26, 2012 01:22pm the way for all my fellowmen who tend write in the favor of a low key Ashura..When your dear ones are murdered and in the numbers and for a cause make sure you observe a very low funeral...
life is precious Nov 23, 2012 09:51am
no not at all. did we already forget bomb blast in namaz maghrib in imambargah ali raza in 2004 , and the namaz fajr firing in mehfil e murtaza in 1995 people were gathered after morning prayers for funeral arrangements of a person. At the same time four munafqeen ,entered in mosque and compelled all of them to stand in a row by the side of the wall of the Imambargah and after that spread bullets upon them. so what is the point saying these procession be confined ? these dates are very important and observed all over the world. why this can not be done in pakistan ? the state is unable to provide security to everyone and make the roads safe ? tell us how much tax payers money is used for the security purpose in the budget and what security do the citizens get ? shame on this incompetent govt . how about reducing the police deployed for security of these vip people is deployed for security of the people whose life is equally important. believe me roads will become safer and killing on road incidents will be under control like a magic.
Qadri AHMED Nov 24, 2012 04:36pm
Yes I agree, there should NOt be procession in Muharram main streets and making majority of the people to suffer. Howevr I strongly ; strongly disagree to those killers who kills innocent men women and children.. I remember there used to be only [one] 10th Muharram procession in past, but now with on-going Terorist activities, every year a day is added to this mourning and procession. I wonder what might hapens same day [ 1st of MUHARRAM] when both Shia and Sunni comes out of procession, one party for Husain Ibn Ali and othet for Khalifa Umar Ibn Khattab ??. May be only then parliament will act to contain such procession by Law & govt to enforce .
Atif Nov 25, 2012 06:20pm
Tommorow these will attack jumma prayers and then we will stop going to jumma?If wolf is attacking the villages then prepare cage for wolf not for villagers.
sajjad haider Nov 30, 2012 03:41am
We are have food shortage in our country in near future....I urged all officials imposing low-key-ashura to go through an operations of genitals removal so they may have no more.... to share the meal in this way they can control famine....sick minded people...if there kids get sick they ditch them so no more to care about ailing ones.....
Jabbo Nov 22, 2012 08:05pm
Yes but the State has never delivered so why take chances, does it not make sense to be safe then sorry? There should a complete ban on all religious or political marches in Pakistan, we should designate certain areas for all this.
Shah Nov 22, 2012 08:25pm
As Rehman Malik sahab suggests, we should shut down anything which is being used or targeted by terrorists? If write is suggesting this as a one time strategy while the Govt. hunts down mad dogs, it may be considered. But no one in his or her right mind can suggest this knowing that there is no such plan by PPP govt. and PMLn is hand in gloves with sectarian terrorists. State of Pakistan must protect it all citizens or else govts needs to go and let others do basic duty.
shani Nov 27, 2012 10:59am
nice artcle.
Mohiu Nov 26, 2012 04:39am
I understand everyone commenting on this blog feels rather offended by the suggestion made by this author. I understand the emotions of our people. It is everyone's right to follow his or her religion with freedom and liberty. However, caution is not such a bad thing. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself migrated to another city when he saw that his life and those of his followers were in jeopardy. When the state fails, the people must rise to the ocassion and do what's neccecary to protect the sanctity of life.
anwaar Nov 25, 2012 04:56pm
my bro brilliant comments absolutely brilliant i like it and i agree with u
Afaq Ali Nov 25, 2012 04:56pm
Agreed if only procession was meant for mourning. The purpose of these processions is not mourning.
Jaruk Nov 26, 2012 07:16am
One sees that most of the people in these or any of such processions miss their prayers. What solidarity is being shown for Imam Hussain, who didnt even miss any of his prayer under the most difficult circumstances. These procession are mostly just for show off, and void of true religious fervor.
Aabis Nov 27, 2012 07:16am
How about remaining indoors to avoid traffic accidents? How about banning Hajj processions where hundreds died every year in stampede? How about keeping whole army indoors to avoid terrorist activities?
Afaq Ali Nov 23, 2012 06:27am
It will not end here. The next step would be to have low profile Friday congregations, then no schools for girls, then no schools at all and this will continue until these people get there way. This is the first front where we need to show strong will and nerves to thwart any plans from these criminals. Obviously it needs sacrifice and that is what Muharram is all about - patience and sacrifice in the face of tyranny rather than staying at home. This is exactly what happened with Imam Hussain A.S. Many people in Medina advised him against leaving the city and said living in Medina is safe. But when Imam was martyred, the tyrant turned his eye towards Medina and Mecca and destroyed both cities. Those who stayed at home to avoid death were killed inside their homes.
Abida Nov 23, 2012 07:09am
I definitely have strong agreement on your words, No matter you do smaller gatherings or larger you can not avoid terrorism like this, Government should show some more interest for the security towards Shia gatherings so that country should reflect towards its basic agreements of democracy for the nation.
ss Nov 27, 2012 10:28am
threatening whose life? certainly not yours :-/
mc duffy Nov 23, 2012 09:29am
because in india there are no taliban. please open ur eyes in extreme situations extreme steps are needed, the govt cant do squat and u expect it to protect every procession in every city, town and village? be realistic.
Ali Nov 23, 2012 04:01am
Shias as a whole are already under the impression that Government is some how involved in suppressing the shia school of thought therefore Muharram is historically such an event which signifies existence of Shia, how can in this environment of distrust Shias just start trusting and act as government says. To summarize it, its like we can be killed any other day as well, and government has shown little interest in stopping targeted killings in normal day, then why not get killed during the holy month of Muharram.
mc duffy Nov 23, 2012 09:26am
its a discussion!!! in civil societies people discuss difficult issues by including all points of view. its a shame that most of us refuse to listen to anothers point of view, we will go no where like this!
Malik Nov 23, 2012 09:24am
soon you will be in mdre trouble
Asim Nov 23, 2012 04:32am
No processions should be allowed on public streets. Organizers of processions should be allowed to rent venues such as national stadium or large enclosed fields that doesnt distrupt the flow of traffic. they can also have better and more controlled security there,,,,,but this will not happpen....existing/previous leaders themselves are fond of 8-12 hours processions from airports to where ever, with total disregard to the problems uninterested citizens face due to such processions.
Hassan Nov 23, 2012 05:32am
I will be very interested to see you write this article and suggest to Deo Bandi Jamaat/Jamat Islami, Dawat-e-Rasool/any other name you want to put here, and see if you will be able to see the light next day. This is already highlighted from the fact that Author Name is not mentioned in this article instead DAWN.COM has been used. That being said, we, Shia people, are used to dieing for the cause and if it means highlighting the Yazdis of our Time then by all means we are happy to do it. I can gurantee you that if these govenment forces let us manage our own security not one person will be hurt. The elements within all government agencies are the ones who are invovled in these terrorist acitivities and their agents who suggest that such events should be "Low Key" when infact should be promoted to highlight the injustice in our society. That being said, maybe you and your newspaper and their staff would be scared to visit this Ashura but I will be there to welcome you to join the only global human rights movenement in this world.
Mate Nov 22, 2012 10:41pm
The govt needs to see what are the roots of the issues that are causing this. this is the govt's responsibility to provide security n deal with terrorist. Why should we submit to people who have no love for their Prophet (peace be upon him and his Family) and his loved ones. I dont think Making processions smaller or groups smaller or doing things indoor will solve anything. Azadari is not just weeping on Imam Hussain A.S, this is a voice against tyranny, societal corruption and a protest against terrorism and corrupt leaders. how can a protest be done indoors?
Imran Nov 23, 2012 12:52am
There have been a few dozen attacks on mosques in the country, especially in ISB and Charsadda targeting ANP and Aftab Sherpao. If same logic applied, then people should stop praying in congregations and there would be no Jummah prayers either... What is needed is to root out the terrorists unabashedly
Ishtiaq Nov 22, 2012 11:52pm
I gree with K Ali, what if terrorist attacks mosques, are you going to close mosques, if they start attcking schools are you going to close schools. We all have to stand together to defeat these terrorist and govt has to look from where they are getting funds and arms and ammunition. Cut there supply line and hit them hard otherwise soon we all are going to be in trouble.
Ajaya K Dutt Nov 26, 2012 07:06am
Muharram, as I understand, is remembrance of standing against the fanatical tyranny; and not submitting to it.
Saeed Nov 22, 2012 09:30pm
If you want state responsible than listen to state.If you go against the regulation,than Don't blame the goverment when something goes wrong.
ss Nov 27, 2012 10:22am
those young scouts are not forced against their will to serve in processions, there is a reason they are called VOLUNTEERS
Ali Nov 23, 2012 12:56pm
If you got so many issues with it, move to Afghanistan or Bangladesh..
Najaf Nov 27, 2012 07:41am
The root cause of terrorism in Pakistan is absence of the rule of law. Can anyone tell us how many culprits have been hanged for more than 5000 Shia Muslims martyrs since 1980 in our country, Pakistan?
S. Haider Nov 22, 2012 07:24pm
We need to understand if these terrorists hate shias or Imam Hussain (AS)? Because if they want to kill Shias then they can still kill shias during other gatherings such as Jummah prayers, funerals, wedding parties, etc. But if the hatred is against Imam Hussain (AS) then it is wajib on all to come out in large numbers to stand against these terrorists. Otherwise they would be like the cowards of Imam Hussain era who stayed in their homes to save their lives and that of their family members.
alexpressed Nov 22, 2012 07:31pm
So basically we are saying that if there are lesser people in the Jaloos or Azadari processions, there will be lesser causalities in case of terrorism. Ok, using the same brilliant logic, we can reduce terrorism casualties in wider Pakistan by having lesser people in Pakistan. Kesa?
S Usman Nov 23, 2012 06:06am
I totally agree with the suggestion. while it is government's responsibility to provide security and protect lives of its citizens whatever religion or sect they belong to, it is also wise at the same time to adopt interim measures.
Kashif Nov 23, 2012 05:58am
Not at All. Strengthening Ashura will infact result in demoralizing and defeat of terrorists. It is Government's collaboration or inaction against terrorists and their supporters that have embolden terrorists to carry out attacks on government installations as well as target different communities. Last Year Rehman Malik thanked terroists for not creating law and order situation during muharram and showed his helplessness. The day the establishment decides to root out terrorism, these self-created terrorism will die on its own. It is very crucial for Pakistan to downgrade relations with Saudi Arabia that operates terrorists across the region and have created blood bath from Pakistan to Syria.
salman Nov 23, 2012 02:03am
Terrorists are attacking girl schools too. Would you counter the thugs or make girls education a low profile thing to avoid such attacks!
qasim Nov 22, 2012 10:06pm
hum Pakistani har cheez par adjest qu karta han!!... gas nahi CNG band.. bijli nahi power nahi light band... blast to shoping center,school, GHQ har jaga ho raha han!! sab band karoo ga? but oss ko nahi pakro ga jis ki wajha sa ya terroist ban raha ha... in ko nahi pakro ga... We are not scared of dying. In death there is life, shed our blood! It will give our lives strength, kill us! We will rise up even more.
Naseer Nov 22, 2012 09:45pm
Question is do we want Taliban to win? Their next target will be education, first they will stop education of women and then men. Illiteracy is the tool through which Taliban recruit. So far government of Pakistan has been giving up and Taliban are gaining ground. Is there a stop? Do people of Pakistan want to be at the mercy of terrorists?
Naseer Nov 22, 2012 09:44pm
Question is do we want Taliban to win? Their next target will be education, first they will stop education of women and then men. Illiteracy is the tool through which Taliban recruit. So far government of Pakistan has been giving up and Taliban are gaining ground. Is there a stop? Do people of Pakistan want to be at the mercy of terrorists?
Nadia khanum Nov 23, 2012 06:00pm
Sorry, Aamir, If you think it is not a spiritual event then Hussain's message is lost on you. What a pity? Now everything has to be a public spectacle. From Taliban's beheading videos of mass killing of of Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus or just brutally killing a captured white man who might have actually come here to help us? We all are more worried about showing off to our perceived enemies than to relying on rallying our friends who might be in a much larger numbers. Because they believed in all the just struggles and sacrifices that the good people including Hussain believed in. That is what leads to religious bigotry. Wish you know what you are leading to. God bless you with reasoning.
you Nov 25, 2012 12:40am
Brother, today you are asking to marginalize the muharram processions in order to save any untoward incident, tomorrow you will ask all Hazaras (who can easily be distinguished because of their looks) to leave Pakistan since they are attacked and killed on every other day...
Syed Nov 25, 2012 04:10pm
Thanks for your strange logic, according to which victim and a ruthless murderer are equally to blame .
Bukhari Nov 26, 2012 04:38am
i think we should behave & think sensibly and rationally.. put aside emotional rages for few minutes.. i think if Shia Ulema are not concerned about their security and lives of others, they should at least think of all those young scouts and security officials who always lay down their lives for their processions. it wont sideline their shiaism if they hold on processions in sensitive times. and here, its not about shia, sunni or other religious minorities... TTP is attacking everyone regardless of the religion,caste or creed...
syed Azeem Nov 24, 2012 01:38pm
you can do anything but not stop this
Umer Nov 25, 2012 02:28pm
While trying to understand all the different dimensions, innocent people are murdered in the streets. It is not a permanent solution but an improvement in saving lives. When there is a murderer in the streets its only natural to stay indoors and lock your doors!
Naseer Nov 23, 2012 05:33pm
We are also discussing. We are not killing people that do not agree. Taliban kill innocent people. Taliban kill little girls that speak against them.
Aamir Nov 23, 2012 05:33pm
This is not a spiritual event. This is a protest against an oppressor who did not stop at anything and now his supporters are finding ways by force and unfounded logic to somehow let people forget the event. It has to come on public to tell everyone what he tried to hide. Why long march across the country and Raiwind ijtema is OK, and Muharram processions are somewhat not. Why do you not speak of eradicating the menace of Taliban.
Aamir Nov 23, 2012 05:29pm
Why then long march for the restoration of democracy?
AnZ Nov 24, 2012 09:38am
It is a state's responsibility to protect It's citizens when they are doing activities within the limits of the constitution and their rights. Should we stop taking out our cars because of increasing accidents? The government and the people themselves must take stronger and serious measures instead of curbing activities which are considered life blood for a community. The suggestion is an evidence to lack of understanding of Ashura processions. The processions are much more than a public show of emotions for a respected figure and reminder of a tragic event in the past. Rather they help revive Imam Hussein's spirit of resistance for freedom against inward and outward evil and tyranny in current generations of ALL MUSLIMS. They also help inculcate Human values Hazrat Hussein displayed back then. These processions send out a clear message to the tyrants of our times that people seeking true freedom are actively present on the scene to imitate what Hazrat Hussein did 1400 years ago. Bounding these activities to boundary walls will be the first step towards victory of evils like Taliban and those behind them. Facing little resistance, they will occupy us all one after another! The people participating in the processions themselves know the danger they are putting themselves into, it seems they realise it's importance so no need for the government to tell them to sit in homes. If they are really serious about security, government officials should try not to realease terrorists from jails especially the ones who have sworn to hit back again when released! I think this might help more!
Patriot Nov 25, 2012 08:53am
Pointless blog...............What's next stop Jummah Prayers, then everyday congregational prayers? Just the response these barbarians & their sponsors want. The writer is ignorant of Shiite Azadari.
salem khan Nov 25, 2012 06:50pm
Actions do and will continue to follow. Processions should be supported, not victimized.
Umer Nov 25, 2012 02:25pm
The blog is not pointless, minorities in Pakistan are already facing these circumstances to save their lives. Mourning indoors brings less attention to yourself and definitely saves more lives than mourning outside. However, even indoors is not a safe enough place when miscreants come looking for trouble.
Bukhari Nov 26, 2012 04:41am
religious ceremonies should be held inside homes or imam bargahs... not by blocking roads and disturbing routine lives.. and also threatening thousands more lives !
sayyid Nov 24, 2012 09:24pm
I think if those involved are willing to hold these processions and realise that their message is important enough to risk their lives, no has the right to limit them or suggest that, because it's very apparent that you are risking your life going into these gatherings. Apparently, from the comments and considering that previous years didn't see any decrease in attendance; these people are willing put their lives at risk. Meanwhile necessary measures must be taken by the government and volunteers to minimize the risks. And more efforts must be made to hold back terrorists in Jails rather than holding back citizens in enclosures, stadiums etc.
Naseer Nov 26, 2012 04:38pm
Qadri Saheb Assalam Alaikum, since before Pakistan came into being, there were processions on 9th & 10th Moharram, Safar 20th (chehlum), Ramadhan 21st (Hazrat Ali shahadat). It is still the same. Some small juloos have increased to cater to the increasing population, but these are in small areas in colonies. Please also note that since Adam to date, there has never been a greater sacrifice than that offered by Imam Hussain. Had it not been for that sacrifice, Yazeed's name also would have been included in Khilafat e Rashida.
Naseer Nov 25, 2012 05:20pm
I guess you want Saudi style religion, where even the Jummah sermon comes printed from the government and the speaker is not allowed to change one word. Please read the teachings of famous sunni scholars like Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri and Allama Abdul Ishaq. You can also see their videos on you tube. This will help understand the importance of azadari.
shirin Nov 25, 2012 05:22pm
It is mind blowing that you are comparing extremism of terrorists to "extremism" of those who refuse to submit to terrorist by taking a different route from one taken for over a century - A long tradition. The Christian pilgrims have been going to Jerusalem for thousands of years. They were routinely terrorized by Turks in the early years but that didn't stop them. The Muslims have been going to Karbala for over a thousand years. The fear of terrorists, despot's armies, or highway robbers did not stop them. Bottom line is you never give in to those who are denying you your right to practice your faith, or girls from receiving education, or non-Muslims from going to their temples. 9th and 10th of Muharram are a national holiday so "traffic" congestion is not a problem as often presented so by the terrorist appeasers. You are free to stay home. It is worth noting that shias in India have been taking their juloos in the same crowded streets of Lucknow, and no Hindu demanding they change their route. Lastly, the extremism in Pakistan and the wider Muslim world is only from one side. Till the majority rises up and acknowledges it, and does something about it, nothing will change. But asking the minority to compromise when their action is a threat to no one, is exactly the wrong answer. On the other hand, it is all the more important to keep the tradition alive, no matter how inconvenient it gets for the majority.
Naseer Nov 23, 2012 04:50pm
Police check posts and security barriers in residential areas also disrupt traffic throughout the year. These too should be removed to enable Taliban a free passage everywhere.
Anonymous person Nov 26, 2012 09:45am
You are completely missing Hasan's point.He is not saying that the minority should compromise with terrorists. He is actually referring to overall religious exhibitionism which is being increased in this country.
salem khan Nov 25, 2012 06:48pm
Nobody is stopping Sunni brothers from holding their processions. Even if both ever come out on the same day, they can be peaceful because Islam means mutual respect. Both processions have right to present their individual ideologies.
Usman Malik Nov 26, 2012 05:15am
Probably Hasan is the only person who dared speak the truth without being politically correct about it! But yes I am supporting the processions until the attacks stop, but once they stop (which I am sure inshAllah will) I will like the Shia't brothers to really reconsider this practice. It is inconvenient for everyone else.
anwaar Nov 25, 2012 09:12am
brilliant idea hats off to u brother
Naved Nov 26, 2012 05:43am
Just for your informtion, the ashura juloos route is same for at least last 50 years. Nothing new is there with regard to the area or route. Karachi is crowded every where, should shia take the juloos out of Karachi? Secondly, its not shia ulema, the whole shia community is committed to the azadari and juloos. Please see the number of people and their attachment to azadari, only then you can understand the real spirit behind this sincere activity. Please have courage to condemn the terrorists and extremists, instead of developing a logic to curb azadari. Juloos will continue anyway. If you are too much afraid of terrorists then please be in your home during the juloos time, you will be safe. Fearless Hussaini are not afraid of these coward terrorists.
anwaar Nov 25, 2012 09:19am
well said brother i like your comments
Manomoni Nov 25, 2012 05:21am
Could not understand..why low key? Country with most feared army and intelligence service could not protect its own people during a religious ceremony''
ram Nov 24, 2012 06:39am
As Iqbal said, sacrifice to awaken Muslims, not to fight amongst each other. The tradition of procession started in Taimur Langs time and Maatam too. No one should go to extremes for Love of Imam Those were days when Sunni equally mourn the day but not the way it is done now. Sunni had great respect for Syeds. In Shikarpur once the bandits looted a Hindu in a jungle. The Hindu said, you will not be able to get away with a Syed's money. The bandits begged forgiveness and paid Nazraana. That was just 30 years back. All lost now because of Wahabis and the extremists in reaction to them who want to turn these days into a show of power.
Majaz Amin Nov 26, 2012 12:51pm
A few months ago I had a medical problem. I took an appointment with a doctor in 7 Day Hospital and reached M.A. Jinnah Road where a religious party was agitating against some Government policies. I tried my best to reach the hospital but to my utmost frustration I could not. A few years ago I was in Saddar (Karachi) Computer Market. All of a sudden all the roads have been closed due to Chahlam Juloos. I tried to cross a the road to catch the bus to reach home. There were many people including old age women pleading to security personnel to allow them to just cross the road but in vain. How I reached home is a different story. So many people suffer due to these political and religious gatherings.
Zafar Nov 25, 2012 06:51pm
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Ali Nov 23, 2012 11:50pm
We have been fighting this war against terrorism for 1400 years, Taliban knows very well thatr Hussain a.s. fought against their very ancestors who were as barbaric as today's taliban. Ashura is a day not only to mourn the Shahadat of Imam a.s. and his companions, but also to show the world how the War against terrorism is actually fought. We inivite people of all schools to see how to Lead a War against terrorism,and how to defy terrorist. Even though we know we can be attacked by the Yazidis of today, but we are not afraid of losing our lives. Lubbaik ya Hussain a.s.
Syed Nov 23, 2012 10:33pm
Low key ? That's what precisely these terrorists want. But let me assure you, imam Hussains message and mission has progressed even in much darker times than today, in today's world it is now literally impossible to contain this movement ,no matter how many innocent shias they kill, they will only see frustration. There are hundreds of millions of people carrying imams legacy in every corner of the world, how many they will kill? Just how many?
umar Nov 23, 2012 04:45pm
No we certainly want to destroy the likes of Taliban and Laskar e Jhangvi. But is the way forward is to just bring out endless, dangerous processions like the one we recently witnessed in the name of Love for the prophet? We use to have an amicable commemoration of the event both by Sunnis and Shias. Do we want to widen that gulf between the two by sticking to extreme measures? Do the girls get education by holding unfeasible day long dangerously routed processions? Is that is what the Imams taught us? I think we would only be playing into the hands of Taliban and LeJ by sticking to something that really doesn't matter. There are bigger wars waiting to be fought against Yazid in all spheres of life from making progress in science and technology, education and health care to the equal rights for all minorities. Has waging war ever succeeded in resolving anything except for the one war, Hussain's war? Are we truly his followers and the torch bearer of his message or just blinded by our insistence on mindless ritual? What happened to reason here? Sad
waqas Nov 25, 2012 06:01am
Actions speak louder than words... we need personalities like Hussain and not processions and speeches void of action
waqas Nov 25, 2012 06:00am
When will we start behaving like imam hussain. These processions appear to be just symbolic and hollow of any spirit and have hardly changed anybody's life. Yes we love hussain and that does not demand processions but rather actions
Ali Ahmed Nov 23, 2012 09:59am
it is the responsibility of the goverment to provide security to its citizen but citizens should cooperate too. i totally agree that Ashura or any related activities processions etc should be done in open grounds and not on streets. processions on streets are not only a security threat but also disrupts traffic and movement of the people etc. no one is asking people to stop praying in imam bargahs but atleast these processions could be held in grounds etc. a relgious procession should be different from a political gathering. politicians do their dirty tricks but religious processions shouldnt be based on the premise that "we will do it just because some corrput politicaisn do jalsas the same way". if tablighi ijtemah of raiwnd can be done on open ground out of the city where millions of people are managed why cant these small processions of few thousands could eb managed the same way. imagine tablighi jamaat askign the govt to allow its gathering to be held on Mall road Lahore. so lets be sane and do the right thing with or without a security threat.
Tahir Ali Nov 26, 2012 05:42pm
Phr 14 August be Ghar me beth k manaya karo bahi. 06 September pay ko taqreeb, mat kya karo. Iqbal Day or Qauid Day manany kyn nikalty ho bahr gharo sy?????
K. Ali S. Nov 22, 2012 03:00pm
Not at all. That is what the 'Terrorists' main objective is all about anyway. If Shia's do get confine in their houses, then the primary objective of the Terrorist is achieved. Government should come up with strategies and safety programs. What if in the long run, smaller aggregation starts getting attacked too? Would we move to an individual Azaadari? Its something like Rehman Malik imposing Ban on only motor cycles and mobile phone during whole Muharram. And let people talk via landline and move in cars..its safe, isn't it? Not at all short stitch in time needed. Proper mechanism and plans are required for the safety of the dwellers of the country...the state should perform the states responsibility!!
Kalbe Ali Nov 23, 2012 10:01am
so we want Taliban and lashkar-e -Jhangvi to win the war over the civilised society and can anybody tell if they declare the political activities , girls education all over country, women doing jobs, shaving and listening to songs etc all illegal an un-Islamic --- so what should be done. Take a start from their basic demand or resist them. I f we have to accept their demands than the government should start with themselves and leave all slots and allow militants to establish their rule in country.
Naseer Nov 24, 2012 08:43am
Taliban are trying their best to reduce the number of people in Pakistan directly by killing people and indirectly by stopping vaccinations.
Kumail Nov 23, 2012 08:20pm
from a security point of view containing the activities within open grounds or limiting them to indoor locations would give the opportunities to these extremists to shoot Shias like fish in a barrel
ss Nov 27, 2012 11:19am
okay, we will not hold processions on the road, but please tell me, am i allowed to go to my hometown gilgit via bus?
Zulfiqar Ali Nov 24, 2012 08:17am
Very well said by Syed, that is what the terrorist want, the mournings and ralies are to wake up muslims to fight against oppressors; this is not the solution, the solution to fight against extremism and terrorism that our beloved country is burning from, increase tolerance; that is the main message of Imam Hussain AlaihSalam!! Both Shia and Sunni muslims should come out of home and show the solidarity with Imam Hussain AS; and show to the world that we love grandson of Rasool (S.A.A.W) and the remember the zulm that was made on faimlly of beloved Propher(P.B.A.H); Try to understand Karbala; yeh sirf shion ke jageer nahi hai; grandson of prophet and his family should be dearer to every muslim
Ehtisham Nov 24, 2012 07:46am
We will not give in to the terrorists. The processions will only become larger and the number of people attending them will keep on increasing everywhere. The enemies of ahl-ul-bait A.S. have tried one tactic after another to stop the mourning rituals and we have always found a way to overcome them. We will be triumphant again, and more and more people will join us. That is the will of Allah. Limiting the processions is not an option.
Ally Riz Nov 22, 2012 06:53pm
Matamay Hussain will never be confined. This is not new to Shia Community. It has been happening since the day of ashura. More you kill the more you will see on streets. IA muslims united will defeat the Terrorist. Pakistan Zindabad ... Hussaint Zindabad.
Spinny Nov 26, 2012 04:54pm
I wait for the day when the whole of Pakistan shuts down and protest march and send a clear message against those who target the innocents. I wait for the day when the Ulema come out and announce that whoever kills the innocent will burn in the fire of hell, i wait fort he day when Pakistani journalists will awaken the conscience of pakistanis. Will that day ever come .. i wonder?
faisal Nov 22, 2012 03:48pm
I am sunni Muslim, but in my opinion, this is what the extremist want, once you give in to these extremist demands once, they will come up with another one thereafter and the cycle will go on. Before asking this question one should ask himself how far he is willing to accede to someone's demands.
Naseer Nov 26, 2012 01:58pm
Following your logic, girls education should also be banned. And military installations closed. And stop giving vaccinations to your kids. Is there an end? And have immigration people send SMS to you when your wife or mother flies, like Saudi Arabia.
Naseer Nov 23, 2012 08:32pm
Hussain's sacrifice is a message for all those who fight against tyranny and injustice. Moharram processions now take place even in non Muslim countries all over the world. Saudi Arabia does not allow these majalis and processions. People in Pakistan who follow that school of thought want to impose the same in Pakistan. In Saudi Arabia, if a women travels by air, an SMS immediately sent to her husband or who ever is her guardian about this. Please google women tracking in saudi arabia" and see for yourself. Should we also stop trusting our women? Should we close all girl's schools because Taliban attack those also? Should we close all our military installations, Taliban are after them too. Should we stop our children's vaccinations also. Is there an end? Do we hide like cowards or fight like Hussain.
Kaiser Nov 22, 2012 04:14pm
True n Agree, but unfortunately expecting from the current regime is like living in a fools paradise. For the safety sake of our dear brothers and sisters I don't see any harm adopting certain security measures, unless untill we as Pakistani's meet real freedom and peaceful home.
Naved Nov 24, 2012 10:24am
No compromise on principles, thats what the teaching of Imam Hussain is. Please understand, one by one these animals will target other school of thoughts, their religious gatherings, shrines etc. just to prevail with their distorted version of Islam. Let us resist instead of bowing before them.
bilal Nov 23, 2012 02:19pm
The whole objective of taking processions out in public is so that Muslims can remember the tragedy of karbala and the parade of household of our beloved prophet Muhammad saw through the streets of Iraq and syria. We have already forgotten all the teachings of islam thanks to the slavery of capitalism. now reamain at home so that karbala is also forgotten. God help this Ummah
Afaq Ali Nov 23, 2012 06:31am
And the state says ban on mobile phones and motor bikes. Then there will be no man on streets. The next step could be no one with beard on the streets. And this will continue. The point is to ask the state to do its duties. If India can hold these gatherings then why not Pakistan. It is just the state's incompetence.
GhostRider Nov 26, 2012 05:32am
Mr. Hasan for you it might be exhibitionism but for us its a matter of taking a stand. Juloos has been going on for centuries and now some progeny of TTP brand Islam cannot tell us to practice our faith according to their wishes. I assure you these butchers will not spare us even if we go to some isolated place, its not a matter of M A Jinnah or Kharadar. P.S. Today they are coming after Muharram tomorrow they ll come after Rabi ul Awal and may be day after they ll force you to wear beard or die. look at the bigger picture
Aamir Nov 23, 2012 05:35pm
which regulation are violated by taking processions out? Is this not allowed in a democratic country? State never asks and can never ask to not come on the streets for protesting. Ashura processions are protests. They cannot take place at home.
Touseef Nov 22, 2012 05:13pm
Benazir was assassinated in broad daylight, Most prominent religious leaders of Ahle Sunnat were targeted, churches are being burned, from harassment to loss of life is the new norm in Pakistan. Allegiance to Hussain is the only way to reject the claims of these low lives and NO Sir Ashura shouldn
Asim Nov 23, 2012 10:25am
Dear Kaiser There was a time when visiting Imam Hussain's (as) Shrine meant chopping off one arm (official orders from the govt). But people used to visit anyways. So, even if the Taliban / Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba increase the attacks 10 fold, people will not stop attending Majalis and Juloos.
Ajaya K Dutt Nov 26, 2012 08:21am
What a tragedy. Seemingly very wise commentators are blind to the root cause of atrocities. It is hatred against those who follow different "brand of faith". "Low key" is a temporary "measure" to allow hatred to flourish more at "success" of intimidation; and ensure more rigorous compliance of its "true" version.
Raza Nov 22, 2012 03:25pm
Its a shame that paper like Dawn or for that matter its website is suggesting to keep the holiest day in Shia calendar a low profile affairs!
Mehdi Nov 26, 2012 01:02pm
The literates of our society never fail to amaze me today, Read the blog, I think the Ashura procession has been a thorn in the eyes of a lot of people for the longest time... Well tough luck and nice try, for anybody who long to see this procession shrink... Quite frankly it is scary to go amid such strong threat levels but guess what... its worth it...not to die by a dog blasting himself off but for the cause of the Imam... So keep writing and keep discussing but the message of the Imam is clear.. We stand for the righteousness of Imam Hussein, didn't submit then, won't submit today... We are targets because we come out for our beliefs and God damn the cowards who sneak up and don't come in front like a man...
Aamir Nov 23, 2012 05:40pm
But they attacking Imambargahs! so far there are no big processions and there have been explosions. They have been targtting Friday prayers, funerals. It is your wrong imagination they are against a procession. They want to exterminate the whole Shia community.
Nadia Khanum Nov 23, 2012 07:44am
Raza Bhai, the issue is not that this argues for not commemorating the holiest day among Shia history. What it says is that all peace loving people should get together to find ways of commemorating it in a spiritual way that diminishes the chances of violence. Just imagine if God forbid something happens on the 10th day of the procession when the emotional temperature is already high, how would the mourners react. There would be looting and plundering and you can not blame anyone. The state won't be able to do any thing either. The idea is that extremist views from both sides given less space and let every one commemorate this day peacefully. You can not compare it with schools and mosques as these are controlled environment where you can provide securities. But managing a procession of over 20,000 mourners from some of the most congested areas of old cities is potentially a dangerous one. If we want to honor the spirit of Imam, we should also learn to be as patient, as much of consensus builder as him and equally creative to devise new ways of fighting the evil menace of religious extremism.
MF Nov 24, 2012 01:56pm
Lets look at things in a secular light for a minute. At its heart, it is about giving up individual freedom (to expression of religion) to gain a sense of security. But where then, as many have suggested, would you draw the line? If we keep giving up personal freedoms for a hollow sense of security, we are back in the dark ages my friend.
Hasan Nov 25, 2012 01:04pm
Its extremism from both sides. One one hand the terrorists are attacking Shia. On the other hand the Shia religious leadership is so stubborn, not compromising a bit for the sake of security of people. M.A Jinnah road and Kharadar, which are the most congested areas of the city, are chosen for the juloos as if these places are mentioned in the 'holy' book. The typical response comes ke " ham tou juloos nilalainge chahe shaheed hi q na hojain." You want 'shahadat'. Ok dude fine register yourself for that in advance and wait for some terrorist to blow you up. Please dont risk lives of people who did not sign up for that. and also this religious exhibitionism has to come to an end. In retrospect as I see, the trend of this exhibitionism has increased. It has become a sort of competition where Barelvis, Shias, Deobandis compete with each other on their respective religious events. This nation had enough of this religion and now its time to move on and concentrate on nation building and progress.
Ali Nov 25, 2012 06:59pm
Well said brother, thats why we take these processions out to Welcome the Son of Hussain & our very last Imam Mehdi a.s., from the family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)....I invite you to join us all to welcome him. As you wont find many personalitieslike him , there are only 14, and we are waiting for the last one to arrive, so chose your camp now before it gets too late for you brother.
imran Nov 24, 2012 02:03pm
Low Key... we will never ever accept in our lives, this is protest against cruel and unjustice. No matters what will happen to us we are ready to die on Imam Hussain (a.s).
mubashar Nov 24, 2012 04:50pm
Do you have any guarantee that there won't be any attack if the processions are kept on LOW profiles? This is not a solution. This problem is very complex and multi-dimensional, and before suggesting any solution you need to understand its historical, religious, cultural and political dimensions.
Syed Nov 26, 2012 11:30am
Jaruk, Thanks for clearly coming out and expressing your mind. This tendancy of judging others on their prayers, which is entirely between a man and Allah Almighty, has brought the muslims to the state where we are today.
shamim Nov 25, 2012 06:23pm
keeping to low is not the solution, the world is using technologies to curb the terrorist network, the miscreants are obvious they are killing both sunni and shias, they are different mind set and are followers of yazeed
salem khan Nov 25, 2012 06:56pm
Going indoors means there is something that we are scared of. We are not scared of the terrorists. Every person killed while attending a procession is a Shaheed and the terrorist murderer (and his supporters/financiaers) who killed the innocent people booked a one-way ticket to Hell !!
Majaz Amin Nov 24, 2012 02:15pm
With due respect to all, I am of the opinion that no gathering either it is religious or political should not be held on roads or public places which hinders the daily life of people.
Shabbir Nov 27, 2012 06:27am
Never Never, Terrorism could not control if you minimize the gathering.....This is just a lame excuse... It means that can we minimize Juma prayrer? can we closed Mosques? can you close GHQ? Can we closed Markets and Bazaars?? Can we close Mehran/Kamra base? can we close Political gatherings? Can we minimize Funeral procession?? Can we close Police thanas, FIA Centers, ISI offices etc etc?? Never Never , not a single said points are not possible....same like lesser Religious procession cant control terrorism.....
MAH, Abu Dhabi Nov 25, 2012 05:45pm
When individuals, going about their routine business, were identified and killed, what difference would it make if they go in a group! It is not the objective of remembering moharram to be safe, but to take a stand!
Baber Nov 23, 2012 01:34pm
Totally agree...But civil societies do not give up their right of religious freedom for terrorists and corrupt governments...
Haq nawaz Nov 22, 2012 05:56pm
I wonder Why these organizations are not removed by our thousands of security agencies and why they are here running offices taking part in elections, while attacking on Ghq Army installations and Azadari processions. If we have the same enemy and same organizations are backing them so Why our Law Enforcement Agencies and Army is Silent....Why do not they come up with a better Result or a Clean sweep operation.....Which is required for our Country's Safety and Security.....Why We are Silent
Syed Asghar Hussain Nov 24, 2012 05:16am
I have heard this argument many times and I always find this emotionally-charged and out of context. Mourning is part of the faith. It can't stop. But it can be low-profile, if you want to. Period.
Naseer Nov 23, 2012 04:48pm
It is important to fight against injustice. If we keep giving in to Taliban demands, we will end up being like the followers of Yazeed. Better to live one day with honor than 100 days of cowardice.
chakraborty Nov 26, 2012 01:40pm
I wonder India has the most critical Sunni-Shia Ratio after IRAQ, Its said 65:35. But no such incidence takes place here. I saw a big procession in Delhi. With Police diverting traffic to make way for tazia procession. Also a fact is Hindus support Shias and BJP (Bhariya Janata Party) has big Shia names in it like ~ Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi & Shahnawaz Hussain. May Be because in our eyes Shias are less radical and contribute more towards unity and coexistence. Azim Premji ~ Indias IT Czar and philanthrophist is a Shia. Also some Brahmins mourn for Imam Hussain ~ Called Hussaini Brahmins who think one of there ancestor went to Karbala and fought against Yazid.